Fantasy, Short Fiction

Feline Psychedelia by Sam Skipper

In his book, On Hashish, Walter Benjamin describes what he experienced while under the influence of the psychoactive drug, hashish. In a section in which he details a numbered sequence of hallucinations, one lone sentence has not ceased to haunt me for even the briefest moment since I first laid eyes on it.

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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, 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, 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, Fantasy, Historical

One Last Act by Gail Boling

The execution notice tacked to a wooden fencepost flapped in the wind as early morning light crept through the tree branches. Soraya tried not to slow her pace or even to glance at it. She already knew the details and her heart grieved for her only son. Pulling the faded cotton scarf tighter around her head, she walked in a hunched-over manner befitting her age, taking a circuitous path to make sure she was not being followed. The Janissaries had posted notices of the execution for today. They intended a very public message that rebellion and insurrection would not be tolerated. The Sultan of the Ottoman empire had spoken.

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All Stories, Fantasy

June’s Miniature Mart Off Highway 101 by Sage Tyrtle

Her box on the shelf at June’s Miniature Mart is getting dusty. She watches through her plastic window on the world as her aisle is put on sale. “50% off! Get ’em before they’re gone!”

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All Stories, Fantasy

The Grim Morass by David Samuels

They say you’re a paladin, but all I see is a fool.

Look at you: armored like a crawdad with the brains to match. One wrong move on that poleboat and you’ll sink to the base of the swamp.

Gimme your hand. Let’s get you back on solid ground—if you can call this pier solid. The stilts wobble in the sludge, so watch your step.

Not a talker, clearly. Don’t bother unrolling that scroll. I know all about your oath of silence. Word travels fast among us Marshmen. As the village shaman, I was among the first to learn about your little quest. You seek redemption, yes?

Then go home. Adopt a war orphan and get on with your life. Truth be told, you’d have better luck floating in that platemail than slaying the Bogroth.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Science Fiction

A Hunger in the Depth by Patrick O’Connor

After the universe had expanded for eons and after the birth and death of uncountable galaxies, the last star burned dim. A creature stirred in this black void of space at the end of time, curling tightly around the star–taking the last vestiges of energy as its own.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Pie Eyed Peety the PDQ Pilsner Pigeon by Leila Allison

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I am a Pen Name, which means (unlike it is for “real” writers) there are little cracks in my mind that lead to places where strangely imagined circumstances are reality. Within one such crack turns a world exactly like our own except for one significant difference: On “Other Earth” the post WWII nuclear testing conducted by the US military out in the American southwest desert did result in the creation of  the gigantic ants, mammoth scorpions, huge tarantulas, scores of Godzilla-sized lizards and a smattering of profoundly effed-up human beings that we see only in 1950’s science fiction films. Among the traits these creatures have in common (besides experiencing the enlarging effects of extreme radiation) are an immunity to conventional weapons and insatiable appetites for murder and destruction.

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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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