All Stories, General Fiction

We Do Not Mistrust Each Other Because We Are Armed by Matt Garabedian

Sergeant Bonham walked the streets of East Berlin, finding a city mired in despair. President Reagan’s words hung fresh on the western side of the Wall. No graffiti marked the eastern side. Razor wire and sniper rifles kept would-be vandals at a distance. His counterparts on this side kept a watchful eye from imposing guard towers, in contrast to the humble structure on the other side of the checkpoint from which he stood his watch. This was an odd way to spend his R&R, but he needed to understand.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Uncle by Ralph Hipps

My uncle was a substantial man, a man whom you could roll because his stomach curved like a ball. I often had the impulse to bowl him: there was something frustrating in the way he spent hours stitching old clothes. His painstaking labour jarred with my need for going fast at the time, which I remember taking the form of speed-reading. While I took a break, I’d find him in the kitchen, stitching lugubriously. I wanted to pick him up and roll him at speed. He was like a blocker, resisting my need to encompass his deliberateness. He was stitching, stitching, methodically bringing together; I, at that age, wanted to tear things apart.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Step by Yash Seyedbagheri

Mother, the one who birthed us, was the one who turned the oven on. Tossed us in there, my older sister Nan and me, as though we were turkeys at Thanksgiving. She was too strong for us to resist, though we tried, squirming, kicking. But she was still strong.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Apologies by Dora Emma Esze

“Another pause of oblivion, and he awoke in the sombre morning, unconscious where he was or what had happened, until it flashed upon his mind, ‘this is the day of my death!’”

I’ve always felt this sentence deserved a career just as glamorous as the opening lines of the same novel. While everyone clocks in on “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”, probably only a handful of specialists can locate these words. Shame; they are natural born ambassadors for an awakening, a bitter but important jolt of consciousness. Like the one I experienced the afternoon I got fired from the customer service advisor team of a medium-size supermarket.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Horror

Watching It Move by Alex Reid

‘I must be the luckiest kid in the world,’ Chris thought.. Every other kid he knew had a bedtime. Not Chris. It didn’t matter if it was a school night or a Saturday night he could stay up as late as he wanted. After dinner he could play videogames until he could barely keep his eyes open or he would watch gameshows with his parents until they went to bed. Spending the night together with his parents around the tv was his favorite. Tonight was one of those nights. But like all good things it had to come to an end. Chris heard those words he dreaded to hear when they were all having fun.  “Your father and I are tired. We’re going to bed. We love you.”

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Bride of Christ by Mary J Breen

Every Sunday morning for the past nine years and one month, my mother-in-law has made her dauntless progress up the centre aisle of Holy Family Church on the arm of my husband. This, she believed, was ample evidence that despite his marriage to an ex-nun—holy women all of them, although those who leave their vocation perhaps not holy enough—her Danny’s primary devotion was still to his mother, not to this drab failure of a Grade Three teacher who got her claws into the school principal, no less, the gentle, much-loved Mr. Lynch. Sweet and kind and considerate with his staff and with the children, but away from school, the embodiment of an ineffectual man. But I didn’t know that then.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

The Bridge at Drochaisling by Anthony Billinghurst

Georgia was being difficult before we landed in Dublin, which was nothing new. She changed and became assertive the second she was promoted to Deputy Head at her primary school; she even adopted a power walk. It’s true the flame of our marriage no longer burns like a log fire, but it does glow like anthracite when fanned enough. My friends who noticed told me I’m hen pecked but as Georgia said, I needn’t wonder if I’m hen pecked, she’ll tell me when I am.

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All Stories, General Fiction

As If He Still Drives a Capri

In the lull between my husband’s condemnations, I reminded our daughters that each Sunday is a Christmas. This way of thinking is Karen’s idea. She does Fridays and Saturdays in the shop with me.

She said when sorting citrus, ‘When life serves you lemons–’ and I held up my hand and asked, ‘Is there a cliché for grapefruit?’

Karen couldn’t think of one.

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