Illustration by Arushi Gupta

Another Small Star by Rosie Houston


Illustration by Arushi Gupta
Illustration by Arushi Gupta

Various things have been pointed out about her. That her name was Thandie. That she was twenty-four. That she had a small tattoo of a star on the inside of her left ankle. That she was five foot nine inches. That she had brown eyes. That she was not prone to fever.

It is said that when she was twenty years old she sold her car and moved to Morocco. It is said that in Morocco she worked as a dancer. There are, in fact, pictures of her dressed as a dancer. In these pictures, she wears a deep pink muslin skirt and a gold halter-neck bikini.

It is said that she rode dirt bikes in the desert. It is said that she volunteered at an orphanage. There have, so far, been five orphanages that claim to be the orphanage at which she volunteered. They say that she wore her hair in long braids down her back. They say that she played football in the street. They say that the children still ask for her, that they still call her name.

It is said that when she returned to England she wore a gold band on the ring finger of her left hand. It is said that when she returned to England she brought with her nothing but a wooden carving about half her height and an empty glass jar. The carving was of a face, the jar could hold one and a half litres.

It is said that on Sundays she painted her nails and that her nails were always turquoise. It is said that she once rode a bus to Glasgow, got off to use the bathroom and then rode it home.

When people ask me about Thandie there are various things I point out. I point out that her window sills were covered in plants. That when you looked up at the building from the outside, one of the first things you noticed were the plants. That people always commented on the plants. I point out that she was a good neighbour. I point out that she offered me aloe vera one day when she saw that I was burned. But I can never help myself from pointing out that she was not prone to fever.


About the Author

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Rosie is twenty years old and lives in the Oxfordshire countryside. Much of her time is spent writing, reading and walking, sometimes meditating, sometimes cooking, occasionally gardening.


About the Illustrator

Arushi Gupta

Arushi Gupta is a 22-year-old alien studying to be a dentist in Chandigarh. She is
a die-hard otaku and wishes to go to Japan soon.  You can find her singing Japanese songs, making some artsy concoction or taking weird photographs in the streets of Chandigarh.

You can find her works here.


Another Small Star is one of the many amazing pieces of fiction from the upcoming edition of the literary collection The Machinery.

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