All Stories, General Fiction

The Cartoon by Cy Hill

It would be a lark to sit before a cartoonist at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, a joke because last night two of her oil paintings were hung in an art exhibition hall side by side with a pair of her husband’s oils.  Would not a cartoon of her be the perfect ironic token to give him to commemorate their recognition?  One local art critic dubbed them the “Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera” of Orange County, California.  Granted, her husband had cultivated him and planted the phrase, but now it was out there.

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All Stories, General Fiction

A Controlled Moment of Light by Jo Robson

I’m in the changing room of a high-end boutique when Oscar calls me back.

 ‘What’s up?’ he says. He is at home. I can hear the whir of the washing machine behind his voice.

 ‘I’m trying on a dress.’ It is red with white polka dots and hangs just below my knees.

 ‘You never wear dresses.’

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All Stories, General Fiction

Halcyon Days by Mandy Swann


It was put through the front door. Put through that brass trimmed rectangle small enough to keep out the worlds. The letterbox is far outside. I do not go to it. In the space under the door and online necessary links are maintained. But this package is different. It is not an invoice to pay or a manuscript to edit. George has pushed it into a corner with her nose.

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All Stories, Horror, Short Fiction

12 Nudes by JWGoll

I once got lost in the Badlands of North Dakota. I was working the wheat harvest as a hauler with a crew that ran fourteen combines and we were working our way up to Regina from Topeka, Kansas. One of the drivers, Mitchie Vanderbush, dared me to go camping there after he saw I slept in a tent. The rest of the crew stayed in cheap motels but I was trying to save money to buy a Linhof 4×5. He told me the place was haunted and said most people that go in don’t come out. “You stay in there three nights,” he said, “and I’ll split my bonus with you.” Most of the crew thought it was funny, but the foreman had some choice words when I informed him I was leaving early. He said I could just haul my ass up to Canada at the end of the season if I wanted my pay.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Apotheosis by Simon Levick

The fork in the display case glinted under the lights.  It rested on a shiny black plastic podium, and impaled on its tines was what appeared to be a human finger.  He was pleased with the finger and gave a grunt of satisfaction.  It was his own finger, pinkie of the left hand, plaster cast thereof.  Title of work: give/take/eat.  Listed in the catalogue as item no. 17, price £6,000.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Forked Tongue by James McEwan


My expectations and excitement were dampened by the cold coffee and replaced by a creeping realisation of an inevitable disappointment. I kept glancing around as people rushed along the pavement, but it was late – she wasn’t coming. We agreed to meet at the Café at half past six and in my jacket pocket I had an envelope with five hundred Euros in fifties, which I promised for the final payment for her painting. A piece of art that I found hypnotic, it was a scene depicting a battle of female sexuality and a vision of erotic conjecture. I couldn’t help myself, I had to have it. Last night, I paid her a deposit of three hundred Euros.

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