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Holiday with T by Sophie Mackintosh

On the first morning of the last holiday, T picks me up outside the gates of a park. The city is out of season. Gulls throw themselves through the sky above me. Though it is cold I have been standing outside for a long time waiting for him. I haven’t needed to roll my fake name over my tongue yet.

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Sullying Summer by Emma Turkel

I was on my way to meet Uncle Karl. It was the middle of summer, when my levels of blasé were sky-high and my perpetual illnesses were dormant. I was able to drink two cups of coffee per day during this time as opposed to the autumn-through-spring rule of one, as my sweat glands...

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Doorstep Vigil by Rue Baldry

The city was outside the car window when I woke up, all lit up with traffic lights and street lights and kebab shops. The sky was purplish stripes. I’d fallen asleep on the long drive back from the seaside. There weren’t as many traffic jams as usual, so it must have been pretty late. The insides of my crocs were gritty and my eyes felt sanded, too...

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The Wheel at the Centre by Marcus O’Shea

You can smell space, not direct like, you’d die doing that. But you can pick up bits of it from the things that went outside, wafts of recently used space suits or antennas brought in for repair.

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Fauna by Armaan Kapur

“These men,” he says, “were idealists. They were convinced escape would find them, and their consequences would simply evaporate with the passage of time. They waited and wandered for days, until their fingers became wiry and their eyes couldn’t focus …

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The Fourth Date by Anna Geary-Meyer

I had been dreaming of water, of cool, chlorinated rhythms, but I woke with a dry tongue and gaping mouth, body thirsty but still not conscious enough to act. I squinted into the in-between light of an almost sunrise, my hand tangled in E’s black hair …

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