:: Fiction

Marina Šur Puhllovski’s Wild Woman: An Excerpt published 26/08/2019

In school, it never occurs to me to lose weight, I have no idea that you can lose weight, not even theoretically, for some things I am just stupid, even when they are obvious, I just schlep around in dresses and knee-length skirts like some old bag. The boys in my class give me a “C” for my legs, those little idiots graded us, a “B” for my face, and an “A” for my body, so my average is a “B” and I feel doomed and unhappy; I drag myself through life like a downtrodden cat, casting morose looks at people right and left, which nobody finds attractive, and if somebody does, then I don’t find them attractive. Whatever happened to that attractive thirteen-year-old girl, I wonder miserably, when three love-lorn boys used to stand under my balcony, the fourth pining for me in the school corridors, tossing me little packets of foreign chocolates and sweets, hoping to impress me … I ate the sweets with the brazenness of a vamp who takes but gives nothing in return, and even laughs at him.

By Marina Šur Puhlovski.

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Gros Homard published 06/08/2019

I notice that a light moss has begun to form on my rockery, the spot where I prefer to spend my nights. I am surprised when you do not see it, my love, as the thin grey curtain of filth is pulled slowly to obscure my view of your living quarters, where you used to spend your days in stimulating thought, writing, and playing host to your interesting friends who would coo over my tank and marvel when I waltzed, sometimes leaping clear of the water, clicking my ginger claws.

A short story from Alice Ash.

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Ahistorical published 24/07/2019

“Paul says,” says the Expositor, “that sensual fulfillment in the bedroom begins with recognizing what it means to be close. How do we define close, how do we assess distance? For example, that horse over there.” The Expositor nods in the direction of the horse. “Is the horse near to us, or is it far away?” .

New short fiction from Fortunato Salazar.

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Plastic Emotions (Extract) published 23/07/2019

The project was commissioned more than a year ago. The honeymoon period, in which Minnette’s ideas were greeted with pleasant surprise and excited applause, has given way to suspicion, resentment, and occasional distress. ‘Hanh,’ says Mrs Ariyapala, ‘but why not paint the walls? Otherwise, it will look like an abandoned building, no?’ This to Minnette’s insistence that the interior walls remain unfinished. When Mrs Ariyapala realises that not only will the walls be unpainted, but they will also remain unrendered, she closes her mouth and does not open it again until she is alone with her husband, whom she then castigates for trusting an ‘upstart woman architect’.

Read an extract from Shiromi Pinto‘s Plastic Emotions.

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The Printer of Gardens published 26/06/2019

When I saw her first, she looked just like a statue, holding a spade above the dark soil of her daughter’s garden. Seeing her made me feel an intense awareness of what I knew a little bit, and what I didn’t know at all. The body given to me was this one, not that. Later I would seek her out, then she would tell me a few of the stories hidden in her mute figure.

New short fiction from Jessica Sequeira.

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Ingrid, Her Nephew, an Investigative Scenario published 11/06/2019

I did not know that Ingrid av Enga was my grandmother until many years after she had died and my work led me to her basement archives. The house stood empty in a row of identical bungalows erected sometime in the boom years following the war. Evidently it was the kind one could purchase from a Sears catalog, one that had arrived in pieces on the back of a truck.

A short story from Eric Blix.

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Geometry in the Dust by Pierre Senges: An Excerpt published 04/06/2019

Did the insomniacs teach you nothing? you’ve never even come across one? by shaking them you were unable, in spite of all your efforts, to extract them from that sleep beyond all measure that steals over them when their insomnia ebbs away at last? were you surprised by the comas into which insomniacs fall in order to escape their insomnias? If so, then go and see the calligraphers: they alone will be able to tell you about the city; their brushes underscore its features and they walk repetitively up and down the same streets in order to complete their writing exercises, or simply to get from one place to the next as rapidly as possible — that is what a few good souls told me, people of sound counsel, wrong one out of two times.

Excerpt from Geometries in the Dust by Pierre Senges.

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Palenque Hotel published 21/05/2019

“I must formulate completely the work I’m going to undertake. I must search for the law to which all things submit.” Beginning at the beginning. Ah! The first word.

An extract from Palenque Hotel, a new novel by Louis Armand.

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Red Sky at Night published 10/05/2019

Paul arrives in Patras and lights a cigarette. It is four pm and hot. Sweltering in fact. It has been all summer and even though it is now September the heat shows no sign of letting up. From the coach across southern Greece, Paul had seen trees blackened by forest fires and white walls stained with smoke. He crossed rivers that had become beige dried-up banks and he watched a dog limp across a road to beg an old man for water. Everywhere you look there are signs of the damage being done to the land by the heat, but here in Patras no-one seems to care.

An extract from Thomas Chadwick‘s Above the Fat — this month’s Republic of Consciousness Book of the Month.

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Detachment published 01/05/2019

Supposedly, to be a voyeur is to be a pervert, but he was not that: it was not genitals or infidelities that excited him—primarily, it should be said, because of course they did, too—it was the chance to see someone as they are, that was all.

An extract from Hugh Fulham-McQuillan‘s forthcoming story collection, Notes on Jackson and His Dead.

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