If This Is It

Silja Maria Wiedeking

He stood there. He just stood there, immobile, motionless. The world around him was nothing but a blur, people rushing back and forth, a huge mass of colour and indistinguishable sounds. He didn't take notice of any of it. Just stared into the distance. Right to where the rail tracks disappeared, where Max had left on the ten-fifty-five train...

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Fuck The Sadness

Marisa B. Crane

“I wanna fuck the sadness out of you,” Celeste said one night over dinner. They had microwaved two TV dinners but sat at the kitchen table, pouring the contents out onto their plates and setting the table, convinced that if they didn’t eat them in front of the TV then they weren’t TV dinners. “What is the socially-acceptable trajectory for love?” Malachi asked, arranging his peas in a circle on his mashed potatoes. There were eclipsing half-moons under his eyes...

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Devil's Drop

Heather Cripps

Louis, Jake and I found the body on Devil’s Drop. It was about two weeks before our last day of primary school, and Devil’s Drop was a clearing on a steep hill in the wooded area just off the play park and it was ours. “Even when we’re thirty and have jobs and suits and stuff?” Jake had said and we’d agreed. There was a tall thick tree in the middle of the clearing and someone before us had tied a thick blue rope off one of the branches to make a swing...

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Oriental Sunrise

Hannah Godden

He parked his car behind hers. He watched her walk up the drive and turn her key in the lock. She pushed the door. Clicked it shut behind her. Nice neighbourhood, he thought. Of course it was fucking nice. He counted to twenty, then got out and followed. He glanced behind at the pavement. Empty. Closed curtains all down the street. He made a fist and knocked on the door...

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Stick Insect

Matt Gregory

‘So, what’s it like?' My coffee has gone cold in front of me. I watch as a barista puts two and a half spoons of coffee granules into a mug then hands it to her manager who snatches it from her and mutters something in Turkish. The espresso machine hisses. Above their heads, a TV flickers to some music channel where a blonde babe wiggles her hips and boobs. The empty sugar sachet I’ve been twisting with my sweaty fingers disintegrates and I put it with the other three that I’ve ruined, on the far-right side of the table. Behind us a toddler babbles as he bangs his toy lightsaber against his buggy. Why are coffee shops always so loud? ...

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