Special Issue: Place
Black Magic Woman by Mary Thompson

When I am 14, we skive school and go for chips, which we drown in vinegar and nosh on the swings overlooking the sea. A squally wind is blowing right in our faces but we keep eating the chips till they’re gone.

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Leaves by Caitlin Myer

You’ll never leave here, said the man at the bar. You’re going to meet a nice Norwegian man and get married—he squinted at me. No, not married. But you’ll move in together, to a cabin in the forest.

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Ebb’s Nook by Tim Craig

It’s a liminal place, this promontory. Existing at the point where the sky meets the land, the bay meets the open sea and — with the outline of the tiny 12th Century chapel walls still just visible under the soft turf — the past meets the present.

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Boy Things by Julia Strayer

I scuff through the woods waiting for hips that won’t come. Heel toe heel toe down the length of a fallen tree. Roll a rock—pill bugs, millipedes, the smell of earth.

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Weather-beaten by Andrew Stancek

On the road shoulder across from our church, our former church, our home, our former home, I am gathering courage to put my Rambler into drive, to step on the gas.

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Stitches Unravelling by Tommy Dean

We’re in his old hometown, where the buildings sag on their foundations, and the metal siding of the ‘70s is rusting, sun-scorched and dusty from cornfield weed killer.

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Marmoset, Raccoon, and Fox by Karen Schauber

My fingers grip and coil around slender shoots as I hoist myself up into the arboreal forest like a feral animal. Tackling the steep incline, I scramble to keep up with the older boys who sprint ahead like sound waves.

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Eternal by Hugh Behm-Steinberg

There’s a boarded up house with the word eternal painted on its side. It used to be a bridal shop: they made wedding dresses on that corner a hundred years ago.

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Eventide by Jayne Martin

Your face is the first to fade from memory; still your voice, a bow caressing the strings of a cello, holds me close. Your scent, evergreens dipping to the sea shore, calms me on days when I cannot locate your name.

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Nature Walk by Karen Jones

It was nature walk day and we were excited even though it’s just the path next to the school and the chapel and even though it only goes through two fields and even though we’ve done it loads of times it was still better than singing hymns or doing ‘rithmatic or sewing…

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Snuffed Candles by Michael Loveday

Samantha feared, in guilty moments, that she loved the lakes more than she loved her father. Today, on their usual monthly circuit, her father hobbled slowly, clutching his stick, and she looped her arm through his.

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Electric Storm by Kathryn Aldridge-Morris

It’s been twenty minutes since the first bolt of lightning ripped a scar through the purple night sky. Since my mother said to swim in the rain ― it’s fun. Since her boyfriend Colin said he’d join us― to check we’re ok.

Amelia Earhart Knew Seven Latin Words for Fire by Joe Kapitan

Ignis, the flaming wreckage, bubbling rubber, liquified cloth, her skin charred and blistering, acrid smoke, the tiny thunders of survival’s kicks

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours by Eliot Li

I tell you I’ve only ever shown it to a girl who I met on a tour bus in Moscow, where I was traveling with my parents. She had bad acne, and she really liked Duran Duran.

Get Your Authentic Stardust Here by JP Relph

The night the sky cracked, I was sprawled on the hood of my car beside that good-for-nothing boy, naming constellations, ignoring his fingers on my neck.

Fulfilling by Fiona McKay

Kate is not ‘imagining it’. There are small tufts of pale fluff on her neck, and no, it’s not ‘just a tissue in the washing machine’ as John suggests. There’s nothing drifting off his shirts, nothing clinging to Ella’s favourite black top, Josh’s Minecraft t-shirts. It’s more solid than tissue, just on her clothes. And only she can see it.