Friday, 29 June 2012


by Miranda Campbell

‘Big Issue’? A question lost on disinterested commuters, drowned by rush hour’s cacophony. But the child, crouching on the wet pavement, smiled at the street-seller.

A delicate thread of recognition flickered between them – time-travellers unfamiliar with city skins – her dark eyes held his azure gaze.

Pushing her bare feet into grey slabs, cold, icy water pressed through her toes. City rhythms exploded beneath her soles – music bubbling up between cracks in concrete – vibrant, resonant – soulful.

Drowning in sound colour, she smiled – running home.

Distant footfalls on sun-baked earth echo in her memory – footprints in sand, an imprint of her soul.

Author bio: Aspiring book artist - experimenting with words and specialising in handmade books, incorporating traditional bookbinding techniques, natural materials and decorative stitching.

twitter: @bookspell

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


by John Xero

He stands in my backyard, watching. His tartan is tattered and old, both the material and the plaid – no clan even remembers that pattern these days.

Smeared, blue whorls still stain his skin: worn-out war paint. This warrior has forgotten the fight he fought, centuries ago. Now he just prowls my garden, lost.

He does not bother us. By daylight I can tend to the plants, relax, read. But he returns with the stars, holding his inscrutable vigil. The night is his.

His tartan is tattered and old, like his flesh, like his memories, like autumn clouds passing the moon.

Author bio: John Xero is the editor at 101 Fiction.
He blogs at the Xeroverse and tweets as @xeroverse

Friday, 22 June 2012


By Dom Camus

Sophie, thankyou for finding Astrid for me. She is kind and wise. She reminds me of the summer in Vienna. When we met, she smelled of cardamom. I see her smile when I close my eyes. I plan to invite her to the Imperial Gardens on Valentine's day. We will attend the exhibition. Please book us a table somewhere that emphasises my understated good taste.

Also, please stop calling Astrid now. It is not appropriate. Why did she visit you on Wednesday? I will take you for a software adjustment this weekend.

Sophie? Please pay attention when I instruct you.

Author bio: I make games. Having spent 30-something years exploring fictional worlds, I'm not quite sure I can find my way back.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


by John Xero

The Nautilus II creaked disturbingly as it sank below the thousand fathom mark. Jets of salt water sluiced in where the implacable depths probed its steel armour.

Those gallant, foolish men thought the oceans just another place to be conquered. They forgot life had been born down there. They pushed deeper, on their captain’s urging, 'til the submarine's seams burst and the sea roared in.

The captain unravelled. He unfurled into a mass of thick, sinuous tentacles and at their centre a hooked beak that plunged relentlessly into the chests of the drowning crew.

Lifeblood blossomed unseen in dark waters.

Author bio: John Xero is the editor at 101 Fiction.
He blogs at the Xeroverse and tweets as @xeroverse

Friday, 15 June 2012


by Sandra Davies

I sat unmoving, hypnotised by the patterns emerging, merging, puddling and overflowing as the drops of rain fell onto the expanse of naked and now blue-black back laid out before me, its slight greasiness delaying momentarily their coalescence. As the granules of orange pigment dissolved and formed wavering runnels down spine, along ribs – ‘Storm at dawn’ perchance? - I was excited and then became bored. I scalpel-slashed it as I would a canvas – and became entranced again at the contrast of the sharply etched lines – slow scarlet leaked then pearled along their length before these too disconnected and floated away.

Author bio: Recent writer, previous printmaker, east coast orientated.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


by John Xero

Your mind is a labyrinth. Learn to negotiate its pathways or become your own jailor.

James rocks back and forth. He fought. He lost.

The deeper you journey, the harder it becomes to find your way out. Always leave a thread, a breadcrumb trail back to reality.

The secret army have taken James. The secret army have white uniforms, padded rooms, and lies.

Recognise your enemies, so that you may purge them. Map the twisting passages. Prepare your escape.

James is lost.

It is important you know this: the labyrinth may look exactly like the real world.

You are James.

Author bio: John Xero is the editor of 101 Fiction.
He blogs at the Xeroverse and tweets as @xeroverse

Friday, 8 June 2012


by Lily Childs

Years of scurrying around filthy alleys had me believing I was eternally earth-bound until I found her, lying on her back beneath a pox-ridden docker. She saw me first. Her scream gave the punter enough satisfaction to end his laboured pumping. He took flight, throwing a handful of coins between her legs.

“Who the hell are you?”

I smiled.

“I’m you.”

We stared each other out, reflections.

Sunlight pierced the air as my wings erupted. She sighed, and I stole her away from hell’s streets, still warm...


We’ll rest awhile, then try again.

Old souls with fresh faces.

Scars healed.

Author bio: A writer of horror and dark fiction, Lily Childs is also the author of the Magenta Shaman urban fantasy series. Find out more on her blog The Feardom or follow her on Twitter: @LilyChilds

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


A Brief History
by John Xero

2033: Purgatory, a prison for the criminally insane, is built in the asteroid belt.

2190: After the Asmodean uprising, Purgatory is sold off and renovated into a casino and pleasure hub; among its patrons, many of its former inmates.

2501: Purgatory sees the last stand of the Abaddon Syndicate against the Holy State.

2699: Long-deserted, Purgatory is the launch site for the Apocalypse Missile. The station’s artificial intelligence, S’Tan, now six hundred and sixty six years old, watches the unquenchable flames of the expanding sun consume the Earth. S’Tan is still laughing as the fires reach Purgatory.

Friday, 1 June 2012


by Peter Newman

I tire of them.

Generation after generation, all the same, always asking, never listening. Humanity fails to inspire.

Arms reach upwards, spindly spears, brown and pale, bruise-mottled, desperate.

“Help us!” they say.

Obligation weighs deathly on my shoulders. With great power comes great drudgery. Once an oracle now a shepherd, I show them the only paths left.

One mouth moves, shaping the panic of many. “We’re running out of time!”

Reflected in my eyes are the husks of stars, stillborn.

I could have made worlds with them, unfolded minds into dream sails, glittering.

The clock ticks, too late.

“Class dismissed.”

Author Bio: I write, I run, I work, I sometimes remember to smile.

Stories & Blog here:
Banter here: @runpetewrite