All Stories, General Fiction

Last Word by Nathan S Jones

The last words she ever said.
I just wanted to know what they were. Call it a compulsion, a thought that nagged at me like a hot plate of my wife’s lasagna when I’d spent the day not eating.
My aunt had passed away. She was the last remnant of my father’s side of the family. My dad died of cancer at the age of 47 when I was eleven. My aunt had just died at the age of 86 (my dad would have been 85), and I really wanted to know the last thing she said.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Jack’s Back by David Thomas Peacock

I’d just walked into the office and hadn’t had time to set my coffee down when Vicki stuck her head in and said, “HR wants you to call them, it’s about Jack.”

“Is he here?” I replied.

“In his cubicle, talking to Eileen.”

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All Stories, General Fiction

Stupid Decisions by Wayne Yetman

“You sure make stupid decisions.” she said.

Taylor blinked, maybe even winced a little, but otherwise showed little sign that he had heard her, let alone taken her seriously. It wasn’t that he was deaf or so lacking in ego that he could withstand the insult. No, he was simply too busy to bother, too desperate to rescue himself (and her) from the results of this latest stupid decision, all too aware that far too many stupid decisions had been made and the chickens, as they say, were really and truly coming home to roost.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Not Criminally Responsible by Harrison Kim

You move into the world, a mind arrival, after a disturbing darkness.  First you perceive outside the body visual… another odd spot on the ceiling.  Peer at the shape, like an inner organ.  Not the spot itself, though it has a strange form, but what hides behind it, from the writing in your dream.   In this dream, you came walking through a heavy mist.  You perceived yourself moving in a swirling, grey white wash of cloud come to earth.  Then you entered the corporeal, inside a body walking from a car towards the front of a gated institution.  You understood that you possessed the persona of a staff member, approaching daily work at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital….the hospital for the criminally insane.  You walked in this persona, up a road which bridges over a dike built to repel high water, a barrier that separates the hospital from the surrounding farmland. You observed the man-made berm with the oak tree at its summit.  You stepped by the sixteen-foot-high fence and the wall cameras.  You pulled out an electronic fob and opened the blue iron gate, and entered the inner grounds. The pastel buildings lay about at diamond-shaped angles, over a small rise you perceived the Central Hall.   You looked past the staff person’s early morning bleariness and found your own motivation for walking in his shoes: the need to know the truth about yourself.  You possessed the staff’s body and followed his path, and his path led to the office of Poplar Central Ward.

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All Stories, Literally Reruns

Literally Reruns – Cheating the Jail Out of Time by James Hanna

We tried to encourage Leila out of the dungeons for a while over the festive season but no, she was determined to carry on rootling around. She did present us with this piece by our old friend James. This is what she said:

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All Stories, General Fiction, Horror

Paraffin Lamp by Alex Sinclair – Warning – strong language and content that some readers will find upsetting

“Verminous dole scrounging deadbeats poetically whingeing that’s all it is, lamenting wistfully about the plight of their work-shy genes. The Celtic curse so it is, forever waxing philosophical about being a shite for brains’ pisshead.”

He stops. He has run away with himself and he can’t remember what he was talking about.

Packy is barely cognizant of where he is. He exists in half dream, half myth.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Long Live Carl Mar by Jane Houghton

Two punks sat outside a church, their slouching backs touching the north-facing wall, a few metres from the entrance – so as not to block God’s passage. Neither were religious, in fact they thought it utter shite, but they knew about respect. Respected respect. Their hair was spiky, but there were no spikes on them.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Food Cowboy by Leah Sackett

Maisie wished Goodwill had an anonymous nighttime drop-off. She didn’t want to be judged for her donations or the frequency with which she gave them. In all things, Maisie preferred to be anonymous. She didn’t like to be seen. She was 262lbs and 5’2″. Most of her life, Maisie was petite, her adolescent frame offered her two options: one to keep shopping in the children’s department or two to find a good tailor. Thankfully, her grandma could sew. Grandma Betty made a lot of Maisie’s clothes. Eventually, Maisie hit 100 lbs. Now, the only thing she was lacking was much in the way of boobs. Push-up bras now had something, a little something, to work with even if the ballooned bras were problematic with spontaneous combustion while dancing or laughing. 

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Ice of Old Lily Pond by Tom Sheehan

The man was raw-boned, sleek, could skate like the wind that blew out of Canada on days like these around the corner of Appleton and Summer Streets, near cliff faces where the Montreal Tunnel holds forth. His hair was dark, his eyes held stories recessed and reserved, but he wore a magnificent pair of hockey gloves. Great, shiny black elegant things, tools of the trade. If he stood still, you’d swear you could smell the new leather of them.

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