Helen stood at the back of her car, in the unrelenting heat of summer in the desert, staring blankly at the pump. This was the first time she had pumped gas since David had passed. A great, vital man. A locomotive halted by the failure of the tiniest part, cascading into ever progressive, irrevocable destruction. It was one of the worst things she had ever experienced, and when the end came it was the worst relief. She had her hand on the valve when, looking back at her car, past the faded McCain 2008 bumper sticker, there was no gas cap cover. She remembered then that she had always been on the opposite side of the car, in the passenger seat, as David pumped gas. So she got back in the car and turned it around.Continue reading “Helen vs The Gas Pump by Joel Pedersen”
The Unknown Writer by Douglas Robbins
His studio apartment sits downtown. It’s late morning. He puts on blue jeans, a black T-shirt and sits in his writing chair, his only chair. With no socks on, he looks down at his yellowed toenails. He prints out his three completed manuscripts. He walks over and clears off the mahogany wood table he picked up cheap. It has served him for writing, eating, and mail. His futon mattress is only a few feet away. He moves the table into the center of the room scraping it along the floor.Continue reading “The Unknown Writer by Douglas Robbins”
Open Window by Tim Frank
Edmund’s wife, Wendy, had been unconscious in hospital for weeks, but no doctor could diagnose her illness so they discharged her to recover at home, with Edmund as her sole carer.
As Wendy lay still as a mannequin in her queen-sized bed, drawing in short imperceptible breaths, summer flooded in from the streets outside. Sun splashed through their bedroom window, as leaves on trees glowed a robust green, and birds danced on the tips of trembling boughs.Continue reading “Open Window by Tim Frank”
Cold by Mason Koa
The wind played music with my bones. Like a xylophone.
“It’s cold in hell,” he said, “Let me tell you.” He shook his head, taking another puff from his cigarette. He throws it into the ocean and it fizzles out into the darkness. Hands in pockets, overcoat. Leaning on the sidebeam, night blows past.Continue reading “Cold by Mason Koa”
Sanctuary by Tim Frank
You could say I’m an unhappy guy. I just want to blot out the days, smoke away the nights and dump my beloved books into the ocean. Books used to be my everything, but now they simply bore me – I can hardly read a paragraph my senses are so dulled. I have better days, it’s true, because I’m essentially free. I can choose when I wake – I have no alarms, no commitments, but sleeping in my car, that I’ve called home since the divorce, can be a real drag.Continue reading “Sanctuary by Tim Frank “
Abyss by Emil Birchman
Yumi Suzuki decided she’d throw herself in front of a train on a warm, sunny day. She came to this conclusion sitting in her apartment, watching the weather forecast for the next week. It rained for the last five days, and if the forecast was correct – she’d see the sun tomorrow.Continue reading “Abyss by Emil Birchman”
Room For the Dead, Room For the Damned by Ella Paul
“You’re a kid,” he says, and his voice is so absolute that it leaves no room for argument.
Meesha isn’t sure she’d be able to argue even if he sounded uncertain. Her eyes are blank, her lips locked in that little downward position that everyone claims neutral (that everyone knows is actually a faint frown), and as she stands in front of this leathery heap of a man, she can’t bring herself to care that she’s been caught.Continue reading “Room For the Dead, Room For the Damned by Ella Paul”
Cryobaby by Sean Burke
“Got any juice?” I asked Stewart when he pulled up.
“Hello to you too,” he said, as his helmet collapsed into his collar. He pulled a charge off his vest and tossed it to me.
“How long she been up there?” he asked, shielding his eyes against the hazy, setting sun as he looked to the top of the bridge.Continue reading “Cryobaby by Sean Burke”
Fragments by Jennie Boyes
We sometimes remember that other universe. It comes to us in dreams, intangible and unattainable, an echo that rebounds on the parts of us that grieve our old form. We were once a deity of the heavens, too ancient and vast to consider the lives of mortals. The cosmos was our domain. We walked between planets and hurled asteroids at moons. The feuds and petty wars with our god-kin could supernova a sun. How mighty we were, and how foolish in our arrogance.Continue reading “Fragments by Jennie Boyes”
Cotard’s Delusion by Martie Carol Gonzales
“How are you?” has been a constant question which she learned in a course of two weeks (maybe a year, maybe six). She wondered why they kept asking her that.Continue reading “Cotard’s Delusion by Martie Carol Gonzales”