All Stories, General Fiction

An Invite for Kanji

Kanji’s shop is easy to spot, the name board is big and backlit, and it stands out amongst shabby establishments with dull yellow-red lighting. I shoulder my way through the late evening bazaar crowd to reach the store.

It’s getting dark and I don’t like the look of this neighborhood. Yet I set out to see ‘my uncle’ thanks to my innate sense of duty.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Orange Fish and Cigarettes 

I sit in the silence of the well-lit room. The lights hum above me in a constant gentle artificial song. A small squeak escapes from the guard’s shoes. The shoes, generic in form and cheap in manufacturing, hug the woman’s size ten feet. The guard, tall and muscled, must have terrible foot aches when she gets home at night. I wonder about her as my eyes drift over her imposing form. The straight line of her lips and knitted eyebrows add to the already impressive stature. Does she have a husband waiting? Kids? Do they see the angry straight line of her lips as she walks through the door? Or does her face lose the sharp edges when she is home? A soft mother who nestles her children to her large, albeit, hard breasts. 

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All Stories, Editor Picks, Fantasy, Short Fiction

Week 389: An Ode to Cynicism, Good Stories and Dubious Advice Dispensed by A Herbivore

Beginning

It’s hard for me to not be cynical; to not check every would be gift Horse’s bridgework; to not hold the suspicion that the evil that dwells in my heart must be in everyone else’s; to suspect myself for wanting the same evil in the hearts of others to license my own. Funny word cynical. As a belief system it prevents you from go-funding Phishy Royalty, yet in application it can aid you in successful phishing and lying in general. Thus you could say that cynical is a dubious, double-agent sort of concept.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Worth It by Shawn Eichman

Breaking news. Jury selection for Texas v. Sanchez started today. The trial has attracted national attention for the state attorney’s controversial decision to subpoena private information in a menstrual cycle tracking app used by Sanchez from the tech giant Omega.

Jax let the screams flow through her. Screams of anguish. She looked around at the ad hoc stations where protestors sat with zombie eyes and wet-sticky faces as volunteers washed off pepper spray with milk. There was something aesthetic about the contrast of cool white and hot red on bruised flesh. An elegant appetizer served on silver trays at a political fundraiser. Crispy skin marinated in spiced cream, paired with this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

For Love of a Three-Legged Horse by Marco Etheridge

The interrogation room is like any other. This one happens to be inside the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office in Nashville. A steel table occupies the middle of the room, legs bolted to the floor. Two chairs face each other across the scarred tabletop. The chairs are secured to the floor as well, for good reason and from accumulated bitter experience.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Wicked Magdalena by Ailbhe Curran

Hovering over the table, the young lady stands. Though she calls herself woman. But only in whispers. The room caves upon her slight frame as she leans to re-read the letter, clutching the pen in her hand. Her wild crimson hair which once ran free and loose is pinned and smoothed from her face, just the way it pleases him. The kitchen is sparkling too much for an observer, but all appearances are in place so that he can tell himself that life is perfection and that he is perfection too. Little does he know that the table is set tonight for his Last Supper with the wicked Magdalena. The Magdalena who beneath her apron hides the bruises of unladylike womanhood, the bruises of those who dared to challenge his Gospel one too many times.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Short Fiction

The Fifth billygit of the Apocalypse by Leila Allison

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I was just sitting there, taking up space, contributing nothing to the Universe other than not plotting its destruction. I was studying the concept of wrath as dispensed by cyber-mobs, and I arrived at the conclusion that those who frame witches do so to forestall winding up bound and tossed into the river themselves. Hardly a revelation, but the truth seldom wows. When you get down to it the words of the prophets are found on the subway walls, tenement halls and in stupid tweets, old chum.

My Imaginary Friend and second in command, Renfield, popped into my office and told me that the billygits wanted to see me.

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