Tokyo Diamond

At the Nihonbashi Gate, you glance at the izakaya across the tracks and slip a hand into the side pocket of your yellow raincoat. Then, with the faintest of smiles, you slip it out again and place both hands together in tight fists on your lap. You seem lost in thought when suddenly, in a […]

The Hourglass

I’m looking out the window when a hand rests on my shoulder. I turn slowly. Holding a candle, my sister Lucia steps back.    ‘There’s something you should see,’ she says. Again, I stare out the window, into the darkness. As the eldest, and because my eyes are the strongest, I keep watch. Since last the […]

The Garden

As a child, she swallowed clods of loam soil, followed by smooth pebbles. When left alone she could turn this matter into a garden. And so as she grew, so a softer place grew up inside her: a quiet haunt that had not made a way for words to enter, a world left unspoilt by […]

Christmas Tales

Nobody Writes to the Fat Man Holding a pair of darned socks and a hot water bottle, Albtraum stood outside the fat man’s room. The elf nudged the door open and peeked inside. By candle light, he saw his old friend, wearing nothing but his y-fronts, seated by the frosted window. ‘Leave everything on the […]

Sons of Sorrow

Sons of Sorrow They rode into town at sundown, wild boys on black horses. Sorrow, on a white horse with no saddle, galloped ahead of them. It wasn’t enough that some called her a witch, others dared say that her sons were her lovers, too. Fathered by the devil all. In the saloon, they drank […]

Like Rain

The rain never let up. And all the while she could see him standing out on the street across from her apartment, looking up at her window, his blue umbrella always open but held so far back that the water got under his skin anyway. She fought the urge to shout down to him, to […]

The Soldier

The Great War was firmer in his mind than the raised butter knife in his hand. He saw himself in the glint of the blade and hid it beneath a napkin. His daughter came in with tea on a wooden tray, printed with a depiction of a provincial French scene. He walked forever before coming […]

In the Shade at Noon

It was noon and the bar was closing for siesta. By the fountain, in the shade, his mandolin held against his chest, José stood waiting. The sun burned directly above as Mariana, the barista, stepped out into the deserted street. She walked across to the fountain and José began to play. He played her song; he played […]