I’m always pleased when a good writer offers a short story online, and James Bradley, Australian writer and critic, is better than good. On his website he has just posted The Flats, well worth your time to read. And then reread, for it’s the nature of the short story to require several readings. A powerful and elegant piece, marred only slightly by the occasional melodramatic touch (‘And then they see the girl.’) and – perhaps – a gimmicky final line, The Flats will introduce you to a writer you ought to be acquainted with, if you aren’t already – even though he uses my detested c-word (‘conversation’) from time to time in his, ahem, conversations.