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  • LunchBreakFic Archives - Litro Magazine
    ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th February 2016 Litro 149 The Love issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto Love we spend our lives craving it in one form or another searching for it and talking about it Its meaning is felt more than it is clearly expressed Some call it the greatest virtue Continue reading 9th December 2015 Litro 148 The Going Home issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto This month in Litro 148 we explore the notion of what Going Home means to us Is it a familiar physical space A refuge A feeling A state of mind Or is home actually to be found in another human being maybe your partner your parents How do you know when you have found it Continue reading Contact Us General 44 0 20 3371 9971 info litro co uk Sales Advertising enquiries 44 0 20 3371 9971 Email Sales Magazine Editorial editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro Litro Magazine is a free short stories and creative arts magazine in print and online Providing a place for readers writers and the broader creative community to discuss various aspects of literature arts and culture through features reviews non themed fiction interviews columns and more Perfect reading for those with busy lives When the first issue of Litro was published in April 2005 the main free paper for commuters and city dwellers was the morning Metro Since then many tabloid style free sheets have joined the

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/tag/lunchbreakfic/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Ah, Birmingham
    from a town in India in the province of Kashmir As the bombers took off fourteen year old Rauf Rashid Raza was stripping the engine from a BSA Sloper cutting his thumb on a circlip he began to swear Another came from Krakow in Poland where Zofia Dornbaum was being given her first taste of solid food She choked on a cake of buckwheat groats and when her young mother panicked and bashed her heavily on her back Zofia cried out in alarm Yet another came from Jamaica and from Worthy Park Estate There Charles Maclaren sat in his office on the day before his last as an employee of the sugar factory It was hot that afternoon on the edge of the jungle sweatily tropically hot and the humidity was high Sitting at his desk the old accountant reached out and touched the photograph of his wife that watched him work closing his eyes he shook his head and sang a song from their childhood together Mongoose go down Missa Beckford kitchen Tek out one a im ritious chicken Put im inna im wasicoat pocket Run mongoose And so a drop of blood and a truncated oath from Mirpur a speck of saliva and a bawl from Podgordze a flick of sweat and a song from the parish of St Anne were borne to Birmingham by a freakish fate And there they commingled in the great cloud that formed above the ruins of Deritend Days passed Weeks months The cloud lingered in the air in molecules the cloud diffused It was blown by gusts and breezes It fell to ground as dew It rained into the River Rea It soaked into the earth into parks and gardens all across the city In the years that followed the war Birmingham was rebuilt Out of bomb pecks grew roads and shops and houses and their concrete and tarmac and mortar contained the matter and souls of Mary O Malley and Malcolm Smith of Rauf Rashid Raja Zofia Dornbaum and Charles Maclaren And then in time the cousins of Mary the neighbours of Rauf the sons and daughters of Zofia and the grandchildren of Charles came to live in this new Birmingham They were industrious and generous and kind hearted people but they were feckless and criminal and dishonest too for this is no fairy tale but a story of human beings it had been said by the by that Mary was wilful and Malcolm was sly that Rauf was a burden Zofia a trial and Charles well Charles was a loner prone to extremes of mood not quite right in the head And they found in Birmingham a city not just of a secure and diverting past but a city of a human and uncertain future a city that was ugly glorious troubled beautiful a city that was of this earth and of this world a city that was home This story was commissioned by the West Midlands Readers Network for

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2014/09/ah-birmingham/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Call Me Eliza
    ve all been going to school together for a decade you Gemini Twins of Evil In first grade back when everybody s parents made them invite the whole class to everything I even went to Amanda Hopkiss s birthday party where we had a whole conversation I passed her a paper plate of pizza and she said Thanks And moldy yogurt What does that even mean I was so angry that without thinking or anything I pulled my pants down squatted on the seat of the bus and took a poop As soon as the poop left my butt I started to panic obviously What did I just do Can I rewind this Can I stuff this poop back inside No stupid Think Think Think I realized I had the lunch I made myself with a tuna salad lettuce tomato sandwich in a plastic baggie I took the sandwich out and put it back in the lunchbag and turned the plastic baggie inside out so I could pick up the poop like I do with my dog s As I was doing this I heard again in front of me but this time not in a whisper Ew WHAT is that smell I snatched the poop up in the sandwich bag and threw it on the ground Which was the worst idea ever Now it was literally underneath Allison James and Amanda Hopkiss I stuck my foot under the seat in front and tried to slide the poop back toward me but I d thrown it kind of far and all I could manage to do was kind of smush it a little with my toe Stretch stretch stretch but then the bus stopped short in front of the school and the poop baggie shot toward the front under all the seats and someone up there yelled IT S POOOOOOOP A little while later I stood outside the principal s office looking at kids art pinned up on the wall and waiting for his door to open There was a pretty nice drawing of a lake but old lady me was shriveled up and had nothing to say about it Mr Bankman the principal swung open the door and said Come in We sat down him behind his desk and me looking at his big bald head which was tilted to the side Shiny Why did you do this he asked Do what I said to make him say it Why did you go to the bathroom on the bus seat I had wanted him to feel grossed out and embarrassed but actually what happened was that my own eyes got really hot because some tears were squeezing out the corners I couldn t hold it I said It s not terrible as far as excuse lies go but it is also super duper horribly embarrassing to have to say You couldn t hold it No Has this happened to you before Usually only in private Never in front of

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/11/call-me-eliza/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Online short fiction Archives - Litro Magazine
    O Connor Inspired by his candidness I decided to try my hand at something like the truth When he asked what brought me to Lagos my standard answer came first Work In Lagos that word is enough because work explains everything but I didn t stop there Read more Online short fiction This tag is associated with 4 posts Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th February 2016 Litro 149 The Love issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto Love we spend our lives craving it in one form or another searching for it and talking about it Its meaning is felt more than it is clearly expressed Some call it the greatest virtue Continue reading 9th December 2015 Litro 148 The Going Home issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto This month in Litro 148 we explore the notion of what Going Home means to us Is it a familiar physical space A refuge A feeling A state of mind Or is home actually to be found in another human being maybe your partner your parents How do you know when you have found it Continue reading Contact Us General 44 0 20 3371 9971 info litro co uk Sales Advertising enquiries 44 0 20 3371 9971 Email Sales Magazine Editorial editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/tag/online-short-fiction/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Me & My "Aunt" Doris
    the head of the first guy who got fresh She d have told bad tippers to fuck off She d have taught the manager how to run a restaurant and the cook how to cook even though she didn t know how to run a restaurant or cook My mother didn t teach me how to read She knew how but she only read movie magazines She tried to teach me to dance once While Aunt Doris was in the middle of telling me how she and my mother got their first apartment together with no deposit or key fee I asked if she wanted to dance Dancing without music works fine Aunt Doris was a good dancer She used to shake it like crazy at my mother s parties But that night we just held on She stopped talking about old times with my mother and I was glad There was plenty I didn t want to know Like who my father was Long list of names to choose from I had a feeling that s where her story was headed The fire burned to embers It was full on spring but still seriously cold on Black Goat Hill Aunt Doris and I got under her blankets but first I made her put on the sweater she gave me Don t be silly You re so skinny I can feel you freezing away All I got to do is hug you tight and drink more whiskey I ll be fine Not for the cold I said I want the sweater to smell of you Stink of me you mean I m a drunk old lady and there isn t a shower for miles I ll bet That s not what I mean She sat up and put my new sweater on Navy blue dark as the moonlit night Her skin was pale soft warm and near unlike the stars Aunt Doris looked slightly haggard in the morning Not hung over I knew what hangovers look like Aunt Doris asked me to drive her to the nearest airport about two hours away from College Town There was a 7 30 flight for Los Angeles She said she had to be on it She had appointments in Tinseltown Important appointments she couldn t afford to miss We stopped for lunch at a diner Those rubbers Aunt Doris told me in her normal voice like she didn t care if anyone heard an older woman talking to a college kid about rubbers and recent sex were for you not me I just wanted to protect you baby from what I got Too silly but I want to keep you safe What I got s not even catching but I didn t like the idea Now I m sorry I wanted us to feel each other I d love making babies with you Joe I d love nothing better Honest Aunt Doris last night was really great I mean it but I don

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2009/02/me-my-aunt-doris/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Survivor by Caroline England
    working on a novel About Litro Online Mail Web More Posts 713 Comments comments Prev The End of the Line by Malcolm Gluck Next The Baron s Tumescence by Peter Browning Related Posts Dystopia Rota Lessons Trying to Discover India Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th February 2016 Litro 149 The Love issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto Love we spend our lives craving it in one form or another searching for it and talking about it Its meaning is felt more than it is clearly expressed Some call it the greatest virtue Continue reading 9th December 2015 Litro 148 The Going Home issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto This month in Litro 148 we explore the notion of what Going Home means to us Is it a familiar physical space A refuge A feeling A state of mind Or is home actually to be found in another human being maybe your partner your parents How do you know when you have found it Continue reading Contact Us General 44 0 20 3371 9971 info litro co uk Sales Advertising enquiries 44 0 20 3371 9971 Email Sales Magazine Editorial editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro Litro Magazine is a free short stories and creative arts magazine in print and online Providing a place for

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2010/11/survivor-by-caroline-england/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Dystopia: Kids Come Looking. Kids Come Back.
    slanted all business I took off my boots and socks and waded out to where the water was deeper and slower I placed the trap with the narrow funnelled opening facing upstream and weighted it with stones I didn t know how to use it properly or whether it should be baited and with what We d come the next day and check If there were more fish than we could eat I d work out a way of smoking them that much couldn t be too difficult I d seen something on TV once It was strange how trivia ended up as the stuff of survival The rifle had been in an unlocked gun cabinet with a few boxes of bullets I d found a man and a women lying in bed a target pistol in the man s hand the room crawling with flies There were children s bedrooms but no sign of kids Maybe they d got the infection first and were buried somewhere in the gardens But what if it was the other way round the kids told to leave not to come back to look for help Lily sat on a rock and watched me wade out of the water As I dried off my feet and ankles she stood on the rock craning to look upstream My heart leapt for a moment but when I turned to follow her gaze all I saw was a heron on a rock with a beak full of fish its wings partly spread a commonplace for her already For the first two years of her life we d worried that Lily had known nothing of nature only the city our flat the noisy hassle of shopping or the rush to and from nursery It seemed impossible to imagine that it was all still there Lucy had had been called into work one morning and never returned She was an immunologist She was requisitioned no choice After that there was only one phone call perhaps it was all she was allowed I wasn t even there to take it because I was queuing with all the others for petrol and bread The answer phone was blinking Take her and get out of the city get far away Go north and stay away from everyone Cross the border if you can that s where they ll draw the line It ll be a year maybe two before this thing runs its course Take care of her Keep her alive You can do this Lily stooped over the water her fingertips breaking the surface Downstream the water picked up speed smoothing over rocks or breaking into white water Most of the stretch was like this Some of it could be forded but it was risky It was a natural barrier a line of defence The valley was off the main road the cottage out of view behind woods and in the crook of the fell The track we d arrived by on foot five months earlier was the weak point I d felled two trees across it hoped it would be enough to put anyone off But kids were kids Kids didn t know the dangers Kids come looking Kids come back I d shared an allotment before the infection The seeds were the most valuable thing that I d brought with us Nearly everything else we d abandoned as we went north The petrol ran out seventy miles short of the border and we covered the ground on foot staying off the roads along bridleways and footpaths by map and compass with Lily on my back much of the time The border was closed by the time we got there Leaflets had been airdropped Anyone approaching the border would be shot All we had now we d either found in the cottage or scavenged along the away It was the strangest thing Most houses seemed abandoned People had fled maybe across the border before it closed or maybe to the city hospitals chasing rumours of vaccines and anti viral drugs Even so I d watched that barn conversion on and off for a week before going in There was still enough time to try catching something Lily played on the banks while I perched over the waters with the spear A few fish pushed up the current and I made a stab at them missing I knew I had to allow for the distortion of the water the way it bends the light and make things look out of place but I hadn t caught a fish like this so far We d had some luck with a makeshift rod and line but the catches were few and far between I hoped the fish trap would work Silly Daddy Lily had come to watch me I pointed out the fish as it moved further away out of reach Don t be sad she said We ll catch it again Her small hand was in mine The sun was falling and I felt suddenly uneasy It hadn t been far from here that I d found them the boy and the girl The evening after I d found the greenhouse broken into I had gone out after Lily was in bed making sure the cottage was secure behind me I had scouted the ridge overlooking the river It had taken a while but eventually I located their little shelter what looked like the remnants of a play tent tied up to the trunk of a rowan tree and half hidden by a dry stone wall I observed them through the telescopic rifle sight They were curled up together at the mouth of the crooked shelter dirty blankets piled up around them The light was fading but even so the purple blooms of the infection were clear on their faces I thought I could see the blankets shudder as they coughed They would have had a week at most before the final

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/12/dystopia-kids-come-looking-kids-come-back/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Cat Soup
    complicated guilty thoughts this is costing me a fortune I m spending money I don t have on a cat that is going to die anyway Why have a dug my heels in about this Then What better way to spend your money than on prolonging a life Would you rather spend it on credit card debt New boots You have the correct priorities The priorities that matter Love for a being is measured by what you put into it regardless of the outcome Despite the cacophony of thoughts I have a niggling feeling though that I am doing it because I m afraid of death Friday The cat won t eat her food I ve offered her chicken fish beef in cubed minced and chunk form and I m considering making cat soup It s ironic given I ve spent a good portion of her life yelling at her not to eat so much She s got a history of bulimia eating until she vomits which I didn t deal with responsibly All I did was nudge her out of her food bowl and refuse to feed her on demand Imagine doing that to your 16 year old daughter Padlocking the fridge door and refusing to talk about it Damn cat Saturday morning The cat s breathing is laboured and her eyes are closed I tell myself I ll give it to Monday I have a shower boil an egg read a newspaper The cat lies in her basket always on the periphery of my vision When I leave the room I m wondering if the noise I hear is her getting out of her basket or her breathing I make myself another cup of tea and sit back down My partner and the kids have gone out Maybe you better take her to the vet he said gently before walking out the door Through this whole thing he hasn t offered one single opinion on what he thinks I should be doing with the cat You need to do what you need to do was the only thing he offered though I knew he would ve put her down from the moment the prognosis was given Dammit Smilla I shout throwing the newspaper aside I bundle her into her basket and race at breakneck speed to the vet Later Saturday morning The veterinarians clinic always smells like cleaning products and animal I realise that is not a surprising work of fictional description but it really is amazing how you can t scrub away the smell of animal I wonder if a hospital smells of human If a dog went into a hospital would he go All that bleach just isn t getting rid of the smell of human I wait in reception with the cat in her basket between my feet I ve kind of prepared myself and kind of not I find I m often like this in moments of dread I know what s coming but

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2016/02/catsoup/ (2016-02-15)
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