All three lived together in
that stuffy stone and corrugated iron
Welsh cottage at the foot of
a scrappily-wooded hill,
born there, never left there, died there
our two aunts and an uncle. Continue reading “Alice, Maub & Alvert by Tim Goldstone”
1. The Book Club
The famous crime writer met with his literary agent for help with a problem. It was strange, you wouldn’t think that this crime novelist, who was rich and successful, had any problems in his life at all. He was the author of the Inspector Tak mysteries – a series of police procedurals in which dour, working-class cop Ian Tak investigated serial killers (aided by DC Sarah Lombardi, a hot-headed half-Italian sidekick who wore expensive suits and had a habit of swearing in Italian). The books had been popular for many years but sales had begun to ebb. Feminists objected to the visceral rape-slaughters of the author’s anonymous fictional victims. Comments he had made on panels, at festivals, on his blog, and on Twitter, had been misinterpreted. It was time for a new direction.
‘Vampires,’ said the agent. ‘Vampires is it.’ Continue reading “Triptych by Max Dunbar”
The office tea-point was a miserable space; a battered sink, whose hole emitted a cloacal smell, and a kettle thick with scale. A window looked out onto the building’s cavernous atrium. Tom gently swung it open and peered out. His gut untightened. Karen was still out there, thank God – talking to some clients in leather chairs, waving her hands around in histrionic gestures. Dampened by the acoustics of the hall, a few words and phrases echoed up; ‘New standards in lean product design’, ‘restructuring the client-customer interface’. The clients nodded sagely.
He could still feel the email, framed ominously in his ‘sent mail’ box: Continue reading “Mates Don’t Grass by Matt Hornsby”
Defeat fatigue’s cry that soars above you
High. Victory and loss are fleeing
Your purpose, now complete. Temporary.
You look above you at the blood-drenched sky
And reflect on the fate you struggled for. Continue reading “Triumph Has a Hard Shell by Aldas Krūminis”