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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All Stories, General Fiction

Food Cowboy by Leah Sackett

Maisie wished Goodwill had an anonymous nighttime drop-off. She didn’t want to be judged for her donations or the frequency with which she gave them. In all things, Maisie preferred to be anonymous. She didn’t like to be seen. She was 262lbs and 5’2″. Most of her life, Maisie was petite, her adolescent frame offered her two options: one to keep shopping in the children’s department or two to find a good tailor. Thankfully, her grandma could sew. Grandma Betty made a lot of Maisie’s clothes. Eventually, Maisie hit 100 lbs. Now, the only thing she was lacking was much in the way of boobs. Push-up bras now had something, a little something, to work with even if the ballooned bras were problematic with spontaneous combustion while dancing or laughing. 

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All Stories, General Fiction

Boundless Growth by Simo Tchokni

‘And all of this is replicated across twenty datacenters.’

With a flourish, Davide draws a large rectangle around the messy, sprawling diagram he’s drawn on the whiteboard. He turns around. ‘Any questions?’

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All Stories, General Fiction

Endometrium by Katie Ellen Lamb

He is shaking. His skin is sticky and pale like the underside of a frog. I feel nothing. I move my hand, try pry it between us. I want to touch myself, but a cramp has started between my fingers and my wrist. I think this is a waste of time. Then, he goes deeper. Something inside me feels jagged. I see curves of red flesh behind my eyes. It’s a dull pain, a building pain and I think if I’d have just touched myself I’d have forgotten it. When he stabs me again, it bursts, wells up, floods over. I put my hands on his shoulders and I push.

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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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