All Stories, General Fiction

The Music of Lana Jardine by Harrison Kim

Lana Jardine always told me she’d be taken in the rapture, when God would gather up true Christians just before the apocalypse.  She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Saviour, so she’d never burn in hell.  “I confessed my sins,” she said.  “And he saved me.”

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Young Man Who Said He’d Never Eat Chocolate Again by Tom Sheehan

Today it all came back. Once again, on another brilliant dawning, the Western Yetness still calling me, I woke with a toothache. A stupendous one! In half an hour, despite quick brushing, the stimulator poked here and there, gargling, all proving useless, the ache remained in force. It was, without a doubt, the chocolate again, or the mere thought of chocolate. I knew I was weak to most any candy, and to chocolate in particular, right from the beginning.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Clovis Clayton Holiday by Frederick K Foote

My mother told me, “Clovis Clayton Holiday, you gonna be the death of me with the way you do the things you do.”

My father instructed me, “Clovis, son, sometimes you have to go along to get along, you understand?”

My older sister, Nora, scolded me, “Clo, Negro, you can’t just go and do anything you want to do. You got to follow the rules.”

Nelda, my younger sister, declared, “Clo, You, too weird to be my brother. I disown your Black ass.”

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All Stories, General Fiction, Historical

The Broomstick Cowboy by Tom Sheehan

In the heart of Chicago’s new butchering center, in a ramshackle apartment in a ramshackle house, a truly destined cowboy was born to a hard-working Scots-born butcher and his wife. The year was 1864 and the Scotsman had just got a job with the newly formed Union Stock Yards. Ralston Condor was a meat cutter, one of many that came with the swelling herds in the yards. Eventually, after 7 years on the job, he’d come home at night and tell his wife and son all the stories he heard during the day, at work, at the tavern on the way home, from friends on the corner … all about the great herds of the west, the cowboys and drovers and ramrods and trail bosses and the Indians along the way as cattle headed for Chicago and the stockyards and the butcher plants. For all those years he longed for the open country again, like the land he had known on the moors of Scotland with Angus cattle, a distinguished and hardy breed.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

The Kumari by Naga Vydyanathan

A brightly hued rag covered Kanmani’s eyes as she hopped daintily over the grid of numbered squares drawn hurriedly on the stone floor. “Right-a?” she asked, pausing on one leg. “Right-u”, came the response, confirming that Kanmani was within the boundaries of a square. This “Right-a/Right-u” exchange continued a few more times, until Kanmani stepped on a line and lost her chance. It was Kaveri’s turn now. Kaveri removed Kanmani’s blindfold, placed her gently on a chair nearby, and proceeded to tie the rag over her own eyes.  She ensured that her blindfold was loose enough to allow her to catch little peeks through the cracks. Closing her eyes tight, she hopped to what she thought was the first square and paused, balancing gingerly on one foot. “Right-a?”, she asked, opening her eyes wide enough to peek at the floor, checking whether her foot was within the square. “Right-u”, answered Kanmani. Kaveri smiled, closed her eyes and hopped to the next square. She loved playing this game called “Paandi”, with Kanmani.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

The Edge of Dreams by Tom Sheehan

Buzz Turner, all 12 years of him, reader galore, all the thick and curly red hair in place, saw the moon slip sideways into his eyes just opened for the change, dragging him instantly from a deep sleep into clear observation. He loved the transfer in the heavens, as well as the sudden change in himself, a keen awareness coming his way, all the way. It was all magic, and he loved it, a boy’s swift change in himself, a piece of the skies at hand, and mystery afoot the way mystery makes itself known, on its own time, in its own style, dream-like.

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All Stories, General Fiction

 A Little Red Wagon, a Long-remembered Face III by Tom Sheehan

One Christmas many years ago there was for me one present from my parents, a little, done-over red wagon with a long hauling handle, and slatted sides. The sides were for extra cargo! For overload! The name, the logo, of the wagon has not stuck with me, but its ownership has. That the wounded wagon, from some wars of its own, had been touched-up, repainted, a bit of rust covered over, two wheels replaced, had no interest for me. Early and mid-Thirties had all ready made their impressionable slash in the mind of a seven-year old. This one, now, was mine!

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Wait by Lisa Toner

The child is painfully thin.  Her ribs poke against the taut skin of her back as she draws on the dusty floor with a stick.  She crouches on toothpick legs, supported by hardened feet which rarely see shoes.  The bottoms of her filthy white shorts graze the dirt floor.

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All Stories, Fantasy

The Lighthouse Keeper by Loredano Cafaro

Today Leonardo comes home crying. When his father and mother hear what his school friend has told him, they understand that the day they have feared for a long time has come— the moment when they will have to start crushing his dreams. They speak to him, say that his friend is right; tell him I do not exist. But they are wrong.

I dream, therefore I am.

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