The Chill Room

by Jessica E. Wragg

‘The meat fridge is an odd place to find sanctuary here. Loins of beef hang in rows like soldiers, burgundy and black, dry and mouldy. There are always appreciative coos and aahs when they see a girl with a loin of beef on her shoulder, her fingers wrapped around the bones for grip.’

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Sacrifice

by Sofia Gershevitskaya

‘“You are not a vegan, are you, Joanne?” He went on talking before I could stop the whirl and say something, “you know what I like about you? You don’t give an impression of a woman obsessed with a healthish lifestyle.” He made finger quotes on the word healthish, casting doubt on the benefits of veganism.’

The Bad Habit

by Rachele Salvini

‘Grandpa would be sick… He would be so angry. And most of all, he’d be bloody disappointed because I work here. In a chippy that looks like a Starbucks.’

Tea

by Franca Duym

‘Her city was darker than his; filled with students and single-parent families, the houses closer together. The buildings at her side of the city had a grandeur that only came with having survived centuries of architectural ideas. Being south of the river calmed her down, oddly enough. She’d expected to be more nervous.’

Where Are All The Happy Cows?

by LaAerial

‘Why do we think so little of insects when they are just as alive as us, only in a different form? They may be tiny, they may even be annoying, but they are alive and isn’t all life precious?’

The Lady of Ravensbourne

by Keith Fuchs

“That was me sitting in a hatchback in the middle of a park in a part of London I had never been to, looking across the woman I loved, whose sapphire eyes could see right through me, but also burnt my world down from the inside out.”

Stronghold of Suffering

by Rob Hakimian

‘As soon as I stepped out of the car into the brisk early morning air my nostrils were hit by the fresh smell of brine brimming out from under the market’s imposing awning. It wasn’t an unpleasant smell on its own, but hidden deep in its complexities I sensed something else: fear.’

The Solace Concoction

by Cait Auer

‘I managed to hop onto the tube just before the doors swished shut, catching him push his way through people by the shaggy swoop of his hair. He broke the tube car’s silence first, and together we swung on the handlebars as the train coasted under the heavy heartbeat streets of the city.’

Travellers

by Shannon Swindall

‘Despite initially seeming to camouflage among the other dark and shadowed commuters, there was something much brighter about her, and it enchanted us.’

October 26

by Roshni Vatnani

‘Raluca Micu is a force to reckon with… Her day begins at 5am. By 5.30am she is at the bakery to turn on the ovens. Then, a daily schedule is followed. Weighing, sifting, baking, shaping, proving, baking, and chatting with customers are only some of the things she does at her 11-month-old bakery, October 26.’