:: Fiction

The Back Seat published 27/07/2021

It was unpleasant having to walk through dark passages reeking of human and dog urine, but what I worried about was the credibility of the guy I was going to meet. He was an experienced driver of about sixty who preferred an early start, his carpooling profile said. Mine said I was an experienced passenger who preferred jazz but could stand any music, if it was what helped.

A short story by Dunja Ilić.

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The Seduction of Soledad Bay published 17/07/2021

Sixteen years later, Francesca Trapper Niedermeyer stabbed Thad Rance to death with a steak knife in a Surf n’ Turf off the interstate outside of Biloxi. Then she ripped his shirt open and cut out his heart (deft and sure—she had read up on it in a surgery manual prior to tracking her father down). In the ensuing confusion, Francesca managed to slip away with the heart in a styrofoam takeout container, flag down a passing trucker, and find her way to Ragged Point where she delivered the heart to Soledad Bay in her kitchen (blue Delft patterned tiles, copper pans hanging from the ceiling rack, oak wine rack against the wall, her husband’s statue-of-David BBQ apron hanging from a peg). Soledad gracefully thanked the girl, put Thad Rance’s heart in the freezer (“just in case,” she said later), telephoned Sheriff Buck, and made Sleepy Time tea in her favourite elephant spout tea-pot. This is the part that got into the newspapers.

By Douglas Glover.

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Morello, Van, Marasca published 15/06/2021

Every morning the petrichor came thick. Some days a tangible mist rose from the sun-hot macadam. We would sit for a time sipping cream in Persian tea on the front porch. No one came to the far end of our cul-de-sac, no sane one anyway.

A short story by Samuel M. Moss.

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Hotel Kafka published 14/06/2021

You are a guest at the demolition of your own reality. It’s like watching a building that’s imploding in extreme slow-motion and then realising you are that building. Buildings and buildings and buildings implode around you and within you. You’re a series of buildings that implode. You can see yourself in the fragments of concrete floating in the air. Everything changes continuously in the outside world, but your world remains caught up in a series of interconnected implosions. You take each day as it comes. One day at a time. You know all things must pass.

Read an exclusive extract from Susanna Medina‘s novel Spinning Days of Night.

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A Star of the New York Times published 01/06/2021

On the day we met, in the part of the newsroom where we Business section reporters and editors did our daily work, he threw me a compliment as he went in for a handshake: “So you’re the guy who wrote that piece.”

“I guess I am.”

A short story by Jim Windolf.

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Speech published 25/05/2021

I don’t know if it was residue from a dream of the night before, or the snowy dark November afternoon, the sort that carries within it alluring and overblown childhood fears, but as I opened the front door to the three-story Victorian house on Spadina Avenue, I felt haunted by the presence of my father.

A short story by Jules Lewis.

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monologues without bodies, exile published 11/05/2021

It seems that the English language only becomes bodied (comes back from the death of abstraction) in advertising.

A short story by Adrian Bridget.

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Schopenhauer Smokes published 27/04/2021

The next person who wags his finger at me is going to get it bitten off, A. Schopenhauer thought.

Short fiction from Nathan Knapp.

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Alan published 13/04/2021

Alan did not care about losing and he certainly did not care about winning. It was just that he would not be beaten. He knew that people were better at football than he was. Me for a start, although I was two years older. But he thought it was nonsense that you might measure victory or defeat in terms of who had scored the most goals, the most runs, the most points.

A short story by Robert Stone.

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Of Monkeys and Monsters published 06/04/2021

Instead of sleeping Kierk is out grabbing beers at a bar, sitting at the open window in the breeze and watching the late-night groups of people walk past in fits of laughter or discussion. Then he’s out to join them, meandering past the bright lamplights and shuttered store windows of New York City at night. To be a scientist again, to be working on consciousness again—he can’t believe it. He is a secular priest once more.

An excerpt from The Revelations, the first novel by Erik Hoel.

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