Soldier of Fortune by Sharon Frame Gay


She boarded the bus in a good-bye city, roots shallow as a water lily, a few coins to rub together, sites set back on simpler times.

Past the maze of town, the buildings stretched out and faded away, giving in to twilight, a few weary stars freckling the top of her dirty window. People settled into the dimness, part of a kindred clan, hurtling towards whatever dreams waited to disembark.

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The Noble Shelley and Her Fat Belly by H.T. Garton


Ade stared at the ceiling and sighed. In a dim corner at the very edge of his field of vision, a spider was spinning its web. He shuddered. Shelley’s cleaning skills meant that too often he had inadvertently thrust his hand into barely visible cobwebs — nasty, sticky nests of what felt like old man’s hair. He hated spiders: the way they ran out of nowhere at speed, changed direction randomly without warning and fell out of unexpected places where they had no business being – bath towels, dressing gowns, slippers.

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The Hunt by Frederick K. Foote


I low gear the Mazda pickup down the dirt road to the floodplain. The headlights help me find my way as the sun peaks over the horizon. I park by a small pond with stunted trees and knee-high shrubbery.

I grin at Mac, my big Airedale, rub his neck; he shakes his head, eager for the hunt. I grab the thermos of coffee. Mac and I move to the back of the truck. I open the top of the camper shell. Shaft and Dart, the brindle and the white greyhounds, greet me with muzzles and tongues and an eager trembling.

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Portraits of the Dead and Dying by William R. Soldan

Dwight had just torn open the pack of Lucky Strikes he’d stolen from Mort’s Little Shopper when we saw the plane going down. We were in the patch of woods behind St. John’s, where we liked to horse around on those long summer afternoons when our mothers were working and our fathers were either slouched in front of the TV or down at Miller’s Tap tying one on.

“Holy Shit!” Dwight said. “You see that?”

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Literally Stories – Week 56 – A Tale of Two Emails


*The names in this blog have been altered to protect the innocent — not the guilty.

Email One — 23 December 2015.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…

In actual fact Twas the night before the night before Christmas, when an email landed in the Literally Stories inbox. Attached to the email a short story for our perusal.

Standard acknowledgement email is dispatched by yours truly.

All well and good.

Christmas came and Christmas went. New Year beckoned. New Year came and was soon spent and the story we received 23rd December continued to languish in our gmail account.

Forgotten. Unloved. Unread.

9 January 2016  — Email Two.

A standard rejection email is sent out to a much-loved LS published author, *Gertrude Ponsonby.

11 January 2016 — Email One

Email One is unearthed by the same buffoon who forgot to bring it to the attention of fellow Editors. Sincerest apologies email is duly dispatched to potential LS author patiently awaiting a reply:

Sorry *Engelbert — we somehow failed to flag up your story for reading… we will read it and get back to you very shortly.

12 January 2016 — Email One

Email is sent to the author of unloved, abandoned, forgotten story to tell them it is no longer unloved and will soon have a home at Literally Stories.

14 January 2016 — Email Two

A standard rejection email is sent out to the much-loved LS published author, *Gertrude Ponsonby; the same author who received the same email for the same story five days previously.


Later that day

Much loved LS published author replies with typically pithy good humour:

Wow. You must really have a special hate for this thing. I’m used to rejection, but I don’t think I’ve ever had anything given the old heave-ho twice in one week. To be honest, I concur. The story sucks.
*Gertrude Ponsonby

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