A story from a tired land. words and photo gallery by Ahmad Ali Fidakar

A story from a tired land Once upon a time, nearly two decades ago, a miracle occurred at the center of crisis and turmoil in Ghazni province in a tired land when a humourful and playful boy was born into a traditional and populous family whose souls and minds for years had been harnessed byContinue reading “A story from a tired land. words and photo gallery by Ahmad Ali Fidakar”

The Caterpillar’s Crawl. fiction by Geoffrey Heptonstall

The Caterpillar’s Crawl “I’m from a little place in Western Australia. You won’t have heard of it,” said the man from a little place in Western Australia. “I’ve heard of it,” said the man who’d heard of it. “Nobody’s heard of where I’ve from.” “Yes, it’s called Western Australia,” the man who’d heard of itContinue reading “The Caterpillar’s Crawl. fiction by Geoffrey Heptonstall”

Wan. a novel excerpt by Dawn Promislow

Wan I left, one day, my studio at noon, and walked under the dim trees, across to the garden room. The heater Josias had brought was next to the door. I went to the door, that door that now inhabited my dreams, and knocked. It was such a thin knock in the silence of theContinue reading “Wan. a novel excerpt by Dawn Promislow”

Letters from Kilburn. fiction by Vanessa Gebbie

LETTERS FROM KILBURN 901 Essex HeightsKilburnLondonUnited KingdomOctober 15 Dear Your Majesty,      I hope you do not mind that I am writing. It is about the water pipes at Essex Heights.  The water is brown and I am worried. I have asked the Immigration Office many times but they say the pipes are old.     IContinue reading “Letters from Kilburn. fiction by Vanessa Gebbie”

Bussing for Your Lives. fiction by Sylvia Petter

Bussing for Your Lives I’d been to visit a cousin on Lake Constance close to the Austrian border. He was an anti-vaxxer. My best friend had also gone down the rabbit hole. Part of me wanted to understand. Another part didn’t. “I’ll drive you to the border,” he said. “There’s a bus going straight toContinue reading “Bussing for Your Lives. fiction by Sylvia Petter”

Picture Perfect. fiction by Cath Barton

Picture Perfect                                                                                                          The gîte looks exactly as advertised in the brochure: Blue pool, shady terrace (for long, lazy lunches), vineyards dripping with ripening grapes stretching into the distance. Three spacious double bedrooms. Peace and absolutely quiet. Perfect for a relaxing family holiday. The only thing it doesn’t say in the brochure is that it’s aContinue reading “Picture Perfect. fiction by Cath Barton”

The Marriage of True Minds. fiction by Debra Kennedy

The Marriage of True Minds We sleep in separate bedrooms now and text to communicate. I won’t get within six feet of him, but I’m not leaving, nor is he, now that we both know our true minds. It started with an earworm. A couple of weeks ago I was weeding one of the flowerbedsContinue reading “The Marriage of True Minds. fiction by Debra Kennedy”

Shock and denial. fiction by Doug Jacquier

Shock and denial Rufus Hornblower, the ‘it’s only the flu’, ‘it’s your sovereign right not to wear a mask’, ‘vaccination’s a plot’ shock jock, was bewildered when he woke up on a hospital trolley in a warehouse, after he’d gone to ER about his severe breathing difficulties. A doctor wearing full PPE was observing himContinue reading “Shock and denial. fiction by Doug Jacquier”

This Christmas. fiction by Marzia Rahman

This Christmas This year, Christmas will come quietly, unceremoniously. There won’t be any Christmas party this time. Santa will come, wearing a mask, riding a chariot but he will avoid the crowd. April is the cruelest month—T. S. Eliot once wrote in his epic poem, The Waste Land—Ryan, a young Bulgarian poet in his earlyContinue reading “This Christmas. fiction by Marzia Rahman”

Carol. fiction by Julia Abelsohn

CAROL There’s no easy way to say this – I think I’m dead. I know I tend to be a pessimist – glass half empty or whatever – but I do believe that I’ve passed on to the other side. It’s because I’m having trouble moving my legs. I’m trying to move my left legContinue reading “Carol. fiction by Julia Abelsohn”