Brisk Walk by James Croal Jackson

do not miniaturize the bicycle torso between blue wheels
nor the twig tree broad-shouldered nor yellow-trousered man walking the candy cane
coming shapes myself an igloo of time contracting
mirror view hot pyramids the tips crumble so reaper crows confuse for wheat
the sculpted falsity in the curving sidewalk

What To Expect by Mandy Huggins

Simon took Nina’s hand as they climbed the steep cobbled streets to Beyoglu, to their favourite backstreet cafe where men hunched over hookah pipes and glasses of apple tea. The owner greeted them with a smile of recognition, bringing a pipe to the table at Simon’s nod, blowing gently on the coals.

Nina watched the passers-by in silence. She knew she’d have to tell Simon her news before they went home, but she had no idea what response to expect from him, and she was scared.

He put his hand over hers. ‘You’re very quiet?’

She wondered if this was a good time, but as she started to speak, Aslan came back up the steps to take their order. He shouted it across to the kitchen, then sat down with a cigarette, staying to talk until another customer arrived.

In those few minutes, Nina changed her mind. Telling Simon would spoil their entire day. Their last day in Istanbul; a city they had waited so long to visit. And for these precious stolen days Simon’s wife had ceased to exist; even his ph…

Stroke by Robert Beveridge

Your fingers on my neck,
a touch so light as to be hard
to notice when not fresh
from the shower. How your
beautiful fingerprints feel
more intimate than any
others on my skin. I catch
your hand, bring your palm
to my lips. It tastes
of raspberries and northern lights.

Your head on my chest, my blood
in your ears beats a tattoo
of infinite commitment, boots
on a dusty trail that heads
into a sunset that never seems
to quite slip into dark.

by Robert Beveridge

Interview with Chris Fielden

Here Cafe Aphra barista Sara Roberts interviews writer Chris Fielden about his work and the highly successful flash fiction challenges he has been running since last year.

Cafe Aphra: Hi Chris, so tell us what is your main interest as a writer, in terms of form and genre?

Chris Fielden: Dark humour. Most of the stories I write involve an element of fantasy too, but are often set in our world. So there might be a demon in London, or a zombie in Washington. I’ve always been a fan of writers with vivid imaginations – Stephen King, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, Terry Pratchett and Roald Dahl to name a few – so I’m drawn towards the weird, the wonderful, the macabre and the amusing.

CA: Do you also teach creative writing? Tell us about your latest course.

CF: I’m not a teacher in the academic sense, but I have written a book called How to Write a Short Story, Get Published and Make Money. That uses my own published stories as case studies, clearly showing how all the advice in the book h…

Faded by Gary Beck


The Yet Unknowing World by Fiona J. Mackintosh