Tag: Women

The Woman with All the Answers by Sara Dobbie

She wakes up with the dawn each day to patrol the edges of the island like a sentinel. Secures the boundaries, checks the horizon for unwanted visitors. The waters are invariably still, the sky a cool blue stretching for miles. Here, in the center of this enchanted lake, Mona is alone, except for the lion. She relishes the solitude inside her soundproof cottage, but she must never forget why she came here, why she must keep watch against intruders.

She remembers the difficulties involved in building this sanctuary, gathering the supplies, cobbling it together over many days and nights. The necessity of escaping The Amazing Muldoni had given her the strength to do it. Just thinking of his handlebar mustache and the giant cage he kept her in, spray painted metallic gold, fueled her arms to swing the axe again and again. She cut down practically every tree on the island for timber. She lashed pieces of wood together with braided ropes made from branches, and she collected stones and rocks to cover the floor like the inside of a castle.

Work Ethic by Jennifer Walker

“Don’t exaggerate,” her mother snapped when Sarah phoned about her new boss at the Bureau of Land Management. “I’m sure he’s only a demon from the horde. The Apocalypse’s been hard on everyone. Just be glad you have job security.”

Sarah wasn’t surprised. Even with the world in flames her mother had to focus on her career. Still, she tried to protest her boss was, undeniably, the Beast of Revelation, but she was interrupted by a horrifying scream from somewhere very close to her mother before the line went dead. A minute later her mother texted: dead rising at B’Nai Abraham, grandma not looking too good, call you back.

EXCLUSIVE STORY FEATURE: Cocoon Lucky by Kavita A. Jindal

“Cocoon Lucky” is one of the short stories featured in Where We Find Ourselves, an anthology of stories and poems by UK-based writers of the global majority (Arachne Press).

It is December and I dwell on what fortune-tellers have told me in the past. There is not much else to do when ‘festive season’ occurs while we’re in lockdown. I’m semi-shielding, actually. Everything I do is half-baked and prefixed by semi or demi. Nothing is full-on, not even make-up for work Zoom calls or Zoom parties. Lipstick and a pearl pin in my unruly hair is enough, isn’t it?

When Everything Goes Right by Hannah Dadd

Kate stumbles into the cafe, welcomed by the smoky smell of coffee and a thick blanket of heat, her glasses fogging up. Thank goodness, it was freezing outside. She unwinds her scarf and stamps her boots on the worn mat. The afternoon is bleak, on the cusp of evening, cold and damp with the lingering promise of rain. Hopefully she won’t catch it on the way out. She scans the room but he isn’t here yet. That’s fine, she is early. Eager. And he is always late.

“Can I take your order?” A smile is drawn to kind lips, the barista’s pen poised, watching Kate who watches everyone else. 

A Perfect Companion by Emily Harrison

From inside the dim recesses of his bedroom, the yellow light of the laptop screen soaking his skin in a sickly glow, he purchased the parts.

They arrived sporadically over a raw-bone winter. Limb by limb. Feature by feature. Ordered via the Dark Web. His hands itched as each delivery piled on his doorstep. Stomach quivered as he sliced open the boxes with the jag of a serrated kitchen knife.

Her skin was crystalline, stomach slim, hips like blown glass. Blueprints pertaining to a pristinely crafted perfection. The only blemish: crimson lips that came as adornments. He’d selected nude on the website. Allowances could be made. A first-time hiccup. The parts had taken a month to arrive and her assembly, carried out in the icy bowels of the basement, was well underway. 

Small Sounds Ricochet Through the Darkness by F.C. Malby

In memory of Sarah

Don’t walk home alone, not at this time of night, my friends say, waving at me from a table of empty cocktail glasses, flapping like a gaggle of geese. I’ll be fine, I say, I’ll text you when I’m home. Are you sure? they ask, but it’s more a way of allaying their own fears. Yes, I’ll be fine.

I walk out of the bar, keys in hand, each one pushed between my fingers — a miniature Edward Scissorhands — EarPods in, mobile phone clutched in the other hand. I wore flats, because that’s what you do when you might need to run. It’s normal, except that it’s not. Normal is wearing what you like, not thinking about when you might need to run or who you would need to call, it’s not turning the music down in case there’s a Come over here, Love. Oi. You. I’m talking to you.