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

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:

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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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Published in August 2018, no. 403