All Stories, General Fiction

Cherry Pie by Elana Kloss

It’s my second month in L.A., and I’ve already forgotten about pizza. New York feels like years ago, and the only thing that matters now is wood ear mushroom, pork bao, and beef noodles. They arrive plump on Chinese porcelain and slam down and slap awesome like we do on a Friday night.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Cure by Corey Olds

“Four horsemen on a broke-dick mule!” exclaimed Dr. A.P. Cary, as he pressed off the Orget.

He couldn’t believe what he had seen. His sister Beverly—had she been there—would have said, “Y’all going out the world ass backward.” And they were. The denizens of Sand City had lost their natural-born minds. The shit was ridiculous. Teenagers, twelve-year-olds, lucky-to-be-twenties blicking each other as if homicide were going out of style. What they failed to understand was that they were blicking at the wrong MFs. When the bluecoats routinely blazed holes in sons, fathers, daughters, mothers, brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts, the self-proclaimed savages didn’t do anything. Rarely did they risk their life to take a devil to hell. All those Sand City villains misunderstood who the opps really were.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Fake Teeth Yarn by Kiersen Clerkin

Listen officer, kids die all the time, you know. Trust me. And seventeen isn’t that young. But his blood tasted like mine, that was a surprise. So was his walk; wobble really. Monnie told me he needed a few more, “Get it girl,” that’s what she said, and she said it just like that, like her lips were dripping with sticky spit and she was slurping it back up. I couldn’t, not just then, couldn’t give him what he need.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Sonny’s Shadow by Marco Etheridge

My eyes snap open and in that instant, I’m battered by the three-punch combo of a massive hangover, Rosie pounding on my door, and three more dead on my ledger. The hangover will sort itself eventually, the dead are dead, but Rosie will beat the damn door down if I don’t answer. She’s stubborn as hell, is Rosie, and dangerous strong for a female.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Tuesdays at Tommy’s by Ed McConnell

Tommy owned an ‘all you can drink’ restaurant. For one dollar, you could imbibe all night; beer, wine, mixed drinks or straight liquor, it made no difference. That was the hook. His buffet was expensive for the quality of food served, but profits have to come from somewhere. Tommy’s was alive, crowded and happening. It was not a date night destination. If you expected a quiet, romantic dinner, you had a better chance at McDonald’s.   

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Breathe by Leon Coleman

I think about amputation, a lot. Not the sort carried out by a scalpel but by the jagged blade of fate, leaving me immobilised, an inmate in my own home and haunted by a phantom limb I didn’t know I had. And so here I am, full of emptiness, tired by inactivity and blinded by a porthole to another self. A self that isn’t me.

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All Stories, Historical

Hell Cat Laid Low by Marco Etheridge

Maggie slogged through the murky gloom of Water Street, her boots squelching in the muck. Gas streetlamps threw wavering silver cones into the darkness. The feeble light only accentuated the inky Manhattan night. Piles of manure and offal cast eerie shadows across the black mire.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

City Prairies by Jeffrey Kulik

I remember being ten, eleven years old maybe, and running around in the summers when my old man was drunk off his ass on the couch in the frontroom, and my ma would open the back porch door and tell me to get out of the house for a couple of hours so she could get some peace and quiet.  I would round up some other neighborhood kids—it didn’t really matter which ones, though usually Benzo and Pooce were along for the ride—and just run out as far as we could get from the block without interfering with anyone else’s turf.  At that time, 1960, 1961, there were still a lot of what we used to call prairies around—empty lots.  The lots could fool you if you weren’t careful.  The grass in them was tall, tall enough that from the street it looked like you could just run right across them to the alley behind.  But, really, there was a slope down from the sidewalk and another back up to the alley so the middle of the yard might be four feet or more down.  You could run into one and be up to your armpits in weeds and get yourself a broken ankle to boot.  That was something you learned as a little kid running through the neighborhood.  So, when we’d come across a prairie on one of our runs, we’d be careful, especially if we didn’t know it real good, to go in sideways, one foot at a time, or better yet find a big rock or a stone and throw it in and see how far down it went before we jumped in.  This was also true in cases of snow.  Just something we learned.

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