Tag Archives: Issue #33

Neon Literary Magazine #33

Image by Viktors Kozers

Issue 33 of Neon features the work of Rebecca L Brown, Ian Mullins, Steve Subrizi, Jacob Silkstone, Taylor Koekkoek, Harry Giles, Sam Fetters, James Trevelyan, and Charlie Hill.

Neon is free to read online, and costs just £2.50 for a physical copy. Each issue is 40 pages, A5, saddle-stitched and photo-illustrated in black and white.

Published winter 2013 (print and online).

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“Theme Park Love Story” by Charlie Hill

Image by "linno1234"

The new boy, Tom, was leaving. This came as a surprise to Rose and Jake. He’d only been there a season. Tom worked with Rose and Jake as pirates. The first thing he’d said to them was that Jake was “a very apt name”. The second thing he said was “Shiver me timbers shipmates, that coffee’s bad.” Rose liked Tom. He liked making people laugh. It made a change from Jake. Lately, Jake could be very intense.

The three of them worked five shows per day through the summer. They were on at twelve and then one, two, three and four. The shows were twenty minutes long. The stage was by the side of the lake. It was designed to look like the wreck of a pirate ship. Rose and Jake and Tom sang and danced. There were acrobatics. In the finale they used a trampoline. At the end of every show, Jake used to end up in the water. Then they swapped and it was Tom.

Tom told Rose and Jake his decision over a Rib Meal from the Princess’s Restaurant in the Fairytale Castle. The Fairytale Castle smelt of animal fat. Tom suggested they eat there as a joke, but he wasn’t smiling when he did. The three of them sat and watched the Dragon Ride, listened to the screams of children. Reward Yourself! it said on the arch above the drawbridge.

“Mate, I’ve got to go,” said Tom.

“Why?” said Jake.

“Oh come on. Look around you.”

Jake wasn’t going to look around. He knew the place. There was a Medieval Kingdom, an Alien Planet, a Wild West Town, an Aztec World.  There was candy floss, hot dogs, rotisserie chicken, slush.  He knew the rides. The lake. The muzak or instructions that came from the loudspeakers on poles. He knew the games where you had to throw a basketball through a specially-narrowed hoop. You won a cuddly toy.

“All this,” said Tom, “it’s just horrible. It’s getting me down.”

“I know what you mean,” said Rose.

“What do you mean?” said Jake. “It’s not real enough for you? Or too real?”

After Tom left the restaurant, Rose and Jake walked back to their rooms. They were staying in the staff quarters of the theme park’s hotel. They walked through the theme park.

“What was that for?” said Rose. “What’s got into you?”

“He’s a prick,” said Jake. “Pays his wages doesn’t it? The fuck does he want?”

“You used to think like that.”

“Yeah but it’s too easy isn’t it? So it’s a theme park. Big deal. We’re actors. Life’s a theme park. Nothing’s real, everything’s real, blah, blah blah. Get over it.”

Jake and Rose spend the evening apart. Later they are in Rose’s bedroom. They have been fucking for three seasons. Last year Rose asked Jake if he loved her and he said “If I get this wrong, does it mean we’re going to stop having sex?” and they both laughed. It had been the first time in a while.

Tonight, the night that Tom has told them he’s leaving, Rose says, “Look. Do you mind? If we don’t… You know. If we just hold each other?”

And to her surprise, Jake says, “No. No, that’s okay.”


Charlie Hill is a writer from Birmingham. His short stories have appeared in Ambit, Stand and Litro. His first novel was described in the Observer as “rich in wry social commentary but also funny and linguistically dexterous… an inventive work that shows much promise.” His second is due out in November 2013.

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“Two Seasons Of Crashing” by Steve Subrizi

Image by Andreas Krappweis

I was pacing the edge of town until the house
had gone to bed so I could get on the couch
and not look at anybody. I hid from the rain
beneath the awning of the rug emporium.

A sparrow flew into one of the display
windows and then flew into the other
display window and then into the first
display window and then it finally flew
away into the hard autumn rain.


Steve Subrizi lives in Massachusetts and has performed his poetry at dive bars and lecture halls across America. His work has appeared in such places as The Scrambler, Muzzle, NOÖ Journal, and Monday Night. His e-chapbook, Newly Wild Hedgehog, is available from NAP. He plays in a band called The Crazy Exes From Hell. His website is www.stevesubrizi.com.

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“More Or Less The Department Of History” by Jacob Silkstone

Image by Andreas Krappweis

After we fucked on the classroom table
I felt a searing need to be alone:
to make my own way out into the dark,
walk the knotted miles of country lanes home.

Snow was falling: slow shivers of wax
from the high, guttering candles of the night.
The coiling lanes slid smooth as skin, as far
as childhood: snow seemed tied to any time.

And so much blankness still ahead of me
unmarred save for a thin spine of prints: a trace
made small against the vastness of the new –
some formless creature that I couldn’t name
that stopped for just a moment, paused, and still
uncomprehending, carried on its way.


Jacob Silkstone graduated from the Creative Writing MA at Lancaster University with a distinction and has recently worked as a primary school teacher in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is a poetry editor for The Missing Slate, and has previously been published in Ink Sweat & Tears, The Cadaverine and Cake Magazine.

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“Timothy Hawkins” by Rebecca L Brown

Image by Vjeran Lisjak

When they said I was going to be on the radio, nobody
told me they meant from the start to the end:
Timothy Hawkins was born as a loser,
tonight he will die as one, live for your pleasure. Ninety dull
years he has lived without living – a minute and a half
silence, one second per year then we’ll send you
to bed with the sound of the sixties…
I found myself looking forward to the music
although I would never hear it.


Rebecca L Brown is a British writer. She specialises in horror, science fiction, humour, surreal and experimental fiction, although her writing often wanders off into other genres and gets horribly lost.

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