Ahead of the Publishers' Prize Award Night (more details to come), we are releasing some sneak peeks into the anthology. First up are the light entries:
Untitled - Emma Deshpande
“The only light in the room is the thin line of sun glowing around the edges of the curtain. J walks across the room to draw it open, fill the room with natural light. She doesn’t like her patients to wake up to the sickly pink tint of their bedside table lampshades. But sunlight cannot brighten this picture.”
Limelight - Julia Dezsö
“Nighttime. Puddles that glimmered a few hours earlier morph into oily black holes. Previously opaque windows glow with newfound brightness, showcasing mute silhouettes. Homeless shadows clump into marshmallows, all blanket, pillow, and battered paper cup, as hopeful extensions meet empty stares. The ease, the day’s promise of steady continuation, reverts into bumps, rushed glances, and hurried excuse me’s. Amidst this, she stands on a lighted precipice waiting to be rushed down the tubular rabbit hole by its never-ending escalators.”
Eyes Open - Whye Ye Leong
“You Asians eat anything, right?
So swallow your pride. We are
porcelain dolls served on porcelain plates,
with a side of soy sauce and vinegar.
Man on the corner leers, cigarette dangling
from the edge of yellowed teeth.
Smile, girl, open your eyes.”
Happy Birthday - Oliver Loi-Koe
“It's a privilege to see you on your birthday.
You probably didn't imagine it this way:
White. Cold. Eyes. Closed.
Crumble - Natalie Smith
“it’s hard to hold chalk to ge ther
once the first few cra cks appear
so I collected the p i e c e s and held them
they were sharp but light like the air”
Vampire Squid from Hell - Phoenicia Rogerson
“‘Better question then - worst job you ever had?’
‘Dolphin trainer, hands down,’ I say.
‘Not a dolphin fan?’ she asks.
‘No, dolphins are good.’
‘Because you really like fish?’
‘Because fish are objectively the best,’ I say. Blah blah blah, dolphins are mammals, I know.’I hate kids. I thought I’d be working with the animals but it turned out my whole job was helping the little fuckers put on wetsuits.’”