HCE received a lot of high-quality submissions for The Brutal Issue – sadly, too many to fit inside the magazine! So we offered some of our shortlisted contributors the chance to be published on our website.

Keep an eye on our social media for more great writing like this, in the run up to the release of The Brutal Issue…


Martin Brown


For breakfast, I’d like pan-fried rashers
of unicorn, if it’s not too much trouble!
Of course it wasn’t, so I sped to that hidden part
of the world, where those creatures graze
in timeless secrecy, or so they imagined.
I leapt upon one, a prime beast, wrestled it
to the ground and fought, viciously, rampantly,
bloodily, until it lay, broken-necked, at my feet.
The other unicorns stood distantly, in shocked
stillness, as I carved off the most succulent
meat and hurried away with it before
their bewilderment transformed to rage.  
Back home, I seasoned, cooked and served
up the dish, which we ate together,
I with less gusto than my fellow diner.
I’m putting on weight, she murmured, dreamily.

MARTIN BROWN lives in Coventry, paddling about in the evaporating pools of the late twentieth century, and still weighing up the pros and cons of diving naked into the new millennium. He’s the author of ‘1,000 Scary Cabbages’ and ‘Shake, Rattle and Custard’. (“Make your local bookshop work for their money by requesting copies!”)