Browsing Category : Fiction

Chasing Butterflies by Yejide Kilanko


The feel of warm mist against Titilope’s earlobe woke her up. She opened her eyes and saw T.J. “Mom, we’re leaving,” he said. Titilope lifted her head and frowned when she saw a hairspray smudge on the textbook page. She’d borrowed the book from their public library. “Are you okay?” T.J. asked. She forced a smile. “Yes, sweetie.” T.J. grinned…

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No by Matt Weatherbee


My brother felled a tree and was dead, the experts said, before the earth stopped quaking. The tree was a giant fir. Abies grandis. Three-hundred and forty-two years old. My brother was an orphaned Yemeni. Gnatus adoptaticius. Twenty-six years old. By the time he was ten, he’d been living with us for three months, and Mother had been so used…

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The Unkindness of Ravens by Tolu Daniel


So, you walk in on your mother having sex with a man on the bed she shares with your father. She’s down on all fours, and the man is taking her from behind like those horny compound dogs do in the middle of the night. Anger fills your head like water and you fumble out of the house, slamming the…

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Another Zoo Story by Richard Krause


How he delighted the crowds with a Havana cigar in one hand and a can of beer in the other.  He wore a Lincolnesque top hat and a gold-braided purple vest.  His antics had everyone rollicking at seeing their vices aped before their eyes. He’d chug the beer and drum on his belly, inhale from the cigar, then roll over…

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The Collector by Cat Pritchard


“Observe the detail in the headboards. Handcrafted by orphans. All dead now.” Sarah paused to let her client soak it all in. “And the bed frames. Rare Ebony from Madagascar. Almost extinct. Everything original, down to the wallpaper, hand-painted by slaves from Malaysia. I am told twelve people died in its creation. Apparently the paint was toxic.” She stepped back,…

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Plan D by Neil Krolicki


Don’t talk to me about cruel, okay? What’s Nazi-surgeon cruel is having to string up a fake smile for the Thanksgiving portrait we take every year. Pearly whites mashed with rage till the end times, pretending Trisha is part of this family. Right now poolside attendants want to rush in, with their all-white everything; polo shirts, pressed shorts, knee-high socks.…

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My Papa Was a Shoe Salesman by Lana Lubbe


Johnny ‘No-Questions’ Feretti enters the ristorante. It’s a sombre scene, the heavy curtains drawn and the establishment empty, except for one figure sitting in the far corner. “Don Corlione,” Johnny says as he takes a seat opposite the old man. “How is your health?” “Forger’ abour’it!” Don Corlione grunts. “It is done,” Johnny continues. “The shoes,” Don Corlione orders. Johnny…

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Headboard by Paul Behrens


The walls are supposed to have ears, but it’s the beds who hold the stories. The wooden bed that came with the old house he purchased was no exception, the signs were everywhere: The crack in the repaired pillar from the soldier’s kick, when the bullet was extracted. A smooth, worn bed post from leather restraints. The dent in the…

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Ships In High Transit by Binyavanga Wainaina


  Does the person define their face, or does one’s face define the person? Matano often wonders why it is that people so often become what their faces promise. Shifty-eyed people will defy Sartre, become subject to a fate designed carelessly. How many billions of sperm inhabit gay bars, and spill on dark streets in Mombasa? How does it happen…

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Midnight Things by Onthatile Marang Modys


Music at 01:20 Rendezvous with rain. Midnight blues. Few things sound more beautiful like rain and jazz at 01:23. One of those days it had been, but the natural harmony, accompanied by the sweet symphony of Jimmy Dludlu’s the winds of change calmed typhoons down. The blissful smell of hookah in the background was enough to forgive any sin. Hookah…

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The Market by Ifediba Zube


  There is a huge pile of corn husks at the entrance to the market. The sides of the pile are flattened and stained red by hundreds of marching feet and speeding wheelbarrows. The steady rainfall has turned the ground to thick red mush that sticks to my slippers. I should have brought my black rubber boots. I used to…

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Short Story Day Africa’s #WriterPrompt in 250 Words


Broken Children by Osahon Ize-Iyamu It’s a bit selfish, but I’d been waiting for her. She barged in, lifting me from my sadness, to call me to action. We are going somewhere. And as she puts the car into gear, I’m reminded that the world is a vast world of bumpy roads she leads me through. She carries me, so…

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Unsuitable Ties by Sefi Atta


She would rather not be here tonight. For her, a dinner party at a hotel – especially a five-star hotel like this in London – is research work. She might notice a seating-card design, a flower arrangement or some other catering idea she can use when she returns to Lagos. She will study the menu from hors d’oeuvres to desserts.…

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