DISTANT

By: Diego Melita   I am sitting on my bed, looking out the window. It is raining outside and the greyness of the sky makes everything look gloomier. I watch the drops slipping fast as they collide with each other. In the background, a long line of cars advances and stops to allow pedestrians to…

While I Was Sleeping by M.E. Rolle

‘Nervously, I climbed out of bed and pulled the curtains aside, looking out into the night. Beneath the streetlight at our end of the road, I saw what I believed at first to be a stout, shaggy dog.’

The Quake by Heather Eagar

‘It was frightening how easily it could all be taken out with one fatal blow. He had lived in the city for most of his life. He knew how it was. And it could all be summed up with one word. More.’

Rooted by Samuel Wilkinson

‘I believe you don’t know a city until you’ve been sick on it; that moment in the evening where you suddenly find fresh air and the drink hits you and the most important thing is to immediately navigate blindly home, walking your memory so as to vomit on a quiet street, away from shame like a cat disappearing to die.’

The French Man by Sarah Gedye

‘The landlord was keen to sell this burdensome apartment and Olivier was excited to buy it. Upon buying it and gutting it of all its debris and the previous tenant’s crumbling affairs, he had discovered the decomposing remains of the previous tenant’s wife in a bin bag.’

Spitalfields by Samantha O’Brochta

‘With Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium and the Cereal Killer Café just around the corner, there was no better niche location to place their pompous artwork, taught to them exclusively at some unaccredited art college they attended two years ago.’

On the Rooftop by Lada Redley

‘His hood, pulled way down over his nose, gave him just enough air to smell his way to the stairs. Up, up, up he went, past drunk strangers and easy girls and their silent amused stares. His hands were buried deep in his pockets, clenched into fists, sharp nails cutting into the soft tissue of his palms.’

Mamajee Makes the Chapattis by Dorothy Collard

‘This is why tonight I had to start my explorations so furtively, stepping over barrier tape to duck down a damp, wheelbarrow-wide alleyway strewn with litter that reeked of stagnant water and misdemeanours. New to the city, I had set myself a task. On Friday nights, after work, I explore a new area, perhaps only a few streets, to discover what’s around.’

London Architect by Jeremy Yang

‘Fifty odd students stood about the tiled floor, the excited murmurs of their minglings reverberating in the high ceiling. My tardiness, at the very least, allowed me to observe how easily the surface, the skin deep, attracts and binds; groups here and there of large male students demonstrating how athletes congregate, while other groups consisted of only the most physically attractive.’

Stokey Blokey by Joseph Jacobs

‘Years pass and the winds of my heart have frozen. But then, when I had given up hope and maggots had chomped down the chalkboard, things just started to happen. I stumbled into Arcadia, and I’d only been trying to get to Stokey.’

Poor Little Orphan by Christina Alagaratnam

‘He is a faceless presence that’s haunted my life since… well, since the day I was born if we’re going that far back.

God, he made me angry.

But he also made me scared.’