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The A4 Shortlist -
Summer '24

After we had amassed them all, you tied your silvering hair in a topknot and  issued an instruction, ‘We are going to fix this. Bring me your mother’s box.’

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At the wedding breakfast, your place name card is next to mine. You are wearing a black satin dress and a matching hat. ‘I know,’ you say, as if you can read my mind, ‘but the groom’s a right twat.’

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Kai was a drug dealer who wore hearing aids. He mostly sold pills, a bit of coke, and he was usually in The Prince of Thieves on weekend nights.

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Burning blood turns the boy’s ears red. Hot blood rushes in the boy’s ears. The Catherine Wheel that his life has become is screaming in his ears.

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Thomas Paris, north London dad, sits in a Ford Fiesta atop Butcher’s Hill, calculating vectors. A Ford Fiesta has one tonne of mass.

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It was a chat, a beer and a chat. A pre-interview at most. My friend Jungle Dave had recommended me to his employers, and so I was chatting.

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