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Half a Brother
Kathy Flann
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Valdur – with his impossible wingspan – reached into the taxi, all the way across the passenger seat, and placed his hand on the Russian cabbie’s shoulder. “Don’t!” I said. The traffic light had just turned green. “If he drives away, you’ll break your arm.”
I don't believe in vampires
“So, you don’t believe in vampires?” I shrugged nonchalantly: did he really expect me to believe in vampires? This was the 21st century. “And do you believe in God?” The old man was getting tiresome. This job was going to be more tedious than I’d anticipated. “No I don’t believe in God and I don’t believe in vampires.” “Yet you seek them out?” He turned and patted one of the two bloodhounds sitting by his side. “I’m interested in contemporary cultural phenomena. I’m a journalist, doing a story on cult groups, hence my interest in your Primave Society, Mr Faust.” “I see.” I took out my notebook and pencil. “Does Primave have a meaning? Is there some Italian connection?” “All things have meaning, young man.” “And is Nero Faust a pseudonym? It’s not your real name, is it?” “Names are just convenient labels. And all names are chosen, the only question is by whom. Take your name, for example. A famous, dare I say, notorious one: Mr William Van Helsing.” “I inherited my name, Mr Faust. It’s useful: my editor lets me write about all things spooky, weird and wonderful.” “Yes, the name intrigued me and I must confess it is why I accepted your request: we do not in normal circumstances allow outsiders to partake in the gatherings of the Primave.” He paused a moment. “So, are you the grandchild of the famed Professor Abraham Van Helsing?” “Grandchild? A great, great, great grandchild, I think. He’s been dead a hundred years.” And then Nero Faust did something strange: he leant towards me and with a long fingernail moved the hair that hung down over my forehead to one side, and started at me intensely. “Yes, I see the resemblance...”
I don't believe in vampires
Tim Kelly
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“So, you don’t believe in vampires?” I shrugged nonchalantly: did he really expect me to believe in vampires? This was the 21st century. “And do you believe in God?” The old man was getting tiresome. This job was going to be more tedious than I’d anticipated. “No I don’t believe in God and I don’t believe in vampires.” “Yet you seek them out?” He turned and patted one of the two bloodhounds sitting by his side. “I’m interested in contemporary cultural phenomena. I’m a journalist, doing a story on cult groups, hence my interest in your Primave Society, Mr Faust.” “I see.” I took out my notebook and pencil. “Does Primave have a meaning? Is there some Italian connection?” “All things have meaning, young man.” “And is Nero Faust a pseudonym? It’s not your real name, is it?” “Names are just convenient labels. And all names are chosen, the only question is by whom. Take your name, for example. A famous, dare I say, notorious one: Mr William Van Helsing.” “I inherited my name, Mr Faust. It’s useful: my editor lets me write about all things spooky, weird and wonderful.” “Yes, the name intrigued me and I must confess it is why I accepted your request: we do not in normal circumstances allow outsiders to partake in the gatherings of the Primave.” He paused a moment. “So, are you the grandchild of the famed Professor Abraham Van Helsing?” “Grandchild? A great, great, great grandchild, I think. He’s been dead a hundred years.” And then Nero Faust did something strange: he leant towards me and with a long fingernail moved the hair that hung down over my forehead to one side, and started at me intensely. “Yes, I see the resemblance...”
Tante Rouge
Cherry Potts
£1.29 Added
Hannah is on her way to the bus stop when she is accosted by a man offering her eternal life. Once she gets over the surprise, her feelings are decidedly mixed
We Apologise for the Delay
Cherry Potts
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Aliens on the Underground... London Transport would like to apologise for the delay on the Central line this morning. This is due to the discovery of a nest of… um… The message clicked uncertainly into hissing. The listening intensity of the passengers increased as they waited, but the driver did not continue. Ade closed his eyes, waiting for the inevitable explanation. A couple of lanky adolescents in school blazers eyed each other and started giggling. ‘Nazis?’ said the redhead ‘Vipers?’ responded the blond, although they both knew what had been found. The train idled a few more feet into the tunnel.
The Barber's Victim
Derek Neale
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"Barbers incarcerate you. That's a fact, whatever the hairstyle, however free the expense". A boy is traumatized by what a haircut reveals.
The Summer of Learning
Susmita Bhattacharya
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'When Lali stole Dad’s money, she also stole my childhood.' A young girl's coming of age in her father's homeland.
Providence
Lara Bardsley
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Providence is a collection of three short memoirs. The stories reveal a mother haunted by the loss of her family. Her child becomes a woman, shaped by the loss of her ancestors, deepened by the compassion for the suffering she witnessed and the resilience that grew from it. “The mind is a fickle bedfellow. It will seduce you one moment with the smoothest of concepts and when you are disarmed and wanting, it will deconstruct you. This world offers us the full smorgasbord — the sweetest fruits and the most bitter, the healing balms and the poisons. There are parts of us we can nourish and they will grow stronger. It was the searing pain of my mother’s passing when I was 21 that turned me irrevocably toward the pursuit of an inner richness, something that was constant and secure because it lay within me”.
Mount Holly
David Churchill Barrow
£1.29 Added
Christmas goes terribly awry for a Hessian Colonel in America. "Colonel Count Karl Emil Ulrich von Donop was once again mesmerized by the visage and cleavage leaning towards him, pouring the wine into his crystal goblet. It all seemed as if it was a storybook fantasy – the crackling fire keeping out the damp December cold, the holly (for which the little village was named) decorating the mantle and table pieces, candles all aglow – and a young hostess who could fill Greek goddesses with envy. Christmas had not been this comfortable since he left his home in Hesse-Kassel years ago..."

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