Frances Holland


Beehives       “Cartwright, Patrick, 2nd January, 1982, aged 28, Hewer. Killed by a fall of stone. When filling coals at a longwall face, a large stone fell between two slips and killed deceased. The place had been carefully examined by the deputy, and was found to be insufficiently timbered.” If an asteroid hit […]

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Vesna Main

My Family and Other Immigrants

My Family and Other Immigrants (Mixing Memory and Desire)   The other day I heard someone say that one should treat all recollections with suspicion.                                                                                  ***   In 1892, nineteen-year old Adolf Ondruš, travelled from his native Brno in Bohemia to Zagreb. In this town of 80 000 inhabitants, the capital of the autonomous […]

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Mark Martin

Book Learning

BOOK LEARNING   A young man emerged from the Tube station looking positively heroic. For a moment, Gareth was uncertain, not quite believing his eyes, but, yes, it was Sebastian stepping into the sunlight, tall, tanned, and desperately handsome—more his mother’s son than ever. Here was Gareth’s only child, back less than a week from […]

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Charlie Hill

The Life of Roberts

The Life of Roberts   hello! I’d forgotten it was you today. I’m all over the place this week! What’s that? No, no, nothing to worry about. I’ve just changed my blood pressure meds and I’m not sleeping so well on these new ones. It was like that when I started on the Statins. Yes, […]

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Natasha Cabot

Family Traditions

Family Traditions   It was February 29 again, and I was wondering which member of my family would try to kill me this time. An hour ago, cousin Luke attempted to murder me with a rope. My guard was down, damn it, giving him just enough time to creep up behind me and wrap the […]

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David Butler

Time to Murder and Create

Time to Murder and Create   I see it all. I see it all, but who sees me? You could say I run the show. Well sure, you nod. From a technical point of view. The lighting-guy gets the cues wrong or goes AWOL, the actors perform on a dark set. But that’s not what […]

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Miriam Burke


Vincerò   I love my job. I love standing in the darkness taking in the smell of their cooking, a whiff of perfume, or a trace of lemon fabric conditioner on a clean tea-towel. Tony and I stand very still for a few minutes to make sure we haven’t been heard. We come in the […]

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Sam Webb

Flowers Are Prettier When They Grow Wild

Flowers Are Prettier When They Grow Wild   Some people find reading hard. They can’t finish a book in one month, one year, if at all. Some people, and Jonathan knew these people and he liked them, didn’t read any books at all, wearing it like a badge of honour. It wasn’t a problem he […]

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Livi Michael


Callow   The girl who brought the tea trolley leaned over their mother’s chair. ‘You’ve got visitors today, Mrs Lindley,’ she said. ‘that’s nice, isn’t it?’ Their mother tilted an emaciated face in her direction. ‘I’m slim now,’ she said. ‘You are,’ said the girl, whose name, according to her badge, was Jade. ‘More than […]

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Billy Kahora


Commission Jameni, I lost the silver bracelet my nyanya had given me when I was a little girl when I heard the news that he would appear on the Goldenberg Commission. I ran around our small shamba and through the fence to his clan on the next shamba to tell everybody and the bracelet fell […]

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Alex Allison

The Art of the Body: An Extract

Chapter 1: An Extract from The Art of the Body by Alex Allison Maintaining one person’s dignity comes nearly always at the expense of someone else’s. I have learned this for you.     My morning ritual begins in the bathroom. At the sink, I wet my hands and lather, dancing my fingers through their trained routine: […]

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