All Stories, Historical

A Fleeting Victory by Jake Kendall

The official records taken at Fort Indomitable suggest that nothing occurred on July 17, 1861. Initially some reference was made, documenting that a horse race between a soldier at the fort and an unnamed Navajo brave was won by the American. Some weeks later, this record was removed and destroyed.

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All Stories, Historical

Odyssey of a French Swordsman by Tom Sheehan

“Who among you will swear to devote his life to country and crown? Stand you then and be appointed.”

He had stood up on that solemn occasion, had been counted, and subsequently dishonored and disparaged by his entire country, which quickly had gone under a different rule.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Historical

One Last Act by Gail Boling

The execution notice tacked to a wooden fencepost flapped in the wind as early morning light crept through the tree branches. Soraya tried not to slow her pace or even to glance at it. She already knew the details and her heart grieved for her only son. Pulling the faded cotton scarf tighter around her head, she walked in a hunched-over manner befitting her age, taking a circuitous path to make sure she was not being followed. The Janissaries had posted notices of the execution for today. They intended a very public message that rebellion and insurrection would not be tolerated. The Sultan of the Ottoman empire had spoken.

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All Stories, Historical

Take the Giants in Five by John Giarratana

Rasputin was wasted again.

From a couch in the corner I rubbed my eyes and watched, amazed, as he lifted another bottle and polished it off . He finished with a growled belch and a rub of his stomach.  

 I downed a healthy hit  from my own bottle . “ And good morning to you, Father Grigori.” With

Rasputin on one of his rages I felt It  best to join him.

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All Stories, Historical

Captain Carey’s Luck by Michael Bloor

I came across the manuscript below in a second-hand shop in Simla, the former British hill-station in the foothills of the Himalayas, among some papers previously belonging to a Victorian military surgeon. The ms was seemingly written in Bombay (now Mumbai) and signed by Captain Jahleel Brenton Carey of the 98th Regiment of Foot (later to become the South Wales Borderers). It is dated the 23rd of February, 1883 (two days before his death, aged thirty six), and appears to be written as a kind of testament.

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All Stories, Historical

Hell Cat Laid Low by Marco Etheridge

Maggie slogged through the murky gloom of Water Street, her boots squelching in the muck. Gas streetlamps threw wavering silver cones into the darkness. The feeble light only accentuated the inky Manhattan night. Piles of manure and offal cast eerie shadows across the black mire.

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All Stories, Historical

Black Bird of Prey, the Death Ship by Tom Sheehan

The battle had been harsh, crude, and longer than expected, but at the inevitable end the ship Gerben Huraq had sailed on for three years, initially at the point of a maniacal sword in the hand of a maniacal privateer, was sinking fast. Huraq, still on the good side of thirty years of age and seemingly primed for long distance of days, had once crawled up a rescue rope to that ship from another sinking ship. Now, twice saved and twice accepted aboard a rescuing vessel, he was in the water again, in the Black Sea, the sea of seas, death scene of floaters, those abandoned, thrown overboard or fallen from their stations at battle, each one in a downward slide into their own histories. He had no idea how long he would last on this wide sea, until one precise moment when he espied the growing dot of a mast at full sails advancing from a distant point, ever moving closer, hope most possibly a  passenger, and a final surge of excitement propelling his nearly inert body toward an expectant welcome.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Historical

The Night Game by Jennie Boyes

Dread comes with darkness. Bar your doors and windows, and keep out the evil spirits. That’s what people say. I hide under my blankets, but Mama says they won’t keep me safe. I’m not even safe in her arms. That’s why the mare took baby Bert when he was sleeping, and the blacksmith’s wife. You never know when she might come, but Mama says no night is safe.

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