Imagination by Hayleigh Sleigh

‘I’m not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.’
A. A. Milne, Winnie The Pooh

Trevor watched as Chrissie went to make another cup of tea. Green tea with honey, always. He watched her squeak out a “Hhehh” when a colleague walked past, which he presumed was supposed to be the first syllable of “Hello”.

He scanned her over-crowded desk. Always too many pens. She regularly slowed down the pace of a meeting by not having a pen that worked – sucking on the nib, scribbling – but she had pots full of them. Was she clinging on to all those broken pens for sentimental reasons? Continue reading “Imagination by Hayleigh Sleigh”

The Fever by Emily Harrison

The reddening was getting worse, splitting out across my sclera like the wetlands of southern Louisiana. It was a common symptom according to the experts – bloodshot eyes. A drop of saline could soothe it, but the wine red would still snake across my white; a marker that I was a sufferer – a casualty of the spreading allergen. It didn’t help that I constantly rubbed them, wound my index fingers anti-clockwise to counter the itch that came as a side syndrome, swollen blood vessels abound. I’d circle and circle and circle until the kohl that I’d applied bled as though I was made from coal. I checked the pocket mirror I kept in my bag and licked my thumb to wipe the collection of smudges away. The sweat from the underground train had made it sticky and the more I wiped, the more it dragged like a child’s finger painting. Continue reading “The Fever by Emily Harrison”

Allegheny Spa by Robert Boucheron

Peace smothers the landscape like apple blossom petals or cottonwood fluff, except that it’s summer, warm as toast. The hour is post meridian. The air is still, and dry leaves hang from the towering beeches, oaks, and maples. Crisp at the edges, yellowing, the leaves filter low-angle sunlight, transmute glare to gold.

I can hardly keep my eyes peeled. Draped in a lounge chair, I stare under lowered lids at the lawn, dark green and evenly mown. Though I go to bed at dusk and rise at dawn, much of the night, I lie awake or read in bed, and then all day I doze. I am idle, lazy, and good for nothing. I read a page and absorb not a word. I write a line, and the pen drops from limp fingers. My mind is blank. Continue reading “Allegheny Spa by Robert Boucheron”

Chef’s Privilege by D.S. Maolalaí

The publisher had sent my book covers that morning

by email. Final proofs. I sent back that they were good

and bragged about it on the internet. We were in Paris

in a flat on Rue de Belleville, the 11ieme aron and 6 floors walk

up. It was beautiful. From the window to the horizon there was nothing but roof. Fallon had to

spend the day working Continue reading “Chef’s Privilege by D.S. Maolalaí”

Judgements by Ross Jeffery

There’s a dozen of us crammed into this holding cell. Complete strangers. Informed not to talk by the woman in charge who left us here, she reminded me of my mother and the tyrannical rule she held over my life. Freud would have a field day, if he was afforded the time to step into my cesspool of a mind. But I digress. The woman left about forty-five minutes ago and we’ve been sitting here ever since.

There are three doors. The one we came through, one mirroring it on the other side and another small door with a brass sign that reads toilet. Every time someone wanders in a ghastly smell seeps out. Continue reading “Judgements by Ross Jeffery”