Stillicide by Cynan Jones

The rifle calculates for distance, calculates for force.

The old scar tacks against the soft nap of his hood.

Tell me.

Tell me, Anne.

They should not be here. In this place. Deer, dog, or man.

Pull the trigger, John.

Stay living.

Keep my voice alive.


Thanks to David Goddard of the British Dragonfly Society. Scarce Chasers generally first emerge in May, and the story had to be ready before this. There was little chance I’d find an exuvia myself. Mr Goddard went into his attic and found me a specimen.

Thanks, of course, to BBC Radio for inviting me to write these stories, to Granta for their continued belief, and to Catapult in the U.S. Thanks also to Ch and N. The way to know the future is to step towards it.

© Bernadine Jones

Cynan Jones was born in 1975 near Aberaeron, Wales, where he now lives and works. He is the author of five short novels, The Long Dry; Everything I Found on the Beach; Bird, Blood, Snow; The Dig; and Cove. He has won a Society of Authors Betty Trask Award, a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize, and the BBC National Short Story Award. His short fiction has been widely published in anthologies and publications, including Granta and The New Yorker.