Category: Short Fiction

Short fiction by Danielle Spinks

Zen & the Art of Washing Dishes

They say life is a series of imperfect facts with many things we can’t control.

But the sequence of washing dishes is not one of them.

Glassware first. Continue reading

Panic Hour


It’s eight in the morning. An escalator pulls me down from the street into the intestinal darkness. Streaks of lightning blue rush past my left shoulder, Photoshop motion-blur. Same in orange on the opposite wall, like this is an immersive internet advertisement. This tunnel is the cable. We are the particles. A unitary quantum system with a single wave function. I adjust the weight of my satchel and start plodding into the dim crowd. Continue reading

The Benley Acquisition

I’m at the bar, chugging orange juice with my mates, and we’re laughing at each other’s pov jokes. Nuns Frightened by Change. That’s the name of Friday night’s band at the Landula Criterion. Our band, as it happens. It’s our first gig. ‘The Nuns’ are two mates in my year and me. I’m called the percussionist. That means I play drums and, occasionally, I whack a thong on a bongo. Continue reading


Lying on a white bed

in a wooden room

listening to the silence

watching her read

and there is an inkling of a rumble.

Continue reading

Love on South Terrace

In the park on the terrace,

at the southern border of the city,

there’s a stream

and a footbridge

and a mother duck

with her seven, eight, no nine

little ducklings,

brown and fuzzy,

nascent and cranky

old men in new waddling feet.

Continue reading

The Fracture

In the sleepy noon sun I am a little girl about to ride a swing. I tuck some stray carroty hairs, shaking with sunlight and diesel fumes, behind my ear. I wear only one boot, but I will use it skilfully as an instrument to control my speed. I stretch it out to the gravel, and like a lathe, it sands it and slows me.

Continue reading

The 45-Minute Chair

The chair’s bamboo legs slide across the thin carpet. Henry pushes his thick, rose-tinted spectacles up his nose and lays a hand across his groaning abdomen. A slim, dark-haired waiter emerges through the Staff Only door and begins collecting Henry’s plates. A silver badge embossed with black letters spelling TIMOTHY hangs above the pocket of his white, crisply ironed shirt. “I hope you enjoyed your first As Much As You Like Meal, sir. P-please come again.”

Continue reading

Font Resize