All Stories, Fantasy

The Sack by Richard Huw Williams

Pete’s night at the pub with his old school friends had brought the usual mix of nostalgia, laughter and awkwardness. Now living in the city, it was great to return – occasionally – to his home village in the countryside to catch up with everyone. Sure, most of them were the same. Same jokes, same haircuts, same lies. But the familiarity was comforting. The devil you knew didn’t tend to disappoint you as much as the devil you didn’t.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

The End Of The World by Dave Henson

When my broadcasting partner, Screwdriver Dan, drops his jaw, I think he has a dental problem. When the station manager texts me to stop by her office after our show, the thought of a raise flashes through my mind. The first inkling I get that something’s wrong is when our call screener informs us the switchboard is lighting up, and no one wants to talk about home repairs.

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Fantasy, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Rapturous by Marco Etheridge

The Rapture came to pass on an Easter Sunday and the irony was lost on no one, except perhaps the two and a half billion people who were vacuumed off the face of the earth. What exactly the departed experienced, ironical or literal, remained a mystery. None of them ever returned.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Hannah and the Homophonic: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical by Leila Allison (with a forward foreword by Judge Jasper P. Montague, Quillemender)

Forward Foreword

Versatur Circa Quid!

No less an authority on speaking one’s mind than Mark Twain knew that the artificial concept called Free Speech is best left to the dead. That’s why many of his franker observations on God and the human condition were held back from publication until well after Twain’s employer, Mr. Samuel Clemens, joined the ever growing legion of Spirits (which currently outnumbers the living thirty to one), in 1910. I, Judge Jasper P. Montague, Quillemender, know all about the sweet freedom of death, for I have been a member of the Spirit world eight years longer than Mr. Clemens/Twain, which means I am free to “overshare” with impunity.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Towen Meeting by Leila Allison

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Charleston’s sleepy New Town Cemetery had once been the center of a controversy. For many years Town was spelled ‘Towen’ on the fancily etched marble dedication obelisk located just inside the main gate. The unique spelling was on purpose because the wealthy widow who had donated the land for the cemetery and paid for the obelisk wanted it that way. She claimed that it was the name of the Welsh village of her birth. Despite more than a century of weathering, you can still mark her unpronounceable name on the obelisk, but, oddly, not those of the local big shots who’d presided over the cemetery’s plating in 1882.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Shut Your Hellhole by Gabriel Munro

The Thing at the Border:

But erecting a building on consecrated ground presents its own challenges. Wailing banshee? Use stone-wool insulation for soundproofing. Vengeful demonic presence? Mix a dash of salt into the foundation concrete. Ghosts? Use the phrase “historic charm” in the branding. Carlos is ready for anything.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Tippleganger and Dozzle: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical by Leila Allison

Prefatory Remarks

Defining the Tippleganger:

The Spirit half of this little drama

Has a second bottle of wine ever convinced you to cut your own hair? Did that darn vodka make you “overshare” sex fantasies you have about your sister’s husband with a mutual friend who cannot keep a secret? How much Budweiser does it take to get you to call your ex at three a.m.?–in spite of what it says about that sort of thing in the restraining order.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Science Fiction

The Code Master by Tom Sheehan

Some people in or about his circle of friends of Willard Coxby III, weren’t sure of his nickname, with choices at the start, whether it was “Tulips” or “Two-Lips,” both being cautions of the ear, the receptions, as if one served over the other.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Half by Doug Hawley

One day in March, I felt an excruciating abdominal pain, so painful that I fell to the floor.  Because my wife Sally was out shopping and I was immobilized, there was nothing I could do.  Within five minutes, the pain left, and I felt as if nothing had happened.  I decided not to tell Sally, because I knew that she would freak and want me to see a doctor immediately.  I thought it best to see how things played out, and see my doctor at the earlier of my next incident, or within a month.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Horror

Mother by Josh Walker

My mother always liked the idea of being queen. I think that’s why I hated her so much.

Though she believed we lived in a palace our home was modest and our garden was, to my delight, unruly. She wore clothes she couldn’t afford, stained with perfumes so sweet they made me feel sick. Her king had left her and she had no other children. Her only kingdom was me.

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