:: Fiction

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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Emma Lapel: An Extract from Lake of Urine by Guillermo Stitch published 11/06/2020

“Table manners!”

His first words to me. We were both guests at a luncheon at the Anthony’s. The village had a new milliner, a Mr Bouchier who hailed from Ampleton and was sprucing up local heads with his urban chic creations; Thomas Anthony and his wife Barbara had wasted no time in arranging the get-together, which to all intents and purposes would be an interrogation. The Antennae, was the clandestine nomenclature, such was the fishmongering couple’s sensitivity to environmental change of any kind. Mr Lapel, a solicitor by profession, had only moved to the county a week or so before the hatter and was also to be scrutinized.

By Guillermo Stitch.

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Eunuch published 09/06/2020

Sometimes there is a form; a darkness, a heat. A scent of the unknown, sometimes, as wafts up when one is standing by the port at night; summer wind like breath, the black ocean of space, stars, and the lights of distant ships.

A story by J. E. Suárez.

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Too Much of a Good Thing published 26/05/2020

Workers all over forgot to turn up. They lost all sense of time to searching for just the right words, the right image, the metaphor that could decode the moment and let everyone name what no one was talking about. It had been on the tips of all tongues for more than a year but no one had managed to swallow it yet.

A story by Steve Himmer.

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doppelgänger published 12/05/2020

I received a strange email a few days ago. Written in the body, it read, Alas, I lacked the will to be born…

There was no subject line. I didn’t know what it meant. There wasn’t even really a sender—just a string of numbers @ another string of numbers dot com. Spam, I thought, and moved to trash it, but something made me pause. “The will to be born”—it was such an awkward phrase! What did it even mean?

A short story by Rhian Sasseen.

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LOTE: an extract published 05/05/2020

What was beyond doubt by the time I got back was that a new Transfixion had arrived in the form of Hermia Druitt, the woman in this photograph. This was confirmed by the sensations: flashes from Arcadia. Moonlight, of a kind, sighed up and down the tube of my spine, but above all, that indescribable note which accompanied all my Transfixions was present: humming beneath the high fine rush—probably not dissimilar to holy rapture—was an almost violent familiarity.

An extract from the novel LOTE by Shola von Reinhold.

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