Josephine Balmer

      Shadowtime Romney Marsh, Kent, February, 1287 That night a slice of moon rose, mottled red like a scratched wound. The sea was torched, wind-charged. We heard the tide roar twice across the Marsh and knew it was here, the hour of the dead. Hulls...

Chris Cusack

      from: Seize i. I fear my poor old soul may be a fixer upper. I strive to find out – it’s that forensic streak I have, I suppose – by too often drinking on an empty stomach. There’s a view afoot, I think, that a proper soul needs proper seasoning....

Mick Gidley

      Home Front For days after the children leave for their homes in the South we discover unexcavated battlefields, nonsensical as Towton. Small formations of infantrymen guard the lower book-case shelves, lone snipers lurk behind the curtains, and...

Alison Cohen

      Roses The postman was my friend, rang the bell, wouldn’t leave until he’d reached me, handed me broken stems of roses — thorny with their heads at crooked angles, buds that tried but only turned to rusty paper. They’d found you by the postbox...

Paul Stephenson

      Voicemail Sarah is away next week so would like to speak to me today if it’s convenient and not too much trouble. She wants to go over some of the finer details and explain how things will generally go from here. Sarah needs to check she’s...

Olga Dermott

      Seagulls They would shred morning open from 3 a.m, jangling keys in their beaks, an hour after the last scatter of drunks had sung their way home. Every layer of black plastic flayed, pavements strewn with rot, the week split open like the belly...