"I expect you’ll be becoming a schoolmaster, sir. That’s what most of the gentlemen does, sir, that gets sent down for indecent behaviour.” Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall
Fiction 500
Take it from cats

Take it from cats

If someone moves to make room for you, take up more room. If someone is looking over there, there’s something to see. If somebody sneezes, run. If someone brings a bag into your home, look inside it. If you don’t want someone to leave, sit on his suitcase. Clean between your toes. Flaunt your full...
Dogs both big and small

Dogs both big and small

Novels are weighty tomes. Short stories fill a few pages. When we pick up a novel that’s as thick as a brick, or open the first book of a series whose volumes might reach our waist if stacked on the floor, we tremble with awe. Compared to a novel, a short story seems as inconsequential...
A view of the hills

A view of the hills

The Mayor read a letter. It had been written by a student named Yangyang in Class Two of the third grade at Green Primary School. The full text is as follows: Dear Uncle Mayor, How do you do? I have two things to tell you. One is good and the other is bad. First the...
One day he will stay

One day he will stay

It’s been two days, no word. She can still feel him. His touch is still on her. Her cunt still aches. His stale body odour still clings to her. It’s been two days since she was ensnared in his embrace; naked, and crushed under his weight. Inside he came and her body got to work...
The untelling

The untelling

The early morning light filters through the empty bottles which clutter our caravan’s kitchen table. The light stains my nightdress with blotches of blue, green and red, and I lean over the back of a chair, waiting, breathing. The chair is a cast-off from Gil’s mother, and I see that on the vinyl seat there...
The cruise of the Allegra

The cruise of the Allegra

It was my first winter cruise. I was a waiter on the Allegra, most of the passengers well-to-do people who spent part of the winter cruising in the warm waters of the Pacific, from Puerto Escondido to Singapore and back, including stops in Australia and New Zealand. That winter we stopped along the South American...
On destiny

On destiny

As prestigious as he is chaste, a certain person called P likes abstract art, chamber music and Petrarchian poetry. He has devoted two-thirds of his life to a rigorous study of the arts; the remaining third, to dreaming about them. Scrupulousness and serenity are the hallmarks of P’s domestic existence. Very occasionally, he permits himself...
McKinley

McKinley

“McKinley? That bastard? I hate him. You see him, you tell him, ‘I have a message for you from an old acquaintance: rot in hell, you bastard.’ You tell him that from me. “You know what he did? He put his wife on the street. That beautiful, innocent girl. She wasn’t so innocent by the...
Stratagem

Stratagem

The corpse was left half leaning against the peeling wall. He did nothing to defend himself. And his eyes look at you with a hint of gratitude. The blood, glistening like a beetle, is smeared over the dirty pavement. In recent months, like an unpredictable curse, the man who now lies with his body half...
Water

Water

He entered the bathroom completely naked, in harsh silence. Only the red washcloth hung from his shoulders, giving his hunched back some colour. I led him to the shower cabinet, trying to steady his slow steps. To support him. There wasn’t room for both of us inside, so I stayed out as he stepped in....