All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

The Fall Guy by Marco Etheridge

Louis Pyne squats on his haunches beside the corpse. The boathouse is cold as a meat locker. A massive hangover is dancing a tarantella six-eight time inside his skull, and the two guys standing behind Lou are making him nervous. At least they’re hungover as well. Hell, even the corpse would be begging for aspirin if he wasn’t so dead. 

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Baptism by Fire by David Lohrey

Her husband wondered where she had gone. Bernadim could see his wife’s car clearly from the air. There didn’t appear to be anything wrong. He took a quick look as he passed over, spotting his wife’s Jag, a beautiful new sedan which she preferred to drive herself, often leaving her driver when she was certain to find parking. He hadn’t noticed before the beauty of the drive’s flowering canopy. Years ago, on a trip to Table Mountain and Cape Town, his grandfather had been inspired by the wide use of the jacaranda and, upon his return, had dozens of the flowering trees planted along the road leading to the family house. When in full bloom, which happened more or less all at once, the full-grown trees created what looked to be clouds of lavender and violet descended from the heavens, ready to carry away all those anxious to meet God.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

In For a Penny, In For a Pound by David Thomas Peacock

You find meaning where you make it, I thought, polishing off my second bourbon and getting up to leave. I’d stopped by Puffy’s after an early piano gig, hoping to take the edge off before heading home. I couldn’t stop thinking about the old man —always worrying about him, continually reframing the narrative in my mind. I’m grateful for the time I have left with him was the best I could come up with.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

The Weight of Return by Marco Etheridge

Darryl slid three quarters into the vending machine and weighed his options. They weren’t all that good. The overnight Greyhound had carried him across a state line, which violated of his parole. If his tight-ass parole officer got wind of it, Darryl would be on his way back to a cell in Lucasville. First off, don’t get spotted by the cops, same as any day for an ex-con. Second, don’t get spotted by the bad guys. That left having breakfast and finding the girl. He reached for the chrome handle and pulled. A snickers bar tumbled into the sheet metal tray.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Breathe by Leon Coleman

I think about amputation, a lot. Not the sort carried out by a scalpel but by the jagged blade of fate, leaving me immobilised, an inmate in my own home and haunted by a phantom limb I didn’t know I had. And so here I am, full of emptiness, tired by inactivity and blinded by a porthole to another self. A self that isn’t me.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

One Treacherous Evening by Claire Deans

She shrieks, and the noise echoes through the vast space and up towards the high, glass roof. She is half running, half tottering through Glasgow Central Station wearing a pair of siren blue stilettos. They clatter. A huddle of lads, all pastel shirted up for a night in the town, look over and stare. She throws her arms around me as if it’s a feckin lover’s reunion. ‘Bernadette. Oh My God,’ she squeals. ‘You haven’t changed a bit.’ 

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Creep by Boshra Rasti-Ghalati

The turbulence on the plane makes my skin creep. I hate airplanes, motion that I can’t control. Two lanes down I see the back of a punk’s rainbow colored mohawk. What makes someone decide to get a haircut like that? The air hostess is giving him some advice about transferring at the airport. He’s transferring, he wouldn’t be allowed in Doha looking like that.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

The Incident with the Knife by Monika R Martyn

With time and reflection comes meaning, or so I’ve heard my therapist say many times. But what she doesn’t understand, even with all her schooling, is that despite all, a person can never go back in time to seize an opportunity, to rectify a wrong. At least within the luxury of these solid walls, and as is usual at this time of the night, when all is quiet, and neither breath nor movement intrudes, I can remember the facts as they suit me.

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All Stories, Horror

Sweet Dreams by Stephen Taylor

After dark, when the lights are no longer illuminating, the world sleeps – and the world dreams. Some are good dreams, ones that leave a smile on waking, others though, well they are the ones that leave an indelible mark on us all. These are ones that, within our subconscious, we do not remember or recall in the waking hours – but instead are assailed by them when we close our eyes and give ourselves up to sleep.

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