Showing posts with tag: Online Exclusives


Remex and Rectrix

‘That’s what girls with powerful fathers do.’ A slave for ever dilutes with dignity the fiction of love. The truth of this is spectacular. That even the mechanism of nature carries in its chaos an evanescent integrity. As I have been rent from these senses; none preserved, the right to have at chaos. We fester. We, when realized, will ways to destroy. And there, think nothing of order’s lamentations. Someone unheard is waiting to name love, again. Read more →

A Backwards Story of a Backwards Man

The night A.W. thought he won the megabucks he flicked on a small lamp in the corner of the room and rushed a Yuengling from the fridge. After a clack, fizz and slurp, after a warm flood through the gut that settled the tremble in his arms somehow, he turned on the TV: numbered ping-pong balls shot through a tubular cage like popcorn, as though popcorn could be what was, after all these years, summoning his fate – he chuckled. Read more →

Some Really Bad Things that Have Happened at Sea – for Context.

Before we even left port I found that both of the drawers underneath my bunk were filled with jars of pickled herring. Later, while I was watching the sun dip into the horizon, some salt water kicked up overboard and splashed me. It was actually quite refreshing but unfortunately it must have also splashed onto where my disposable contact lenses sat on deck as when I put the lenses in it really stung. When I told the guys in my room what had happened though, midshipman Wilson just laughed really loudly and said the whole thing was just too funny. Read more →

Surprised by Joy

So I thought I’d cheer her up, take her mind off things, you know, lighten up the old load, no more ‘n that. I’m good at it, see, making people feel better, always have been, can’t tell you why – it’s just the way I am, the way it’s always been. People see me coming, they smile, can’t help themselves – however bad their day’s going, they see me and before they know it I’ve said something to make ‘em laugh, and the whole world feels as if it’s turned a corner – know what I mean? – found its bounce again, stopped raining all those dead cats and dogs and that. Read more →

Bennett Paris — Exu’s Fedora

Franklin had left Jersey City during the real estate boom. They sold their house, he and his Brazilian wife, and with the profit, built a small house on land her parents had given them, and settled in to pursue the simple deliberate life in a former fishing village called Beira Mar. He set up a small tourism business, the income from which turned out to be not more than pocket change, but it kept him busy. Read more →

Nana Howton — Interquad

My first cousin Daniel liked to sleep with his penis between my thighs when we shared his mother's bed while she worked a graveyard shift in the local hospital. I know what most people would think: what kind of 13-year-old slut lets her 14-year-old cousin do that night after night for a whole month of vacation? Well, the kind that lived in a Catholic orphanage with 60 girls and six nuns and was never told what a penis was. Read more →

Craig Pay – Quarter Cherry Lips

"Quarter cherry lips," the shopkeeper says. "Fifty-seven pence." Henry looks at the tall jar of sweets. Then he looks at the pile of sweets in the scales on the counter and finally he looks up to the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper stares back, leaning on the counter. He has slack grey jowls and thinning hair that needed cutting several weeks ago. His stomach rests on the counter, straining the buttons on his woollen cardigan. A hole has been worn away in the cardigan, just above his left breast, strands of wool fray at the edges. Read more →

Romance in Paris

The excitement begins at the airport. You know deep down that in that bag is a ring, a big diamond one that shoots doves at unhappy people, a ring that turns heads in the street. On the plane you feel yourself getting closer; you go for the bag but he says no, he smiles and reads his paper – he has the Financial Times because he has a powerful job that will secure you for life. Read more →

Don’t Beat Yourself Up, Anton the Destroyer by Andrew Pidoux

Setting out from his home somewhere in the south of England, Anton the Destroyer boards a ferry to France. His face is a mess, due to a fight he was in the previous night. He is already quite ugly, but now he looks like an empty-faced vessel filled with fat on which bruises float like mould. He’s a looker, in other words.

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Nilam Ashra-McGrath – Rouen

The February evening is sharp as I step out of the hotel. A walk through the cobbled streets of Rouen clears my head and brings the blood pumping back into my legs. I sniff the air; the central Vieux Marche has a stench of alcohol and stale urine, jarring the senses. The wind carries the smell across the river, leaving a trail that hovers over the city like a dark unspoken secret. So very anti-tourist. Read more →

Gary Siebel – Kerouac Drank Here

Photograph taken by Gary Siebel

I am a stinking drunk, old, dissolute, grizzled, unkempt; a writer. Like so many other decrepit desperadoes in search of their long-lost orgasm, the bars and strip clubs of North Beach, San Francisco, are my domain. The center of North Beach is the intersection of Broadway and Kearney, where sits the City Lights bookstore, publishers of Ginsberg’s Howl, in the 1950’s.

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Leah Griesmann – The Knothole

Haight Street smells like bong residue left on a beer-soaked couch overnight. The smoke from sandalwood incense wafting out of the Liquor and Vitamin store adds to the reek. Me and Edge sit on the cement outside Amoeba Records panhandling for change. Edge has a cardboard sign that says, “This is a stick-up,” mine says, “Got money?”

Last night we slept in the park with our buddy, Ramone.

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Fiona Glass – Spark to a Flame

Nick felt a fierce surge of joy as he struck the match. He cupped his hand to shield the sudden flare, the hot tang of phosphorus strong in the cool night air. It reminded him of childhood bonfire nights, of his Dad leaping about on their lawn lighting rockets and trying not to let the roman candles singe his eyebrows off.

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Carter Jackson — Rat Hunting

I grew up duck hunting. Which I never really liked because you had to wake up at some obscene hour, wade through a freezing swamp and sit in a dark cold blind that reeked of stale farts and was covered in tobacco spit. Pheasant hunting was much more my speed. You went at a decent hour, like in the afternoon; you were out walking around, and the birds were big, and you could chatter as much as you like. Either way, duck hunting or pheasant hunting, I can’t say I was a very good shot. Rat hunting, on the other hand, I was great at. Read more →

Rob McClure Smith – Every Pitcher Tells A Story

It took the combined efforts of Rich and MacPherson’s maid to pour the little man into his clothing. They shuffled him out the door braced between them. The windows were smothered in the thorn bright fire of bougainvillea. There were pepper and bottlebrush trees, a too-high cypress hedge, a fish pool with lotuses around which fat Japanese carp slivered a sloshing yellow.

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Eden City

Nick drives the green-and-gold Gennaro Financial Recovery Chevy to the levee but, it being August, the levee is dry.  The moment the name and address came in, Nick said he’d take this one himself.  Frances said, “Who’s Herbert Landon?” He knew she had to be kidding. Herbert Landon, Landon House, Landon City?

Heading along the levee now, one hand on the steering wheel, the other at the window, drumming the truck roof in time to the radio, Nick thinks he should do this more often.

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Pacific Littoral

The wind from the Pacific was stronger and cooler than the time of year suggested it might have been. Salt sea wind and hot sun burned pale skins, and caught unhatted heads so that the unwary were struck down. In the evening they collapsed. The next day was spent motionless in the cool of their room. That was how it was for unsuspecting visitors to the ocean.

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Extract from “New York”, from the collection, So, Here I Am.

“New York” is Sabrina Mahfouz’s first ever piece of short fiction and is from a collection called So, Here I Am.

Yeh so they shot him. You heard he’s dead. Yeh he’s dead. You’re telling them, you know. You heard, bastard’s dead. God bless America. Some mothafucking crazy shit right here he gone died and now who be the enemy? You hear him, brother.

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