The Power by Naomi Alderman

29751398.jpg– Things couldn’t stay closed forever; they reorganized. Boys-only buses took them safely to boys-only schools. They fell into it easily. You only had to see a few videos online for the fear to hit you in the throat. –

– Only pain can bring such attention to the body; this is how Margot notices the answering echo in her chest. Among the forests and mountains of pain, a chiming note along her collarbone. Like answering to like. –

– She’s British. This is unexpected. Still, the Almighty works in mysterious ways. –

– You can’t stop Americans being American. –

– It turns out the voters lied. Just like the accusations they always throw at hard-working public servants, the goddamned electorate turned out to be goddamned liars themselves. –

– Beneath every story, there is another story. There is a hand within the hand – hasn’t Allie learned that well enough? There is a blow behind the blow. –

http://naomialderman.typepad.com/my_weblog/http://naomialderman.typepad.com/my_weblog/

What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons

33280160.jpg– I’ve often thought that being a light-skinned black woman is like being a well-dressed person who is also homeless. –

– When my lover and I fuck, we fuck with the fear of the world in us. We are fucking on the edge of a cliff. We are fucking death right in the ass, and death loves it. We are fucking our own deaths, and our mothers’ deaths, and the deaths of our friends and the deaths of our rights. –

– Dirty and inconvenient, AIDS was a disease of the people, I thought. Cancer, to me, was the opposite. Its cause was endorsed and healthily sponsored. –

– This was the paradox: How would I ever heal from losing the person who healed me?

– A ghost is not a fact in itself; rather, it is a symbol for need.

– My mother is dead. But I still see her. But I still feel her. I can still hear her voice, even right now as I am speaking to you. –

– But why do “African” and “contemporary” have to incommensurate? Why (and to whom) is it appealing to think you are in another city besides the one, in Africa, that you are in? –

– The truth is that motherhood is stained with blood, stained with suffering and the potential for tragedy. –

– Pain can be a disease in itself. –

http://www.zinziclemmons.com/

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

34229882.jpg– Twelve years have now passed since this day at the law firm, and I want to reach back through the years and tell her no, he isn’t my client, he never will be my client, I don’t need to see this tape. . . This tape brought me to reexamine everything I believed not only about the law but about my family and my past. I might have wished I’d never seen it. I might have wished that my life could stay in the simpler time before. –

– A: I think he knew he needed help. I think there’s a real different situation, between going for bronchitis and going for your mental health. I’m sorry, I wish it wasn’t, but it is.
Q: Why? Why is that different? –

– We are prisoners of the story we tell about ourselves. –

– For years I’d been afraid that if I came out, and anyone learned I’d been abused as a child, they would think that was why I was gay. As if that had turned me gay. In my heart I knew that wasn’t it. The first time I slept with a woman, my chest opened up. I hadn’t known until that moment how closed it was. I’m gay because I love women, it’s as simple as that. –

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The Lost Girl by Carol Drinkwater

34213592.jpg– These football nights are a curse on one’s tranquillity. –

– ‘You took away our daughter’s sense of security,’ was Oliver’s allegation. ‘By not being here, you, not me, you splintered this family.’

– Blood had laid its fingers on everyone, smeared its autograph. Blood marked the cross for Death to follow. –

– The media had a field day. TV actor’s daughter. . . Mother away from home, working with an all male crew. . . –

www.caroldrinkwater.com

 

The Friend by Dorothy Koomson

31348251.jpg– I sometimes think they work against me because it’s fun to see Mama, who at all other times is calm and sane, become a screaming monster. –

– Usually I feel like I am running at a hundred miles an hour just to stand still; often I feel like I am working very hard to not permanently damage one of the children. I’ve never been one of those serene parents who breezes thought life, managing to do it all and do it well. –

– I never say ‘cornucopia’, it’s not the sort of word I’ve ever had occasion to use, but today, seeing what is being paraded in front of my taste buds, there is no other word that would be suitable. –

– I sometimes think I live ‘if only’ embroidered into every element of my life. –

http://www.dorothykoomson.co.uk/

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

33295296.jpg– It’s dangerous to battle without a helmet. Why do you think Capitan America only wears a hood? It’s not good protection, is it? –

– She doesn’t picture them as Arabic – she has been wondering, of course. But they do not sound like that kind of terrorist. They sound like young, obnoxious white men – aren’t they always young white men? –

– There are times when she feels she is in charge of everything – what Lincoln needs to bring on his field trip and when the exterminator is due and when the milk is about to run out – and why are there a thousand small things that fall to her and why is Paul so happy to let it all fall to her? –

– Margaret Powell is well aware that she may die in the next few minutes, shot in the back by one of her students. She is not completely surprised. –

http://www.ginphillips.com

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

24485589– We always know before the change comes – but we never know what the change will bring. –

– The snow is a canvas, her father would say, upon which the beast paints his past, his home, his intentions, his future. Learn to see the picture and you will know him as you know yourself. –

– And yet she tells us stories. –

– In every fairy tale there were rules. Even the monsters could not break them. –

– She whispers to us of what we could be. –

http://www.meaganspooner.com/

Here Comes Trouble by Simon Wroe

32705910– This was the summer people began to speak of purity and tradition and taking things back…–

– The billionaire up close: midget ears, delicate eyes and nose, hair thin and neatly combed, a pursed mouth and the faintest sketch of a moustache, all encased in a great slab of face, a slab that correctly employed could have made at least three such faces. Whatever creator one believed in, it was indulgent work. The effect was not so much good or bad as expensive. –

– Happiness writes white, as they say. –

– The stunned journalists watched as real, uncut news swallowed them. –

– Sometimes, he thought, you lived with a person for years and years, questioning nothing, and one day you realised you’d been living with a different person all along. They hadn’t changed, you were just wrong the first time…He didn’t know what the hell she was going to do next. It wasn’t necessarily bad – he sort of liked this new dynamic mother he’d got. In a funny way not completely trusting her made him trust her more. –

– It was often said that print is dead. Those who said it no doubt knew better than them, but they hoped these naysayers were wrong. For by this act of printing they had handcuffed themselves to the same fate. If no one read them, no one would save them. If print was dead then so were they. –

http://thelondonnobodyknows.tumblr.com/

Review for the Sunday Times: http://bit.ly/2tbQXzB

Auntie Jax by Tiah Marie Beautement

The good folks at FunDza have published my short story, “Auntie Jax.”

Chapter 1

“Honey, I’ve met stupid. I’ve worked with stupid. Lord knows I’ve even dated stupid. But your kids ain’t stupid. So, let’s just give it to ’em straight, okay?”

“Jax…”

Jacqueline turned to the three faces looking balefully at her and their mother. This was the first time they’d seen their Auntie Jax, from the American state of Tennessee, in three years. The woman defied their memories.

“Now children, you listen to your Auntie Jax. Your daddy loves you, but he did something stupid, okay? Being stupid isn’t a crime, but unfortunately, your daddy was so stupid he let himself be talked into doing something incredibly stupid, and the government is a little mad at him right now. So, me and your mama are gonna sort things out. Okay? And everything’s gonna be alright. Auntie Jax promises.”

Three pairs of eyes blinked. They took in the wild, reddish-black curls. “Big hair,” their mother had said. They took in the slim fingers, decorated with numerous rings and ending in long, red nails. “Impractical,” their mother had said. They took in her earrings, so large that little Ida could have used them as her doll’s hula hoops. “Can tell she doesn’t have children,” their mother had said. They took in the shoes, with heels so high and pointy they could have doubled as knitting needles. “Asking for bunions,” their mother had said.

Not that Auntie Jax gave “a flying fig” what their mother said. “Maddy’s confused. I ask you, what kind of black American gal goes all the way to Africa and ends up married to a white man?” she asked.

You can read the second chapter by Clicking HERE