Every species on our planet exhibits self-entitled behaviour. Whether it’s the basic survival instinct of killing for food, disturbing habitats for shelter, or intraspecific brood parasitism (where a bird will sneak their eggs into the nest of another species). Nature favours selfish behaviour — it can make the difference between survival and extinction. Yet, there’s only one species which acts in such an overwhelmingly self-entitled manner that it is rendering its entire planet uninhabitable. You guessed it. It’s us.

It’s not surprising we act in this way. Every instance of modern life features social norms which serve to enable entitlement…


The two boys stood side by side. Only a few centimetres separated them. Without turning, Simon spoke to his younger brother, “Hey, Michael, did you hear about the girls that disappeared here thirty years ago?”

Each boy gazed at the brown water rippling beneath huge slabs of exposed stone. Green sludge, algae and sorry-looking plant-life decorated the edges of the large pool, where water met rock. The brothers’ eyes remained fixed on the water, as though hypnotised. In the diminishing orange light cast from a clear autumn sunset, a faded sign beside the nearby footpath stated: Denham Quarry.

“Disappeared?” Michael…


Remember those simpler times. Sitting on the bedroom floor, Lego strewn across the carpet, naked Action Man leaning against the Mega Drive. Two brothers gazing up at the 14 inch TV perched atop the chest of drawers. Neither of us able to get past Marble Zone for what feels like thousands of tries, and then finally, I make it. Unbelievable jubilation. You’d think it would prepare me for the feeling of completing Scrap Brain Zone, but it didn’t.

Ok, so maybe you don’t remember those times. Maybe you weren’t born. It’s also unlikely that anyone reading this shared a bedroom…


An aeroplane slowly tore away at a strip of white in the sky, ripping between the blue either side. Somehow we’d got on to the topic of moths. “Like the one on my leg the other day,” I said.

“What?” he asked.

“I was just lying on the park and I felt an itch on my leg. I reached round, thinking it’d be like an ant or something, and there was this big moth. Just chilling in the sun. Happy as anything.”

“Did it fly out yer wallet?” he replied, and we had a good laugh. …


Mum told us not to bother The Christmas Man. He wouldn’t leave his house all year, except for Christmas time — specifically, advent and the run up to Christmas. At the start of December, he’d cover his house with lights and even place glowing reindeer statues in his front garden. He’d actually wander around the estate during the festive season, smiling at people, though never talking to them.

The rest of the year, he remained inside. Through the gaps in the curtains we would sometimes see him, with his long hair and beard, wrapped in a blanket, watching TV, or…


I recall looking over the fence at my neighbour’s washing line. At the clean clothes hanging up there, drying in the sun. Well, I presume they were clean anyway. The line stretched lengthways across the garden, like ours did back then, reaching from a hook screwed into the brickwork of the house all the way to a tree stump at the far end of the lawn. You could see this pretty clearly, with those old fence panels which separated our gardens being low and all. Anyway, I noticed the inverted slogan across one of the drying t-shirts: “PARTY ANIMAL”. I…


We were young and hot. Not a wisp of cloud above us. The usual cocktail of molecules, atmospheric junk, dust and general fluff which typically floated between us and the sun seemed absent, allowing solar rays to travel across space unfiltered; blasting the sand upon which lay our glistening bods. We pretty much had the entire beach to ourselves, just us and one old dude who was sunbathing across the bay, minding his own business, lobster-red.

We considered swimming to cool off. I noticed the lobster man get dressed and depart the beach, following the solitary narrow path through jungle…


Sarah’s heels smacked against the cobbled pavement with percussive pock sounds. Her conservative dress was smart, devoid of creases and the same colour as the sky that day: dark grey. Thick droplets of water descended from the clouds above, and the word “fuck” appeared in her mind; a clear image of the umbrella left beside her front door, conjured there too by her limbic system. Her pace quickened, and something about her walk caught the attention of a man in a hard hat across the traffic-filled-road. A wolf-whistle pierced her distracted thoughts, and she paused mid-step. She looked at the…


The knife swept my forearm. Yellow blood dripped through the sliced skin. I’d forgotten. They didn’t make ours red. I hadn’t bled in years. “You’re an abomination” she said, foaming at the mouth, teeth and blade shining, reflecting fluorescent lights. Her son, Mark, stood behind her. He looked strange. I didn’t understand his reasoning for blaming me. “He did it,” the boy said. I realised no one would believe the housekeeper. The knife found my throat. Everything yellow. //SYS ERROR//

The corpse of the robot lay sprawled on the floor. A wet, yellow pool surrounded it, creeping outwards, teasing rivers…


“It was free!” the man opposite me exclaimed. No warning; an otherwise silent bus journey. “Can you believe it?” he continued, his index finger pointing at the shelving unit beside him. The bus rode over a bump in the road, and the finger jerked in the air before retreating to the man’s thigh.

“Oh really?” I replied, politely feigning surprise. As a matter of fact, I could believe it. The unit was quite battered, with the oak-effect veneer peeling off the shelving edges in places.

“Yes! I was just browsing a dog-lovers forum and there it was, out of the…

Andrew Jolly

Human person. Chorley, Lancashire, UK.

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