Survival tactics

Alison Ogilvie-Holme

Bloodshot eyes and trembling hands. Jenna attempts to light her last cigarette and drops it down the gutter. Damn it. Now vibrating, she hits speed dial and prays for Lillian. Please pick-up.

“Friendship House. Beth speaking.”


No use in talking anymore.

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Things That Go Bump in the Night

Jen Schneider

In a place built on order. Where light knows no bounds. Where eyes are always watching. Where cameras are always recording. Where noise is often prohibited. Nights in county jail are busy. Full of sounds, smells, and unexpected bumps.

What strikes me most is the blending of day and night. As the rest of the county sleeps, eyes are always open here.

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The house they talked about

Mark Anthony Smith

I try to follow her lesson, story, conversation or occasional remonstration but it’s easy to become distracted. My Father left soon after he first clapped eyes on me. I rarely see anyone but my Mother. Indeed, everything I know about the outside world comes from her teachings. She says, ‘Henry. You're the apple of my eye.’

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And yours shall be the kingdom of the rat

Doug Jensen

The end came with the bread. I had lived in the flat for three years, and I had grown accustomed to its various threats against my person. The ever shifting ink blot of black mould that resisted even the harshest chemicals. The cold air that blew through the widening cracks in the plaster. The soft buzz of the fusebox, audible as soon as I stepped into the bedroom from the street.

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Siobhán Carroll

The hideout was for watching animals which is what he had been trying to do the first night that he saw her. She had stepped into the cove, his cove, shed some sparks around from a sparkler and then carefully removed a metal box from her bag. 

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Richard Berry

A spaceship carrying two intelligent beings of distant origin powered down its engine as it entered orbit around the planet Earth.

‘Complete shutdown in twelve seconds, commander,’ said the first being.

‘Thank you, commander. Let’s proceed.’

They had the same rank within the organisation that had planned and executed this journey, these beings. But it wasn’t an issue. There had been no discord between them.

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Caroline Grand-Clement

Time is frozen, again. It is 8pm & the sun is shining through the open door onto the stove top & the wooden wall. The stairs are lit through the window. It is quiet here, a snapshot of tender. A still fire covering every inch of cold tile with dark orange peels.

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