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The On-and-On Tin
Sean McSweeney
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“When she first arrived they said nothing to her, they just looked. An ordinary enough woman, halfway through her life perhaps … modest and respectful, but they were shocked at this female on her own… She said her village had been wiped out in a mudslide, she alone had survived… The gods favoured her, then? No, she said, just lucky.” (from Too Much Too Soon) Across twenty bite-size flash-fiction stories of no more than 500 words each, the reader can travel from Pre-Conquest Latin America to Post-Catastrophe Britain; or see inside the mind of Don Quixote’s horse and the mind of an impatient would-be suicide bomber; or meet the mythological character who delights in other people’s dilemmas and the woman who decided not to tell the world about her supernatural experiences. Perhaps you will find the answer to questions you never thought to ask: What was the real effect of The Great Plague? And how did British cities end up with such woeful transport provision? If you get annoyed when others try to tell you what to feel, you’ll sympathise with Jeffery in “Che Bello!” And if some people just leave you exhausted but you don’t understand why, you’ll sympathise with Eddie in “Is This a Law of Thermodynamics?”
Platform Souls
Colette Coen
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A woman waits for her friend on a station concourse even though she knows she will never arrive. Winner of the 2012 Waterstones' Crime in the City Competition
Violin Lessons
Derek Neale
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A boy happens upon a furniture-maker in his workshop while waiting for his sister to finish her violin lesson; it's a meeting that will change them both.
Tell Us a Joke
Sean McSweeney
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“Once I roared out of the dark days of winter like a young lion, stored up the triumphs and heat of the spring and summer to see me through the coming cold and dark.” But Nigel is past his peak now, long past, and a string of trivial incidents during a boozy day in the pub bring it home to him. Memories of the past are no solace when you don't get the respect you think you deserve.
Voiceless It Cries
SG Fisher
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With a subtle spice of gingerbread in the air, a lonely woman walks where the wind guides her. A suburban fairy tale, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's early works. "Back then they were hers, the twins, and not their father's. There comes a point in most boys' lives when they learn to hate. Besides, her sons were clever from the outset: they knew better than to listen to fairy tales..."
Background Music
Sue Wilsea
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Opportunity could be about to knock for a young musician. "Jon had experienced enough knocks in his eighteen years of life not to want to invite more. Losing his Dad had been bad enough but then Mum remarrying a tosser who ran a shop was another kick in the whatsits. Apart from all the personal stuff, he got really bad hay fever. A flower shop, for fuck’s sake, it couldn’t have been worse...."
Erratics
Derek Neale
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'The habit started when he was seven. A ball, thrown hard and long and with unforgiving inaccuracy by his father, was not retrieved from a neighbour's garden.'
Winemakers' Soup
Carmen Nina Walton
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A young woman discovers something that threatens the family traditions that keep her safe.

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