Blood puddled like pureed cranberry sauce on the floorboards, seeping into cracks and staining the reindeer-skin rug. Erica the Elf sat in the cosy armchair by the fire – His chair – watching the red liquid trickle in tiny tributaries towards the television cabinet. She took a cigar from the box on the coffee table and lit it, letting the match scorch her fingers, the smell of smoke mingling with the metallic stench of death. Glancing at the Fat Man’s corpse lying semi-naked in the centre of the room, Erica dialled the emergency services number and waited.Continue reading “The Bad Elf by David Christopher Johnston”
Snakeskin by P.L. Salerno
Leona Wiley stood outside the casino, waiting. She leaned against its brick facade, one suede heel up against the building’s side. Her dark blonde hair was neatly curled, just barely hitting her shoulders. Dangling pearls weighed down her earlobes, obsidian mascara darkened her eyelashes, and her lips shone a vibrant vermillion. She wore a copper fox fur coat and, under it, a black velvet dress. Leona watched as people slipped in and out of the casino’s double doors, looking for the person she was sent to see.Continue reading “Snakeskin by P.L. Salerno”
Hobie’s Sugar Still by Tom Sheehan
Hobart Bridgewater, Hobie to most folks, was a freighter who promised delivery of whiskey to several saloons along the Snake River. “I go get it for you and bring it back, and then you pay me. If you don’t pay me, you don’t get the load and I don’t bring you no more. That’s all easy for you gents and tough for me. Some days out there on the trail I have to keep my rifle leveled and ready, that’s why I have the best shot in all the territory riding up there with me. Burke Molton ain’t never missed a target he took aim at, and that includes those three scallywags who tried us on for size on the river road just last week and he knocked two of them right off their mounts with two shots and them riding hard at us all the while and trying to get the best whiskey in the west from us at the point of their guns.”Continue reading “Hobie’s Sugar Still by Tom Sheehan”
Sisters from Another Mister by Jill Malleck
Cheryl picks me up at the corner of Queen and Duke on Saturdays at three. It just makes sense, she said not long after we met. I’m going right by there anyway. It was my bus stop to Freeport, only now I lean out of the Plexiglas shelter and give a little wave, so the bus doesn’t stop. Today he pulls in to drop someone off. My face is red. It’s stupid how ashamed I feel about that dismissive wave.
Continue reading “Sisters from Another Mister by Jill Malleck”