Fiction

We meet in what I can only describe as a violent way, in that he spots me as we both watch the old man die in the middle of Portage Ave.

A comic by Mikiko Galpin. Part of our No Comment project.

Louisa discovered she could reverse time on a dim suburban street, forty-eight minutes after the end of the assault.

I’d been hoping for a kitchen full of balloons, a bouquet of flowers, all my favourite food. A hand-drawn banner: Welcome Home Tasha. Maybe even a Happy 14th Birthday, though my birthday wasn’t until tomorrow. I’d been away from my family all summer.

Doretta Lau is Room’s 2016 fiction contest judge. Who better than the judge herself to inspire you to get working on your contest entry? Read Lau's short story “Best Practices for Time Travel” below, from Room 38.3. Don't forget! The fiction contest closes July 15.

He was the first guy you dated who resembled anything you knew to be familiar. His moustache reminded you of your uncle so you told him to shave it, and he did.

I once kept a tangerine in my purse. I watched it turn leathery, sweet and puckered. Eventually, there was nothing to it at all, just a dried-up husk.

Dream # 1: Diogenes Lights the Lamp
“Come, child,” Diogenes takes me by the hand. “Let me show you the way.” His fingers are gnarled and twisted, ancient twigs.

Our 2015 Fiction Contest Honourable Mention.

Once, upon a day of politics trouble, I saw my mother burying her gold in the vegetable and herb garden at the back of our house. It was a school day, but I was at home because she had pulled me out of class that morning.

You are the worst waitress in the world. You can’t remember orders, or you write them down so messily that they’re indecipherable. When you try to read them out to the chefs you can’t untangle the scribble, and you have to go back to the table and ask again.

Saul sat almost peacefully staring blankly at the aquarium in the waiting room, watching the neon fish cut their way through the water. When the blonde nurse entered the room, Saul wanted to tell her to sit down. Pour herself a cup of coffee. He knew what she was going to say, and that he wouldn’t be able to stop her. He swallowed hard and nodded.

Our 2014 Fiction Contest Honourable Mention.

We get to the party. We say hello to our hosts. We take off our coats. The party is crowded. We fight our way through to the kitchen. We load our plates with food. We sit in a corner. There are a lot of people. There are mathematicians and physicists ...

The astronaut on screen is crying. From the moon he has finally managed to call his daughter, only her face on the videophone shows no flare of recognition. He’s been gone so long he has become someone else to her.

Manolo called it the Everybody Laughs Scam, but as I approached the couple on the bench I found that prospect hard to imagine. The woman looked teary-eyed and the man had the strap of his camera bag wrapped three times around his fist.

The honourable mention for Room's 2012 poetry contest.

Your husband has the car for the weekend. You need a car to visit your friend in the hospital tomorrow morning and Sunday morning. The hospital is eight kilometres away. Should you rent a car, call a taxi, take two buses, or walk?

Amy places the whisker back into the mug of steamed milk and glances over at Kat next to a pile of empty teacups. She sits on the tall kitchen chopping block, sketchbook balanced on her lap. She snaps the book closed and hops off the block.

I watch Ava peel down her panties. Her ass a kicked apple: Brown. Purple. Blue. She tucks wads of newspaper inside her jeans, zips up, and smiles. “Ready.”

Pages

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  • Room Vol 40.1: Food
    Room 40.1, Food
    Edited by Rose Morris, Kayi Wong

    In this issue:

    Sarah Beck, Ashwini Bhasi, Kat Cameron, Lucas Crawford, Dora Dueck, Marilyn Dumont, Rebecca Fishow, Veronica Fredericks, Rachel Jansen, Jane Kirby, Alexis von Konigslow, Lee Lai, Tess Liem, Alice Lowe, Tanis MacDonald , sab meynert, Silvia Pikal, Marika Prokosh, Keyu Song, Sylvia Symons, Ivy Tang, Carol Wainio, Kayi Wong, Catriona Wright, Nicole Xu

    .