The Ed

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Katrina Miller stood at the door awaiting the arrival of her husband. They were married for one year upon their parents request. Patrick, her husband did manipulative things to her. In fact, both of them were manipulating each other. They grew up in the village Amri and both their parents felt that they would have made a great couple. So they granted them their wish and a extravagant wedding was thrown in the Bahamas. ” I am home. Where are you?” ” I’m in the kitchen.” ” Why do you have to be so impatient?” ” I saw your facebook status.” ” I’m in front of you. Try and beat that.” ” Whatever. I am going to bed” ” Someone sounds like they are upset.” Katrina retired angrily to bed …

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Before we get to it, I just wanted to welcome our first timers, Laura Solomon, Lisa Ducasse, Chinelo Oputa, Yiyu Xiang, Ingrid Coram and Gabriela Blagoeva. It’s great to see fresh faces from such a diverse set of locations. So we ended up with a HUGE short list for the award this time round. It’s funny when you have the high quality problem of so many great entries that you can’t slice it any thinner. I thought… let the judges decide. Wonderful as always, our five judges this week were made up of previous NITH participants and friends of the website. I am indebted to those of you who help out with running the award, and thank you for your honesty in proving some excellent feedback. What was most interesting, and …

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 CLOSED Winner: Sara Gates You can find the announcement and full Short List Here:   Write a piece of fiction around the theme of rural life and its relationship top metropolitan living. We are looking for a strong sense of place, interesting character dynamics, something a little out of the box. We’d also like you to include a Fabergé Egg in the story somewhere. Announced: 28 April 2014 Submission Date: 11 May 2014 Short List: 12 May – 25 May 2014 Winner Announced: 26 May 2014 Word Count: 600 – 1000 Prizes: $100 Winner, (AUD or equivalent) Eligibility: Open to everyone

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  We only received a handful of submissions for our latest poetry award, but that shouldn’t take the shine off our winner.   Congratulations to Alice Griffith, who won with her submission, Belly Belly.   Thanks to everyone who participated in our poetry awards. This is the last poetry award we’ll be running now. Keep an eye out for some new award formats coming soon to the site.      

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      try to avoid standing in the light of the fridge, it’s blue, unflattering   when I think of food I think of feasting serious feasting long wooden tables laden with dishes dishes piled high with pastries, fruit, oysters, cheeses… a feast of love where passion is aroused in every diner between the courses we rub legs smoky nylon gliding over a poly-wool blend perhaps I’ll even let an expensive black heel slide to the ground.   when I think of passion I think of seduction hardcore seduction intoxicating perfume drenching my silk something-more-comfortables too much eyeliner and curling tendrils around fingers suggestive arguments in low tones hoping you’re not secretly texting a taxi to squirrel you away like in the radio advertisement.   when I think of …

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  Belly, belly Be my world, Sphere bigger Than the starved unheard. Grumble When food’s in sight, Bloat more By every day and night. The other day I noted, cheap. A Jetstar flight In but a week. The destination? India! A place Of spice And simmered yum… Curries, Naan, Samosas hot! Apparently cheaper By a lot. For one quarter-pounder meal Right here, I can buy a banquet Over there! An opportunity, A chance for you, My belly, belly, Sphere of food. So I took the flight, And rested well Through skies of blue, And clouds that swell. Much like the wine And beer, And food, I enjoyed upon the flight, Times two. After landing safely Secure and still, I keenly walked For my next meal. Bursting through the airport door, …

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    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this was an amazing short list. Eleven high quality entries that tackled the theme in a variety of poignant and often funny ways. From a washed up comedian to a dead cat to a hungry patron with a strange phobia the short list was as interesting as it was eclectic. And it wasn’t just me who thought so. The judges delivered our highest scores yet. With almost half the short list scoring above the winning score from our previous award. Our people’s choice winner this time round was Camilla by Kirstin Whalen. An excellent story that might have won the judges prize if it have stuck a little closer to the theme ;P.   As for our winner… For …

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  We got fish and chips on the beach and Camilla was there because she didn’t want me to be the only one having fish and chips with the boy she cheated on her boyfriend with. Freddy. That was the boy’s name. Every night she would come home and lie on the fish-scale mess of our floor, wave her arms around like she was making mold angels, and cry. Because she did something so wrong and couldn’t forgive herself. Because she wasn’t sorry. It’s like that, when you’re north with lust. She wanted to hold his hand. I wanted to hold his hand, too, but I knew that in the queue for his hand I was further towards the back. Except she was a terrible artist. And he shouldn’t have …

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You consider me a prude. Yes, I do have a fear of contamination. You will insist that it is a fear of contact, intimacy, eruption, and I will insist that it is not. How well paired we are. I rehearse what I am going to tell you, as I trip-skip across the road. I will have the whole course of conversation perfectly charted by the time I meet you at the café, as astrolabe courts the path of constellations across the heavenly dome. Am I romanticizing again? Put it down to the disquiet childhood I spent at my grandaunt’s house. Her house was choked to the brim with the resin, and I feel as trapped in that house as an ancient stinger in an ember. There, I am lying again. …

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  The man unfolded his hands. A mouse sat content in his palm, a grey mouse with small crystalline eyes. The two little sparkles shone with a black brilliance in his palm. ‘I started out with this one.’ He husked ‘I found it on the kitchen bench, years ago, eating from the fruit bowl, mangled little thing.’ The little boy, hardly 5 years old, nodded in awe. His delicate baby hands went for the touch, but it was out of his reach. The Dad put the mouse back on the wooden branch. ‘Ha, Benny when you’re older you can touch.’ And he ruffled his hair with, what felt like sandpaper fingers, before hushing him out of the room and locking the door behind him.   A mouse, small in stature, …

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Pete walked into the kitchen holding Fluffy like she was a dead cat. ‘What’s wrong with Fluffy?’ I asked. ‘She’s dead.’ ‘She can’t be,’ I said. ‘I saw her five minutes ago pigging down cat food.’ ‘Yeah. And two minutes ago she was sleeping under the front wheel of my car.’ ‘You’re joking?’ ‘Yes Jeff. I’m joking. This is a fake dead cat I got from the joke shop,’ spat Pete. ‘Of course I’m not bloody joking!’ I folded my arms and leant against the chipped Formica bench. ‘What do you think Kylie’s going to do you when she finds out you killed her cat?’ ‘She can’t find out.’ ‘When she’s back from holiday and yells ‘Fluffy, where are you?’ and a cat fails to ever materialise she’s going to …

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  Disordered and slipshod. Unprofessional and slapdash. Damien’s efforts were rooted in kindness as he pulled and jerked at the still warm skin of the kangaroo. Occasionally he paused to wipe the organic filth from between his fingers through his hair and over his thick side burns like a butcher’s apron. This carcass would be a lovely gift for his only mate Andrew and would look perfect sitting smack bang in the middle of their main room, domestically perched on the dining table. Since they ate on the couch the table was free for sitting, he reasoned. He had absolutely no idea how to peel the hide from a roo but he had practised with varying and gruesome success on rabbits, which he assumed were pretty much the same thing. …

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Ah, welcome, welcome, dear visitors. Welcome to the Hunter’s Lodge. So nice to see fresh faces again around this place. Let me introduce myself, I am Mo, Head of Decorations here. I’ve had this position for over fifty years already. Yes sir, that is a long time! I have seen the place change, seen the people come and go. Do you know I even remember the first TV brought in? It was one of those old antenna types, where you never got a clear image on the screen unless someone held it in one hand, balancing on the edge of the cupboard. I’ve also seen Mister make a tumble down from it. Of course, he would tell his friends he had a serious skiing accident afterwards. Don’t worry ma’am, there …

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Eleanor analyzed the child as she plucked away at the threads. Stab, weave knot, pull. Stab, weave, knot, pull. Perfect precision. Her mother, Iza, brought her here three months ago after her father, Jer-ome (Iza put furious, consistent emphasis on “ome,” enough so that Eleanor wondered if this was indeed how his name was pronounced) disappeared. And Iza, having watched an episode of Immortalized on AMC, got an itch of inspiration and hauled her daughter, Mickala, from their Elmont home to Eleanor’s studio downtown. “I know how kids looked at people who go to therapy,” Iza had explained, “and I’m not letting her-“ she quieted, “be that kid.” Eleanor stared at Iza skeptically. Sable eyes. Rich, freckled skin. Flowery accent. Eleanor tapped her fingertips together. Spanish? No. Italian. “That kid…” …

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“It ain’t right yet. Seems like there’s something missing. I just ain’t worked out what yet. What do you think?” I shudder. “It’s gruesome enough. Does it have to be quite so…bloody?” A smile crawls slowly up his face, never quite reaching his eyes. “Hadn’t pegged you for squeamish. It’s only nature. You know…red in tooth and claw.” I look at the scene again, trying for the dispassionate art critic persona. Jorge is well known for his accurate reconstructions of predators and this latest work features a wolf caught in the act of tearing into a hare. Both animals are long dead and yet Jorge has somehow re-created the terror of the smaller beast in its last moments. Talented as he is, his artwork sends a shiver down my spine. …

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Step 6: Find a friend to support you as you go through the difficult process of overcoming your phobia. Having gone through WikiHow’s first five steps it is time to move on to working through my de-conditioning regiment list. I have been dreading this moment, but my outgoing, blond friend Joy is happy to have an excuse to escape her husband and kids for a while. The sun is falling beneath the snow crusted flat plain when we arrive to the solitary restaurant off the highway. Two rusted trucks are parked near the small eatery and hotel. Red, green, and white flickering Christmas lights clumsily line the shingled roof. The sight of a pair of deer horns visible through the horizontal blinds makes me shudder. I can do this. I …

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  Sitting in the back of the archetypical sunny yellow cab, hurtling down the Long Island Expressway, Harold took an inventory of his strongest opening lines. It was either the one about getting stuffed or the one about getting mounted. They were both pretty dirty—almost on par with the inside of the cab he was perched precariously inside, trying desperately to ensure his skin didn’t come into contact with the upholstery. Generally speaking, the filthier the comedian, the more laughs they received. Even among the taxidermists of the world. The cab driver stopped short of the covered entrance and waited. His position wasn’t ideal given the inclement weather. “We’ll be waiting all day to get any closer … ” he craned his neck to look at Harold sitting directly behind …

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First up a big congratulations to our winner… By a single point… Alayna Cole! Alayna’s only been entering for a couple of months and after making her first short list last time round it’s great to see her story,  Stolen Property, on the winner’s podium. Congrats! It was another tough contest with some interesting interpretations on the theme. Here’s what the judges thought of the other stories.   Letter from HW by Clarissa NG “I liked the parallels between the deteriorating landscape and his wife, and the way it was nuanced to sound like an older man.”  (Dis)Harmony by Dakoda Barker “I loved the ‘successful’ chunks of bitumen, and the irregular tune of the water and the dull knock of the boats” “Nice, clear descriptions which gave me a good mental vision …

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