Jolley Prize 2018 (Shortlisted): 'Between the Mountain and the Sea' by Sharmini Aphrodite

It was the first thing she noticed: all the clocks had stopped. She only mentioned it when she was shown to the dining table and the woman – his grandmother – placed in front of her a glass of bandung, bright pink and sweating. Thanking her, she held the glass, the chill of it shocking the heat of her palm.

‘Your clocks – none of them are working.’

‘They haven’t for years,’ the woman said. She smiled. A gold snake coiled around her wrist; the bone pressed sharply against tissue-paper skin.

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Sharmini Aphrodite

Sharmini Aphrodite

Sharmini Aphrodite, born in Borneo in 1995, grew up in the sister cities of Singapore and Johor Bahru. Previously published in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and Smokelong Quarterly, she was runner-up for her art criticism in Frieze Magazine’s Art Writing Prize, as well as in the Golden Point Awards.

Published in August 2018, no. 403