Prison Quay by Ryan Tan

Melanie enters my cabin with five bags of grass jelly, says Captain Nigel should be fired for denying me shore leave. I remove The Exorcist from my bed before she sits. Black jelly drifts in a sea of soy milk. I tell Melanie I jumped off the deck and challenged myself to return without going ashore. She laughs, but it’s true I gripped the railing and watched a boy punch the ship’s gong. He had three moles on his chin, like Nigel. The silent gong flailed. At dinner, I catch Nigel’s eye and nod. He sits upright and nods back.

Ryan Tan studies English Literature at the National University of Singapore. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Straylight, Grimdark, Bone Parade, Altered Reality, and The 13 Days of Christmas.