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Culture & Literature
Popshot Magazine

Popshot Magazine

Issue 27

Popshot is an illustrated literary magazine that publishes short stories, flash fiction, and poetry from the literary new blood.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Chelsea Magazine
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4 Issues

In this issue

1 min.
editorial

Mystery is to storytelling what butter is to bread. You can enjoy one without the other, but they're much better in combination. Book shops are stuffed full of the whodunnits and crime novels we readers seem to have an insatiable appetite for; setting up beguiling conundrums, grisly murders or impossible realities that have us turning the pages until we reach the shock conclusion at the end. The unravelling of a mystery is the most satisfying of plot devices. But, for the this issue of Popshot Quarterly we wanted to approach mystery from a slightly different angle, to point to the enigmatic or mysteriously beautiful in our pasts, our families, our minds—and to examine the fictions we tell ourselves, and what they might hide or, conversely, expose about us. This issue reveals…

1 min.
divination

If I couldI would pull back the fabricof the universe and the divine.Search the pin pricks of stars,watch the cusp of each house,the movement of the moon,and explain that mercury in retrogradehas no bearing on this. I would scry with fire.Loose flames burning awaya small sacrifice.A payment for my eyes to seesomething more than bright amberdancing before us. I would pluck a strandfrom what’s left of your hairand place it inside a doll.The black button eyes watchingas I pray to hear you cough less andpush white pins into cancerous lungs. I would take your hand in mine.Running my finger along your palmand the shortened life line.Explain that the circle wrappingaround it near the end standsfor infinity, not pain. If I couldI would give you an answer.Something more definite than“I’m sure you’ll be okay.”Instead, I…

2 min.
eating watermelon

If you eat a watermelon, a baby will grow in your belly. That’s what mama always told me. I avoided eating watermelon until that one really hot day at the summer carnival. Bobby Jenkins and I went skinny dipping in Sander’s Pond and afterwards we sat half-naked by the water’s edge and ate slices of watermelon until our fingers were red and we were both wearing less than we arrived in. I remembered my mama’s warning when it was too late. I swallowed one slimy black seed. I felt it land with a plop in my stomach. I asked Bobby to try and suck it out of me and he tried but we both knew it was all over. By the time I went back to school, my stomach was the…

3 min.
when a body loses its bones

At night, I find a femur under my pillow. In the morning, there’s a finger bone in my bathroom sink. On the chair in the corner, a breast plate watches me watch television. I close my eyes and when I open them, clavicles are hanging from the ceiling. Wrist bones come out of corners. A shoulder bone nuzzles against my shoulder. It’s warm to the touch. A few weeks ago, my nana’s back split into a seam down the spine, opened like a flower in bloom, and then her bones marched right out. Then they started coming for me. My nana lives in our house, with my little brother, my father, and me. She still rides her horse. Her jelly insides loll; her loose skin flaps in the wind. She can change…

1 min.
arrhythmias

Dave carries his girlfriend in the left-hand breast pocket of his shirt, thinking – for he is a thoughtful man – that she’ll find the steady rhythm of his heart comforting. In the early days, she used to pummel him with her dainty fists, little bursts of energy banging out messages he couldn’t decipher. Instead, he pretended it was her heartbeat; blindly seeking his own comfort. As the days grow shorter and colder, they live in silence. His heartbeat is muffled by knitted layers. She sleeps most of the day, fists clenched, but still; hugging her knees to her body for warmth.…

1 min.
waiting in the library after a school production

In this room full of booksthe air between the shelves is cold;I can’t find any sounds. The dim light of the corridormakes the bright white hurt my eyes,in this room full of books. The message, you will never bealone, resonates through my life.I can’t find any sounds to prove your existence, thatyou’re there, behind mein this room full of books. My breath holds its shape, listensto me expecting you.I can’t find any sounds, just this intense fearbreaking out from my back.In this room full of booksthere are no sounds.…