Story Cities: A City Guide for the Imagination

Story Cities: A City Guide for the Imagination


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Story Cities explore ways in which stories respond to, reflect and re-imagine the city.

Explore new short fictions in multiple genres that address the city. A guide book to the fictional city, all cities, any city: its markets, squares, cafés, hotels, parks, stations and ports; the main streets, side streets, back alleys, dead ends and the crossroads. Never identified, the city has a voice of its own.

This brilliant collection of flash fiction sparkles with originality and many of its images stayed with me; the mechanical cigarette machine which sounds like a 12 gauge shot gun being loaded, the commuter obsessing about another commuter’s shoes, the sense of safety, belonging and ownership you can experience while on a train, the ghosts you only see when you are sad, the 123 lost gloves mourning their partners, and the couple kissing in a public square aware that they are making a memory not just for themselves but for everyone else who witnesses it, an act that becomes part of the square’s collective history, embedding itself in the bones of the city. This collection of precision-crafted meditations on public spaces makes us realise that everywhere we go in a city we are only ever a few feet away from a writer jotting it all down in a their moleskin, helping us rethink our feelings about shared environments, crowds, transport and architecture – the throwaway beauty of urban life.

David Gaffney

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781909208827
Publisher: Arachne Press
Publication date: 06/13/2019
Pages: 114
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.24(d)

Table of Contents


Introduction 8


Today’s Arrivals and Departures 12

Feet in a Yard 14

City Tour 15

The Call of the Sea 16


The Right Place 20

Lifted 21

Your Brand of Smokes 22

Two Till Four 23

Starlight 26


Coffee 30

Not Every Train 31

The Second Car from the Front 33

Slim Odds 35

Other Signals 37

School Bus 40



Coffee Meeting 44

Eavesdropping 46

A Quarter Glass of Wine 47

The Promise 50

main streets

Switching On 54

Walking Back to the Future 55

Flotsam and Jetsam 56

You Stand in the Secret Place 57

How to Go with the Flow: A Survival Guide 58

Between Skyscrapers 60

Dawn of the City 61

Seeing in the Dark 62

I Left the City that Night 64


The City’s Heartbeat 68


Foundation Myth 72

Go Directly to Go 74

At the Crossroads 75

Chance Meetings 76


side streets

The Alleyway i 80

The Alleyway ii 81

Backwater 82

Alleys and Dumpsters, In Between, Sunny Day 84

Lost and Found 86

Dance Where No One Watches 87

Careful Where You Tread 89

Hole in the Wall 90

Passage 92

Tech Down 94

squares and parks

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi 98

Truing the Square 100

Spider Goes to the Park 102

Survivor 104

In the Park, Man with the Guitar 106

On Whose Bench Are You Sitting? 108

Happy New Year 110

Humans Of 112

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