The Last Kiss

You said goodbye in the anonymity of Paddington Station. Train announcements echoed off the high roof, flattening your voice with a thousand others. Destinations, track numbers, and your decision were incomprehensible. I should have known you would go back to her. Responsibilities and excuses. Men always go back to your wives. You left your coffee cup on the table, lukewarm dregs in the creases round the base. I studied the place you had last taken a sip, and pressed my lips to the cardboard, tipped it up, drained the cup. This would be our last kiss, moisture enveloping our DNA in the acinar cells of our saliva, embracing in my mouth. I envisioned them sluicing down my oesophagus, swirling through my gut, absorbed through my intestinal wall, flowing through my veins, pumping their way into the tiny embryo that has the shared double helix of us.

Credits

fiction
&
artwork
by

Louise Mangos
louisemangos.com
@LouiseMangos

©
creator

Heat - Louise Mangos

Heat

It was the hottest summer on record. Everyone waited impatiently for the rains. Dust blew off the clay-baked earth. The heat was so thick it buzzed in Jay’s ears. He poured a few drops of precious water onto his favourite neck scarf and laid its fleeting coolness on his cheek. He wished Mamma would hurry back with ice. The first locust hit the mesh screen with the sound of a torn high voltage wire. Jay ran down the hall and slammed the door. His heart pounded in rhythm to each thud against the rough siding of their home. As he checked the last window in the front room, he looked out to the driveway and saw Mamma in the front of the Chevy, her palm pressed against the windshield, her mouth a perfect round O, her scream drowned by the beat of a million papery wings.

Credits

fiction
&
artwork
by

Louise Mangos
louisemangos.com
@LouiseMangos

©
creator

New Bike - Louise Mangos

New Bike

Rachel zips up her jacket against the autumn chill. She slips one hand between Ronnie’s arm and his warm body. ‘This one’s the business,’ he says. ‘Full carbon fibre fork, tapered frame, lightweight aerodynamic wheels, eleven-speed electronic gear set. She’ll ride like the wind.’ Rachel smiles, and imagines him crossing the line in front of the Arc de Triomphe, crowds banging the boarded barriers with their gimmicky inflatable batons, his arms held high in victory, balancing on the slippery paving stones of the Paris street. ‘That’ll be at least ten grand,’ Ronnie continues. The streetlight wobbles in a gust of wind, showering them with a curtain of hanging raindrops. ‘Yep, this one’s the real business,’ he murmurs. Rachel walks to the van and slides open the door while Ronnie steadies the bolt cutters over the thick chain lock.

Credits

fiction
&
artwork
by

Louise Mangos
louisemangos.com
@LouiseMangos

©
creator