All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Hans By Hugh Cron – Warning – Strong Language.

Hans returned home from the pub.

He stomped up and down on the bare floorboards of his living room. He grinned as he thought about the neighbours moaning at the noise but never complaining.

Hans turned on the radio, it was more static than station. He settled down on his white painted kitchen chair that sat in the middle of the living room. It was cold. The wind whistled up through the floorboards. He pulled the collar of his donkey jacket higher and pulled his cap lower and then put his hands into his pockets. He shut his eyes to sleep.

Something woke him.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Southern Comfort by David Lohrey

Why do Southerners romanticize dreck? They positively gush over everything in sight, including the weeds covering the telephone poles along the highway. Kudzu, an invasive weed, is treated like gorse. Southerners are proud of it, like everything else. Kudzu is nothing to be proud of, but Peter Taylor is. Light in August is something to get excited about. Tennessee Williams knew a thing or two, but is he invited to the Liberty Bowl? What of Eudora Welty?

Guess again.

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All Stories, General Fiction

A Freakout with the Long Hairs by Mark Colbourne

When Kurt Cobain died, Susan didn’t leave her bedroom for four days straight. She closed her door on that Saturday morning and stayed put until I went over and saw her on the Tuesday afternoon. She never joined the groups that gathered at our college when the following week broke; the circles of teenagers who grimly shuffled in the canteen and classrooms, who shrugged and sighed and slowly shook their heads. It was, I suppose, our defining moment. Naturally, none of us realised it at the time. As a generation we had no Great War or Woodstock, social media was science fiction and everyone’s parents had jobs. We were fortunate enough to be insulated from existence. It took a dead rock star to communalise our experience, to sharpen our senses, to force us to cower as the world fired its first warning shot. A snatched photograph of an outstretched leg with a limp Converse training shoe was the image that blew our adolescent minds. This was when the penny dropped that shit had finally got real.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Tylen Brackus by Tom Sheehan       

I will tell you at the outset that I have seen some puzzling and imponderable events or situations in my life. That life is now well into its ninth decade. Some of the circumstances were believable, some not; some I wanted to believe, some I didn’t. All of them, each instance, whether believable or not, had been caused or created or somehow set into motion by the attitude or action of generally distinctive and memorable men and women, whether for what they were or what they did, or, in some circumstances, what they did not do. Believe me, the chance of something not happening is oftentimes as much a story as that which happens. My wife Agnes was a woman such as I have spoken, and old acquaintance Tylen Brackus was such a man. As Agnes did things at her own swift command, Tylen also did things; he moved things at appropriate rate, though he was born into this life with but one fully useful arm, the other a mere shaft with a mere hand. His deformity was, as one might say of him, in miniature.

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All Stories, General Fiction

An Act of Courage by Robert P. Bishop

Jacob Mundy glanced at the ominous cumulonimbus clouds boiling overhead. He clutched the sack of groceries to his chest and hurried down the sidewalk toward his home, trying to beat the coming storm. It wasn’t the rain he feared; it was the lightning that came with the storm. Jacob knew if he were caught outside he would be struck dead by a bolt of lightning, fried in his tracks, his groceries, sodden and disintegrating from the rain, scattered like so much litter next to his charred and twisted body. This vision terrified Jacob. He leaned forward and increased his pace. “Oh, God, oh, God, I’m going to get zapped,” he whimpered and walked faster.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Face of the Mountain by Tom Sheehan

Hobie Barkley was a first-riser most of his life, and once he was of exploring age, able to go on his own, he toured the mountain like it was newly presented to him, a gift from the God of Mountains. Nobody in the Greater Hills Region of Colorado knew it any better than him. Even some of the old prospectors, their habits and labors cut way back by age, infirmity or a newly-found woman, did not rise to his habits.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Fear and Loathing Amongst the Ducks of the Serengeti (or,  Coup D’etat Foie Gras) (In memory of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson) by Leila Allison

Last night I dreamt of the happy-clappy pixie-land extolled by the counterculture of yore. That hippie Eden where daisies shot from rifles because everyone there was so high on lysergic acid that they no longer experienced reality. It was a place populated by paisley-eyed toad kissers who honestly believed that they were the first generation of paisley-eyed toad kissers who knew that the world sucked and that they alone could kiss toads into The Gurus of Change. Viva Revolucion! Alas, psychedelic drugs and fairy tale-belief systems are the stuff of idealistic chimeras. It all eventually wears off and leaves you cold and cynical. By and by you come to the hideous conclusions that the Good Guys never stay good after they win the Revolution, and that every toad you kiss has a way of changing into Richard Nixon.

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