Helen Cross

Who Wants Tortoise?

It was a hot summer Saturday and I had to get home to my parents. I’d had an abortion three days earlier and suddenly, urgently, needed milky tea, a super- soft settee and an endless supply of Aldi’s imitation Kit-Kats. ‘I’m thinking of coming to see you,’ I said, already at Kings Cross, my overnight […]

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Guy Mitchell


‘Jesus, if I have to watch another PowerPoint presentation I swear I’m going to rip my own head off.’  He was looking at the ceiling, not at anything else, and she was holding his hand under the covers.  He liked it that he knew she was there without having to look. ‘Ah, remember what Clooney […]

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Christos Tsiolkas

Danton’s Laugh

The power of the image is such that I find it difficult to imagine Danton without his assuming Gerard Depardieu’s visage and physique. And that seems absurd, as it has been nearly two decades since I last saw Andrzej Wajda’s biographical film, in which the French actor plays the eponymous revolutionary.  Nevertheless, I still trust […]

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Tendai Huchu


The day Brian got deported we did the only thing we could do, we threw a party. They (the forces of darkness, otherwise known as the Home Office) came for him in the middle of the night and dragged him out of bed, kicking and screaming, from the one bedroom flat he rented in Muirhouse. […]

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Martin Monahan


1. Rubbing soap about his body, he thought of Rose-Maria. In his mind it was her body that his hands were moving over. But not as if she were in front of him—rather as if his mind were inside her body, as if his mind were pinioned on top of her body and her body […]

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James Robison

Charles Manson

My father is floor foreman of a casket company down in West Virginia and gets a call (as happens sadly) about a dead convict  from  Moundsville with no family, nothing, tonight’s one stabbed in the gut and heart and neck by a cellmate and the M.E. has finished with him and this time Dad says, […]

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Jane Feaver


It was Julia’s habit to stay on an hour or two after the end of school, long after the commotion in the playground had died down. She had the small office to herself, a glass box portioned off in one corner of the new library.  When her eyes were tired at the end of the […]

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