Glendalough by Anna Loughran

Chrissy stopped in her tracks and turned to Helen in excitement. “Look, Mum,” she said. “Look at the sparkle in the water. It’s gold, I swear. I’m going to be rolling in it, just you wait!”

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The Firebird in Bangkok by Pim Wangtechawat

There was a firebird in Bangkok, two days after Valentine’s Day. The first sighting of the bird was at 4:57 pm: a woman selling fake iPhone cases on the street near the Tesco Lotus at On Nut called 191 and reported that she had seen wings in the sky, just above the Skytrain – wings bright red and orange and crackling with fire.

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The Strange Case of Renfeld by Oliver Cook

Over in the eastern sky, the large yellow disk of the sun was making an appearance. A gleam of light shone through the narrow gap of the olive-coloured curtains at No. 47, a modest house in typical suburban Surrey, a place where the same events occur each day and change is unwelcome.

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The Journey by Natalie Nera

Smoke obscured the view for a moment as Oksana searched for a sign. She squinted but there was no platform, only the wide blurred plain, covered in mist. This was nobody’s stop.

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For Our Love of Memory by Zebib K. A.

Remembering gets easier with practice. Practice by pulling out the yolk of nostalgia, feeling for the overdue residues. The cardboard cut-out birthday cake from kindergarten class, with paper candles, icing, and painted flames.

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Tunnel Rats by Nick Norton

A scruffy valley of fields lay behind me. I had lost my path and stumbled along amongst the cabbages for the better part of the day. Before me I found an impenetrable snarl of shrubbery. Then, surprisingly close, the clang and grind of a heavy metal lid being moved.

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Safe Glaswegian Home by John Tinney

With his throat the scene of an alien autopsy and anxiety washing over him in waves, James thought about the work he had to do to get another job and fund existence in an area once called the murder capital of Western Europe.

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Witch by Sindhu Rajasekaran

Suggi watched crows pick at a dying dog’s flesh. One pulled at the skin to stretch it while another pecked to cut. The dog’s guts spilled. Blood oozed. Nerves and clots pulsed outside Suggi’s cage.

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La Editora by Anaregina Frias

“Mom, how did you actually meet dad?” I ask. She glances through the family photo album in my hands. “Margo, I’ve already told you. I nearly drowned in my three-day swim and he was the lifeguard who saved me,” she says. She smiles, save for her worried eyes.

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