In this Issue - Fiction

You came to me unexpectedly, long after I had stopped hoping. The air smelled of rain and grass. I was carrying the shopping, an umbrella tucked under my arm. I was carrying a loneliness that extended like a sword from my heart.

 

Armed with a knife, Pak Eko carefully unlatched the front windows. The porch, its cracked tiles dull under the fifteen-watt bulb, seemed empty. Pak Eko caught a whiff of something rotten, and then it was gone. He was about to close the windows when the creature appeared on the left side of the porch.

 

When the developers said they were building a wall to keep out the sound, everybody thought it was a good idea. For the past few years, the expressway had been expanding closer and closer to our houses. It used to be a full sixty metres away, but now had come so close we were practically run over every time we opened our back doors.

One morning, a seven-year-old girl was hit by a car outside her back door. Late that very night, the developers started building a wall along the side of the road.

 

Marc Quinn made self-portraits using his own blood. To create Self, he steadily extracted his blood over a five-month period until he had saved up four and a half litres, the amount normally found in the body. He then poured the blood into a silicone mould of his own face.

 

The woman climbed up onto the iron railing and grabbed the drainpipe. It was a quick movement, fearless. The man’s left hand pointed up at her face. She thrust out her free arm and pointed back. I turned toward the restaurant and looked at my friends sitting inside by the window. I suddenly felt afraid, all alone, watching the pair on the balcony.

 

Winter is coming and a bitter cold assails us. It’s carried on the wind. The winds have carried something else too: malicious gossip that Fuhai fucked someone else’s woman. What amazes us is not that he did something so vile but that he could get it up at all. He’s a wrinkled old man, with a prick that shrivelled up a long time ago.

 

‘You’re going to be busy next year,’ declared old lady Soneda. It was a fine evening in late December. They were in the hospital lounge, which was very quiet. Outside the windows, a threadbare lawn and withered trees with naked branches could be seen.

 

he man I love is on TV. He is a comedian. Like a professional pool player who carefully plans his shot, he waits for the right moment between sentences and makes people freeze in place. Slow speech and lackadaisical movement. Then, words spoken out of nowhere that baffle the audience for a moment, followed by erupting laughter as realisation dawns on them.

 

Now I’m going to tell you a story about women and love, said Tunick. Or rather, it’s a story about the dark side of love: fickleness, jealousy, and fury. You shall witness many evil deeds committed in the name of love. It’s a story that unleashes your most perverted fantasies, in which you torture your ex-lovers out of guilt and feigned anger, ruin them with rumours, kill them with a borrowed knife, wipe out every single relative of your love-rivals, fornicate with your neighbour’s wife and daughter, kill your best pal and screw his voluptuous wife...