:: Fiction

The Long-Term Effects of Vice Versa published 29/09/2019

Take your time he tells himself, however he can’t take a thing. He’s convinced he, hexxed, lost it in the famously tall grass or he gave it away to someone by accident in a wad of things.
Still, he’s been rushing it.
He has to tell himself again, It’s like this: slow and at least seemingly redundant, or just as likely, unlike that. It’s much easier if you can lay it all out in front of you though. Supposedly. They say it’s easier — having it spread out and smoothed out. Something about seeing the full picture, about how to get a good look at it at all and if that’s possible.
Step back a little, a little to the side.

By Nathan Dragon.

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Notes Without A Text (excerpt) published 27/09/2019

The notebooks Roberto Bazlen kept between 1945 and his death in 1965 were not, like the notebooks of many writers, intended to be read by an admiring posterity. Their entries were written out of personal necessity, and for that reason, among others, they reward rereading.

Even when he was writing for publication, Bazlen’s style was telegraphic. “I think it’s no longer possible to write books,” he posits in one entry:

That’s why I don’t write books—
Almost all books are footnotes, inflated into volumes (volumina).
I write only footnotes.

An excerpt from Roberto Bazlen‘s Notes Without a Text, introduced by translator Alex Andriesse.

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The Statue of Camargo published 23/09/2019

“The story of your cousin? Democracy’s Martyr? The victim of the Sultry Sect? Would you like me to tell you the story, Don Fernando? I assure you, it’s very short, and it’s become even shorter over time. There are stories like this one that lose momentum along the way. At first, they seem very lush, full of important details. How the man walked, the words he spoke that day, and we wrack our brains trying to remember if there was a sense of doom in his voice or a premonition that made him nervous. It’s not that we’ve forgotten the details, it’s that they hang in the air, as if disconnected from each other. For example, I wouldn’t know how much importance to attach now to something that consumed my attention back then: the fact that your cousin always wore a jacket when the guayabera was basically a uniform among us. Maybe it expressed something in the recesses of his soul, an inherited ideal, a quality that was intrinsic to who he was. Maybe. But, now, thinking about his life, it seems like a minor detail.”.

A short story by Alejandro Rossi, translated from the Spanish original by Janice Goveas.

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Mother Tongue published 11/09/2019

For as long as I can remember I have equated the death of one’s parents with the most pure freedom in the world, perhaps the only freedom in the world.

A story by Jules Lewis.

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Clock & Street published 07/09/2019

The street is wrong; it is obvious now. On the way back to the house, wrapped square in right-hand pocket, the disarrangement is visible to her. It is in the position of the branches. Last night she heard the storm, her eyes locked on the claw marks of ceiling light, her ears dividing the sounds into subcategories: paper whipping the pavement, a somersaulting tin can, the low vocal scrape of a plastic lid. The downed branches lie where the storm left them. The way they lie is wrong. The detail takes time to present. She stands for a while looking and eventually it comes into focus.

By David Hering.

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The Wrong Things List published 03/09/2019

There were many things he did wrong in the relationship, though calling her cold-hearted slag and ripping the picture of them at Niagara Falls were not part of the many, but more an assertion of his masculinity—through admittedly feminine means.

A short story by Greg Gerke.

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the shame fairy published 02/09/2019

The first time Harriet was paid a visit by the Shame Fairy (had it been the first? she wondered, a lit broom sweeping her body at the thought of how many times in her yawn-and-stretch she must’ve pushed notes from under her pillow and down the back of the bed to be found by landlords or university hall cleaners or her mum and dad) was in the year of Marcus.

There was a time she’d burn the notes in the ceramic canoe of Magda’s incense burner. Then the morning after, turning her pillow, like you’d turn over a big stone or crumbly log in the woods… She bought instead a large enough jewellery box with miniature lock and key. Each new note sat at the front of a long Filofax column; the ones at the back crackled to the touch.

A short story by Mazin Saleem.

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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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