More Asleep than Dead

'Before long you will spend more time in the garden with the barbecue burning the drying brush along with other forgotten things – a christening of grey-blue ash – until you’re ankle deep in it....' (excerpt from 'More Asleep than Dead' by Lauren Pope).

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Little Things

'The day starts off with a problem. Mondays often do. Chelsea can’t find her little book. Fraser can’t remember how to program the GPS. They run out of milk for the coffee. Little things really. But the drive to the specialist is long and stretches out before them...' (excerpt from 'Little Things' by Valerie Hodges)

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not yet

 
Photo by Fiona Hardie

Photo by Fiona Hardie

I remember the little circle pushed up clunk door- locked
the grid marks on the smoked glass window, the metal taste
of water in cold ribbed plastic cup, my foot rocking the baby
sound asleep in his car- seat. I remember the sad collection
of toys; the tangled pink pleats of the ragdoll and the smell of
urine, sick, faeces. The diagram she drew pushing her thin
glasses back up her nose. The circle.  A never-ending cycle.
Her sympathetic smile saying; I understand. Dirty teaspoons
by the deep sink, chipped mugs, open jar of coffee. The tap
drip, dripping. The baby’s fingers holding tight onto the blue
ribbon of a deflated balloon, as if he knew what was coming.  
Large sized lego bricks stuck together to look like an ice lolly,
I imagine the last child pretending to lick, lick it. The look on her
face as she sat- all eager forward in her plastic chair her glasses
hanging limpy from thin gold chain; I have a room left love
you’ll be safe there
. The clunk of the door as I leave for home.


RF Millar is a creative writing student with the Open University. She is working towards a BA in Humanities, which she aims to have finished by next year before beginning a Postgraduate in Creative Writing. She has had a short story published with Ink, Sweat and Tears, and is obsessed with writers website abctales.com.  

 

Between

'The scenic route, that’s what he said, and boy, it’s beautiful but no glen can cure this hangover and we keep dropping off in the backseat, foreheads knocking against windows and I think your dad might know who stole the champagne but he hasn’t said anything yet...' (Excerpt from 'Between' by Evangeline Sellers)

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A Day's Work on Coll

'He takes my toolbag, this widower who thrives on unfiltered cigarettes and black coffee and salty air. The tight twists of his hair radiate out in all directions his long beard shines silver-white
like the sheeps’ wool that gestures from the fences all over this island.' (excerpt from 'A Day's Work on Coll' by Leonie Charlton).

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Thunderstorms and Midge Swarms

'But home isn’t just a house, the place where you sleep. It isn't just your bedroom, your family and your pets; your skull collection and shoe heap and book mountain. Home is the glistening, sugar-gauzed scent of the crisp air the day after the Scottish rain. ' (excerpt from Sophie McNaughton's 'Thunderstorms and Midge Swarms'

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Rat-a-tat-cat

'As i was tapping, Rat-a-tat-tat on my keyboard, My cat, Thought that, It would be helpful Standin in the way of the screen, This fluffy being, Get oot of ma way i almost scream, Deadlines, Deadlines, I mutter in a furious stream...' (excerpt from 'Rat-a-tat-cat' by Lauren Cullen).

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GTA V

'...time is passing, I think, and this room should be darker, not so bright in this blue, Ross is definitely paler than the last time but I’m not sure, and Lucy isn’t giving me any clue since she started listening to Graeme in that way that makes me think that she might be in love but again I’m not sure...' (excerpt from 'GTA V' by Marianna Silvano).

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Tsukumogami*

'Oh, they will try to keep it from you. Your hand-me-downs and heirlooms would rather you didn’t know that, when you weren’t looking, they scraped together a soul from discarded feelings, moments and morning rituals and the songs you sang while using them.' (Excerpt from 'Tsukumogami' by Lewis Brown)

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Fresh Water

'The lake is green and thick. I reach down to the bottom and pull up clots of muddy sand. Slimy fingers of algae curl around my toes and the cold muscles of a fish brush against my thigh. I squeeze my eyes shut and plunge face first into the murky surface. Shattering it. ' (excerpt from 'Fresh Water' by Carly Brown)

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