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Hamed

Male | Age unspecified | 5 to 10 minutes
Starts on page 3

EXTRACT: Eardrums ripped from my head. Teeth flying past me. Hair and eyeballs. Sinew and cartilage. Limbs and hands and fingers and toes, cartwheeling through the air. A river of blood, running down my street. My wife’s head scarf flies past me. Red. Soaked. Still wrapped around her… jaw? …her… cheekbone? What part of her is this? I don’t even know. Pieces of my wife, flying down my street. And other body parts, of other people. The flesh and skin of strangers, mixed in with my wife. And I don’t want to look. Don’t want to see. Want to close my eyes forever. …but I must look…

Contains adult themes

Angel of Death

Non-binary | Age unspecified | Under 3 minutes
Starts on page 5

EXTRACT: Outside the exosphere, cosmic dust whispers down like rain. Dark nebulae build: dense. Impervious. A tiny flash of blinding light heralds the birth of a new star. The deepest of deep space still simmers with life. Plummet down, down through the thermosphere air so thin, breath is vacuumed from my lungs.


Hamed

Male | Age unspecified | 5 to 10 minutes
Starts on page 10

EXTRACT: We drive for sixteen hours; through small towns and villages. Down pot-holed roads of possibility. Finally the driver lets us out at a small dirty airstrip, where we get on a half broken plane. Rust in the metal, bolt missing from the wing. The outside air pours in on us as we taxi for takeoff. My daughter shouts out: We’re flying! We’re flying! I explain to her about the logic of flight; the physics of it - and she says No Baba; flying is magic, not physics. …and there’s a part of me which thinks yes; in this plane it is indeed magic…


Angel of Death

Non-binary | Age unspecified
Starts on page 15

EXTRACT: The air hums thick with us: clouds of winged death, soaring through the skies. Shift of air tells me we’re near. The stench of humans: onions and meat and rancid sweat. And there he is. Assignment in my sights. Male. Widowed. Last surviving son. The Sole Prospect for his struggling family: The fittest. The smartest. The hardest working. The golden egg of chance, ringed by a yolk of hope. Standing on a boat festered by salt and age and neglect, splintered hull barely rising above the waterline. Bobbing on the brine like a decomposing heart.