Fiction

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Cue Ball, by Tom Meadows

Most people don’t live in a building with a Wikipedia page, or in a flat that would bankrupt you to rent, a flat that needs three boilers to heat, a flat that should normally be owned only by overseas oil barons. It squats across the top three floors of an old Georgian building plastered with false colonnades and bulging windows. You can see it from Green Park station.… Continue reading →

They Called Me Kyle, by Owen Bridge

They make us eat together. Altogether, so were never alone, sing it; – Never ever be alone –

– Don’t sing now Kyle, love –

That’s Mrs Turner, she’s old and from Yorkshire, she calls everyone ‘love’ even though Queen Bitch (I can’t say that word but I can think it) Abigail, big sour face, says it infantilises the service users. … Continue reading →

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Well done me, by Cordelia Feldman – extract

I’m sitting up in bed at my parental home, writing this on Mum’s computer. At the moment I spend about four days per week here, and three days at my flat. This house, where I spent the first thirty years of my life, is in Radlett in leafy Hertfordshire, just on the edge of the green belt. My cat Spitfire, also known as the Fluffy Monster, or more recently, Precious Angel Fluffball lives here as I am too ill to look after him. … Continue reading →

Animal Husbandry, by SJ Ryan

“Little old ladies…they should be taken out and shot.” Flecks of saliva spat from his mouth as he banged down the discoloured telephone. “They get,” he said, testing the tip of his tongue against the gap between his lower front teeth, “technical problems.”

“So this is a man’s shop.” She stood in front of the counter, the only woman amongst the Saturday morning trade of farmers and handymen. Her right hand held the strap of her over-the-shoulder bag for support.… Continue reading →

Drim, by Nick Norton

Inside the villa they are taking no note of lines. Not of lines shall they be ruled, so it was said. Dr Ignatz is saying this.

‘For a day or so,’ (they whisper).

‘Soon enough,’ (they whisper), ‘best bet. They will be putting lines back in pronto.’… Continue reading →

Not The End Of The World, by Annabel Banks

Their fight will begin after dinner, once the plates are in the dishwasher, the surfaces wiped. This is unavoidable. Desperate to stall—her heating works, his flatmates don’t—he potters about in her kitchen, musing aloud on his cooking technique, the need for sugar and salt, and is just remarking upon how burnt onions leave their taste in the air—if a taste can be in the air—when it lands on the roof with a wall-shaking thwop.… Continue reading →

Dead Mouse, by Charlotte Turnbull

When we finally found it in the corner of the downstairs loo – the dead mouse – the children covered their noses with their sleeves and refused to eat breakfast in the kitchen because of an alleged lingering smell. They leaned into the drama. What child doesn’t relish revulsion and swoon? They defined themselves against something – it, or us – and found a purpose, a unity, that morning.
Continue reading →

Moon, by Jo Stones

For the third time this morning Mary looks through all the spaces,  turns her head left, right, imperceptibly  alert  then tilts forward, bending herself in half,  walks,

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The Monster of Invidia, by M L Hufkie

“How long he sat in his car he couldn’t say, but he pulled out of the hospital car park when the noise of an approaching ambulance interrupted his thoughts. He somehow ended up on the Sea Point Promenade again, sitting on the bench they had sat on so many times before. By the time the sun set, painting the Cape Town sky a marvellous orange-yellow-purple, he had made his decision.”… Continue reading →

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Trappings, by Fiona McCulloch

Fiction: “Hugmanay 1983 – ah’m sat oan the couch in the livin’ room. Telly’s oan an’ it’s jist me an’ ma muther an faither cos ma twa bruthers are oot wi’ their pals. Scotch an’ Wry afore some Hugmanay show comes oan efter. Ah’m hopin’ the 50p slot meter disnae run oot on oor rented TV …”… Continue reading →

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The Roses and the Weeds, by Elinora Westfall

Fiction: “She wishes that she had kept a written record of all the epic bloody nonsense that has come out of his mouth over the years because she could have gained some kind of minor social media fame and parleyed a book deal out of it to boot: Shit My Stupid Shag Buddy Says.”… Continue reading →

Rooster by Nikzad Noorpanah

Rooster, by Nikzad Nourpanah

Fiction: “One of the guards tried to calm me down. ‘We’re just doing our job, following the rules. The ladies have complained.’ And then he added jokingly, ‘dear engineer, you do know this place is not completely private, it’s ‘privastate’ as we call it…’ and then burst into laughter at their own stupid wordplay, spraying his saliva on my face. Last year, they also harassed me for wearing sandals with no socks.”… Continue reading →

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The Rhythm, by Anu Pohani

Fiction: “I can see your foot, your scuffed cool-kid sneakers, laces undone, next to my seat. You are sitting low in the chair behind me; I can picture you slouching without turning around. ”… Continue reading →

The Cormorant - courtesy of the Sidmouth Museum

The Cormorant by David Lloyd

Short Fiction: “Grief takes different shapes they say. At times my imagination wanders as I lie awake in the early hours. When a tree branch taps my window I believe it’s Stephen out there, waiting to come in so we can lie once again, safe in each other’s arms.”… Continue reading →

The Sperm Bank by Sian Bride

Short Fiction: “The vial of semen in the breast pocket of David’s denim jacket bounced against his chest as he walked down Harley Street. The heat pack next to it warmed his heart.”… Continue reading →

Julia Roberts by Len Lukowski

Short Fiction: I was sorry for trying to kiss her if it’s not what she wanted. Hey, it’s OK, she replied. It’s just I’ve never been with a woman. I’m not a woman. You know what I mean. … Continue reading →

The Rainbow Ruckus by Thomas McColl

Short Fiction: It’s well known that there’s always a crock of gold at the end of a rainbow. What isn’t so well known is that a double rainbow’s different, and at the end of that there’s simply a big ruckus.… Continue reading →

Onrabull by Aisha Phoenix

Short Fiction: In lime green flares and a marigold shirt that set off her conker-brown skin, she waved her arms as she described the kind of beasts into which our enemy could transform…… Continue reading →

Pink Swans By Lucy Ashe

Short Fiction: The first time the man arrives at the ballet studio, the girls ignore him. An embarrassing father come to watch a class, probably, or a friend of Miss Maisie.… Continue reading →

Dressing by Andrew Kauffmann

I could start with Jair. Someone disbelieving, that’s all it takes. Their boyish shoulders bitten. Suggestive circles inside their airlocked briefs. Take the band in

Sian Hughes talks to Mslexia

Sian Hughes spoke to: Editorial Director, Debbie Taylor; Assistant Editor, Francoise Harvey; and Advertising & Digital Marketing Associate, Laura Steven – to hear their thoughts

Cecília by Nara Vidal

Short fiction by Nara Vidal, first published in A Loucura Dos Outros (The Madness Of Others) in Brazil.

The Meme

Short Fiction by Toby Litt

Luca’s Trip to Havana by Leila Segal

Leila Segal shares a story from her debut collection; Breathe: Stories from Cuba (flipped eye, 2016). Leila also talks to Melanie Jones about her writing, Cuba,

Creative Writing by Maggie Womersley

Short fiction by Maggie Womersley. This story was originally published in The Mechanics’ Institute Review: Issue 10. The Mechanics’ Institute Review is an annual collection of fiction now open

Stag by Louise Lee

An extract from  In The Name Of Love by Louise Lee. This extract was originally published in The Mechanics’ Institute Review: Issue 12. The Mechanics’ Institute Review

Stephen Morrison-Burke Feature

Stephen Morrison-Burke shares High Dust and Donkeys, an extract from his novel in progress. He also talks to Alison Hitchock about winning the Kit De Waal

Three Singers by Kavita A. Jindal

Short Fiction by Kavita A. Jindal. This story appears in the anthology ‘Love Across A Broken Map‘ which is available from Dahlia Publishing and features

Unheard

A short story by Frances Gow.

Akram’s War

AKRAM’S WAR by Nadim Safdar is published by Atlantic Books and available here. Nadim shares his first chapter with us and discusses writing on the

The Girl in the Glass Tower

Elizabeth Fremantle shares an extract from her novel The Girl in the Glass Tower. The novel came out on June 2nd and is available here. Elizabeth talks about

Walleye Junction

Karin Salvalaggio shares an extract from her novel Walleye Junction. The novel, which came out on May 10th,  continues her Macy Greeley Mysteries series. Karin

The Otherlife

The Otherlife by Julia Gray comes out on July 7th with Anderson Press. Julia shares the first chapter of the novel with us and discusses

They Are Trying To Break Your Heart

David Savill’s novel They Are Trying To Break Your Heart came out last month with Bloomsbury Publishing and is available here. David shares an extract with

The Art of Not Breathing

Sarah Alexander’s debut novel, The Art of Not Breathing was released on April 1st and is available to purchase here. She shares her first chapter

Murmurations

Short fiction by 2013 Bristol Short Story Award Winner, Paul McMichael. 

The Don

Short Fiction by Paul Goodman

Roundabout

Short fiction by Federica Lugaresi, shortlisted for the 2015 Fish Publishing Short Story Prize.

A Jailor

A new short story by James Wise.

Paddy and Agatha

A short story from Toby Litt’s new book, Life-Like, published by Seagull Books.

Olivia in 4 Parts

A short story by Jacquelyn Shreeves-Lee, first published in MIR11.

People Watching

A short story by Julia Gray, which was first published in MIR11.

Our First Lesbians

A short story by Rebecca Rouillard, first published in MIR11. Rebecca’s story ‘The Window’ is featured in MIR12.

Switzerland

A short story by Dave Wakely, first published in MIR11. Dave’s stories have appeared in MIR10, MIR11 and MIR12.

The Longest Fight: Excerpt

An excerpt from Emily Bullock’s debut novel The Longest Fight, an exploration of love and family loyalty set in the gritty, ambitious world of boxing

Burnt Oak

A new short story by Frances Gow about family, loss and pyromania.