Fresh shortcuts

We've got another collection of short items for you today by Tania Hershman, Vanessa Gebbie and Jim Murdoch but we start with a short flash piece (as if there could be a long flash piece) by Sarah Hilary which she wrote as a modern day response to the famous six word Hemingway story (the unworn baby shoes for sale)…

Passing on (an homage to Hemingway)
For sale: Exquisite enamelled box with the words, “When this you see, remember me”, framed by a garland of forget-me-nots. Hinged lid. The base is fully marked. Please see pictures. To the inner lid there is a painting of a squirrel on a branch. In a very good condition, no cracks or damage. Absolutely no restoration. The gilt edge to the lid is still bright.
Current bid: £0.99
End time: 2 hours 11 mins
History: 0 bids

• Sarah Hilary won the Fish Historical-Crime Contest with Fall River, August 1892. Her story The Eyam Stones was runner-up in the Historical Contest. Both stories will be published in the Fish anthology 2008.

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Birthday cake

So many candles.
Granny, make a wish!
I wish you'd all go home.
I wish I were twelve.
I wish I'd kissed Jimmy Sullivan and let him put his hand up my dress.
Come on, Granny.
I shut my eyes, and there's Jimmy, his clammy teenage hand creeping up my thigh.
I blow out the candles.

• Tania Hershman's first short story collection The White Road & Other Stories will be published by Salt in Sept 2008. Tania lives in Jerusalem, Israel, and is the founder and editor of The Short Review (, dedicated to reviewing short story
collections. Her own stories and short shorts have been variously
published in print and on the web, visit for more.

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I like the word ‘bromeliad’
for some reason
or for
no reason at all.

• Vanessa Gebbie writes “I have been hard at work today, writing a poem especially for IS&T. Deep n meaningful this is.” (Hey Vanessa, if everyone spent their working days writing poetry, the world would be a better place. OK civilisation might collapse and we'd probably all starve but one out of three ain't bad …Ed IS&T)

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If Only Pigs Could Fly
Poems are words
pushed to
the very limit of
meaning and then
driven over the edge.
Listen to them
squeal as

• Jim Murdoch is Scottish and his blog is


  1. Anonymous

    How lovely to be published in such great company! Tania, I love your Granny, what a wonderful woman. Vanessa, you made me smile and I suspect I will be saying 'bromeliads' all day (and perhaps mispronouncing it!). Jim, may many more of your pigs take glorious flight!

  2. Anonymous

    Hemingway updated to the eBay age! Wonderful Sarah Hilary flash!

  3. Anonymous

    Sarah, a wonderful and deeply moving story, so economical with words. Tania, I love this one!

  4. Anonymous

    Thank you!

  5. Anonymous

    Thanks, Frances.

  6. Anonymous

    Thanks all, delighted to be in such fabulous company!

  7. Anonymous

    I love all these – they're fabulous! So glad I found them.

  8. Anonymous

    Thanks, Anne!