All Stories, General Fiction

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.

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All Stories, Science Fiction

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.

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All Stories, Science Fiction

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.

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All Stories, General Fiction

American Nightmare by Yash Seyedbagheri

I outline payment schedules. Credit card bills, student loans, power, utilities. I draw up grocery budgets and lists, in my elegant cursive, something I’ve relearned in recent months. More onions, less TV dinners, and Diet-Pepsi, containing more late-night sleeplessness. A tomato or two, if possible. Some granola bars, even.

No beer, save for the occasional six-pack of Coors Light.

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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, General Fiction

Dying Things by Yancarlo

There was a dog on the road. A mangy thing with grey fur falling out in tufts showing its wrecked body. I saw him one night limping up the road as I smoked my cigarette and did nothing. I watched it limp towards the side of the road snout burrowing deep into the dewy grass looking for anything to eat. He found the mouse whose body I had thrown there earlier in the day. I didn’t kill the mouse. Something else did. The mangy thing found the mouse and eyed it suspiciously for a moment, natural suspicion overriding starvation for an instant, and then ate the mouse. The mangy thing limped away just as I finished my cigarette and went inside.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Rebirth by Martin Toman

John coiled the rope thirteen times around itself to form the hangknot. The ridges of the knot felt strong, almost muscular, in his hands. John knew his knots. Working on farms will make you an expert in practically anything, or anything practical. He slid the noose open and held it at arm’s length, looked at it carefully: it’ll serve.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Sorry by Yash Seyedbagheri

People fling sorry at me.

Sorry, a person cuts in line.

Sorry, a biker knocks me over.

Sorry, my debit card’s been declined. Next customer, please.

There’s no sorry in rejected credit card applications. They speak only of delinquent obligations. Income. Balances.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Horror

Paraffin Lamp by Alex Sinclair – Warning – strong language and content that some readers will find upsetting

“Verminous dole scrounging deadbeats poetically whingeing that’s all it is, lamenting wistfully about the plight of their work-shy genes. The Celtic curse so it is, forever waxing philosophical about being a shite for brains’ pisshead.”

He stops. He has run away with himself and he can’t remember what he was talking about.

Packy is barely cognizant of where he is. He exists in half dream, half myth.

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