Clean Sheet

by Pauline Yates


The Westridge football team walks the streets, searching for victims. The pre-season tradition—players can purge their sexual desires in a one-night fucking frenzy—has resulted in four consecutive premiership wins. No one reports the pack rapes, the deaths. All this town sees is the trophy.

Not me. I have a different purge in mind. From my bedroom window, I aim a rifle at the team. Tommy leads the pack. We’ve shared a kiss, talked about a future. He promised he wouldn’t partake. He lied. They all lied; town expectation their excuse.

My excuse? I hate football. Why complicate things?

Pauline Yates

Australian writer, Pauline Yates, has short stories published with Metaphorosis, Abyss & Apex, Aurealis, Redwood Press plus others. She is the winner of the short story category in the 2020 AHWA Flash Fiction and Short Story Competition. Discover more at or on Twitter@midnightmuser1.



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