HCE received a lot of high-quality submissions for The Brutal Issue – sadly, too many to fit inside the magazine! So we offered some of our shortlisted contributors the chance to be published on our website.

Keep an eye on our social media for more great writing like this, in the run up to the release of The Brutal Issue…

We Probably Shouldn’t of Tried to

Live in the Bath Together

Holly Fletcher

I feel weird.


I got up and everything was as it usually is.
Or is as it usually was or
was as it usually was.
I cannot tell a lie.


Stepping out of the bath,
I threw back the soaked duvets.
You were still dead with sleep
as I moved my legs into the day.


If I stopped breathing and closed my eyes
I could hear the carpet speaking.


(I walk over the carpet everyday
yet I feel the most profound respect for her.)
She removes all the pieces from my sole
encapsulating them deep within her flesh
and asks for nothing in return
(until recently).


I like to imagine rolling Kelly up in her
and throwing them both over a bridge someplace
like San Francisco or Tower Bridge
or that bridge in the West Coast.
This seems unfair on the carpet
who is so warm by nature
and I’ll miss her,
hell, I’ll miss them both.


Um hey, what time do you call this?
I am sick and wet of waiting
you have to tell her!


Kelly wakes up and makes herself a tea.
She tells me about her dream where there’s
some pool that is not a pool,
but I cannot concentrate.


The carpet stares at me with those
deep brown woollen eyes,
with this look of disappointment
that soaks into the back of Kelly’s head.


I sit there poised on the edge
of feeling weird and excited.


Kelly says, there was this water, but like, there was no water.


The carpet sneaks me a knowing look.


(No not now, I can’t she’s just woken up.)


The carpet, a wanker.

HOLLY FLETCHER is originally from Dunedin, New Zealand and has been living in London for the past 7 years. She studied English and creative Writing at Goldsmiths University.