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…


Bethan Lewis


Knuckles white, jaw tight
as cord, he’d mounted, put his
foot down – floored it – growled
revolutions at my door;
astride he spat in pistons,
sprayed grit, dripped a
pool of oily sneers,
still I demurred, was not
on board. In a roar of
laughing agony he took
off. I watched the rumbling
storm move on, the billows
of dirty fume that had clung
at my pillow. Left at the quiet
kerb, the exhaust scorch just
a scowl on my calf.

BETHAN LEWIS has lived in ten countries in five continents and tries to catch the scents of places in her writing. She is currently a literature teacher in Devon in the UK and has been published in the New Welsh Review and Krax.