All Stories, General Fiction

Unsanctioned Acts of Compassion by Leila Allison

 Torqwamni County Convalescent Center (“T3C”)

Charleston, WA

Sunday, 26 January 2014, 3:52 AM

Millie was in the breakroom waiting for her shift to begin, when, like a child, Wendy from the graveyard team peeked through the swinging doors. Obviously relieved to find Millie alone, Wendy rushed in; her eyes were wide with worry and woe.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Cohort Retirees by Tom Sheehan

Each Raytheon retiree’s email, each contact with an old co-worker, though distant, departed, an accidental approach, brings me back to places, offices, plant sections and locations, that I left in my past and where I find those that never let go, holding on with clever clutches; some of my favorite people ever climb back into my present circumstance, letting me know they do not let go, not easily, not knowingly, not without a sidewise look I can remember as if it was sent my way yesterday.

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All Stories, General Fiction

It’s All in the Maul by Tom Sheehan

It was the moment of pure silence before we would set the forest on its ear with the roar of our chain saws. The deep woods that morning glistened with long tracts of snowy and scary silence, now and then broken by the creaking of a frozen limb swearing it would fall to earth. At best that fall would be a minor distortion, a minor distraction. Yet again, that creak sounded like a baby in the night, or a wailing or a keening, or, at an odder moment, like a voice given to what has no voice. At attention we stood, my friend Eddie LeBlanc and I, some twenty yards apart, some huge oaks apart, their ugly and monstrous arms clawing at early daylight.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Scary Lady by Jeffrey Penn May

Not long after Mike and Katherine moved into their spacious St. Louis county house with pillars and brick facade, its value plummeted. But it was a nice house, woods in the back, nice deck.

“What will we do when they’re gone?” Katherine asked, brushing a tangle of brown thinning hair.

“Who?” he responded. She was talking about their kids. Two more years and both would be in college.

“All this space,” she said. “Empty.”

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Turtle Beach by Paul Blaney

The first inkling Frank had of the change that would overtake him came on the drive down. He was in the back seat, his hip aching from hours on the Interstate, listening to a radio show about snow geese migrating from the Arctic, big flocks miles high but always along the same route: migration corridors they called them. And all of a sudden Frank was up there flying among them, mile after airy mile in unison. Who knows how long it lasted before Kathy turned and spoke to him, words he didn’t catch but that startled him back down, into his body? He shook his head, a horse throwing off a fly; he was a practical man, not given to daydreaming. ‘How long till lunch?’ he asked Kathy who asked Tom who wanted to get another hundred miles at least.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Funeral Crashers by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri

My older sister Nancy and I love funerals. We go at random every weekend, ingratiating ourselves into the crowds, the friends, the family. We pretend to weep with the mourners, while we absorb things with the coldness of detectives, me in an oversized suit, borrowed from Dad. Nancy in one of Mother’s nice black gowns. We love the darkness, the garb, the somberness. The people gathered together, mothers and children, cousins, nephews, people with connections we cannot fathom. Being so close to darkness, a kind of whirl, excitement. We don’t know dead people, the wildness of loss. Mother and Dad are divorced, but that’s different. They wear fedoras and lavender and false civility. Even our grandparents still live, regaling us with tales of meeting Teddy Roosevelt and other trivialities.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

The Line Man’s Last Drive by Harrison Kim  

Scrawny old Bill Jackson worked twenty years as janitor at the mine.  He swept the lunchroom, washed and waxed the office floors, operated the snowplough and weed whacked the grass.  He liked to see things clean.  After the mine closed, he spent most of his time driving up and down the highway and side-roads picking up cans and bottles.  “Without me, the garbage would just pile-up” he told anyone who’d listen. He hauled discarded tires, old couches, rotten mattresses into the back of his pickup and drove them to the landfill.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Where They Are by Hugh Cron

David

I just don’t know!  What’s this world coming to?  A security guard who is nothing but a slip of a girl.  It’s not right.

But no matter.  It’s the shopping centre’s problem.  I have to admit that it’s nice that they give me my breakfast.  But in saying that I’m paying them enough. She does check on me, I’ll give her that.  But surely that should be a man’s job? 

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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

Dead Rock Stars by Peter J. Stavros    

Sadie puts a bottle of white wine in the fridge before she goes out for a long run. She figures that if the run doesn’t help purge her of the toxins from the day then maybe the wine will. And if that doesn’t work she always has that fifth of bourbon on the bookshelf that girl from work gave her for Secret Santa, red bow taped to the top, and a few oxy left over from her thumb surgery last summer stashed at the bottom of the clothes hamper. But she figures the run, or the wine, should do just fine.

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