Fat Freddy hated laundry. He hated the insolent way the grotesque pile grew. He hated the smug swish-swash sound of the washing machine, and the self-satisfying whirr of its spin cycle. And after all that, he especially hated the selfishness of the dryer keeping all that warmth for itself and the undeserving clothes. One day, he thought, it’s all going to come to a boil.Continue reading “Laundry Night by John D. Connelley”
Betty sat on a 2B pencil as if on a bench, her high heels hooked against a dip nib pen that lay at the base of an inkwell. Elbows on her knees and chin cupped in her palms she stared at a black smudge smeared across an eight-and-a-half by eleven sheet of white paper tacked to a drafting board. She followed its diagonal downward path onto the desktop until it ended at her feet.Continue reading “Escaping the Good Old Days by Mark Russo”
You know, sometimes people die because of inattention. That’s what happened to Zelda May Crawford, the community activist. Zelda was down on 7th and Broadway just a yakking away on her cell. Poor Baby stepped in front of the number 10 crosstown express bus. Splat! And that was that.Continue reading “Dead Certain by Frederick K Foote”
Sometimes genius isn’t recognised the first time around. It took until the year 2035 for the world to appreciate the song-writing force that was Shakin’ Stevens. Since his reign in the rock and pop charts, music had become formulaic and contrived.Continue reading “This Ol’ House by Mark Gormley”
I always feel awkward in social situations with strangers. I guess everybody does. But for some reason when I find myself at that point, my reaction is beyond control: I start lying like a madman.Continue reading “Submarines, Like Ships in the Night by Steve Sibra”
“What’s your name?” James asked the hostess.
She furrowed her brow, “Claire. Do I know you?” She donned a small, professional smile.
“No. Readers like knowing the names of the characters. If I just call you the hostess over and over, they’ll get detached from you; it’ll annoy them.”
“What?” Claire asked.Continue reading “Ellen and Elise by Brent Holmes”
Sure, it was funny to everyone and their brother-in-law, but I had to absorb the humiliation of waking up on the courthouse steps without pants on, surrounded by townspeople. Bill came. I asked if he wanted to lock me up for this, but he ruled it unintentional. He shouted that the looky-loos should go on about their business. Bill is a pretty good guy for a cop.Continue reading “The Assistant Town Drunk: Zero to Hero in Seconds by Todd Mercer”
Orange Girls by Tim Frank
The orange girls hit the tanning salon then went to Lacey’s flat and smeared fake tan lotion on top just to be sure. They crammed into her bathroom, their bodies wrapped around each other like snakes in a cardboard box and then wrestled to gain a glimpse of themselves in the mirror. They slapped on foundation, blusher, eye shadow, eyeliner and fake eyelashes making sure not to swamp the almost bruised orangeness pasted across their thighs, cleavages and a multitude of other unmentionable crevices. They filled their bottles with vodka and orange, taking gulps like thirsty construction workers as they rode the train into town. Lacey lit a fag in the carriage on the way and then the rest followed suit. Soon the windows went foggy. Other passengers fake-coughed in protest and the orange girls turned brown in the dim light.Continue reading “6th Anniversary of Literally Stories – Today is the day. A post will follow on Saturday 28th celebrating all our milestones.”
So, Hugh now joins the teeny tiny group – well I say group – there’s only one other, of writers with 100 posts on the site. CONGRATULATIONS. It is fair to say that it has probably been harder for Hugh. As editors I think we are tougher on ourselves than we are on other authors. We are so keen not to be seen to be showing any sort of positive bias that we are brutal with each other. However, Hugh always accepts rejections and edit suggestions with good humour, humility and professionalism.
He is the backbone of Literally Stories, he has kept on going through his own personal traumas, never letting what is happening in his life get in the way of his work on the site. He has been an incredible rock when the rest of us have had our own dramas, kind, sympathetic and stoic (hahahahaha – his hate word – ha) and he makes the work, which at times can feel overwhelming, worthwhile and rewarding. As well as the reading and emails, Hugh comments on the stories and together with other of us give feedback to authors who have requested such or who we feel deserve an explanation as to our decisions or a suggested edit. He writes almost all the Saturday roundup posts and let’s be honest they are hilarious and a brilliant end to the week, even though the times when he says ‘That’s it there, Diane. Sorry’ I do quake in my boots.
I have never actually met Hugh, or Nik in person, or Adam or Tobias for that matter, but I count them among dear friends, but Hugh, and Nik are the blokes I want to have a drink with, the blokes I can count on to unload to when life throws cabbages at me and I just want to say thanks and, Hugh, my life is richer for knowing you. You are a fearless, uncompromising writer and I admire that more than I can say and many, many Congratulations on reaching this outstanding milestone.
Never Being Confused
It was a typical day in the life of Jim and Debbie, the parents of SeptemberThe28th.
They were on The High Street championing their offspring’s cause as usual. They wore their ‘Asexual Is Not Fluid UCUNT!’ Tshirts, The back of which said ‘LGBTQI+Forever!!‘ And underneath that was ‘I am not a label!’
“Right Israelites…Where are they?”
“Only me boss. Do you like my frock?”
“It’s very fetching. And who are you?”
“I’m Charlton, the rest of them seen the smoke in the distance and thought there was a fire heading this way. I mean they’ve just got dried from the sea thingy, miracle, whatever the fuck.”
“The sea parted, it never touched them.”
“I know but they’d all pissed themselves. They’re not very brave. Anyway they fucked off home, wherever that is.”