Shortlist

Page 4

This week's shortlist

The fish swims around and around in its bowl, never changing pace, never changing direction. Around and around. If I didn’t know better I’d think it was on a track or was some sort of wind-up toy. The small weeds in the bowl tremble rhythmically in the water, the constant …

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  The Window I walked on the street and my heavy boots, a few sizes larger, flapped on the gravel. I borrowed them from a friend. I had to borrow the worn out jeans, the old jacket, the woolen sweater with leather elbow patches, and even the winter socks. When …

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  Written by Naomi Fogarty The panicked cry of a mobile phone alerting its owner it was reaching the last of its life echoed through the cold clinical hallways of the discarded building. A vibrant electric blue emanating from a solitary fish tank was the only light in the darkness. …

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  “They’re getting closer.” Tabitha was standing on the end table to peer through the vertical blinds, a slice of late sunlight across her eyes, tension in her posture. Her cousin Jim lay in the bed, eyes closed, his injured arm pulled close, wrapped in some old shirts Tabitha had …

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“Bring in the accused.” I was pushed forward and stumbled into the room. Two strong hands grabbed me before I would have actually fallen, and escorted me to the stand. “Accused, state your full name.” “W-Wilson, Barry Wilson,” I stuttered. “Barry Wilson, you are brought to this courtroom today to …

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“Okay.” I say looking down. “You will come? You will help me?” I kiss her bumpy forehead. “I will do whatever it takes.” I answer. The pregnant clouds above can’t hold onto their weight any longer. They release heavy pieces of snow that begin to cover the corpse we leave …

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Congrats to all our short listed authors for the LORD GRIMDARK Award. We received over 25 entries most of which were a very high standard. Impressive given the genre requirements usually mean we get fewer entries. It’s great to see a mix of old hats trying their hand at the …

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  “Damn bureaucrats!” he said slamming down the phone. “They can’t run a project to save themselves but they want to tell me how to run mine! Why can’t they just leave me alone to do what I need to do?” “What’s wrong Mr Bob?” asked Stephanie, his Chinese secretary. …

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The rope chafed the skin of Farrow’s neck. The fraying strands twisted around each other, weak worms making up the strong boa that would crush his windpipe and snap his neck when the trapdoor beneath his feet was released. More rope bound his hands together behind his back and his …

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The sun rose, filling the horizon, spreading a scarlet glow over the world. The aftermath of the battle – the earthly remains of two armies – lay silhouetted, stark black against the bloody background. The dust-laden wind moaned as it laid its soft blanket over the newly dead. The muted …

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‘I never liked crowds.’ – that was what he told me when I asked why the mansion was so quiet. ‘I value peacefulness more than anything, Father.’ I nodded and continued eating the soup. But that wasn’t the case. No one wants to have anything to do with the family, …

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  Azime grunted in pain. Getting stabbed hurt. A lot. The blade had been left behind, and its cold steel grated against her flesh. Warm blood trickled down her leg. “Bastard,” she muttered. She was wearing her favourite pants. Azime was Angry, but she didn’t use it. Anger could be… …

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He cautiously let the light of his torch fall upon the carved surface. Oh my God, there must be hundreds of them! Carefully not to wake them, he approached and unsheathed his weapon. The sound of steel grinding against steel cut through the silence of the night. He dared taking …

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There were eight only of us left. All veterans of the battle that was fought out a week ago. Eight remained, too stubborn to die. Or too stupid to. We were survivors of the Battle against the Droom. Little did we know it would be known by everyone else as …

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Anxious, Mathayus hurriedly hooked up the cable connected to his brain to the data server, to download the last remaining records from the Knowledge Base. His metallic wings fluttered and his eyes flickered, as he bombarded himself with all the information that Haven contained. Angels were mostly devoid of emotion, …

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Go-Go Tico stared at himself in his handheld mirror. He looked like a gangster, dressed like a gangster, stood like a gangster. Tico was gangster. He wiped the blood from his knuckles with a greasy rag. He stepped over the two chups he had just layed low and paced across …

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I lay curled in the fetal position trying to block the outside world from creeping into my delusions of calm. Cold seeps through my thin dress and rocks jab into my back. It hurts, but not as much as the pain slithering through my lonely chest. I know that soon …

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The master caution alarm blared. Michaela’s eyes ran across the cracked panoramic screen, the schematic blinking: hydraulic fluid leak in the right leg actuator, 5.7mm gun damaged … not good. And her mech was on its side. Also not good. She tapped the screen. The alarm ceased, the crack propagated …

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