Short Stories

  • Fugu

    I used to watch him levering away the bones, the veins, the viscera. Thirty different procedures, each with a name. Kokumoyo, doriuchi, henji… He would mutter them as the water swished around the basin carrying off minuscule bits of fish. Then there was the crack as he pulled off his thin gloves. Those waiting in the dining room rolled their chopsticks nervously guessing who was next to be served.

  • Carpet Bazaar

    ‘Size of a door, Hindu god design, super-fluffy underlay.’ Siddharth picked up a nearby carpet and with a flourish opened it in front of Jack. ‘Extremely magical. All the usual, plus special features for the initiated. If I may be bold, Jack, I estimate you are in the region of exchanging perhaps around eight hundred pounds or so, isn’t it?’

  • Rico

    I have seen him fight. He’s a proud one, very clever and lucky. In twenty years, they say, he never broke a bone. Rico hangs on every word when I tell him, cocks his head on one side, and sits there breathing slowly. This boy’s got no guile. He’d never make a thief. Sometimes he’s so stupid I tell him he couldn’t even be a shepherd. Then his big green brown eyes fix on me like coffee beans, and he smiles.

  • Nice


    The mechanics of getting a drink of absinthe are not unfascinating. It’s a dedicated chemistry, or alchemistry perhaps, as what is basically a vegetable juice is turned into a system-altering luminous green goddess.

  • Elephant Jam

    Dense jungle surrounds the village in nearly every direction and is home to many wondrous creatures: gadalouffs and barrabs and samonbeasts, and sometimes giraffes and ibren from the prairie. There are parrots and zizzers and hallabrims galore.