:: Fiction

Los Halcones published 01/09/2020

Though they have pored over El Imparcial each morning since last Thursday, men with sticks and youths with mangled faces, they know the death toll from the capital will be worse than the press will ever be allowed to write of. It was supposed to have been the day to celebrate the body and blood of Christ. And while last Sunday some of them were at mass, with demands that gods speak of this violence, here there are two bodies that were brought through something that they can tend to.

A short story by Ricardo Wilson.

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Glitch in the Machine published 27/08/2020

6.4 My leader spread his hand, took up earth, and with full fists threw it into the ravenous gullets, setting our feet on their emptiness, which seemed real bodies, profane wretches turning themselves to ensure pedestrians are kept away from trucks and lorries. All equipment must comply with the EC Directives set out in BS 5228. The straight way is lost, but concierge services are your ally to help navigate life in the world’s most exciting city, carpet to wall, bespoke drawer set, mirrored vanity unit, cinema room, the baseless fabric of this vision are indicative only and are melted into air, into thin air.

Read Tom McCarthy‘s contribution to the Denizen of the Dead anthology, edited by Stewart Home.

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Four Studies for a Ghost published 25/08/2020

I knew that my guest had seen. Why, she said. But there is no Why when you can see down the beam and into the colours of being. Once they have seen the lights converge the Why will dissolve into nothing.

A short story by David Hering.

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The Excellent Thing published 18/08/2020

Ahead of us the spine of a desiccated leviathan, the freeway curved and plunged into pelvic convolutions. Pleased by this easy drive, by the hypnotism of the journey, a kaleidoscopic landscape activated by speed and made rhythmic by road signs, I nonetheless allowed a small part of my mind to wonder where our pilot, the rabbit, might be aiming. Puzzled more than concerned, I again sat up so as to scrutinize my co-passenger and our driver.

A short story by Nick Norton.

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Rosie published 04/08/2020

I had lived the longest at the village house and could remember the time of arriving at consensus in our opposition to individualism of any kind. Favoritism was out. Babying, out. We didn’t ask about each other’s pasts. But there were, somehow, things we all knew about Rosie.

A short story by Jacqueline Feldman.

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The Dregs (Excerpt) published 27/07/2020

“What does this girl look like?”
“Brown hair, radiant soul, eyes that penetrate the night.”
“She doesn’t sound familiar.”
“If you saw her, you’d know her. Everyone knows her. You definitely know her.”
“Listen, do you need me to call someone?”
“You look like you could use a friendly face and a decent meal. I reckon I got neither. I rent this place from a customer who checks in regularly, so you can’t stay here, but I know some people who run squats in Guangzhou. I can give them a call…?”
“I came here for her. The co-ordinates, they led me right to your door.”
“Did someone send you?”
“Someone did, yes.”
“You can only see him when you dream. If you listen to the ‘sound’ you can hear him making love to Florence.”

Read an extract from Chris Kelso‘s The Dregs Trilogy.

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The Unrequited Gaze of François Péron published 21/07/2020

Péron ceased to attend any of the lectures for his doctorate and was soon seeking to gain influence in the Society for the Observation of Man and petitioning to join the team of researchers aboard the Naturaliste under the command of Captain Baudin—a man of the sea whose greatest talent was his ability to accept seafaring commissions indiscriminately, be they for exploration, escorting cargo, or slave driving.

A short story by Jake Spears.

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Himmler’s Chicken published 07/07/2020

Himmler is always the first to arrive, anywhere. He is a farmer of chickens—he loves chickens—and those who know about the tending of fowl know that keeping a doctrinaire schedule is critical to animal husbandry.

A short story by Tyler Smith.

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Puppy Shower published 23/06/2020

In the elevator you readjust your tights, your skirt. You pout your lips and dab them pink. You hate puppy showers but this time, you think, it might be different. This time you want to be pretty.

A short story by Laurane Marchive.

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Extracts from We Were Called Specimens by Jason Teal published 18/06/2020

Filthy shopping bags flapped in plain view on our world. Our husbands chased their women around kitchen islands, prescription erections flapping like hanged sheets. As children-gangs stormed our houses, waving assault rifles, we were speechless with virus rot. What did it matter anyway, to die there in our houses, choking on dictionary amnesia. But the children-gangs stopped us in our thoughts. They said, Find the patient zero for us and your lives will be spared. We slobbered virus blessings, hugging our tumored chests. We memorialized our suicided neighbors with ugly effigies, bulky statues on our lawns lit up and glowing.

By Jason Teal.

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