Totality by A. Elizabeth Herting

The entire world had gone mad. Completely bat-shit crazy which was really saying something in this over-sexed, social-media crazed, smartphone obsessed cesspool that made up modern life. Douglas Garuder had long been a man whose time had passed him by. Hell, he still had an ancient flip phone with a long, spidery crack up the screen. Not that he ever used it. Since Joan had passed away some five years ago, there really wasn’t anyone he cared to talk to. Most of the time if he even remembered to look at the damn thing, he always expected her to call, reminding him to pick up eggs or some other mundane item at the grocery store. That feeling was always followed by the crushing, black sadness that he would never hear his wife’s voice again. At least not in this life anyway.

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Have Another by C.M. Pratt

Liam paces the floor of his “study” which is a bedroom in the home that he and his wife Eileen are renting.   The new addition screams its head off.  He wishes the thing would shut up.  Not the thing.  That’s terrible.  The girl.  The baby.  They cry constantly, babies.  They cry because they’re infants, then they cry because they’re teething, then they cry because they’re in the ‘terrible twos.’  It seems different names for the same dreadful screeching.  He has no idea why anyone would have a baby.  He has no idea how he ended up with one.

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Facing a Garden Full of Faces by Ashlie Allen

The garden has faces.  No one has seen them except me. At night, after serving my boss and his family dinner, I sneak outside to see the Dracula orchids, the Coxcombs and Proteas. “My friends!” I bow to them. “Forgive me. Everyone is in a bad mood. I too am in negative spirits.” The Dracula callas started speaking recently. One night they told me I looked like a corpse who wept himself to death.” I went to my assigned room, looked in the mirror and watched my tears turn yellow in the lamplight.

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Third Closest to the Sun by Thomas Wadsworth

Daniel crawls through a mixture of mud and clothes. The pungent smell of jet fuel and acrid smoke fills and burns his nostrils. There is something else in the air. Something he tastes as he breathes: a human smell. He spits, before he continues to crawl past open suitcases and broken, twisted pieces of metal. He hears the sound of a gas issuing from somewhere, the crackle of a fire, and then a woman’s moan. He looks over his shoulder at the fuselage. He hears another moan. He stands, turns, and staggers back to the wreck.

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This is the Way the World Ends by Fred Skolnik

In the dream, all I had to do was keep going until I got to the center of the city and then turn right to get to Grand Central Station. Before that I had been in L.A. where some cultists were convinced the world was going to end in another two days. They saw the signs in the street and were all standing around and pointing at a string of lights laid out in a certain way. My boss, Steve, thought they were crazy. He, or someone else, was telling us about a new service, a van set up as a portable office at the airport where you could sit for a while and do your business. Someone handed me a pile of photos which Steve wanted to see so I handed them to him and he found one of himself and his wife and there was a visible reaction that showed me they were very close. Before that I had been standing on my lawn and about a hundred noisy kids were living next door and someone had come by to replace my cell phone and he wanted to know if he should remove the loudspeaker. The further back I went the more complicated the dream got. In any case it must have been Steve who sent me to Grand Central. He liked to have us exercise, so there was someone else from the office out walking too, a woman, but she turned off where there was a fork in the road, following an arrow, while I continued straight through, catching green lights all the way.

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