General Fiction, Short Fiction

Only a Jellyfish Would Live Forever by Leila Allison

The Scenario: Part I 

He crushed two pills between his teeth and swallowed. That made four in an hour. A stomach that wanted to stay alive would have objected; but for once there was consensus. He believed that two more similar doses within the next thirty minutes should punch his ticket to the Undiscovered Country. Perhaps such an important event as flirting with self destruction should come accompanied by an unfilched metaphor, but when in doubt go with Shakespeare–Besides he’d used up all the sparklers in his suicide note. It was a fine suicide note. Well written, streaked with effortless pathos and humor. It was the best thing he had ever written. “All show, no tell,” he’d said after lighting it on fire and watching it curl to black in the kitchen sink.  “Best punched ticket ever.”

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Or I Could Be by CK Bern

The manicurist left lye out among the pedicure chairs, struggling to maintain the salon to her standards, but the We’re Open sign was only half true and gone were the days her window said No Walk-Ins. After a customer burned skin off both feet, she kept things hygienic and let the overall harmony of the salon decay. One afternoon, the bamboo chimes stirred, announcing the arrival of three women. Breasts so large, the first woman was on the verge of tipping forward. A second woman lumbered under an oily mane. A third burbled, lips swollen and barely moving like two dowels in the teak plate of her face.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Sandalwood and Lobster by Andrew Campbell

Do you like lobster? Hunter asked, and I said yes, because if I said anything else, I wouldn’t be perfect anymore.

The date is at seven, at the seafood place around the corner from my apartment. I ate there once with David, but he paid attention enough to realize that I didn’t like it. But Hunter doesn’t know, and my mouth is shut.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Walk on By by Jane Houghton

Christ. Almighty. Aunt Nell. Aunt. Fucking. Nell.

Bloodshot, enflamed eyes – well, eye: the right one. Skin like crumpled autumn leaves. Fleshy folds beneath her chin, dangling down like an over-spill tray on a coffee machine. A red, bulbous nose, courtesy of the ‘bloody rosacea’ that plagued Aunt Nell her whole adult life and transformed her nose into a beetroot.

It had happened. The unthinkable. The thing that she had been dreading for four years since finding out. She was morphing into Aunt Nell. Weird, you might think, turning into her aunt; turning into her mother would be more like it. A natural progression. What happens. This was what she found out: Aunt Nell was her mother. More on that can-of-worms later.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Heights by Darren Gray

As I stood on the top of the tower and looked down, I wondered if I should jump.
I decided against it, for the fourth night in a row, and headed downstairs for a cup of tea. I wanted tea more than I wanted death, so things worked out great, all things considered.
I couldn’t help thinking, though, while I sipped on my tea, that, right at that moment, I could have been a bloody, broken pile on the concrete path, perfectly, precisely between the two spot-lights aimed up at the tower.
After finishing my tea, I went to bed and, before I feel asleep, thought: maybe tomorrow, then.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Dead Rock Stars by Peter J. Stavros    

Sadie puts a bottle of white wine in the fridge before she goes out for a long run. She figures that if the run doesn’t help purge her of the toxins from the day then maybe the wine will. And if that doesn’t work she always has that fifth of bourbon on the bookshelf that girl from work gave her for Secret Santa, red bow taped to the top, and a few oxy left over from her thumb surgery last summer stashed at the bottom of the clothes hamper. But she figures the run, or the wine, should do just fine.

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