We are over the moon to let you know that Shorts - Collection 03 is finished. We have already sent it out to our wonderful subscribers (check your promotions folder if you can’t see it in your inbox). If you haven’t subscribed, you should do so here to get the next issue (and if you ask nicely, we might send you a few previous collections too).
As usual this latest collection features the stunning photography of Carly Earl and the beautiful design of Virginia Batstone. And after about three months work this Collection includes some of our best stories yet. We have a few extracts for you below as tasters:
Chris Harrisson's ‘Bird on a Branch’ is the story of a relationship transformed with unexpected consequences:
Isobel noticed the growth on a Friday afternoon. I have never met a woman so fundamentally aware of her body’s tides. Years together have given me insight into this gift, drawing attention to what would otherwise have passed unnoticed in the glacial creep of age and experience. Scars, lumps, fat, hairs; they all had their parade before me. I was never expected to be her friendly mirror; instead she relied on my unfaltering commitment to facts.
Susan Burgess' ‘Colour’ introduces us to a man who refuses to be changed by a momentous life event until perhaps he has no choice:
He sees colours everywhere — even where there are none. It had come upon him unexpectedly, when he was distracted. But, he knows exactly when it began and assumes that it was the events at that time which have led in some inexplicable way to what he now sees.
Gaelle Chatenet's 'Loving you From Afar' features a nostalgic visit home ending in some with a harsh realisations about love:
She was nearly 40 so it must have been almost 30 years now since she had started this silly crush. The neighbors had had two children, a girl and a boy, both much older than her and her brother so that as kids they never played together and by the time she neared adolescence the others were already off to college. She had not seen the girl in what felt like forever. She remembered her as a teenager with long brown hair flowing down her back, always so stylish and sophisticated. Then there was the boy.
Janine Cepak's 'Untitled' give us a glimpse into the mind of a young woman looking for a freedom and grappling with who should be in charge of her mental health:
The confidence with which she turned the corner into the doctor’s office escaped her when she discovered a tall bald stranger sitting in the chair that she usually preferred over the chaise supplied for patients. Her doctor was standing in the centre of the room with his small professional smile, his “outstretched for the purpose of shaking” hand and, off balance, she missed her cue, plonking herself down awkwardly on the “lie down on the couch; where are your slippers? Donʼt you accept that you are a very, sick young lady?”
Anastasia Hardman's (though really Reader, I should write "my" as this is in fact written by yours truly) ‘Breakfast’ tells the story of family and silence, and how unsaid things need to be said:
He waits. Shifting from side to side, staring through the frosted glass at the familiar blur of the hat stand. Its shape is echoed in a million memories from before. It is suffocatingly familiar, the foundation of a backdrop passed each day for what, at the time, seemed like a lifetime but which in retrospect was just part of a life. Unnoticed until it wasn’t there any more.
If these look like the kind of stories you'd be keen to read, hit the button below to subscribe and start receiving your copies of shorts. It is free and pretty easy to do (just remember to confirm your subscription when you get out confirmation email…which sometimes makes its way unfortunately to your junk folder).