All Stories, Fantasy, Science Fiction

The Code Master by Tom Sheehan

Some people in or about his circle of friends of Willard Coxby III, weren’t sure of his nickname, with choices at the start, whether it was “Tulips” or “Two-Lips,” both being cautions of the ear, the receptions, as if one served over the other.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Half by Doug Hawley

One day in March, I felt an excruciating abdominal pain, so painful that I fell to the floor.  Because my wife Sally was out shopping and I was immobilized, there was nothing I could do.  Within five minutes, the pain left, and I felt as if nothing had happened.  I decided not to tell Sally, because I knew that she would freak and want me to see a doctor immediately.  I thought it best to see how things played out, and see my doctor at the earlier of my next incident, or within a month.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Name of the Game by Frederick K Foote

I fucked up. I did. I admit it. I messed up bad. Some have even accused me of child abuse, and those accusations have come from members of my own family. You might have heard something about this mess already. Now, what I’m asking you to do is set aside whatever you heard and listen to what I have to say. I did mess up, but I wasn’t alone, and if you get the backstory, it might help you understand what went down.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

The Fall Guy by Marco Etheridge

Louis Pyne squats on his haunches beside the corpse. The boathouse is cold as a meat locker. A massive hangover is dancing a tarantella six-eight time inside his skull, and the two guys standing behind Lou are making him nervous. At least they’re hungover as well. Hell, even the corpse would be begging for aspirin if he wasn’t so dead. 

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All Stories, General Fiction

Temporarily Unemployed by Tom Sheehan

Brenda Beal, “Worth a feel,” she’d said a thousand times since Jack had dumped her and two kids, without a car, without a washing machine, without a refrigerator that worked, without all the money from her bank account, owing two months’ rent and the electricity and heating bills including the A/C bill (but he took the A/C because it was new and worked better than he did on his best day): all of this too soon revealed in their marriage. Little Jackie was her reminder of the night in the back seat of Jack’s father’s car, at the lake, under the moon, in a soft breeze the Atlantic sent in over Nahant and Lynn beaches. And Jenny carried the memory of a three-week hiatus after Jackie was born.

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All Stories, Literally Reruns

Literally Reruns – Christmas Daze by Alexander Wardrope

I hope Lelia isn’t expecting egg nog and chestnuts and all that stuff with this because though the story is excellent there are flowers in the garden and the barbecue is ready to go. Anyway this is what she said:

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All Stories, General Fiction

Get off My Back, Saugus by Tom Sheehan

Hey, Saugus, get off my back! Get off my back, Saugus. Yes, you who preaches from Appleton’s Pulpit, ranter and raver, extraordinary tongue wielder, who yells in chorus from Stackpole Field when wind brings from banks of the lost pond voices forgotten except by you, a chorus of faces and spirited one shows many times fallow for quick generation of yells.

Take back your yelling, Saugus, and your cries. Get off my back, Saugus! Saugus, get off my back!

You who hastily harangue from the Town Hall floor, a bending of principles and fundamental yields your seeded and spirited politics have given the ages; or your echoes, oh echoes of told timbre and tonic Riverside throws up for grabs the one-day trumpets cut to the quick of small arguments advancing outward, when one falling leaf, nurtured by one, old friend, comes, October’s breath and daring, to my footed path, saying his name to me, her name to me, saying we to me.

Get off my back, Saugus! Saugus, get off my back!

That trail over there, pond-sided, that a boy once knew; new here, that boy, brought to duck and carp and fox, summer’s sweet immersion, winter’s scissored ice, brought to this place out of all places, brought to you, to be layered on, to be imposed, scribed and etched, by what makes you what you are, and that boy, that boy lured here to the burned edge of the pond, which lingers in the mind one second longer than all.

Get off my back, Saugus! Saugus, get off my back!

You do not come at me softly except night-shaded where the wetted, youthful, endless kiss ends sixty years later when her last picture is delivered to New Jersey, to another, an older flaming moth who knows you inside so deeply the ache is read; who knew your waters blessed us, pond, stream, river bend by bridge, marshy pools’ awesome pair wearing summer’s threatening horseshoe crabs down back of Sims’ arms-wide spread of glass, and sticks for miles and miles of reeds promising fire, and antennae-slick worms marsh-dug for a nickel apiece, for Atlantic bait, bye the bye.

Get off my back, Saugus! Saugus, get off my back!

You take me past the good lady of iron who talks from under granite these days of settled touch, who, landing here from Cork’s land and loving this place of yours, stays now forever.

Get off my back, Saugus! Saugus, get off my back.

Today, trekking all the trails on you, I thought of Philadelphia’s Athletics and local Cornet’s old-time catcher, Sam Parker, next-door neighbor, fiendish gardener, tomato and corn supplier for our hungry table, who died on Sir John Harrington’s hopper (1592), the master-piece device, sat there alone for a full day.

Every day you take me back, grasping, clutching, your claws wrenching my soul, letting me know you’re on Pirates’ Hill, Standpipe Hill, Catamount Cove, where Charley’s Pond was, where our river runs dim and crooked to the sea, and on all artifacts of being, illustrious bones, tossing them up, oh one by one, tossing them up.

Ah, Saugus, will you never let go?

Tom Sheehan

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Baptism by Fire by David Lohrey

Her husband wondered where she had gone. Bernadim could see his wife’s car clearly from the air. There didn’t appear to be anything wrong. He took a quick look as he passed over, spotting his wife’s Jag, a beautiful new sedan which she preferred to drive herself, often leaving her driver when she was certain to find parking. He hadn’t noticed before the beauty of the drive’s flowering canopy. Years ago, on a trip to Table Mountain and Cape Town, his grandfather had been inspired by the wide use of the jacaranda and, upon his return, had dozens of the flowering trees planted along the road leading to the family house. When in full bloom, which happened more or less all at once, the full-grown trees created what looked to be clouds of lavender and violet descended from the heavens, ready to carry away all those anxious to meet God.

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