Meeting writers on the page since 1996


Shazia Altaf

“Ishrat knew a false step could be it. A plunge. The end at the beginning. Crossing jagged ancient steps root arteries snaked cliff faces offering secret footholds, whilst grassy clumps hid lopsided elevation. The fields cradling mountainous hills were usually dead, without a soul’s shadow stalking the waves. Ishrat was knackered after the trek back from the morning’s mind-numbing lesson. The teacher’s drone beckoning the sleep chamber. How many repetitions? To see straight into the distance was hard, the sun’s rays cut at the eyes in slices. Acrid temperatures spun off earthy soils, the smell of it laced with roasted branches was a heady mix, and could turn anyone feral.”
From Jammed – included in the showcase

“Jammed tells the story of Ishrat, a woman with a needling secret that threatens… when her husband plans a surprise trip to Kashmir things start unravelling, about the secrets we keep, the lies we tell ourselves, and to the people we say we love. Those things almost forgotten, but are they ever forgotten, let alone forgiven?” From the Introduction