All Stories, Fantasy

The Disciples of Baphomet by Kevin P Keating

I have yet to meet my new housekeeper. She comes highly recommended from, well, shall we say an intimate acquaintance of mine. The agency is headquartered in an anonymous building along the industrial riverfront where, if the amateur historians are to be trusted, a loose affiliation of second-rate magicians used to gather during the Depression to practice their dark arts. Like those illusionists, my housekeeper finishes her duties and vanishes with remarkable punctuality moments before I arrive home from my office at the graphic design firm.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Eddie Kidney’s Thanksgiving by David M Robinson

Eddie Kidney lived in a Jiffy John in downtown Buffalo.  Kidney was not his real surname, of course, but it seemed to fit so that is what we called him.  Besides, Eddie liked having a last name and smiled when anyone referred to him as Mr. Kidney.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Humour

Submarines, Like Ships in the Night by Steve Sibra

I always feel awkward in social situations with strangers.  I guess everybody does.  But for some reason when I find myself at that point, my reaction is beyond control:  I start lying like a madman.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Everyday I Ro Ro Ro in Zee Hay by Leila Allison and Daisy the Pygmy Goat

A.M.I. (Adverb Mass Index): 45.74% (last reading, till it blew)

8 December

James Thrurber’s Birthday

I was at my desk avoiding my latest work of innovative genius by attempting to see the world the way James Thurber must have–with one eye shut and the other peering through a monocle devised from the punt of an unwashed pint. A childhood accident blinded Thurber in one eye; soon after sympathetic ophthalmia set in and slowly drained the light from the other. Yet before darkness fell for keeps, Thurber became almost as well known as a cartoonist as he was a writer.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Desperate Cents by Yash Seyedbagheri

Nick stares at pennies glimmering in the fountain by City Hall. Watches the shadows and sun mingle with water, a turquoise dream.

They seem to beckon him, these neat metal circles with Lincoln’s face. People throw them in all the time, trying to fulfill wishes, so his sister Nan says. She says they wish for stupidity but Nick can’t blame them, even if wishing seems like a waste.

He reaches in, slowly picks up a small handful of pennies, feels their weight. People hate pennies, but they add up to so many things.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Relics by Michael Helvaty

When I stirred from my slumber, one of my arms felt like it had been trapped beneath my body for several months, and I shook it back to usefulness as the door opened.  The last three heroes to visit had been males of their respective races, so a thrill ran through me as a young woman appeared on the threshold to my chamber.  Her need had summoned my room, connecting it to her world through an otherwise ordinary door and calling me to action as the angel of lost relics.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Flight of Time by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri

The cathedral clock across the street from Nick’s home rang out the hours, the quarters. The clock chimed out his life, the Westminster Quarters and memories floating from the august belfry, the huge bells hidden inside, the clock ticking. The clock Nick once tended to.

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All Stories, General Fiction

To Tame the Animals by Rose Ragsdale

I first started drawing when I was a kid, staring up at popcorn ceilings, trying to make sense of the symbols I saw there. I created comics about a fox that lived in the midst of the shapeless blurs of styrofoam. I don’t draw foxes anymore. Instead, I draw people I’ve met, making them ugly as sin and arguably very realistic.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Humour

Ellen and Elise by Brent Holmes

“What’s your name?” James asked the hostess.

She furrowed her brow, “Claire. Do I know you?” She donned a small, professional smile.

“No. Readers like knowing the names of the characters. If I just call you the hostess over and over, they’ll get detached from you; it’ll annoy them.”

“What?” Claire asked.

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