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Jolley Prize story

1.

Growing up, my brother and I lived with Dad in a Housing Commission flat among a row of identical flats. Back in those days, we played Greatest Hits of the 70s through a subwoofer on the back deck. During the guitar solo in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ we howled over the music and the neighbourhood dogs followed our lead ...

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Jolley Prize 2019 (Shortlisted): 'Miracle Windows'

Raaza Jamshed
Tuesday, 27 August 2019

The call of a bansuri rising to her window from the street below awakens Mehr. It is a crooked call; the initial notes, delicate and malleable, make all the right turns inside the hollow of a bamboo reed, but soon miss the swivel that all sounds must make to morph into melodies. The magic that happens between a human mouth and a ...

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'The Point-Blank Murder'

Sonja Dechian
Tuesday, 27 August 2019

The sunset is orange, the sky scattered with clouds. We’re eating pumpkin and lentil soup out of bowls from home. I didn’t think it was necessary to bring them, the cupboards here are well stocked, but Irene insisted. She says they’re the perfect size. Also, she read in her online mother’s group that the glaze on old crockery often contains lead ...

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Jolley Prize 2018 (Shortlisted): 'Ruins' by Madelaine Lucas

Madelaine Lucas
Thursday, 26 July 2018

In the car we wound around the bay, which, on the map, made the shape of an ear with a tear-shaped island off the coast like a jewel earring. My mother and I were going to see the lighthouse out on the cape – or what was left of it anyway, which was not much, she told me, but stones and rubble ...

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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 ...

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Jolley Prize 2018 (Shortlisted): 'Vasco' by Claire Aman

Claire Aman
Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Before I learnt the language of map-making, the word cadastre sounded like a timbre or a cadence. It was a momentous drum, a hollow ratatat. Bone, fire, dirt, stone. Like a shout, a ring, a knock, a blow. But when I learned maps, I discovered cadastre meant the legal boundary. There was no sound to it at all, only lines ...

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Jolley Prize 2017 (Winner): 'Pheidippides' by Eliza Robertson

Eliza Robertson
Wednesday, 26 July 2017

At the first interview, I sat in a plastic canteen chair while Berkeley lay under a towel and a woman with spiked hair dug into the cords of his thigh. He rested his chin on his forearms so he could talk, his eyes boring into my notebook, as if he could read the questions upside-down from the massage table. His blonde eyebrows faded into his skin and made his forehead look overdeveloped ...

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Jolley Prize 2017 (Shortlisted): 'Butter' by Lauren Aimee Curtis

Lauren Aimee Curtis
Tuesday, 25 July 2017

We met him in a park down by the derelict part of the harbour. It was just an oblong of yellow grass and some lopsided play equipment. We used to go there at night and drink cheap, fizzy wine we bought from the lady who owned the Chinese market nearby. This man was standing by the water taking photos of the bridge ...

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My neighbour has been digging a hole in his backyard for the past few days. The hole is quite large now, big enough to fit, say, a single bed, or – it’s hard not to draw the connection – a coffin ...

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Jolley Prize 2016 (Winner): 'Glisk' by Josephine Rowe

Josephine Rowe
Thursday, 21 July 2016

We are wading out, the five of us. I remember this. The sun an hour or two from melting into the ocean, the slick trail of its gold showing the way we will take ...

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