All Stories, Fantasy

Careful Who You Save by Benjamin Pluck

A mansion of fire crackled against an azure sun and the people who lived there were dark and crispy, their day had just begun. Panting and limping, the glass behind their eyes already misty, they set about their work at once. Staggering between each room, their lungs rattled in the hot air and their teeth were bared sharp behind cracked lips. Their hair was stringy and knotted, and stuck down the long of their backs – with skin as cracked as the salt planes that stretched for hundreds of miles around them. No one was around to smell the stench.

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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, Fantasy, Short Fiction

Small God Syndrome by Leila Allison

Part One

Gwen Cooper, the volunteer Weekend Caretaker at New Town Cemetery, was raking leaves one fine autumnal Saturday morn’, singing a groovy song first heard on The Brady Bunch called Sunshine Day:

“I just can’t stay inside all day

I gotta get out, get me some of those rays

Everybody’s smilin’ (sunshine day!)

Everybody’s laughin’ (sunshine day!)”

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All Stories, Fantasy

The Good, the Bad, and the Zombie by Matt King

The Good was the worst. The Bad was worthless. The Zombie, at least, was willing.

Life is so energy intensive. Though the Zombie held few thoughts in its putrefying head, this one stuck as flies buzzed feverishly around, attracted by the kill on the street. The Good had done it. Savagely struck down the child and then walked on fingering his rosary beads as if he’d just blessed the poor little soul.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Seeds by Peter O’Connor

Her nose took the impact, it canted left and snapped perfectly at the bridge. Her mascaraed eyes watered until her vision became a myopic smudge. She staggered, tripping on the raised step between lounge and diner. (A design feature she always hated but he insisted on.) ‘It will define the individual spaces’, he’d said. Another blow staggered her.  She remembered her Interior Design professor screaming ‘NEVER BREAK THE FUCKING SPACE,’ as he came in, on, or often just around her slut of a best-friend flatmate. That exalted mantra had stuck, her friendship hadn’t. Her fingers skittered along the edge of the kitchen top, too cold, too polished, nothing to cling to, to hold, to grasp. Her father’s words came to her, ‘you can’t trust stainless steel,’ he’d say, ‘unnatural stuff, use wood, wood has an inherent trust, copper an earned one, stone, who the hell uses stone nowadays?’ He always chuckled at himself when he said that.  He also warned her. “Look for the comfortable, the homely, ‘hugge,’ as the Dutch say. No cold marble, no hard granite, no slippery steel and definitely no injection moulded impervious shiny plastic. An interior, my gorgeous girl, is a mirror of soul.”

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All Stories, Fantasy, Science Fiction

The Eternal Bob by Lewis Braham

Bob the same backwards and forwards existed. In every universe in an upholstered mustard colored armchair watching the Eagles who were no goddamn good and why did they ever let that guy Michael Vick be their quarterback? In the Farrago quadrant, 34th century, he was known as the constant and studied in advanced quantum mechanics classes, but was unknown to lesser beings in our 21st.

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All Stories, Fantasy

A Better Bargain by Matthew Ross

Whoah, lad! Stand easy there—I just want to talk. It’d be that poxy old wizard that sent you in here then, eh? Well, he may treat you like a fool who just fell off the turnip cart, but I’ll shoot you straight—I’ve no reason not to. No doubt he snatched you out of whatever backwater town you hail from because you’ve a drop or two of old Edern Dawnblaze’s blood in you, and he knows as well as I that only a Dawnblaze can seal me up inside this cave for another thousand years.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Under Threat of Salvation by Marco Etheridge

I’m out on the far edges when the Gelic pounces out of nowhere like they always do. She snatches my lapels with ivory clean hands, pulls her smiling face close, breath clean as death, asking me throaty-voiced did I know my very own personal saviour.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Relief by Rati Pednekar

There must have been about ten or twenty of Them. Circling above the house like the beginnings of a tornado. Their smooth, steady flight was stark against the clamour from inside. Voices clashed against running footsteps, something clanged in the kitchen, and the phone wouldn’t stop ringing. One man sat huddled in the corner, unable to move. And in the midst of it all was a wail, a cry that every few minutes rose from within and floated slowly outward. But They remained indifferent, a set of black wings and sharp beaks stark against the sun that was just beginning to dip downwards. They soared round and round, while inside the small bungalow chaos reigned. One of Them ruffled its feathers.

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