1st Place: Drifting by Cormac Culkeen

jesus this wind is cold you can feel the North in it, all icy edges inside the neck and gusting numbness into the face even a hoodie won’t stop it. The night sky is a black loom and the stars are just hidden by the clouds and the moon lights their edges with silver. IContinue reading “1st Place: Drifting by Cormac Culkeen”

Runner Up: ‘First Home’ by Rhiannon Jones

‘She might look different from how she was when you last saw her,’ my mother said. ‘She’s lost a lot of weight since she’s been ill.’ ‘I feel bad – ’ I began, but my mother was saying hello to my grandmother’s neighbour Bruce, who sat outside his front door in a fold-out chair, hisContinue reading “Runner Up: ‘First Home’ by Rhiannon Jones”

Runner Up: ‘Coins on the Tongue’ by Carl Kinsella

She complained often about a feeling of grime on her hands, and insisted that it was more than a feeling. That if she looked for more than a few seconds she could really see grains of silt embedded in the grooves of her fingerprints. It made her scared to touch her eyes, she thought itContinue reading “Runner Up: ‘Coins on the Tongue’ by Carl Kinsella”

1st Place: ‘Glorious’ by Lea Mc Carthy

‘Gloria?’ I whisper into the darkness of the ward. ‘Wake up.’ I have the torch of my phone lit so I can see her old eyes open slowly, all sleepy and cruddy. ‘D’you want to go to the zoo? To the black bears?’ I repeat myself twice to make sure she is certain. She nodsContinue reading “1st Place: ‘Glorious’ by Lea Mc Carthy”

2nd Place: ‘Tigers Have Striped Skin’ by Davena O’Neill

The heart of a shrimp is located in its head. They say the heart can rule the head, but it can lead you into trouble. Maybe shrimp are romantic. Or dumb. Dad eats shrimp, pulls the heads right off, and sucks the liquid out. Mom says men’s brains are between their legs. Guess that’s whyContinue reading “2nd Place: ‘Tigers Have Striped Skin’ by Davena O’Neill”

3rd Place: ‘The Morning After’ by Anthony Bradley

‘It’s my fault.’ ‘There were two of us.’ ‘Still it was me who…’ he seemed squeamish on this point, ‘you know…’ ‘Look it doesn’t matter now.’ She didn’t want to discuss details on the street, for fear the infection of rumour (already palpable the night before) would turn into an outbreak, spreading among their friendsContinue reading “3rd Place: ‘The Morning After’ by Anthony Bradley”