Holding On

You’ll only ever hear three sounds on the battlefield of Bastogne, Belgium in 1944: explosions, gunfire and silence. No laughter, no singing, no celebrations. No one would dare. Sound makes you a target for the enemy. So you keep to your fox hole. Dig it deep, fortify the edges, and find yourself some cover. Your […]


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Hide and seek

Only the best will survive. “You have one minute.” I ran around the obscenely grand mansion, barrelling into several other kids as we each scrambled for the best position. One pudgy kid about four years old locked himself in the pantry. Too obvious. He won’t last long. Up the stairs and back down again—nothing but […]

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Fabergé Eggs

Empress of Russia I never expected this. When May and I dreamed of husbands when we were five, neither of us imagined rising to the height of Grandmama. But now—I am an Empress. I feel as though it should not be me, it should be Ella or Vicky. They have always been the most popular, […]

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I was the only one in my modelling class to be invited to an agency. I’d done it—someone finally thought I was special. Later I’d discover that my height and my ability to walk in a straight line were what got me the invitation, but as a 14-year-old girl I was just happy to be […]

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Spirit of Japan

Festival  It started as a distant echo. I paused my movie, straining my ears. Chanting and drums. I shrugged it off—just another Japanese festival that I wouldn’t understand. But the sound drew closer. The drums were beating their way towards me, until the sound filled my apartment. I stepped onto my balcony and spied red […]

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The White Rabbit

This girl, this bloody girl. “Get out of my way! I have things to do!” I tapped my padded foot and spied an opening. I hopped forward but found myself inside her godforsaken pocket! And then she sat up, the little witch, no doubt to torment me as if I were her pet. “Why, Mr. […]

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I waited until everyone was gone to recess. I wasn’t keeping anyone waiting. No one wondered where I was. I was shaking when I approached her. I’d never liked her. She was always shoving her culture down our throats. It didn’t help us. She wasn’t good at helping. But I was ten years old, and […]

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Cat Life

Slurp  I’m watching TV. Veronica is sitting beside me, curled up like a stripy little snail shell. I hear a gurgle and look up to see Archie licking his butt. Slurp it clean, buddy. Bung Tail Veronica’s tail is floppy. When I try to give her a scratch, she meows. It’s not angry, just a […]

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