All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, Fantasy

Snakeskin by P.L. Salerno

Leona Wiley stood outside the casino, waiting. She leaned against its brick facade, one suede heel up against the building’s side. Her dark blonde hair was neatly curled, just barely hitting her shoulders. Dangling pearls weighed down her earlobes, obsidian mascara darkened her eyelashes, and her lips shone a vibrant vermillion. She wore a copper fox fur coat and, under it, a black velvet dress. Leona watched as people slipped in and out of the casino’s double doors, looking for the person she was sent to see.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Manhattan and Gibson by Rachel Sievers

My fingers glide over the white and black of the piano keys. The tune, a melody that wrote itself on my heart years ago, when my hair was not white and my joints did not ache, is familiar like the embrace of a longtime lover. My fingers are too stiff and my knuckles too engorged to play with the elegance they once possessed but the tune calms me. 

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Killer Killer by Doug Hawley

I had been hoping to be invited into The Posse for some time.

If you are too young to remember, or have been asleep for many years, here’s how we came to this.  The world has always had serious divisions, not the least the USA, but disintegration here accelerated with the ravings of a former president whose name I don’t use.  He died of a heart attack screaming “I’m the president’ while being questioned during his 2022 trial for various and sundry financial crimes.  Soon thereafter, led by his sons and daughters, true believers were convinced he didn’t die and would soon return to save the country.  Cult 45, as it became known, began to plague politicians at all levels of government with arson, death threats and kidnapping.  Politicians aligning with Cult 45 were treated likewise by the enemies of Cult 45.  Those opposed Cult 45 were called Anti45 by their supporters, and spelled derisively Auntie45 by Cult 45.  The country was further divided by an Endemic, worsened by many variants.  Mask or not, vaccine or not, the country was violently divided.  As government was forced to protect itself, the business of governing the masses was left behind.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction

Follow by R B Miner

The morning is cold and dark and quiet. The roads are nearly empty, strange for a Monday, even at this early hour. Victor Fetter watches the clouds, purple against the leaden sky, while he listens to the familiar rattle inside his mail truck. He thinks the clouds look like rain, and he is pleased. Rain means fewer people, fewer eyes, fewer conversations. He can go about his business with his head down, without fear of interruption, the way he likes.

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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, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, Editor Picks, Fantasy, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Week 387: Blame It On The Tintintinabulator; Five New Memories, Plus a Season Finale

I blame it on the Tintintinabulator, that musical Spirit who goes from ear to ear and secretly whispers catchy songs into semi-catatonic minds. That is my theory for why tunes get stuck in our heads. Currently, Kate Bush is singing Wuthering Heights in my mind. “Cathy” has been at the window for about a week. She’s done it before and will again. It usually takes ten days for her to go away, satisfied that she has once again qualified me for a berth in Crazytown.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Ben by Hugh Cron – Warning – Adult Content.

Before Ben knew it he was sixty.

He wasn’t sure if that bothered him but it was now forty one years.

He stayed in what he called his ‘But and Ben’. He loved the old bed that pulled down from the wall. Ben reckoned that there was a cure for cancer within it’s mattress but he didn’t care that there might have also been a hundred different types of lurgey living within the confines of decades of dead skin and bodily fluids. It was quite comfortable.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Quick Death of a Lottery Foe by Tom Sheehan

Murder, when it comes in pairs, causes echoes. The push and pull, the cause and effect, the what and why, bounce off every surface. The sound jangles and makes intrusive inroads into daily and otherwise common sense. When one of the victims is a small account part-time drunk, bar room stentorian, an ex-jailbird, and the other is Doyle Hapgood, Harvardian, Commissioner of Police for the City of Boston, there is resonance, there is reverberation, and the black ink of headlines runs red.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction

Uncle Fail by Salvatore Difalco

Uncle Florio’s face was all lumps, his purple left eye half shut. His swollen lips barely moved as he spoke. “I’m gonna kill him,” he said. “I’m gonna kill that prick.”

My mother, his kid sister, poured him a shot of anisette. He sipped it and grimaced with pain, gently touching his lips. A dark stain splotched the collar of his red plaid shirt. I wondered if it was blood.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

The Executor by Barb Lundy

Emmet Emafo started his day running. Broken branches and shredded herbs told the story of the hail storm that woke him during the night. A thin mist still fell. A canvas of fall leaves swayed in trees. He became one with the morning light and shadow. The slap of his footfalls on the wet cement comforted him.

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