Released January 7th 2022. EBOOK downloads as a PDF and an epub file.
A proportion of royalties from this book go to Invest In ME Research. As of 13th Jan 2022, £24.85 has been raised.
In these dark, witty short stories, Katy Wimhurst creates off-kilter worlds which illuminate our own. Here, knitting might cancel Armageddon. A winged being yearns to be an archaeologist. Readers are sucked into a post-apocalyptic London where the different rains are named after former politicians. An enchanted garden grows in a rented flat. Magical realism meets dystopia, with a refreshing twist.
‘An iridescent, compelling collection. Darkly magical in all the right ways.’
- Irenosen Okojie, author of Nudibranch and Speak Gigantular
'Tales of the unexpected... a refreshing and humorous collection illuminating the author’s vast imagination and gift for merging people, place and politics in well crafted stories. Wimhurst’s cultural allusions and social commentary might make you laugh or glance sideways, but there are always sparks of human hope amongst the dystopian debris. One ticket here please, open return.'
- Emma Kittle-Pey, author of Gold Adornments and Fat Maggie.
‘These are fresh and exciting pieces, and I loved the sense of these unsettling off-kilter worlds, reminiscent of M John Harrison’s You Should Come With Me Now (Comma Press). I think readers will enjoy the author's skilful balance of wit and playfulness with dark and frightening things; magical realism with a melancholy and often chilling twist.’
- Anna Vaught, author of Saving Lucia and Famished.
'Katy Wimhurst finds hope in dystopias; colour in the bleakest of worlds. Her art is in combining charming whimsy with weighty social issues and, in the balance, delighting and surprising her reader. Her rich imagination and fresh, clean writing is, at all times, a pleasure.’
- Petra McQueen, founder of The Writers’ Company
‘Katy Wimhurst’s stories are enchanting. They appear beguilingly simple yet contain layers of meaning and mystery. Although often comical, each story has a hidden steel core – an environmental message that we need to cherish our planet and be compassionate to one another. She specialises in dystopias – in societies overwhelmed by the threats we fear – but even here the endings sound a positive note. We remain enchanted.’ - Dorothy Schwarz, author of Behind a Glass Wall and Simple Stories about Women.
Ticket to Nowhere
“Destination?” asked the woman in the railway ticket office. She had pink blotchy skin and dark bags under her eyes.
“Nowhere,” I said.
“Single or return?”
“Can I get an open return for the next train?”
“Not during peak hours.”
I sighed. “Okay, single then.” I had no idea how long I would be in Nowhere, but had taken a few days off work, anyway.
“That’ll be £35.”
“For a one-way ticket to Nowhere? That’s a complete rip-off!”
“Take it or leave it,” the woman said flatly. “Nowhere’s the cheapest destination on offer. I can do Elsewhere for £44 or Somewhere for £52. We have a special offer to Everywhere for £99, which includes free vouchers for a Nirvana milk-shake and Armageddon hamburger.”
“I need a ticket to Nowhere.” I opened my purse and handed over the money. “When does the next train leave?”
“In five minutes from platform three.”
I took the ticket, picked up my suitcase, and followed the signs to platform three. Pacing resolutely, I was conscious of the click-click of my high heeled boots on the floor. It was dark outside apart from the dim lamps that lit the platform at intervals. A lonely half-moon was hovering high above, and I turned up the collar of my woollen overcoat against the chill of the night.
A train slid out of a tunnel, then steadied to a halt. I found a seat in a carriage with few passengers. The train chugged off without enthusiasm into the night, and peering out of the window, I could see nothing, only darkness ahead, darkness behind. I felt anxious to be heading to Nowhere, but I had to go there. I’d much have rather been at home, curled up on the sofa with a novel.
My mind flitted once more to the last encounter with Marcus seven months ago: him begging me for one more chance, me striding out angrily with a: “You promised me you’d quit the drugs, so go to hell.” I thought too of the message I’d got two days ago from a mutual acquaintance, saying he’d heard Marcus was in a ‘dangerously bad way’ and was desperate to speak to or see me. The chap hadn’t got Marcus’s address or phone number, but knew he was in Nowhere. The message, which still sent a sliver of fear down my spine, was the reason I was on this train.
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