All Stories, Fantasy

Echoing Hooves, by Rick Danforth

The Minotaur turned the ribs in his hands, trying not to focus on the still warm blood oozing between his stubby excuses for fingers. He grimaced as the flow matted his thick fur.

But the work must be done, so work he did. With three fingered hoof hands unsuited to delicacy. The Minotaur couldn’t remember when he’d started creating his statues to the fallen. Only why.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Black Coffee | Hēi Kāfēi by T.L. Tomljanovic

Cigarette smoke curls up in front of my face like curtains parting on a stage. I lower my hand to my drink and shift on the hard metal stool facing the band.

The western world may have quit cancer sticks, but Shanghai is a throwback to a wilder time, and I throw myself right into it. I take another drag off my latest addiction– clove cigarettes. I soak up the nicotine, the syrupy sweetness of my rum and coke, and the atmosphere. I like sitting by myself swirling the ice in my drink and smoking. It’s a nice contrast to my workdays spent corralling dozens of shouting, laughing, and crying preschoolers.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

The Edge of Dreams by Tom Sheehan

Buzz Turner, all 12 years of him, reader galore, all the thick and curly red hair in place, saw the moon slip sideways into his eyes just opened for the change, dragging him instantly from a deep sleep into clear observation. He loved the transfer in the heavens, as well as the sudden change in himself, a keen awareness coming his way, all the way. It was all magic, and he loved it, a boy’s swift change in himself, a piece of the skies at hand, and mystery afoot the way mystery makes itself known, on its own time, in its own style, dream-like.

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General Fiction, Short Fiction

Rain Lady by Abigail Louise Lowry McCormick

I don’t usually pick up hitchhikers, but this was an extra rainy Vegas morning. There she was, a little old lady standing in a puddle, bundled up in a poncho and one gloved hand jutting straight through the rain with an outstretched thumb. It was five a.m., and nobody else was on the road. What could I have done? My damned Jiminy Cricket conscience forced me to stop there, so she wouldn’t get hypothermia.

“Much obliged,” she said when I pulled over to the curb and popped the convertible’s side door open. “Such a nice young lady.”

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All Stories, General Fiction

Donating Love by Amber Hart

Edmund eased the donation truck into the woman’s driveway. He thought he had been here before, to this exact house, when spousal donations had first become a trend. It should not have surprised him—the courts ordering such a thing. With the divorce rate at nearly 70% now, the courts had to do something.

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General Fiction, All Stories

Saturday Omelettes by Paul Kimm

James was making the Saturday omelettes as they called them. The late morning meal he made each week whilst Penny took her long Saturday bath. He cracked two white shell eggs into the glass bowl. He preferred the white shell to the browner shell ones. He tapped in some salt and pepper, picked up the whisk and mixed slowly with the bowl secured between his arm and torso. He admired the way they went from two yellow spheres to a marbled swirl of yolk and transparent albumen, through to a singular, opaque, autumnal sun colour. The girls were playing in the garden, chasing each other around, shrieking when one made a grab for the other. The day was warm enough to keep the kitchen door to the garden open. He put a frying pan on the hob, lit the gas, and knifed in the butter which bubbled immediately. After circling the melted butter around the pan, he tilted the mix into it at a slight angle allowing it to slowly slide in. He went into the hallway and called upstairs.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Is It Me or My Talent You See? By Cy Hill

I sit down at my desk to work on the script’s first draft and open my right-hand drawer.  A 25 cm man leaps out and slaps my face.  You might not think something that small could pack much of a wallop, but he does.  In the beginning I could handle him, but he grows larger and more brazen every day.  I put him in there to teach him who’s boss, but since that did not work, I grab him in my fist.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Be Aware, the Hand That Feeds by Stephen Oram

Clara runs her fingertips across Rose’s palm and analyses her sweat. “You need food,” she says. Rose looks down at Clara, her small human-like daughter, and mutters her agreement. Hand in hand they saunter along in search of sustenance, checking each restaurant as they go. What they want is an elegant meal in good company for Rose, and a beautifully presented snack of kitchen waste biofuel for Clara. Up ahead, Rose sees a few friends, also hand in hand with their little helpers, walking into one of her favourite places to spend a lazy afternoon. Not wanting to miss out Rose speeds up. Clara tries to hold her back, but Rose drags her along until they reach the door. Clara resists going any further, but Rose gives her one almighty yank and Clara relinquishes her determination.

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All Stories, Science Fiction

Cryobaby by Sean Burke

“Got any juice?” I asked Stewart when he pulled up. 

“Hello to you too,” he said, as his helmet collapsed into his collar.  He pulled a charge off his vest and tossed it to me. 

“How long she been up there?” he asked, shielding his eyes against the hazy, setting sun as he looked to the top of the bridge.

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