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Recommended Reads

Stories and poems that have made it into our recommended reading section are handpicked by our staff. They have been identified as exceptional pieces of writing, which warrant separate recognition.

Stories that are part of a series, or novels that have made it into this outstanding series section, are nominated by our staff and awarded by a select panel. These stories have been deemed superior as complete works and have garnered special recognition.

You are almost certainly guaranteed a good read, if you've selected a story from these offerings!

4
Recommended Read

A Runner

Young runner finds that there is more to ability than just winning or losing

“One day, you’re going to thank God you’ve got that speed, lad.” Those were the words of old Jack Linley to eighteen-year-old Danny Friar after the young man had run a solo one hundred metres trial on grass. While Danny, in his running gear, and spiked trainers, looked on anxiously, from a distance. the old man showed the time on his stopwatch to his two back-up trainers Vic Tanner, and...Read On

Paper

“I think that’s enough for tonight, Nobuo.” The young boy’s father had stood in the doorway for thirty minutes, moved by his son’s unwavering focus and diligence. He knew he would have continued through the night if he was allowed. “Just one more, daddy,” he responded, his tone respectful but determined. Nobuo turned his head to give an almost pleading look; his father simply nodded.  ...Read On

Beesting
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Beesting

Catch-2020

While waiting at a train station, a man contemplates the state of not just his nation but the world.

As Sam sat at the bench in the train station, reading his newspaper, waiting for the 6PM train, he thought about how ridiculous it felt to be sitting all alone yet wearing his face mask. He had a mind to slip it down his face which was hidden behind the pages. The fact that the mask was fogging up his spectacles only served his motivation further. But Sam fought the urge as he stared at...Read On

Something

Something was outside her new house

Something flew past the bedroom window as Shannon closed it for the night. The dark shape went by quickly, so quickly that Shannon could not really see what it was. Startled, she jumped back. “Probably just a bat or bird,” the young woman muttered as she quickly closed the window and curtains. She did not quite believe that. The shadow passing through the night had seemed too big for...Read On

10
Recommended Read
Beesting
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Beesting

The Apology

After a humiliating experience, a son has to face his father and the impending consequences.

I'd always found it odd seeing my brother as a father. I still remembered when we were kids, running around on the playground acting a fool. And now,  he  had a kid. When John had asked if I wanted to come with to pick him up, I'd said yes. Any chance to see my favourite nephew. Unfortunately, the storm brewing up above seemed to have found its figurtive counterpart as both John and J.J....Read On

12
Recommended Read

The Night

There is something utterly mesmerising about the River Thames at night.

The water flowed swiftly beneath my feet as I looked down from the parapet. There is something utterly mesmerising about the River Thames at night. The lights of the city reflected in the fast-flowing water have a beauty all of their own. Even on a wet night such as this. No, especially on such a wet night. The reflections are brighter, more widespread, somehow. When darkness falls, the...Read On

12
Recommended Read

Letting Go

 

10
Recommended Read

The Folly of Presumption in the Afterlife

It's never safe to presume

It was around 10 p.m. when a lone car careened down the empty rural road, engine growling, disrupting the peace of a lonely night. Its headlights ploughed through the darkness ahead as it angrily chewed up the centre lines along the road, then spewed them out in the rear, back into the nothingness trailing in its wake. Reggie Morton sat in the driver’s seat of the Corolla, leaning forward,...Read On

Dragons!

If you could see the future, would you really want to?

She wakes with a startle, groggy as if hungover from some overindulging celebration . Though, it isn’t liquor that has her brain so foggy.  Fumbling for her pen and pad—now kept diligently on the bedside table—she begins to scribble, no time to even compose herself.  For a moment, images flash in her head like broken fragments of a flip-book animation. They don’t last long and her pen...Read On

13
Recommended Read

The Legend of Lover's Lane

Ignore it, it's just the wind

They drove out after the Halloween drive-in movie. They didn't have dates. They just cruised by the lover's lane along the railroad tracks, slowly passing by a car or two to ogle and razz. Wilmer flashed the headlights of his convertible Mercury. Bored with that the boys stood beside his car looking down the railway line. The moon was in and out behind clouds. They discussed it. "It's so...Read On

White Water

Three minutes on the Zambezi.

They had encouraging, cosy names, like The Gnashing Jaws of Death , Terminator,  and  Oblivion. “If you go in, don’t let go of your paddle! Swim left, away from the wall,” yelled the instructor as we approached. This one was called Morning Glory. Paddling furiously, we entered the rapid, launched into space, and... Bounce! I was in the water. Sucked down, and surrounded by...Read On

10
Recommended Read

Insensitive

I don't care about you, aka another First World problem

 

In The Midst Of Chaos

One single moment is all it takes.

It was a day Lincoln High School would never forget. Thirty-five white mice with beady-red eyes scurrying the halls like inmates set free in a jailbreak. Susie had never told any of us her plan. Maybe that was because it wasn’t a plan, per se. She just got up and one by one, opened their cages, pardoning what was supposed to be an immutable death sentence—the 10:30, AP Bio class...Read On

Just Another Day

“Detective Boyle? The forensics team is here. They’re outside examining the scene now. Coroner is on their way.” The detective stood looking aside in the living room and nodded. “God, I hate days like this,” the officer sighed, then headed to the front door. Boyle remained unmoved, expressionless. She had long forgotten how that young officer felt. Today was just another day; the...Read On

12
Recommended Read

On Guard Duty

I have this. Boss is my job.

 

10
Recommended Read

Picture On My Wall

 

12
Recommended Read

Dolls In The Dark

‘The dolls!’ was Emma’s first conscious thought.

‘The dolls!’ was Emma’s first conscious thought. She was sure she heard the delicate sounds of pitter-patter across her hardwood floors.  With a shaking hand, she grabbed her phone and prayed to God that nothing had touched her. Emma’s fingers slid silently along the now lit screen and unlocked it. Every movement was stiff and deliberate. Fear and panic had seized her muscles.  She pressed...Read On

9
Recommended Read

Water's Rising

The power company needed the dam. At least that was what the newspapers had reported. The town was soon abandoned, cemeteries relocated, schools and churches gutted, stores emptied.  It would take almost three weeks to fully submerge. She woke slowly. Her head was pounding and cloudy. She fought through the haze to connect one thought with another. None of them added up to make sense of...Read On

19
Recommended Read

Funhouse

God, she was beautiful.

Screams erupted from every ride in the carnival, even the not-particularly-scary ones like the Ferris Wheel and the Turtle Train, as Conor walked the midway. The smell of funnel cakes and corn dogs and cotton candy washed over him. Discarded hamburgers and crushed lemons from discarded cups of lemonade littered the ground. He looked in the hall of Funhouse mirrors and saw the most...Read On

9
Recommended Read

Chew (part 2)

Series: Chew

Spend more. Want more. Need more. Own more.

The man on the phone told him the latest girl was twenty-one, but Mr. Hargrove thought she looked more like a teenager. It didn’t matter anymore, of course. All that mattered now was getting rid of her body. Jeeves wasn’t around to help this time. The phone call--no name, just a number--took place every few weeks. Mr. Hargrove would order an ounce of good weed, several bottles of...Read On

10
Recommended Read

Chew (part 1)

Series: Chew

Spend more. Want more. Need more. Own more.

Baby was hungry again. Sara set down the baby bottle, opened the cabinet and counted the cans. Seventeen. Mostly refried beans, one of the few staples left after the supermarket got looted. Two cans of Beefaroni. Five cans of soup. Green beans. Corn. Peas. One lonely can of cranberry sauce, leftover from some pre-infection Thanksgiving and likely to be the last of the cans opened. A low...Read On

5
Recommended Read

Recycled

I have been here before Many times more A different face In a different place.   As each vessel dies Amidst loved one’s cries The spirit rises I return in guises.   Plato, Nero, Rembrandt and Bach Each return gives new paths to walk Embodied within A new life and new skin.   Creating a future from the past Lessons learned from knowledge amassed Life begets life endlessly driven...Read On

13
Recommended Read

Into the Night

The final refuge.

Telephone poles whipped past her, each separate in her headlights but blurred and indistinct. The girl was traveling north. She drove the speed limit along the two-lane federal highway. Into the night she drove once more. Alone, heading towards the big city. The highway stretched out ahead and ghostly phantoms of imaginary treelines wavered in her peripheral vision alongside her...Read On

19
Recommended Read

Inoke's Dance

The ice tinkled against the glass as I raised it to my lips, enjoying the warmth of the late evening sun on my face. The view from the hotel veranda was sublime, out across the Pacific vastness to meet the vivid blue sky at the horizon. It was plain to see why many considered these islands a paradise, and why they were such a popular destination among holidaymakers.  There was a secluded...Read On

22
Recommended Read

The Case No One Wanted

Ten years on the force and this was the case no one ever wants to get. I stared at her photo and imagined the life she must have lived. So young and beautiful. Now lost as I stepped around the stream of blood flowing as slow as a turtle into a red pool beneath her wrist. I wondered at the fathers and brothers and husbands and boyfriends who once loved her but now hated her for what she did....Read On

23
Recommended Read

The Sweetest Destination

They were supposed to go on an adventure of a lifetime...

As they sat watching the sun dipping into the blue-green water of the gulf, they sighed. It wasn’t the vacation they had planned, that was for sure. They’d spent the past two years planning an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa. Their chosen destination was Kenya, where they would have spent eight days on a safari, two nights at the Giraffe Manor, and one final night at a luxury hotel...Read On

19
Recommended Read

My Puddle Duck

When life gives you puddles, sometimes you just need to play in them.

Some say only ducks truly enjoy the rain. They obviously have not met Kerstin.  “You’re stark-raving mad, you know that?” I call out to her from the bungalow’s front porch.  “We haven’t seen the sun for three days. These puddles may very well be my only chance at a pool.” She jumps, splashing both feet like a rebellious child with a rose-colored pout. “At least we’ll save on sunscreen!” ...Read On

19
Recommended Read

The Berry Girl

The mysterious girl knew where to find the best raspberries

Butterflies and bees danced under the summer sun as Gail walked to the raspberry patch. The heat was increasing as the day wore on but was still bearable. With the lake as her pool, the heat did not really matter to Gail. She would re-apply sunscreen and go for a dip later. Finding a bush with plenty of ripe, red berries, Gail started picking. Her husband Michael was grilling a trout he...Read On

20
Recommended Read

Coral is a colour of love

As autumn leaves fell, our lives’ hue darkened. Covid-19 grounded Sarah’s corporate-lawyer lifestyle. We fretted; could infection accompany me home from the hospital? Challenging times, despite dad’s toilet paper stockpile. It pays not to giggle when your girlfriend repeatedly tries to shoo our cat away from her Zoom meeting. “Annie, stop it!” Sarah’s tone was so testy. Scooping up the...Read On

17
Recommended Read

Felix's New View

Felix overcomes his fear of heights, and apparently everything else, at the carnival

‘What a view.’ Felix never imagined that thought would ever cross his mind while looking down from a Ferris Wheel, probably because he had always kept his eyes shut. Earlier, the yin and yang of excitement and trepidation had pulled at him when he and his dad arrived at the summer carnival. Like any boy, he loved the atmosphere, essentially a kid’s version of Nirvana: the lights, the...Read On