Gallery Attendant, 37

A new short story from Wendy Erskine, written in 48 hours as part of our Great Big Giant Short Story Experiment.

Fiction 4th July 2024

An Old Friend

‘Normally I hate swimming in the ocean, everything about it scares me deeply; but after a few drinks I dive in fearlessly, with abandon and hope.’

Fiction 5th June 2024

A Fern Between Rocks

A young revolutionary encounters the power of music, desire, and loss, in this queer love story set in Lesotho, Africa.

Fiction Issue 48: Summer 2023


‘At the end of the corridor, through a door, Sylvester emerged into a games room. A skittles alley games room. It was a long room, whose centre was two brightly polished skittles alleys, and the boy. For there was a boy. There was.’

Fiction 5th April 2024

Settling Down

‘There’s just something about the way you are together. It’s a quiet sort of thing, but I’d say it works, doesn’t it?’

Fiction 5th March 2024

Burn Heart

‘After a while he forgot he was dancing with his pen pal’s mother and he believed she forgot that he was the soft pouchy boy her daughter had brought home. That was the joy of it. They forgot themselves.‘

Fiction 7th February 2024

Glorious Exploits (an extract)

So Gelon says to me, ‘Let’s go down and feed the Athenians. The weather’s perfect for feeding Athenians.’

Fiction 10th January 2024

Clouds of Albion, for Max

‘Words slip on each other, he had thought. We get out from under what we know, we fail to get out from what we think. We never discover what thinking is.’

Fiction 15th November 2023

The Bride

A story by Maeve Brennan to mark her 30th anniversary: ‘All that night, she lay awake in a panic, thinking of ways to break with him. It would be heartless to tell him straight out that she had no use for him.’

Fiction 1st November 2023

Ice Queen

‘They go around the block, dancing in their seats, screaming the lyrics at the bewildered Chris, and she finds herself wishing that they’ll never get there—that they could keep driving around and around like this forever.’

Fiction 11th October 2023

Feeling Gravity’s Pull

‘I watch myself and I know what I’m thinking. I watch myself and I also know what I’m not thinking. I watch myself and I know I’m thinking, a week ago we were together in that little cottage on the farm in Wales, and now she’s in A&E in the hospital down the road and I’m sitting here waiting for her laundry to finish.’

Fiction 13th September 2023

The Swan Lake Guesthouse

‘When I developed my illness and could no longer work, he took pity on me and gave me a room and an allowance.’ 

Fiction 9th August 2023

Yeah Not Bad

‘In the early days, people told me my disease disgusted them. They didn’t say it in those words—they used phrases like ‘I hope this email finds you well,’ but the implications were clear enough.’

Fiction 19th July 2023

Maenads in the Terminal

A story from Mary O’Donoghue’s new collection, The Hour After Happy Hour.

Fiction 21st June 2023

Switch Bitch

Fiction Issue 47, Volume 2: Winter 2022-23

Fire Island

Fiction Issue 47: Winter 2022-23

The Afterlife

‘It is the day of my execution. From where I have been positioned on the stage, I cannot help admiring all the work that has gone into decorating the assembly hall.’

Fiction Issue 47, Volume 2: Winter 2022-23


‘I have a habit of telling stories too fast, expecting a coherent narrative to spring up from a few words flimsily strung together on a string. The problem is words words words. The more neatly I arrange them, the more they lose their flavour.’

Fiction 1st March 2023

Not Any Old Hundred Years

‘I remember my uncle cutting his toe nails with a razor blade. I remember my father drunk from Sunday to Sunday. There has to be a monument to the failures as well.’

Fiction 2nd February 2023

Online Fiction Series 2022

Contributors: Nicole Flattery, Niamh Mulvey, Najat Abed Alsamad, Gianluca Nativo, Louise Hegarty, Roisín O’Donnell, Lisa Owens, Oisín Fagan, Chetna Maroo, June Caldwell, with an introduction by Editor at Large, Thomas Morris

Essay Fiction 2nd January 2023


‘Something always came down like a guillotine to split her life in two, so that on one side was happiness, and on the other, the present.’

Fiction 14th December 2022


‘This was in Montpellier, in 2012. He was a legionnaire from Birmingham; his reclaimed name was Roger, and he was the most intelligent murderer I have ever met.’

Fiction 9th November 2022


‘The drawer beside Roberta’s bed contained remnants of other people’s fun: a small mother-of-pearl box, inlaid with gold, a lipstick that was a stripe of fuchsia, a lucky charm in the shape of a dollar sign.’

Fiction 21st October 2022

[Cue happiness]

‘In the hours and days after seeing Eugene, I was particularly bad: sobbing uncontrollably, vomiting, roaring into the hell’s bells of night. I prayed for typhus, Asiatic cholera, plain old consumption, anything that would do the job for me. I had no way to impart how terrible and terrified I felt except to write it down.’

Fiction 5th October 2022

Chemistry Read

‘Her husband was asleep beside her, snoring gently, and she lay, breathing shallowly, planning her next move.’ 

Fiction 7th September 2022


‘Marcello's not a guy who likes used underwear, old shoes or bare feet. He’s a perfectionist, or maybe just a hypocrite.’

Fiction 10th August 2022

Sleep Watchers

‘Over Zoom one night, a therapist tucks her dark hair behind her ears and introduces herself as Maeve. They are about the same age, in their late thirties. She doesn’t ask about Orla’s childhood, or root around for scars. She says, Tell me what’s happening.’

Fiction 17th June 2022


‘When the other kids made fun of him for the holes in his jumper or not knowing who He-Man was, he just looked out the window towards home, the big house up the road and down the lane.’

Fiction 11th May 2022


‘I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t shower, I couldn’t call my friends. Everyone has had a time like this—when they look in the mirror and, sure enough, an unknown animal stares back.’

Fiction 7th April 2022

Four Stories

Anam Zafar's translations of Najat Abed Alsamad's work offer shattering insights into everyday experiences of the war in Syria.

Fiction 9th March 2022



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