Richard Lea

Suburban Pastoral

—Don’t hit her with it Jasper, give it to her. The toddler looks round, distracted by a leaf. The purple doggie slips from his hand and tumbles down onto the lawn within his sister’s grasp. Louisa reaches towards it, leaning beyond the brightly-coloured playmat onto the grass, eyes wide, mouth open. She grabs it with […]

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Torii Grabowski

This Is Where It Will End

This is how it will start. You see him on stage, strumming a blue Stetson, his mouth tightened in concentration. You look at him through your viewfinder and capture him singing along with the chorus. He looks directly into your camera, and you let it hang loose around your neck. You hold his gaze, then […]

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Elvis Bego

Palazzo Meliponderoni

In the old centre of Palermo lie the ruins of Palazzo Meliponderoni―piles of rubble sinking in the scrub and weeds and the cherry and fig trees the neighbours now tend for their pantries. The house had stood there for five centuries and in a moment it was gone. The marchese di Meliponderoni, although the title […]

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Richard Hirst

Mothering Season

Jennifer has returned for the first time in almost three months. I’m in the kitchen, making Ted his breakfast, smearing toast with jam. There’s a click of keys, the creak of hinges and there she is, my daughter. ‘Hello Mum,’ she says. She looks unclean, dressed in the same shabby fleece and stained jeans she […]

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Peter Frederick Matthews

George X

George sees the wet weight of the meat, wrapped in paper, clinging to the side of the shopping bag. His father asks him, Do you want Liver and Onions? No, George says. Have you eaten? I just don’t want them. They’re your favourite. I don’t have any favourite. Favourites are for babies. George is lying. […]

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Kathryn Kruse

And With Such Great Effort To Achieve

“Such a curious place…So strange a place. So unmagical. And with such great effort to achieve the unmagical. Bless them.”  —Leonard Cohen, Live at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas   Tari Ann Merrin loved Las Vegas. She did not love Las Vegas the way most people do, as a weekend spectator, a passive member of the […]

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