Fiction: "How to Make Friends" & "They're Playing His Song" by Nikki Dudley


I’d always wanted to be popular. I found the mannequins behind a local department store.

They looked to be in good condition so I took them home, set them up in the front garden.

It was a surprise to find my girlfriend shacked up with one of the mannequins but I suppose

it taught me a lot about real friendship.


‘I hate this bloody song!’

In the moment, it felt like the fastest way to turn it off was to swerve off the road.

As everything went black, the words went round and round in my head. I had to admit the

chorus was catchy.

It was the last thing I ever heard.

Nikki is managing editor of streetcake magazine and also runs the streetcake writing prize and MumWrite. She has a chapbook and collection with KFS. Her pamphlet about dementia will be published by Beir Bua Press very soon. She is the winner of the Virginia Prize 2020 and her second novel, Volta was published in 2021. Her website is: or you can find her on twitter: @nikkidudley20