An antidote to madness

City of MirrorsThe world is going to H in a proverbial H.

In my mother country, we have decided – for extremely thin and misinformed reasons – to take home our ball from the world’s most powerful trading bloc. Not to mention that the EU was originally envisioned by Winston Churchill as a political union to prevent future wars in Europe. Most of my fellow Brits seem to have forgotten that.

In my adopted homeland, we are being invited to choose a narcissistic and simple-minded TV celebrity to be leader of the free world. Anyone with a brain cell can see that he is spectacularly unqualified for the role. The same people are telling us that the proper reaction to the worst slaughter since 9/11 is to do precisely nothing.

At times like these, one needs an antidote.

My chosen remedy is 600 pages of vampire apocalypse. The City of Mirrors, by Justin Cronin, is the conclusion of the trilogy that started with The Passage and The Twelve.

In a funny way, when the fictional world has been ravaged by a virus that turns everyone into vampires, the total screw-up that is the real world doesn’t seem quite so bad.

‘Two Yous’ (BW Story Contest 4th Place Winner)

Short Fiction Break


The follow story by JonathanPayne is the 4th place winner of the Beyond Writer Story Contest. Jonathan is a British writer based in Washington DC.  He writes psychological thrillers and magical realism.  His short fiction is published at QuarterReads, Down In The Dirt, Fiction On The Web and Beyond Imagination. Follow him at and @jon7payne.

I’m at the farmers’ market when I see myself.

It’s early morning, sunny day, but a chill in the air.  I’m hanging around in fruit and vegetables.  Clementines, to be precise.  He’s nearby, in grapefruit.

The first thing I notice is his hands.  I always do this thing with grapefruit: pick one out, throw it in the air, squeeze it, throw it up again.  I have no idea what I’m doing, it’s just a habit.

I notice this guy’s hands, and he’s doing the exact same thing: throw, squeeze, throw.

So, I’m just about…

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