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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > May 2018 > My Brothers Keeper

My Brothers Keeper

SHORT STORY COMPETITION WINNER

1st place MID-STORY SENTENCE COMPETITION £100

Body-snatching’s better than the workhouse, but only just. I suppose I’d have liked to go to school or something, if I’d been born to a family with money. Or a family at all. But God gives what he gives. Tonight, he’s given me a Devil of a job. The rain soaks deep into my ragged shirt, chilling the skin of my shoulders. It already made its way through my over-cloak on the long trek up the muddy hill to the cemetery. The cloak drags like a millstone at my neck. If I could see through the haze of water being blown into my face, I’d be looking into the midnight world of London’s far reaches. It’s less smoggy here, the air filled with the damp scent of earth instead. Fresh graves. Just what Master Kabil needs.

JOHN NORWICH

I can’t read the name out loud. I don’t know much about how letters go together. But Kabil always writes it clearly for me, so I can match it to the etching on the headstone, or the carving in the wood if they haven’t prepared a stone yet. This bloke’s got neither of those things. I stand above a mound of earth, encased in bars of iron. I look at Kabil’s note, then at the plaque on the bars. It’s him. My sigh hits the air as a cloud of vapour, a pale ghost pelted into nothingness by the rain. I drop my things onto the wet grass beside the bars: a rope, a sack and a wooden spade. My hands tingle at the tips as I sink them into the damp earth around the nearest bar, shoving hard until I’m elbowdeep in mud.

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About Writing Magazine

Want to double your story sales? In this month's issue of Writing Magazine we tell you how to turn one idea into two stories. All writers need feedback on their work, and we explore how positive feedback will make you a better writer. Is horror dead? We look at the current state of horror publishing. This month's star interview is author Nikesh Shukla talking about the big issues: life, race and big ideas. Read 20 pages of news about competitions and opportunities to get into print, and there's £60,089 in writing prizes to be won.