Anonymous Manuscript Extract #9

The sky has lifted at least thirty feet.

I sat there, not moving. The shock must have cracked the pavement, my right hand fumbled in the rubble. As I breathed, the silence stilled the explosion of stars whose sparks still cracked in my head.

 

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Anonymous Manuscript Extract #8

I ran on a few more steps until I was below a streetlamp and stopped, panting and sweating.

The yellow pouring forth from its ancient bulb was my arena, a dozen feet across.  Hell hath no limits,

nor is it circumscribed, but I was yet alive and happy to constrain myself to set bounds. Beyond that

ring I could see nothing. Quickly I retrieved the pellet-gun from the bag but no sooner had I done so

than the first of them barrelled into me, a missile of feathers and malice. It bit and stabbed with its

beak and flapped its muscular wings, aiming for my eyes and face, ridiculous feet kicking at my chest.

I managed to get a hold on a wing and killed or crippled it with a few swift twists of my hands, the

twig-crack of ribs, the hot spits of blood. I could hear more ululations in the sky above. That first

attacker had knocked the air-gun from my hand and into the snow and gouged deep cuts into my

fingers with its beak. I fell to my knees and swept my hands across the pavement through the snow

but it was no use, for all of my preparations I was alone. Blood trails stood out stark against the white,

and the dead gull was already half-submerged. A tip of beak, a hint of feather, and a crooked wing

stood above the snow.

 

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Anonymous Manuscript Extract #7

From that day Lieutenant Mabruki conceived a violent hatred of all senior officers, especially colonels. His moods became fretful, acidic, strained, and for the first time, were marked by displays of sly insubordination and irreverence, of that acute, devastating cynicism which later was famously to coalesce at his own show-trial in the inspired remark: “Your honour, a coup is lawful as it succeeds. I am guilty merely of failure. I declare this trial null, void, invalid, iniquitous, unjust, damnable, reprobate, inane, empty of meaning and effect for all time”.

His superior officers nervously shunned him.

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Anonymous Manuscript Extract #6

“He swung with the charge, sweeping the muleta ahead of the bull, his feet firm, the sword following the curve, a point of light under the arcs.”

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Anonymous Manuscript Extract #5

It’s good, once you’re in. That’s what everyone always says in Tassie, and that was what Lucy told herself then.  She began wading out, busting through the foamy lines, until it became deep enough for her to dive under. The first wave she dove beneath was gritty and sand-churned, and she frog-kicked below its turbulence with her eyes and lips firmly closed. The shock of the cold shuddered through her body. The second wave was cleaner, having exploded right in front of her into a heavy spray of bright white and crystal-clear droplets, which caught up the sunlight and tossed it about in shimmering rainbows. She plunged beneath it and buried her fingers in the sand, anchoring herself against the churning water. She brought her feet beneath her, pushed off the sand, and burst back through the surface, gasping into the sunlight. Her skin was on fire with the cold. The third wave reared up, just beyond her, and this time, when she dove, she opened her eyes, rolled onto her back and watched the way the turbulence of the breaking wave gathered in a series of foaming balls that passed above her like fizzing, liquefied clouds.

 

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Anonymous Manuscript Extract #4

He gets up from the crooked coffee table and stretches up. His hands touch the ceiling. Not because Nino is tall but because the ceiling in these houses are low. Like someone is pressing down on the top of them. Nino has never been able to understand why, in the old days when people were on the whole shorter, they made ceilings higher, but then as nutrition got better and people got taller why the ceilings got lower.

page unknown

 

What on earth?

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Anonymous Manuscript #3

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‘Our hands touch just as Dad crashes through the door, and golden electricity jumps from my skin to hers, burning lines around her base off her right ring finger. Little Jane instantly reaches for her head and her screams of fear became screams of pain. All around her is golden light.

The memory hits me like a physical blow. This was my first migraine. ‘