All Stories, General Fiction

Gabby Gets Some Colour in His Cheeks by Antony Osgood

He knew he’d reached middle age when his legs defied him each morning and when an afternoon snooze became a requisite for a good day.

Gabby abases himself before post-lunch Sabbath dreams. But when he wakes he thinks he is beside himself, caught off-kilter, unbaked, unfinished. It’s like someone’s drawn his outline and not coloured him in.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Low and Behold by David Lohrey

I tried playing it cool, but Malik knew I was pretending. We pulled out onto the highway at his usual speed, churning up a cloud of sandy dust. After a few minutes, he said, “You enjoyed that.” I said nothing. He looked at me, which was rare. So, I said, “I know you did.” Silence. I felt myself pulling a face, my childhood pout. I tried to stop. A good ten minutes later, Malik slowed considerably. I actually thought something was wrong with the car. Then, he began talking in a voice I hadn’t heard before. He started confiding in me.

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All Stories, General Fiction

About Uncle Story by David Henson

When somebody in town sneezed —pop! — they disappeared before you could say gesundheit. That’s one of the bedtime stories I remember our uncle telling Lucy and me. I think I was five or six. Lucy is a year younger. His name was Trevor, but we called him Uncle Story. His tales always had a simple moral. For example, some kids made fun of an old lady who sneezed so she put a hex on the whole town. Uncle Story said we should always respect our elders.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Historical

Midwife Legacy by Tom Sheehan

On his twentieth wedding anniversary, and pondering various presents he might acquire for his wife Amanel, Viktor Drovnovich, a land manager in the eastern section of Pskov Province, scanned the offerings in Karpenko’s store front as he headed home from a three-week separation. The trip would take him two days, with a night spent at Madame Estelle’s Inn on the Tver road to halve the journey. He looked forward to that stop, for he left Madame Estelle always carrying good will and good spirits, warming him up for the return home.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction

There’s No Bars in this Town by J Saler Drees

We were bored when we started drinking and bored when we got too drunk and bored when we stole Adee’s pickup and drove it down to the riverbank. What a joke. We laughed the whole way, that forced, bored kind that sounds like a fraud. How we mused, won’t this be funny when Adee gets off her shift and finds her truck gone.

Since no one ever locked their cars, or their doors, stealing came easy. Only problem in a town this small, you’d get caught. Didn’t matter. Stealing was more a game than a necessity, so catch us if you can, Adee.

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Editor Picks, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Week 376: The Eldritch Horror, The Week That Still Is and a Saturday Special

The Eldritch Horror

I’m an insomniac. I do not claim to “suffer” from it because it is a consequence of my ridiculous daily intake of cigarettes and coffee. I suppose I could drink myself unconscious every night, but that will have to wait until retirement.

I often lie awake and watch beautiful fancies flee my mind–up to heaven they go, without me. Yet my ugly chimeras are made of fulsome stuff. They linger like the afterdream of boiled cabbage in a poorly ventilated room; and I eventually find myself examining the left behind junk for something to think about other than that jug of Crown Royal in the pantry.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Black Coffee | Hēi Kāfēi by T.L. Tomljanovic

Cigarette smoke curls up in front of my face like curtains parting on a stage. I lower my hand to my drink and shift on the hard metal stool facing the band.

The western world may have quit cancer sticks, but Shanghai is a throwback to a wilder time, and I throw myself right into it. I take another drag off my latest addiction– clove cigarettes. I soak up the nicotine, the syrupy sweetness of my rum and coke, and the atmosphere. I like sitting by myself swirling the ice in my drink and smoking. It’s a nice contrast to my workdays spent corralling dozens of shouting, laughing, and crying preschoolers.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

The Edge of Dreams by Tom Sheehan

Buzz Turner, all 12 years of him, reader galore, all the thick and curly red hair in place, saw the moon slip sideways into his eyes just opened for the change, dragging him instantly from a deep sleep into clear observation. He loved the transfer in the heavens, as well as the sudden change in himself, a keen awareness coming his way, all the way. It was all magic, and he loved it, a boy’s swift change in himself, a piece of the skies at hand, and mystery afoot the way mystery makes itself known, on its own time, in its own style, dream-like.

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General Fiction, Short Fiction

Rain Lady by Abigail Louise Lowry McCormick

I don’t usually pick up hitchhikers, but this was an extra rainy Vegas morning. There she was, a little old lady standing in a puddle, bundled up in a poncho and one gloved hand jutting straight through the rain with an outstretched thumb. It was five a.m., and nobody else was on the road. What could I have done? My damned Jiminy Cricket conscience forced me to stop there, so she wouldn’t get hypothermia.

“Much obliged,” she said when I pulled over to the curb and popped the convertible’s side door open. “Such a nice young lady.”

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