Getting a Glimpse (Part One)

We are so excited to be so close to the big reveal... that moment when we get to share all our prize winning pieces with you in full. So excited in fact that we can't contain ourselves and thought we would share a few little glimpses.

For today then, here is an extract from one of our award winning stories, I Probably am a Lonely One by Giselle Leeb...

The man in the green jacket

Only the hum of electric lights as they reach across the counter for a hand, but end up with the sugar bowl or the milk. It's late and everyone is gone, except for those two, sitting together at the counter, plus the waiter and me. I push away my cold coffee and spin round on my stool to face the window, then dangle my arms, the backs of my hands brushing the cool leather, watching the people outside looking up at the sky and then disappearing round corners and into buildings. I imagine they have been beamed up to another planet and are never coming back as the light outside turns green, the inside holding its pressure, holding me in suspension, and I watch the distant lightning from my yellow bowl, my body practically hovering above the seat, electrically relaxed.

The man in the black jacket

I don't know if this woman sitting so close to me is a devil or a saint. You never know. I can only see her from the outside. She's pretty. I have the urge to take her hand.

I probably am a lonely one. I hadn't thought about it much really. I used to hold hands and that sort of thing and then one day I thought, why, and I just let go. I hadn't felt anything before and then I felt better right away. Although a few days later I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me and after that the loneliness came back and then I wanted to hold hands again.

It's like a mania, just something that comes over me, and I can't go in either direction. It's like, I don't know, real, a place, and all I have to do to get out is make a decision, say or do something, but I can't decide.

The woman in the red dress

In this pale yellow, the smiles of the man sitting next to me are pale too—not quite directed at me, but past me, and past the whirling dervish inside me that he can't see. I feel as if I need to be plugged in, as if I'm missing a socket. I need something—someone—to make my hair stand on end.

I feel like weeping. I feel a lot of things. They’re all in here. What good would it be to tell him? Or anyone?

I tell myself it will all be better tomorrow.


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