The Knife by Frances Holland

1922 In the topmost attic room of a run-down terraced house in Salford is a small packing trunk. Inside the trunk is a canvas bag containing an identification card, an empty brandy bottle, and, wrapped in a grubby handkerchief, a small switchblade knife with a mother-of-pearl handle. I take out the knife and turn it over in my gloved hand. I slide it inside an envelope concealed in my coat pocket, and leave without a word. *********************************************** FIVE HOURS EARLIER I adore the sound of the telephone ringing in the hall. It makes me feel connected to the world, to life and activity everywhere. We have several in the newspaper offices in which I work, writing articles on local leek Read More

The Punch Bag by S S Haque

“Thunder, thunder, lightening.” “Aish!” Nabiha landed a cross to the head, a sharp left hook and a right roundhouse to the ribs that pushed me back a few paces. I held up the Thai pads and watched her eyes for a flinch, a giveaway. The dark brown discs were still, on my chest. Her shoulders were static and her punches landed without warning. Jab, cross, jab, cross! Fast and strong, her leather fists smashed the leather pads with satisfying whacks. She moved in and out on her toes. “Woah!” Her front teep kick took me by surprise and I fell back against the ropes and bounced forward. “Come forward, yes!” As I placed the Thai pads, keeping up with her Read More

Flora by Karina Cornell

You know when you wake up, and in the first few seconds of existence you don’t know who you are, why you are, and can’t seem to grasp any significant detail about your life? That void of endless possibility, is my favourite part of the day. My mind reels in circles, trying to grab onto any tangible thought or memory as slowly I open my eyelids, peeling them up like tiny drawbridges unlocking my world. The first thing I see is my enormous tree, just outside my window. The lush green leaves move each in their own individual way, but connected as a vast force, in sync. It gifts me the hope that there could be more than just that Read More