Growing Young – Eve Davies

If there’s one thing one can observe in a residential care home, it is the necessity of humour throughout life. It is true that the human body ages in a cycle. Through life we travel the circumference of a circle. We begin a reliant baby, we start to learn, we grow up, become an adult,…

Frickin’ Lion – Ann Kathryn Kelly

Olive the (lion) dog. Image by Andrea Farrow, via Instagram The mane streams behind the dog as it tears across weathered gray floorboards. “Frickin’ lion.” The seven-second Instagram reel auto-loops on my Thursday lunch hour and I become obsessed with this dog that I later find out belongs to my colleague Jessica’s sister, Andrea. I…

Umbrology – Brian McNely

I stepped off the plane in Helsinki – airport code HEL – and found a restroom. Standing at a urinal, I heard birdsong piped through overhead speakers: odd, soothing, out of place. The train to downtown Helsinki departs from a giant, cool tunnel many meters below street level. The platform is nearly empty. Massive faux-tapestries…

Two Cultures, Again – Kate Venables

I am a student in a creative writing programme, a mature student, from a professional background as an epidemiologist. Amongst ourselves, we students don’t really talk about ‘creativity’. We talk a lot about craft and sometimes we talk about ourselves and the way in which how we feel affects our writing. But rarely about ‘creativity’…

Dances with Rabbits – Walker Thomas

I stood under the alligator juniper that shaded my tent in the oak woods. Effie squatted between my feet. In The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade called his receptionist Effie. But the Effie at my feet was no lady. I called her F. E. Cottontail in my journals. Cottontails are coprophagous – literally, Fecal Eating. That…

Missing Woman – Katie Hunter

In early October 2020, my partner Greg and I drove at sunrise to Zion National Park in southern Utah. On the way I swigged coffee and snapped photos of sandstone cliffs dip-dyed red by the sun. They dwarfed what I’d imagined while planning our pandemic-adapted vacation – a national park tour via road trip, starting…

Lemons – Victory Witherkeigh

“You made it, Grandma!” I said as I gave her a hug. The gold tassel swished in my face from the graduation cap I hadn’t removed yet. “I’ve been to all your graduations, Iha,” she replied in a huff, “And, I’ll be at the next one.” I gripped her hand as she steadied herself with…

I Can’t Recall a Time Without War – Casey Canright

The weeks that followed exploded into a patriotic frenzy. Red, white, and blue dotted every neighborhood – even our own. Old Navy’s Fourth of July T-shirts reemerged for the last few weeks of September. Dad brought home a flag – taller than me – which I demanded be hung by the front door, just like…

It’s Always Going Away: Losing the Places We Love – Nina Smilow

New York is often unfairly maligned for being unfeeling, but that’s just what we call uncontrollable things, which the city is. It tumbles on, transforming a million times over the course of a decade before remaining stagnant for far too long. Occasionally, shifts rise rapidly from seismic events. I’ve seen sudden pivots in the wake…

Heaven-Born Things – Sally Gander

What springs from earth dissolves to earth again, and heaven-born things fly to their native seat.Marcus Aurelius ‘It’s about a third full,’ I say, clutching the mobile phone to my ear as I hang my head into the water tank, my voice bouncing off the metal sides and echoing back at me. ‘Does the pipe…

The View from Here – Lettie Mckie

A version of this piece first appeared on Trampset In April, the reality of the pandemic fades into the background as my family deals with our own internal crisis. The house is in Kemsing, a southern English village in the Kent countryside. It is nestled on the slopes of the North Downs, a range of…