All Stories, General Fiction

Apologies by Dora Emma Esze

“Another pause of oblivion, and he awoke in the sombre morning, unconscious where he was or what had happened, until it flashed upon his mind, ‘this is the day of my death!’”

I’ve always felt this sentence deserved a career just as glamorous as the opening lines of the same novel. While everyone clocks in on “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”, probably only a handful of specialists can locate these words. Shame; they are natural born ambassadors for an awakening, a bitter but important jolt of consciousness. Like the one I experienced the afternoon I got fired from the customer service advisor team of a medium-size supermarket.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Boxes by Shira Musicant

Lizzie’s dark curls held sparkling rain diamonds. Her eyes were bright. Julia! Lizzie often arrived unexpectedly, coming through the walls or the door.

I brought you a present. A box, Lizzie said. A little box, she added, her eyes laughing.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Madame by Matthew Senn

She’d tell the newcomers she was from California, the blond haired Madame of the Diamondback Saloon. She’d tell ’em the same jokes she’d told a thousand nights: she’d say she got the name of the place after her man got bit by a diamondback. And if they had enough fun, she’d point to three crosses in the back and say that’s where lie the last people who had too much fun.

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All Stories, General Fiction

On the Radio, Ronald Reagan is Wheezing by Adelino de Almeida

It’s Friday, and on the radio, Ronald Reagan is wheezing his way through a speech. I hear him often, he’s always on the news, on TV, on the radio. This is his decade, and from his sibylline delivery I learn that his economic policies will one day make me rich. I cannot understand how, and he does not explain it either; so, for now, I just hope that my mates and I can keep our jobs.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Danny by Diane M Dickson

Danny always arrived early. By now everyone accepted that he did and they’d stopped ragging him about it. He wasn’t really supposed to but George let him. “You can do it lad. Them at the council, they don’t know you like we do. No problem, you just carry on. You just listen to us.” Danny liked George.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Dreams Away at Octavia’s by Thomas M. McDade

I was out of the waiter game, quit when a chef threw a cruet that just missed my head; oil splattered my new, old tux I bought from a formal wear rental joint. Only an asylum inmate would be able to summon a voice that said I’d bettered myself. I was working at a fast food joint, The Burger General, home of the Five-Star Half Pounder. I’d added eight published poems to my Good Knots chapbook so I wasn’t complaining about work conditions or pay. I kept a few copies under the counter in case I sensed kindred vibes from a customer. Jake Perez, the janitor found one in the trash. If a fry weren’t a bookmark he might have left it but he thought it was a hoot and shared his kicks with my fellow workers before returning it to me. A high school kid working the drive-thru told me my poems were baffling and so was I but she quotes lines occasionally and said her mom gave me a thumbs-up. Columbia University had recently published the freshly greased poem, “Ghost Shipping” in its literary magazine.  Octavia’s Ristorante returned in sharp focus. Elise shanghaied my mind.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Horror

Watching It Move by Alex Reid

‘I must be the luckiest kid in the world,’ Chris thought.. Every other kid he knew had a bedtime. Not Chris. It didn’t matter if it was a school night or a Saturday night he could stay up as late as he wanted. After dinner he could play videogames until he could barely keep his eyes open or he would watch gameshows with his parents until they went to bed. Spending the night together with his parents around the tv was his favorite. Tonight was one of those nights. But like all good things it had to come to an end. Chris heard those words he dreaded to hear when they were all having fun.  “Your father and I are tired. We’re going to bed. We love you.”

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All Stories, Editor Picks, Short Fiction

Week 352- Ch-Ch-Changes

Welcome to Year 8, L.S.E.!

I’ve never understood greeting a new year with changing your ways in mind. If you are doing something that needs to be departed from, why wait until the Earth is at a specific, artificially labeled point in its orbit to quit smoking crack or stealing purses? And if there’s some grand task you want to undertake, don’t wait for Nike to give you permission or inspiration. They don’t give a damn about you unless you buy their shoes. Stuff will always get in the way; Be Persistent and as Inevitable as Death may not be the cheeriest slogan, but I’m not trying to sell you something, either..

Yet there are times when even a lame concept makes a convincing argument. And, yes, there are even times when perhaps evacuating the contents of my mind every other Saturday fails to show keen respect for the tales presented during the week. But most often I usually disregard the negative thoughts I have for my activities and do something different because I consider it a Big Idea.

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