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Edition 38

Rowland Bagnall

ORbits presents a selection of stories which made the shortlist of the Oxonian Review Short Story Competition, 2012. This is Rowland Bagnall’s ‘Edition 38’.

Rosso had a mask on the wall and collected black wooden men which he placed in height order across the face of his books. His wife had moved north eight months ago to live with her mother but hadn’t left a note, leaving Rosso with Garfunkel—a stray alley-cat who they’d made the mistake of naming and feeding in that order two years back. Rosso usually kept his days to himself, hanging his hat on the back of the door and smoking one too many cigarettes a day which left him feeling stupid and sick. He’d once vomited over the sink and woken up when Garfunkel had made it clear that enough was enough.

Rosso usually kept his days to himself, except the once in November when he took his hat from the door, caught the Harlem Line to White Plains and emptied six rounds into his wife’s chest. He got the bus back to Queen’s and smoked all the way without feeling stupid. He fed Garfunkel from a tin when he got home, turned on the television set and watched exactly half an hour of Andy Kaufman before turning himself in.

Rowland Bagnall is reading for a BA in English Language and Literature at St John’s College, Oxford.