All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

All I Love Dies Alone by Leila Allison

 Squirrel Pen Diary: First Entry

Last Wednesday morning I entered Our Lady Star of the Sea church during mid-week mass. While two dozen or so senior citizens went through the ancient, dusty rites (monotonously administered by an equally ancient and dusty priest), I rose unseen and snuck upstairs to a small balcony that communicates with the church’s attic. I climbed atop the guano splattered stone rail that hugs the balcony and balanced myself on one foot and held the other out as though I intended to take a seventy-foot step onto the marble walkway below. After I had done all that, there wasn’t much else to do except wait for someone to notice me.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Frankie & Albert By Frederick K Foote

Inspired by the Taj Mahal (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DFy90m-lHE) and Leadbelly (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtCUIWHJjDw) versions of “Frankie & Albert.”

***

Albert was a bookie, bootlegger, card shark, ladies’ man; sharp as a tack in pinstripes, vest, stingy brim, and spats. He led the sportin life. He was Frankie’s main man.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Too Much Asia to Erase by Tom Sheehan

Sleep in any odd alley came piecemeal to Chris Banntry (and never luck, he would add, if anything else.) He called it bonesleep or curbsleep, or a number of other things, just as long as minutes of it were sometimes accompanied by a kind darkness. He liked the minutes where his bones could soften for the merest of moments and his mind go blank and his stomach cease its horrible arguments, and the insects, the ants and other crawling enemies, might take a night off from arduous labors. The darkness, inevitably, could bring enemies of all sorts with it, or the strangest of friends.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction

The Dancer, Maria Elena Gonzalez by R Harlan Smith

Katerina Valencia Contrerez is an angry old bruja who lives outside the village of Dos Cruces. She hates her nephew, Cecilio. She beats him with her fists and chases him away. So Cecilio made her a beautiful walking stick to get in her good graces. Now Katerina beats him with her stick. The villagers say the lesson is, don’t arm your enemies. They say Cecilio is a great teacher.

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All Stories, Latest News

Week 175 – Perspective, Invective and Uncharted Waters

Hello again one and each.

Another busy and interesting week at LS and, as always, a few unexpected twists and turns.

It goes without saying that we’ve had five more brilliant stories (more about those in a bit) but we’ve also had a whole host of wonderful submissions that have already filled up slots for the next few weeks.

That last line requires context – or perhaps perspective – in order to carry its full weight. A theme we’ll be touching on quite a bit over the next couple of hundred words I suspect.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Horror, Short Fiction

Memory Drive by L’Erin Ogle

 

I am a dutiful wife.

It’s Monday.  Every Monday and Thursday, I visit Lucas.  I always bring new flowers, and since it’s the summer they’re from my own garden.  There are daisies and tulips and baby’s breath.  It doesn’t matter what I add to the water, or how I snip them, they are always dead when I come the next time.  The staff will have ensured there are no dead leaves scattered around the vase on his windowsill, but the stems will remain, withered stalks decaying in their coffin.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Funeral by Kevin Counterman

Sonny’s hand shook as he took a drag from his cigarette. Rain drops from the eaves above bruised onto Sonny’s faded grey scaly cap. He watched on as his lifelong friend Daniel reached the walkway to the funeral home. With his head down, and hands in his rain slicker’s pockets, Daniel walked down the cobbled path. “Sonny,” he said with a nod, as he reached the tall, twin hinged doors. The two men shared a moment of a silence, backs toward the funeral home, long faces towards the rain, as Sonny’s cigarette began to fade.

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All Stories, General Fiction

What Follows (The Chair) by R. Harlan Smith

On the night Frank Pearls died, he gathered his little congregation around his chair and gave each of them a little snack like a priest giving Holy Communion. They received their snacks gleefully and smacked their lips to show their appreciation. Then he settled back in his chair, swallowed another glass of whiskey, filled the glass again, and in his calm, pleasant voice,  proceeded – sometimes he would read to them from Joyce, or Kierkegaard, or Al Capp, or sometimes he would just talk to them about philosophy, but he would never tell them it was philosophy. Tonight he would talk.

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All Stories, Humour

The Black and White of it by Peter Caffrey

Melvin sat on the garden wall, deep in thought. Chip pan fires were the stuff of 1970s public information films and soap operas. He didn’t know a single person who had suffered a chip pan fire but out of the blue, it happened to him.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

The Talk Part Three – Driving While Black by Frederick K Foote

“Hey, Beth, you got a minute? I need your advice.”

“Greg, not really, however, I’ll always make time for a call from my ex-husband and the father of our children. First of all, you should move out of that horribly dangerous Oak Park place where you have domiciled my children. Apparently, the law enforcement thugs have a year-round open season on black people in Sacramento.”

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