The cows drift over when there’s a shower, it’s like they’re tethered together by invisible ropes. Once one makes the move they all tug along, squelching in and out of each other’s muddy hoof prints, breathing misty air over each other’s flanks. Flock memory, Niamh calls it.
There were no walls in the shack and no interior doors. When Louise and Big Hank had sex in the night, ten-year-old Padraig covered his ears. It did not help. The grunting and moaning kept him awake.
"With these paintings, it’s vital that I don’t go on autopilot. Either they are imagined stroke for stroke or they are bogus gestures. This morning I set up the fruit and the lights, I mixed the paints, but soon my mind wandered."
Seven in the morning, I came down to the reception with a duvet wrapped over my pyjamas. The heating in my room had stopped working, again.
'What's the nature of your complaint?' asked the receptionist.
'You're joking, right? I was down here three times yesterday.'
She stared at me, unflinching.
'The nature of my complaint is that my fingers are too bloody numb to type a text to my ex-girlfriend.'
A story of gentle humour and humanity to cool you off in the July heat! M.S. Pallister brings her readers to wintry Oslo in 'The Frieze of Life', where a lovelorn man wanders the Munch museum, dines with strangers in hotels, and spends long afternoons in coffee shops waiting for his last love to come back into his life. READ 'THE FRIEZE OF LIFE'.
Our father, Charles Hartley II, hanged himself in the attic in the spring of 1977. I was five years old. My brother Kelly was eleven. May 25th: the same day that Star Wars opened, though I didn’t make that connection until later.
To the casual observer, the interior of the Pittsfield Building, in the Jewelers Row District of downtown Chicago, resembles the setting for some seedy film noir. The Gothic-style, marble-faced atrium, replete with burnished brass mail chutes and antiquated shops – mostly other obsolete jewelers – struck Sid Kaplan as a cell, one in which he had been confined for the last thirty-six years of his life, ever since he agreed, however hastily, to continue the family trade.
Long Story, Short's April 2017 edition is by Hackney Prize and Knut House Prize winning writer J.A. Bernstein. 'The Brothers Kaplan' brings readers into the confidence of two men whose private lives are hidden from each other, their estrangement exacerbated by one's acceptance, and the other's rejection, of family legacy. READ 'THE BROTHERS KAPLAN'.
Something had caught hold of her at the grave, had reached inside her and awoken a tremendous urge to go home once more. Now nothing would do to set it aright other than to head out at once for Ballinlough before it was too late. Mary Frances accompanied her, muttering all the while that Annie wouldn’t appreciate unexpected visitors.
The March 2017 edition of Long Story, Short Journal is 'Entrusted' by Irish writer Fiona Whyte. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, we have a tale of two countries -- of the Irish who travelled to America for work, adventure or escape -- and the inevitable impact such a distance would have on a family. READ 'ENTRUSTED' BY FIONA WHYTE.
February 2017 brings us Rhoda Greaves's unique short story, 'Makeup Tips for the Mature Woman'. Against a backdrop of editorial advice for aging gracefully, this story's heroine grapples with grief, aging and identity with human awkwardness and vulnerable dignity, leading her to an unpredictable and transcendent encounter with youth. READ 'MAKEUP TIPS FOR THE MATURE WOMAN'.
The night our grandfather died was a night without stars, the snow falling in endless repeat, first veiling the moon, the constellations, then the sharp edges of buildings – our whole world. Toward the end, when my grandfather seemed only to be lingering of his own will, I stood outside the main entrance of the hospital, looking for headlights; stunned by the deep and unsettling quiet of St Paul under snow and then by the long keening wail of a siren inching toward Emergency, the neon lights there obscured by snow and ice and hope.
Albert felt the strong weight of work in his shoulders, a hot glow at the base of his back, tight up into his neck. It was not the career his mother might have planned – in the old country, Albert, a clerk is a fine thing to be – but a brief apprenticeship in book-keeping had at least been enough to get him here and here was so unexpected, so wonderful, that for Albert to be here was enough.
The November 2016 edition of Long Story, Short Journal is 'The Aerialist' by Morgan Downie. Witness the trapeze act of a well-loved mathematician living out an alternative reality that might have been his, given all the potential that time and space holds, both in science, and in fiction. READ 'THE AERIALIST'.
The October 2016 edition of Long Story, Short Journal is by award winning Irish writer Dolores Walshe. 'The Man in the Parallel Universe' is a portrait of a wife of a Vietnam veteran, who is soon to be a widow, but grieving a man she lost long ago. This tale is not only an exploration of grief, but of survival, and the moments of compassion that sustain us. READ 'THE MAN IN THE PARALLEL UNIVERSE'.