Short Fiction

Borrowed Time by Rob O’Keefe

“16 years? Seriously, 16 years? You’re killing me!”

Why do they always yell? I didn’t know this guy, but I knew his story. He was in over his head. That’s how it was with most clockers. Give ‘em a second, they’ll take a year, right? Okay, I know that’s not original, but it’s still true.

“Not yet,” I countered. “Unless you keep borrowing more than you can pay back. And it’s 16 years and 47 days, plus a few hours. How do you want to do this?”

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Emil’s Magic by James Bates

He was standing off to the side of the city Greenway looking at the sky when he felt a tap on his shoulder. “Hey buddy. What are you doing?”

Emil turned. It was a policeman on bicycle patrol. “I’m just looking at the clouds, officer,” he said, politely. “That one over there reminds me of a bunny rabbit.”

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All Stories, Fantasy

A Hell of a Story Part Three by Frederick K Foote

“Handy, this is a pretty good turnout, isn’t it?”

“Oslo, man, how many people do you think are here? Maybe 200 or so? And people keep coming. I mean, a lot of these folks just invited themselves, I think.”

Handy and I are sitting on a slope overlooking the picnic grounds at Southside Park on a cool September afternoon. The sounds of the blues and the aroma from the bar b que are calling me back to the celebration. 

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All Stories, Science Fiction

Disconsolate Chimeras by Jie Wang

I am standing on the beach. The sand under my feet feels like soot. An uncanny, organic look emerges from the bowing, rusting skeletons of the sea-view skyscrapers. He is gone, like his father, into the ominous, omnipotent water.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

A New World by Peter O’Connor

“Is that all?” she asks.

He offers her the strap of woven hessian. She runs it through her fingers feeling the soft weave.

“All natural materials,” he says, “natural colouring, as strong as steel and 98% recyclable.”

“What about the buckle bit?”

“The ratchet.”

He hands her the item. She turns it and lifts the bar. The click is sharp and staccato in the over stuffed office.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Careful Who You Save by Benjamin Pluck

A mansion of fire crackled against an azure sun and the people who lived there were dark and crispy, their day had just begun. Panting and limping, the glass behind their eyes already misty, they set about their work at once. Staggering between each room, their lungs rattled in the hot air and their teeth were bared sharp behind cracked lips. Their hair was stringy and knotted, and stuck down the long of their backs – with skin as cracked as the salt planes that stretched for hundreds of miles around them. No one was around to smell the stench.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, Fantasy

Snakeskin by P.L. Salerno

Leona Wiley stood outside the casino, waiting. She leaned against its brick facade, one suede heel up against the building’s side. Her dark blonde hair was neatly curled, just barely hitting her shoulders. Dangling pearls weighed down her earlobes, obsidian mascara darkened her eyelashes, and her lips shone a vibrant vermillion. She wore a copper fox fur coat and, under it, a black velvet dress. Leona watched as people slipped in and out of the casino’s double doors, looking for the person she was sent to see.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Seeds by Peter O’Connor

Her nose took the impact, it canted left and snapped perfectly at the bridge. Her mascaraed eyes watered until her vision became a myopic smudge. She staggered, tripping on the raised step between lounge and diner. (A design feature she always hated but he insisted on.) ‘It will define the individual spaces’, he’d said. Another blow staggered her.  She remembered her Interior Design professor screaming ‘NEVER BREAK THE FUCKING SPACE,’ as he came in, on, or often just around her slut of a best-friend flatmate. That exalted mantra had stuck, her friendship hadn’t. Her fingers skittered along the edge of the kitchen top, too cold, too polished, nothing to cling to, to hold, to grasp. Her father’s words came to her, ‘you can’t trust stainless steel,’ he’d say, ‘unnatural stuff, use wood, wood has an inherent trust, copper an earned one, stone, who the hell uses stone nowadays?’ He always chuckled at himself when he said that.  He also warned her. “Look for the comfortable, the homely, ‘hugge,’ as the Dutch say. No cold marble, no hard granite, no slippery steel and definitely no injection moulded impervious shiny plastic. An interior, my gorgeous girl, is a mirror of soul.”

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All Stories, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Becoming Human by Kat Hutchson

She looked at him with her huge blue eyes.

“You have a Dollar, Mister?”

With a quick glance at her, he noticed the delicate machinery shining through three straight cuts in her cheek, the plastic flesh hanging loosely over the left side of her face.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

The Edge of Dreams by Tom Sheehan

Buzz Turner, all 12 years of him, reader galore, all the thick and curly red hair in place, saw the moon slip sideways into his eyes just opened for the change, dragging him instantly from a deep sleep into clear observation. He loved the transfer in the heavens, as well as the sudden change in himself, a keen awareness coming his way, all the way. It was all magic, and he loved it, a boy’s swift change in himself, a piece of the skies at hand, and mystery afoot the way mystery makes itself known, on its own time, in its own style, dream-like.

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