Short Story Fiction

Because she had no choice

Because she had no choice, Marissa took her two eldest children out of school. She couldn’t afford the fees. She couldn’t afford the rent of their small shack either since her husband abandoned her. Her greatest fear was that they’d be evicted, even greater than hunger. Four small pouches of rice, curry powder, salt, and a few tea leaves were the only hint of food she had in the house.

Her twin babies grizzled as they rolled around the mattress on the dirt floor. They were hungry. Marissa sighed. She’d have to take them to the mission compound and get some food for them.

 

“Samuel, Ivan, come here,” she called to her six and eight-year-old sons. “We’re going to market to sell two of the rice pouches. Follow me.” Read More...

The Wounded Soldier

When Hell Freezes Over – an exercise in using six random words in the first sentence:

I, cried, he, slept, fast, forward.

 

Letter translated from French by K A Hays

The top half of the first page has been obliterated by water marks. We know the letter was written after October 1917 from the references to the Passchendale offences within the document. Written by Caterina Dufuys to her cousin Ameliarann Coker in New Zealand, the New Zealand Army Museum has kindly given permission for the translation and publication of this important document. Due to water damage, the letter begins mid-sentence.

‘his terrible wounds. He slept then, and I cried, my tears fast absorbed into the bloodied bandage around his head, as I wondered what in life he might look forward to in his condition. His face was beautiful in repose, belying the fact that half of his skull was cracked from the force of the explosions he’d experienced in the battle. I actually prayed that he might not live. Was that wrong? I wondered what woman would undertake to care for a man like that, whatever he made of his life.  Read more

The Disastrous Results of a Lie –

an Aesop’s fable retold

A weary wolf limps along the forest path with a throbbing foot and an empty stomach. The last time he’d been hunting, a few days ago, there’d been an unfortunate incident.

The deer he’d singled out for the kill had turned on him and kicked out just as he’d launched himself towards it. A bony hoof had caught him on his head and so dazed him that he’d dropped to the ground like a pinecone flung from a tree in a storm. The deer, of course, had escaped unscathed.

At least the headache has left him, but the wolf is desperate for food. With his injury, even a squirrel has evaded him, and then tormented him, by sitting on a branch out of reach, jeering and chittering. The memory makes anger rise and the wolf vows he will eat by nightfall.

He stops, sniffs the cool air and listens. Grinning then, he licks his paw and begins moving steadily towards the sound. Read more...

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