By Daniel Lind
“I’m a poor lonesome cowboy, I’m a long long way from home,” sang the musical doorbell Dad had installed last summer.
I swung the door open, and my mouth dropped. A tall cowboy stood before me, wearing a black Stetson and spurred muddy boots, with a grey revolver holstered by his side. A gold star attached to his chest read “B. Reeves”.
“Pardon me ma’am,” he said, “You don’t know me, but I need your help.” His breathing was quick.
By Ada Jones
On her twentieth birthday Fernanda Pessoa was offered a red winged car, and a book on ornithology. Osvaldo Moreira, the master of puppets, orchestrated a ball of Brobdingnagian proportions on the day his niece was coming of age. Maids were giggling and whirling on the accordion and trumpet concords of Algarve musicians. Wine poured into crystals, and gents were gazing at non-loquacious Fernanda through their monoculars. Fernanda was no girl to enjoy the merrymaking. She was all dressed in black muslin and gray feathers erring like a wraith underneath the umbrella foliage of her uncle’s Constantinople acacias. Meanwhile in a far off land dressed in a white gown in a snowy town Bella Rosenfeld was baking lemon biscuits for Marc Chagall. She was all tears. And so was Fernanda.
By Shon Mehta
In a small town, there lived a man. He was a sculptor. Not a known one, but mere beginner in the field. Every day, he would try to carve a stone.
He kept carving and practicing. After few days, he noticed that he has carved a statue which looked beautiful.He felt proud of it, and displayed it in the front garden of his house. Many passers-by noticed the statue. A few liked it and praised the man for his creation. They told him that they would be looking forward to his next work. All this praise encouraged the man to work towards his next statue. He created his next statue, and then the next one. Soon, he had a handful of statues in his garden.
By Sylvia Heike
I am born without sight. My first sensations of the world consist only of what I sense with my remaining four: the warmth of my mother and twin brother, the faint lingering smell of strange foods on her breath, the creamy almost nutty-sweet taste of mother’s milk, and the soft shuffling footsteps of my mother’s movement.
My mother cannot speak, so I mostly listen to the weather, comfortably nestling in the bed I share with my brother. When it rains, I feel the rise in humidity, but I never go out in the rain. The loudest sound I hear is thunder, but safe in my bed, I am not scared of its distant rumbling. Birdsong is the most recurring disturbance to my days of lull, and usually not enough to fully wake me.
By Roy Dorman
“What can I do?” Lucy Fenton asked herself for probably the hundredth time. “If only I’d learned to drive, I could take the clothes to a laundromat.”
Lucy’s sitting at her kitchen table, still in her old blue bathrobe and slippers, staring at the basement door. It’s now 10:30 and she has been sitting there for most of the morning. Usually she takes care of the routine household chores early on so that she can watch her favorite soap operas while she has lunch. She takes pride in her housekeeping and looks forward to those chores that have a beginning, a middle, and an end. She likes the closure that comes with housework, even if most of the chores are repetitious and done on a weekly or biweekly schedule.
By Michelle Chan
It was an unseasonably warm winter afternoon. The sun was the sole inhabitant in the sky, casting a bright cerulean blanket over the concrete fortress, city of Florence. The normally mundane Monday afternoon was enlivened by a multitude of people thronging the tourist infested Piazza della Signoria, leaving a pervading trail of good spirits through the side alleys, and into the Cherry Blossom Restaurant.
Ilaria sat alone at a table set for two near the entrance. Her face locked with tension as she checked her watch. It was already two o’clock. Robert never had lunch this late. After being married to him for two years, she knew that he abhorred tardiness and hardly ever strayed from his rigid timetable. She sat through the busy lunch hour, and the crowd began to thin. She wasn’t sure how much longer she should wait. Behind the curling steam of her hot chrysanthemum tea, she could see Uncle Lim’s disapproving eyes from the cashier’s station.
By Madhumita Roy
“May be you need lots of feathers” Lattu mused. “Lots of really white feathers.”
No one paid attention to the six year old scrawny boy sitting in the corner of the room with a worried face. The sitting room of the eight hundred square feet apartment was bursting apart with people. One kindly looking elderly gentleman walked towards him.
“Have you eaten anything?” Before Lattu could answer, he turned around and looked for someone. A young lady of about twenty-five followed his gaze and came forward eagerly. Lattu didn’t like the confidence with which the lady marched towards him. He was shy, and confidence scared him.
By Alison Wassell
The way he enters the house sets the tone for the whole evening. If Len gets it wrong it brings on one of his attacks. He pulls the sleeve of his jacket over his hand and carefully lets himself in, taking care not to let his skin contact any part of the door.
He goes into the kitchen, where everything appears to be in order. Just to be sure he submerges the dishcloth in bleach in the bowl he keeps beside the sink. He opens the fridge and checks the ‘use by’ dates on everything. He discards some day-old tomatoes, which are disturbing the symmetry of things.
By Cath Barton
The storms had not cleared the air. Half-asleep, I walked slowly through the town dragging my feet, my nostrils assailed at street corners by wafts of dampness. The dogs were barking up on the hill but the streets of the town were empty. There was a half-eaten tray of chips in the gutter, the oily paper flapping like a dying bird, ketchup smeared across it like a bloodstain.
By Cath Bore
When Katrina’s Cat Circus comes to town there is uproar, locals brandishing placards, demanding rights for the animals.
‘It’s not what you think,’ Katrina says. ‘My circus isn’t for humans, but felines.’