Very exciting. My story in Spelk Fiction. Excellent Lit Mag.


by Tabatha Stirling

There are twenty-six of us, sour smelling and crippled with exhaustion after many days at sea in conditions similar to a galley slave ship after the Battle of Lepanto. We barely knew each other’s names and towards the end of the journey hunger had gnawed away at the edges of courtesy and the barest of nods had sufficed.

Rachel Kauffman lost her baby to something vicious early on. He died in her arms and was posted like a parcel at Christmas through the porthole. After a few days of Shiva, Rachel joined him in a final, silent gesture of maternal love by diving from an upper deck of the steamer after engaging a crew member with the promise of oral sex.

There was a half-hearted service but it is hard to be devout when you are wading in puke and shit. The Hungarian crew had locked the hatch…

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