Uncle Sam, Bastard – M S Clements

My Uncle Sam is a bastard. An utter bastard. He turns up, unannounced, demands bed and supper while Nan flies around the house like a clichéd thing possessed. Nothing is too much bother when it comes to our Uncle Sammy. Christmas is the worst. There we are, helping out as best as we can. Wrapping presents in last year’s paper. Cassie ironing out the creases … Continue reading Uncle Sam, Bastard – M S Clements

Things My Mother Left Me With – Rebecca Field

A fear of cotton-wool. I don’t know where she got it from, but she passed it on to me at the age of six. I brought home a Christmas decoration I had made in school – a paper cone made into a Santa Claus figure, with a hand-drawn face, googly eyes and a cotton-wool beard stuck down with PVA glue. She started to hyperventilate when … Continue reading Things My Mother Left Me With – Rebecca Field

The Landlord – Tabitha Burns

A thin brown envelope means one of two things: you’ve lucked out or your luck’s out. No guesses as to which kind this is, so close to payday. Over two hundred quid I owe them. Oh look, they’ve ‘automatically readjusted future payments’ — how bleeding benevolent of them. My stomach drops at the date. New payments start today, which means my money is not going … Continue reading The Landlord – Tabitha Burns

The Origins of Floodtown Museum – Ray Ball

At the beginning of March, the children splashed to school. They wore galoshes and raincoats. The parents of younger children walked them to bus stops under big umbrellas that brightened the gray sky with patches of blue and yellow and pink flamingos. It rained without pause all month. The city government held an emergency election, and a special bond and new tax passed by a … Continue reading The Origins of Floodtown Museum – Ray Ball