All Stories, Short Fiction

Week 121 – Right…Wrong…Or Fred

A wee change. Review first, then explanation…Then a treat…A Saturday story!!

Let us first consider our stories of the week.

We only had one new author, that is a bit sparse of late but we never squelch on quality as our repeated writers continue to ooze talent.

We have the usual eclectic mix including clowns, a repetition, ghosts, a common fear and a musical machine that we all want to see!

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All Stories, General Fiction

Syncopated Destiny by Bruce Levine

Charles Warren had been working on his invention for two years, but a key component continued to elude him.     It was simply a machine that played a simple melody, but it wasn’t a traditional music producing machine like a music box or hurdy-gurdy, but rather a giant set of complex elements, more like a huge mechanical sculpture.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Still Here by Melanie Haws

Wipe off my chin. Please. There is a handkerchief in my pocket. That’s the way I was raised. Get it out and wipe the drool off. Now. And look at me when you talk to me, the way you used to, when we were first married. I’m still here, you know, I’m still here. The older the violin, the sweeter the music. My mother fiddled. I remember the feel of her gloved hand in mine one afternoon, walking me down Market Street, when she stopped and gasped, There’s your daddy. I looked across the street at the man watching us, and he didn’t seem at all a father to me. Only another guy on the street. I squeezed my mother’s hand and we walked quickly in the other direction. I did not look back. I was eight then. I cannot remember the sound of my mother’s voice, or when she passed, but I know that she is gone.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Slap Happy by Fred Vogel

By the time Slap Happy was born, his parents, Jacob and Evelyn Happerson, had abandoned the circus life and were running a successful dry cleaning business in Canton, Ohio. Gone was the excitement of The Big Top, replaced by hard work and the strong desire to provide their only child with nothing but the best. Jacob held out hope that maybe one day he and Evelyn would return to the circus so his son could follow in his old man’s clown shoes, but Evelyn was quick to put the kibosh on any such idea.

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All Stories, General Fiction

It Varies From Fool to Fool by JC Freeman

At sixteen, Thommy Lemolo broke her leg while playing high school softball. She’d been tracking a pop-up in the outfield and had stepped in a small hole, which did big damage to both her right tibia and fibula. “Never break a bone before, kid? By the look of that leg I’d say you got two for the price of one,” said the vaguely cute X-ray tech as he prepared to take images of her injury at the hospital. A good thick shot of morphine had knocked back her pain, and it also made people funnier and vaguely cuter than they were prior to the drug’s administration.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Punxsutawney Elegy by Patrick Winters

His black containment suit stood out stark against the all-encompassing white and gray of the forest about him. Specks of white swirled through the chilly air, both whipping and wafting against the thick outer padding of the Level A gear; still, he could feel the cold seeping through the protective layers and across his skin. He shivered as he huffed his way through shin-thick drifts of white, his thick boots awkward to trek in, his breather working overtime in the closed hood about his head, and his gloved hands grasping his rifle with determination.

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All Stories, Latest News

Week 120 – Insecurities, Placebos And Goosing Lamp Posts.

I’ve been thinking on insecurities and what fun they are to write about. You can have a laugh and rip the pish out of other folks and you can do the same with your own but that isn’t funny.

I would rather use it as a self-help exercise, ’cause lets be honest, if you can write about them and put them out there, you will never need to pay a therapist.

Now paying a therapist seems to be something people in other countries do. We don’t. Us Scottish people would never dream of doing this and that has sod all to do with the very false stereotype of us being mean.

We wear our madness as a badge of honour. To be sectioned is the top accolade but it very seldom happens. The only way this can happen is if you sexually assault a lamp-post and it complains to the authorities.

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All Stories, Horror

Merlot is a Monster by Ashlie Allen

There was water boiling over the pot on the stove the night my niece died. She told me she was craving wheat noodles, so I stopped everything I was doing to satisfy her. I heard the water sizzling as it leaked over the scalding edges of the pot, and immediately ran to turn off the flames. “I’m hungry!” she kept yelling. “Please tell me you did not ruin dinner!” “I’m sorry little love.” I chanted as I rushed the noodles to the sink. I let cold water run over them, but it was too late. The noodles had burnt up and were sticking to the steel. I could see the shadow of her bowing in the doorway, her tiny body shuddering with hysterical sobs. I scratched out the charred noodles and handed them to her. “Wipe your tears.” I whispered. I was crying too. She grabbed my leg and cuddled it when she noticed. I leaned against the wall like a ghost watching his loved ones play on without him, expression doleful and hateful at once.  I knew she was drying when I felt her grip loosen around my limb. “It’s okay dear. Go ahead, die. I cannot take care of you the way death can.” Her body dropped from me, carefully sprawling across the floor. I stared at her, face white with grief, eyes bulging as if I despised her, and kneeling at her side, I lifted her over my shoulder and carried her upstairs.

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All Stories, Horror, Short Fiction

Who Weeps for Cthulhu? by Douglas Rudoff

Concealed just beneath Pier 63 on the Seattle waterfront, Rob and Lonnie await in the open 16 foot aluminum boat. Between them face down on the boat’s floor is the mock bride, a mannequin wearing a white wedding dress slowly absorbing the moisture of the inch and half puddle it lies in. Lonnie looks at the mock bride, the veil and the blond wig fluttering in a cool breeze. A bouquet of spring flowers, freesias, peonies and daisies, is duct taped to her rigid right hand, the best they could do to make the flowers appear they are being held. She wears a pair of scuffed white leather pumps. Within the fiberglass body of the bride is a six -gallon polypropylene bladder full of Trader Joe’s brand tequila mixed with red dye and corn syrup, based on a recipe Lonnie used twenty-five years earlier for the blood needed for a community theatre production of Sweeny Todd. Three leftover bottles of tequila lie in the puddle beside the bride. Beneath the tequila-filled bladder, in the mannequin’s lower torso is a jumbled pile of twenty-one and a half pounds of turkey kielbasa, also bought at Trader Joe’s, a decent enough imitation of entrails for the Wedding.

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All Stories, Horror, Short Fiction, Writing

The Glebe by Hugh Cron

The room had always been dark. She noticed it the first day that they moved in. Looking back on it, John had been ill from day one. He felt heavy, as if the flu was working on him. The darkness was unsettling. The other two bedrooms faced the same direction and they were filled with sunlight. Not that room. John became sicker. The heaviness was always there and he said that it felt more and more intense. The doctor found nothing.

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