All Stories, General Fiction

Madame by Matthew Senn

She’d tell the newcomers she was from California, the blond haired Madame of the Diamondback Saloon. She’d tell ’em the same jokes she’d told a thousand nights: she’d say she got the name of the place after her man got bit by a diamondback. And if they had enough fun, she’d point to three crosses in the back and say that’s where lie the last people who had too much fun.

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All Stories, General Fiction

On the Radio, Ronald Reagan is Wheezing by Adelino de Almeida

It’s Friday, and on the radio, Ronald Reagan is wheezing his way through a speech. I hear him often, he’s always on the news, on TV, on the radio. This is his decade, and from his sibylline delivery I learn that his economic policies will one day make me rich. I cannot understand how, and he does not explain it either; so, for now, I just hope that my mates and I can keep our jobs.

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Fantasy, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Poppyseed and the Flower Power: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical By Leila Allison

Poppyseed was an orange Rufous Hummingbird, who was as aggressive and single-minded as they come, until he flew over a burning field of “wildwood weed,” one afternoon, during the annual two-thousand mile migration. Something in the drifting smoke asked “Why must you always be in such a rush, little friend–Have you never been mellow?”

The rest of the flock had avoided the field, but Poppyseed was known for his individuality and recklessness. He alone had flown above the pungent blue smoke, and he alone found himself perched on a weather vane atop an old barn, with no memory of lighting there, wondering why he had never been mellow.

Under normal circumstances, such a dipshit question would have enraged Poppyseed. But that was before a new philosophy had edged into his cut and dry, now! now! now! personality. What’s it all about? Poppyseed thought, watching the rest of the flock zoom into the distance.

“It’s about peace, love and harmony…seeking oneness with the Universe, my busy little friend,” said a human Spirit that suddenly appeared on the barn’s rooftop. The ghost had long lank hair which flowed below the brim of a floppy hat. He was wearing sunglasses that had round yellow lenses, striped bell bottom pants, sandals, several strings of beads–and if Poppyseed had known anything about human politics, and could read, he would have recognized the face of Richard Nixon on the tee-shirt the Spirit wore, with the words “What me Worry?” printed below Tricky Dick’s cartoonish visage.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Suzanne by Avery Mathers

I’m standing in the bus shelter on Union Street, and the number twenty-three has been ‘due in two minutes’ for the last five minutes. People troop past on the pavement; hoods up or heads down or fighting with umbrellas. Alone together in the shelter, we happy few peer through the drizzled glass and check our watches. A splinter of Leonard Cohen is stuck in my head: Suzanne.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Bride of Christ by Mary J Breen

Every Sunday morning for the past nine years and one month, my mother-in-law has made her dauntless progress up the centre aisle of Holy Family Church on the arm of my husband. This, she believed, was ample evidence that despite his marriage to an ex-nun—holy women all of them, although those who leave their vocation perhaps not holy enough—her Danny’s primary devotion was still to his mother, not to this drab failure of a Grade Three teacher who got her claws into the school principal, no less, the gentle, much-loved Mr. Lynch. Sweet and kind and considerate with his staff and with the children, but away from school, the embodiment of an ineffectual man. But I didn’t know that then.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Paper Flowers by Thomas Sanfilip

Fiction is a reconstruction of reality, duplicitous by nature because it forestalls the recognition of what exists, what changes, what constitutes the real nature of reality. Easing into narrative is a delicate series of steps, the task of memory and imagination putting flesh to bone, clay to hearth, shape to shapelessness. Night becomes day, for the man sitting still inside the house is like so much firewood waiting to burn, like leaves gathering and recircling, collecting and dispersing in a fierce wind, taking the dead to their last place of refuge. You want him living, breathing, thinking, but imagination is depth and breadth. There is too much to remember, like the broadness of the sea when it rises and collapses.    

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

The Bridge at Drochaisling by Anthony Billinghurst

Georgia was being difficult before we landed in Dublin, which was nothing new. She changed and became assertive the second she was promoted to Deputy Head at her primary school; she even adopted a power walk. It’s true the flame of our marriage no longer burns like a log fire, but it does glow like anthracite when fanned enough. My friends who noticed told me I’m hen pecked but as Georgia said, I needn’t wonder if I’m hen pecked, she’ll tell me when I am.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Anne: Office Monster by Michael W. Clark

She shouldn’t have red hair.  Also, it shouldn’t be the red that it is.  It is a dye job, a bad dye job.  She should act her age, but it’s not clear what that age might be.  She has too much energy for her skin.  Her skin has the pale of age, old age, too many years, is the phrase I would use.  Her skin had too many years on it for the energy she had.  Her thin pale epidermis indicated she should be slow moving, if not immobile, bed ridden maybe, but not walking faster than all the other employees.  People so much younger, so much stronger, should have so much more life than she had.  Her energy and her fire engine red hair, they just weren’t right. 

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