Issue 11 Extras

Another Issue, another round of bonus content. If you’ve already purchased our latest offering you’ll have spotted the story, ‘Maelstrom’ by Stephen Coates. If you’ve read it, you’ll know why we chose it. If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat. As Amanda, one of our Headlanders, said “the more I read it, the more I loved it”. And if you haven’t got Issue 11 yet, get to it.

Allan Drew, Headlander and Headland alumnus, chatted to Stephen about his story and Stephen has produced this fascinating coda to his story, a conversation by one of his characters with herself. We get a peek into the mind of Rudolph. Something Extra, if you will.

Stephen Coates comes from Christchurch but is currently living in Japan. He has had a few (very few, OK, three) stories published in Landfall and Takahe.

 

Stephen Coates, author, ‘Maelstrom’ in Issue 11

When The Rain Set In: Rudolph In Conversation With Herself

Are we going to light the candle tonight?

Shrug.

No?

I’m not bothered. It’s not the same, is it?

I guess. So, good day?

No. Yeah. Sort of. Same old.

Snort.

Jeez, tell me how you really feel.

Shut your face. Anyway, you were there.

Silence.

I’m going to light the candle.

Suit yourself.

But you’ve got to promise, no Elton John.

As if.

Scritch of a match, brief flare in the darkness, pale flame wavering in the draught.

Actually, I thought it was fun.

Disbelieving pause.

You? You never think anything’s fun.

That’s not true.

You haven’t had fun since.

Since?

Since.

Since when? Go on, say it.

Bugger. All right then, since this afternoon.

Told you so.

Rustle of plastic, as of a packet of biscuits. Or chocolate. Honey-roasted peanuts. Dried banana.

We had a conversation.

Yeah, I guess we did.

Almost a conversation.

With a senile old man and a drunk guy.

So?

Though he did give us beer.

See? That counts.

I wouldn’t get carried away, though.

What do you mean?

I bet tomorrow will be crap again.

Sigh. And another sigh. Click of bottle against glass. Or perhaps not.

You’re probably right.

I usually am.

You asked for it.

What?

Here it comes. I can feel it.

No, you promised.

And it seems to me.

Shut.

That you lived your life.

Up.

Like a candle in the wind.

Giggle.

 

(235 words)

 

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Read Stephen’s story ‘Maelstrom’ in Issue 11.