All Stories, Editor Picks, Fantasy, Short Fiction

Week 389: An Ode to Cynicism, Good Stories and Dubious Advice Dispensed by A Herbivore

Beginning

It’s hard for me to not be cynical; to not check every would be gift Horse’s bridgework; to not hold the suspicion that the evil that dwells in my heart must be in everyone else’s; to suspect myself for wanting the same evil in the hearts of others to license my own. Funny word cynical. As a belief system it prevents you from go-funding Phishy Royalty, yet in application it can aid you in successful phishing and lying in general. Thus you could say that cynical is a dubious, double-agent sort of concept.

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General Fiction, All Stories

Worth It by Shawn Eichman

Breaking news. Jury selection for Texas v. Sanchez started today. The trial has attracted national attention for the state attorney’s controversial decision to subpoena private information in a menstrual cycle tracking app used by Sanchez from the tech giant Omega.

Jax let the screams flow through her. Screams of anguish. She looked around at the ad hoc stations where protestors sat with zombie eyes and wet-sticky faces as volunteers washed off pepper spray with milk. There was something aesthetic about the contrast of cool white and hot red on bruised flesh. An elegant appetizer served on silver trays at a political fundraiser. Crispy skin marinated in spiced cream, paired with this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

For Love of a Three-Legged Horse by Marco Etheridge

The interrogation room is like any other. This one happens to be inside the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office in Nashville. A steel table occupies the middle of the room, legs bolted to the floor. Two chairs face each other across the scarred tabletop. The chairs are secured to the floor as well, for good reason and from accumulated bitter experience.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Wicked Magdalena by Ailbhe Curran

Hovering over the table, the young lady stands. Though she calls herself woman. But only in whispers. The room caves upon her slight frame as she leans to re-read the letter, clutching the pen in her hand. Her wild crimson hair which once ran free and loose is pinned and smoothed from her face, just the way it pleases him. The kitchen is sparkling too much for an observer, but all appearances are in place so that he can tell himself that life is perfection and that he is perfection too. Little does he know that the table is set tonight for his Last Supper with the wicked Magdalena. The Magdalena who beneath her apron hides the bruises of unladylike womanhood, the bruises of those who dared to challenge his Gospel one too many times.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Short Fiction

The Fifth billygit of the Apocalypse by Leila Allison

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I was just sitting there, taking up space, contributing nothing to the Universe other than not plotting its destruction. I was studying the concept of wrath as dispensed by cyber-mobs, and I arrived at the conclusion that those who frame witches do so to forestall winding up bound and tossed into the river themselves. Hardly a revelation, but the truth seldom wows. When you get down to it the words of the prophets are found on the subway walls, tenement halls and in stupid tweets, old chum.

My Imaginary Friend and second in command, Renfield, popped into my office and told me that the billygits wanted to see me.

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Literally Reruns, Short Fiction

Literally Reruns – the Questing Knight by Michael Bloor

Michael Bloor’s excellent little gem, The Questing Knight, looks at, then beyond the charm of a pub raconteur. Michael shines a light on the truth that people had ignored with his description of the man’s previously unseen widow. This is a beautifully understated piece of work that says more than its small quantity of words.

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All Stories, Editor Picks, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Week 388: Interstellar Juice Boxes; The Week That Is and Visual Velveeta

In a Saturday post several months ago I took aim at the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Looking back, I discovered I did not insult it enough. The Great Eye recently opened and discovered (brace yourself) more galaxies. At work, I often deal with large shipping boxes separated from their invoices, thus they arrive as mysteries that I must explore. Whenever I open one to see what’s inside nowadays, I always say “Look gang, more galaxies.”

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

A Little Time by Dylan Martin

 The world was so much simpler when Forever 21 was just a shitty clothing store. Nowadays, it’s nothing more than a bar off 42nd street, with a comically-large hourglass by the door filled with sand that never falls. I used to consider it nothing more than a cheap gimmick; another one of the city’s countless tourist traps. The truth is the bar was never what attracted people. All those stupid, far-from-subtle decorations aren’t what people come to stare at; we are.

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