April got out flour from the cupboard, cracked eggs into a bowl. She read the recipe, read it again …
Clara had long dark hair that was as limp as swimming seaweed, and her skin was pale and speckled with tiny dots in patches, like little dot families. They were so small, these dots on her arms and legs and face, that they were not freckles but rather dust, and often I felt the urge to wipe them off with a face washer when I looked at her.
We were waiting at the tram stop on Sydney Road when the traffic light turned red. An old bottle-green Corolla stopped in front of us, a bunch of white guys inside. ‘Informer’ was blasting from their stereo system. I stifled a groan. One of them leant out of the car window, staring straight ahead at us. He locked eyes with Elif, who was standing beside me. ‘Sand niggers! Nappy heads!’ I held my head up proud but didn’t say anything. A middle-aged woman to the other side of us clucked her tongue. Elif raised her fist at the car. ‘Why don’t you […]
If this were a story, it would start with an argument. It would start with Ben and me arguing about something vaguely prescient, something to give the thing that happened a kind of existential echo—a child we wanted to have, or couldn’t have, or used to have. That would work. But the truth is we never wanted children. The truth is that when it happened we were listening to the BBC World Service on the car radio. Two ex-pats and the staticky scraps of empire, the sky heavy with desert grit and dawdling bats. Our radio tuner was stuck and […]
Make sure you lock the back door when you come in from the shed, his mother had said. She always said it, because he came in ten minutes precisely after her ten minute pre-dinner call, to wash up and be ready to eat.
On Grindr I told people I was breaking into the business, but that I was also waiting for the right time. I was a triple-threat—a dancer, singer, actor—and then some. I had it, and it was going to make me famous. I just didn’t know exactly when or how. At the time, I was living on the Gold Coast. It was kind of like California with theme parks, palm trees and water, but it wasn’t California. I didn’t have the money for a plane ticket there but it didn’t matter. I still sensed a kind of glamour, a feeling that […]
Vanta Black by Stephanie Bishop
As he put more and more distance between himself and the mangroves, his fear lessened. Finally he forced himself to attempt to sleep the night through, after fortifying himself in a high, shallow cave with only one entrance.
Like every morning, Siobhan goes down to buy a Coke Zero and to smoke. The first thing I hear is the click of the lock as she leaves; I think it’s right to say it wakes me.
Matilda had a thing about arrivals. On planes, even when not working on foreign policy, she wore tailored suits and carried a valise, as if on her way to an important meeting, or in the event of becoming ejected, disembodied over enemy territory, needing to command as much respect as a man, as Roosi, for instance, or any of her colleagues. Nothing could be done about shots fired by narcissistic young men. One had killed her brother. And now she found herself alighting from a taxi at the head of the circular driveway to the Grand-Hôtel, Cabourg, looking as bourgeois as […]
Avulsion by A.S. Patrić
Beyond the glass enclosure of the pool, past the herb garden, city lights bristle at the seams of the sky. Out at the edge of a nature reserve, this house stands at a gentle gradient; on nights when the moon is on the rise I get a tidal view of tree heads standing tall like sentinels at the borders of my house. At two in the morning, Hajj and my two youngest boys are asleep inside. The back yard is still, its silence punctuated by the occasional roar of tyres turning on the road in the distance. Underneath a cauldron, […]