All Stories, General Fiction

Southern Comfort by David Lohrey

Why do Southerners romanticize dreck? They positively gush over everything in sight, including the weeds covering the telephone poles along the highway. Kudzu, an invasive weed, is treated like gorse. Southerners are proud of it, like everything else. Kudzu is nothing to be proud of, but Peter Taylor is. Light in August is something to get excited about. Tennessee Williams knew a thing or two, but is he invited to the Liberty Bowl? What of Eudora Welty?

Guess again.

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All Stories, Horror, Short Fiction

The Eleventh Step by Hugh Cron

I hate that eleventh step. It’s the darkest one. It always has been. I remember noticing it when I was around twelve years old but I couldn’t say anything, not to my parents.

I blamed them. I thought when they died it would leave me alone. It didn’t.

I’ve suffered that step for forty years now. But I don’t think I’ll need to for much longer.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Cat Eyes by Yash Seyedbagheri 

 I kept my older sister’s cat-eye glasses in a drawer after she was struck down by a train. Nancy’s Chevy Bel-Air was stalled, like a truly cliché song on the radio. She was only eighteen and it was 1961. Nancy said they made her look like a freak. A nerd. She was embarrassed that she needed glasses to read and see the world’s problems highlighted. She’d get rid of these glasses, go with contacts if she just had the money. A scarlet letter, a reminder of what Nancy didn’t have. There was so much my sister and I didn’t have. We lacked parents like Ward and June Cleaver, the opportunity simply to relax and watch the world move past. Vast objects that were all our own, the finest frocks and suits.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, Horror

Far from Geylang by Matilde Sorri Petersen

The only light in the room came from the green numbers displayed on the digital clock by the bedside table. The numbers 3:47 were barely enough to cast a pallid blanket over the nose and forehead of the man sleeping on the bed. The only sound came from his breathing, which accompanied by the slow rising and falling of his chest under the blanket, also provided the only movement in the room. The girl lying next to him was silent and still; her thick black strands of hair spread across the pillow, stretching out towards him. Heavy curtains not only blocked out the orange glow of the city outside, but kept the room undisturbed from the sharp gliding sounds of taxis and the occasional drunken black car against the wet asphalt. The numbers on the digital clock clicked to 3:48. The man slowly sat up, as if he had responded to the ever so slight change in the room. He had been staring at the ceiling, and no longer finding it of any interest, now found himself searching the dark square outlines of the furniture scattered around. Soundlessly, he got up and moved towards the window where he pulled the curtains back to let in the glow of the streetlamp. He should have gone back to the ceiling, but instead turned the handle and stepped out of the cold air-conditioned room, on to the balcony. It wasn’t very high up, but he could see a fair amount of the city. The monstrous skyscrapers loomed over him in the pathetic menace of their palely lit and empty offices, and the great condominium buildings in the distance faded sadly in the background – their inhabitants had long since switched off the lights. He felt his naked body drenched in the humid air, and was suddenly aware of the thousands of windows, the bright and blind eyes taking in the sight of him. But the street was empty below, and the man seemed to exist only in the blind spot of life, and of all that was still awake at this time of night. He lit a cigarette, meaning to savor the quiet and watch the way the purple sky swelled up with each passing minute. He only took a few drags though, before deciding it was too hot, and going back inside.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Perfectly Split by Hugh Cron

Daniel planed the final piece of timber. A few more shavings and he knew that it would fit. He wasn’t happy with one section so he spent another minute sanding it.

He admired his work.

The other two stood on plinths. He never considered himself arrogant. They were beautiful and in perfect proportion.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Witness Mark by Emily A Garfield

A witness mark is a groove, a dent, left by people gone before. Sometimes they’re deep, gouged, gone over so many times by people, living and reliving moments on moments. Sometimes they’re just a scratch, easily sanded away.

It was Catia’s first time waking up in a coffin. It would not be her last.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Shade of Blue by Crispin Anderlini

That blue up there, farthest from the looming sun, is the colour his face was when I found him. Or at least it seemed that way in the creeping, early morning light. Face up, with a delicate trail of spittle across his shaven chin; and that unearthly colour staining his body — no film or book had prepared me for that.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Blueberry Fields Forever by Anuradha Prasad

There were some things that Aliyah learned to live with, Neha’s death was one of them. She hadn’t shared it – the dying – with anyone else. She led everyone to believe that her death had been instant and painless. Especially the parents. Some consolation in the tragedy.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Arthur Rimbaud in New York by Cathleen Davies

‘Creep, my love, why don’t you photograph me?’

Creep took many photos. Creep had seen a lot of bodies. They were always scarred and twisted because all bodies, excepting those of new-born babies, are scarred and twisted. His models were dirty. Creep liked bohemian grit, the real, as he called it. He liked the street-rats best. He savoured dirt.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, Horror, Short Fiction

Speak No Evil by Hugh Cron – Warning – Adult Content

I was somewhere I had no business being, doing something that I shouldn’t, when I felt a hand on my shoulder.

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