Monday, May 16, 2011

special feature - fiction snapshots: steve toase

Each step across the drowned field brought the water higher and higher, the ground sloping down to the bank. I stood in front of the thicket of broken kindling. The angular face turned to me.

Her eyes were murky and the colour of silt. In those seconds she shared her secrets with me. I saw her on an Indonesian beach skin bejewelled with sand and grief; in a humid valley coated with a swarm of malarial mosquitoes; sitting on a bench in Mingora breathing cholera into the morning air. She smiled and for a moment I saw the goddess that coated herself in death and disease, and knew she would devour me completely. Her names came unbidden, Jenny Greenteeth, Mht Wrt. Maine Milscothach, Naamah. She was the Daughter of the Flood and the Mother Deluge. The bride whose byre stood on foundations of driftwood, and took a tithe from those cities in which she lounged.

I expected her voice to eddy and whisper, but her words roared with the force of a thousand gallons a second; a voice that eroded rock and life.

Extract from 'Rising', published in Streetcake Magazine issue 14.

In his first 18 months of writing fiction ten of Steve's stories have been accepted for publication, appearing in Streetcake Magazine, NthPosition and Cafe Irreal, amongst others. His writing leans towards mythic fiction and magic realism. He also dabbles in crime writing, with a prize winning story 'Ripples'.

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