Colette Paul


My next door neighbour is a Jehovah Witness, and sometimes she puts their leaflets through my door. I like the pictures on the front, crudely-drawn waterfalls and rainbows, the human figures all decked out in national costumes. Inside it’s stuff about Jesus coming any day to smite us, with comments in the margins by Shelia: […]

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Nick Holdstock

Show and Tell

The night before my show and tell I couldn’t sleep at all. I had told the other girls that they had no cause for worry because I was going to bring something exceptional and could they please let go of my arm. The only girl who didn’t threaten me was the saintly Zhu Chen. She […]

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Helen Cross

Days of the Dead

Tom had chosen Whitby, a pretty port on the North East coast, for our first group weekend away. He had a rather tiresome interest in nautical matters and particularly eighteenth century swashbuckler, Captain Cook, but he had never been to ‘the town at the epicentre of Cook’s early career.’ ‘Cook was the finest British explorer, […]

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Benjamin Langley

Aren’t You Danny Mann?

The police officer looks like a young Ray Winstone and he might turn bad-cop if you don’t answer.               “Name?” he repeats.               “I’m not who you think I am,” you say, leaning in towards the twin-spool tape recorder.               Ray raises an eyebrow. “Who aren’t you?”               “Danny Mann. I just look like him.”               “That’s bullshit, Danny.”               “I’m […]

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Martin Chan

My War Against The Invisibles

The invaders came like thieves in the night. No one ever saw them, no one ever knew of them apart from their effects. They showed up the morning following the night of the meteorites, which can’t be a coincidence. They came in something. Things fell to earth around there in the wee hours, and from […]

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Sally Syson


I’m moving out, was the first thing Noriko said to me. As I was moving in at the same time — she’d sidestepped me as I struggled up the stairs with an armful of folders — this was a little disconcerting. My feelings must have shown in my face, because she raised a hand to […]

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Jolene Tan

A Good Visit

I shouldn’t be here, I think, when my father answers the door, his face closing over with suspicion. But after a moment, and a grunt, he lets me in. I hold out a bag of White Rabbit sweets—still his favourites, as far as I know. He takes it wordlessly and goes to place it in […]

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