Ya know what? A long, long time ago, before animals and trees were made, when the
world was new, God and the devil had a big showdown. There was shouting and
fighting, sometimes with swords and guns, and maybe lasers, and they kept on till God
finally chased the devil out. And Mama says for a long while after the world was mostly
But the devil wasn’t gone for real, just hiding in a million zillion places, mostly in people
like robbers, or even nursery teachers, or grocery store ladies. Even the sweetest person
could have him hiding in there with no one knowing, till he would slither out and do
some evil, just to be a show off. Like maybe he’d say a very mean thing, or cut a girl’s
face with a knife or drown a little baby in the bathtub. And God would get so so mad
saying why didn’t I just kill that devil a long time ago when I had the chance?
Then one day He got the idea to make Glorious Day and burn the whole world up with
flaming fire so the devil could be killed for real.
Reverend says not to be scared of the flaming fire coming ‘cause Mama and Mila and me
are Rightly Righteous people that’s so filled up with God there’s no room for the devil to
hide inside, and on Glorious Day we’ll all fly up to heaven. Only the ones that stay down
here will get the skin burnt off their bones.
But just to be sure, we’re gonna live in Profanity now, where every kind of devilishness is
turned around to fool him.
Jess’s house was like a private hospital, clinically white and antiseptic; germfree and sanitised beyond
sanity. Kate felt like a dung beetle intruding upon a basket of fresh linen. She hadn’t blitzed her own
pad in nearly a month, whereas Jess cleaned her place top to bottom twice a day, religiously.
Kate had instructions to leave her shoes in the porch; the first of many house rules. But at least she
wasn’t obliged to remove all articles and don a hazmat suit.
She proceeded into the foyer of Jess’s pearly white Persimmon home. Shimmering mirrors reflected
her bedraggled presence (it’d rained on the way over), and dust-free ornaments shone with a silvery
lustre. Images of relatives consecrated Jess’s magnolia walls. Everywhere she turned, yet another face
grinned at her. It felt like she was being watched.
“In here, Kate,” a voice called from the dining room. Jess’s husband, Chris. “We’re just plating up.”
Beyond the dense cloud of smoke and fire, above the wreckage of modern construction,
at the edge of the highest peak of the twin hills, stood a lone figure, covered in soot and
sweat. She’d spotted the figure some time ago. Sharon was running, running in all directions,
desperately trying to rescue someone, anyone really, from the burning buildings around them,
giving up only when the walls caved in and the ceilings tumbled, destroying any chance of
She took a deep breath.
It was pointless.
Everyone had died, and she had known that- of course, she had- the logistics of the
situation called for it. They expected it; and it wasn’t as though any of these people were
In the end, they were criminals - the worst of the worst, but she’d been tasked with
saving someone. And yet, just like always, she’d failed.
Sharon wondered if they’d only let her go because they knew she’d fail. Still, it hurt. It
hurt that none of the victims would ever experience the breath of fresh air as they ran down
the hiking trails, through the patches of forests all the way up to the lake where they’d jump
into the cold, yet intoxicatingly calm waters of-
Persevering under pressure
Releasing that untapped goddess within me
I finally feel unburdened, unblemished, alive
I have no tears of society's expectations of me
I tell myself, let your dreams bloom
Through sheer radiating resilience
And courageous compassion
I will experience burgeoning bliss...
what’s lost will be lost in one heart but an
unblocked gateway in another
worry nothing over adrenaline, the
cause was greater than you
experience the lesson and growth and
never reduce the memory of time shared
possession is no longer heard in the
outcome that rests in another’s hands
you’ve gained a future without and
vision of life without
realize and remember that
your turn will soon be discovered
For 6 months last year
I stopped wearing a bra.
After 11 years of wearing a bra almost every single day,
I starting pulling my shirts and dresses over a completely bare upper half:
No lifting, uncomfortable straps.
For 6 months
I did this.
I was in a state of perpetual stress, and wanted to test a theory:
That wildness was a quality
that I could inject into a personality
that was otherwise over-analytic and list-obsessed.
My spirit was searching.
Vibrations of your voice were
felt from my gestation, creating
the first song between us.
The smile in your eyes greets me,
as I lay on your chest and inhaled your
scent an echo of our first note.
You share stories of relatives known only
through memories. At the age of three,
you got into some moonshine and ran
through the yard, stick in hand
and mind in flight.
My sister's beauty lies in a reserved comfort,
and no one in my family stands for her humour,
the one place where she encourages no sibling rivalry,
as the chunk of us bear the mark of a god on our faces;
We are cacti, imprisoning joy in our ragged cheeks,
and never the angels of good cheer to a dreary family.
My sister never begins each day without pulling strings,
with which she creates sunrise within our hearts;
Even while disaster steadily knocks on our doors,
She reels out peals and rolls of raucous laughter
and sunset hides in the forest of its birth.
And you watch her, keenly
Going from one to another
Seeking for advice on how to navigate the cold and unwelcoming waters ahead of her
Others had gone and found their different ways to the other side
Through these same waters
But she was still dithering
Unsure and unwilling to take the dive
Watching others before and behind her, go on, before her
Through the cold, unwelcoming waters
Trigger Warning: death and blood
Stephanie sat cross-legged in the standing shower aboard the VIKENGRASS. The water
sprinkled over her body as she kept her eyes closed, trying to meditate and alleviate the pain that
came on this day every year. It was the anniversary of the accident that took the lives of both of
her parents, having her leg and finger amputated, along with permanently deafening her. All
because their self-driving car stopped working and drifted into oncoming traffic.
She opened her eyes to be met with darkness, alarming her. The lights came back on in a
moment, and the room shook. Stephanie quickly stood up and turned off the water, jumping out
of the shower and drying herself off. She grabbed her clothes and slipped them on, returning to
her living quarters as soon as she could.
The VIKENGRASS shuttered and groaned as explosions rocked the inner hull. The lights
in the hallway dimmed, flickering subsequently with the detonations. The crew scrambled from
their living quarters as sirens blared overhead, red lights flashing along the tops of the black
walls. It was against protocol to be woken this way, as a member aboard the bridge was
designated to wake them, preparing the entire crew to deal with the emergency.