All Stories, Fantasy

Zippy and the Zephyrling:

A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical by Miss Renfield Stoker-Belle, Noted Supernaturalist   Featuring an Appearance by Judge Jasper P. Montague, Quillemender And a Futile Forward  by Leila Allison

Futile Foreword

It’s a fallow and disconsolate world in which we live. Even here at this side of reality populated mainly by Pen Names, Imaginary Friends and Fictional Characters, you’ll find more Juggalos per square inch than persons with sustainable IQs contributing to the gene pool. The pain of it all becomes clear on the day you look in the mirror and correctly suspect that the best years have gone by. You gaze into the reflection of your suddenly cautious, peering avatar and wonder what happened to the footloose, laughing face who had been looking back at you every day up through yesterday. It seems impossible that this paradoxically “new” used you has ever had an interesting thought in her life; or that she had even at one time tolerated the Juggalos–as long as they stayed upwind of her location. Continue reading “Zippy and the Zephyrling:”

All Stories, Fantasy

A Fair Amount of Ghosts by Zach Murphy

He plays the trumpet brilliantly on the corner of Grand and Victoria. He doesn’t look like he’s from this era. He’s impeccably dressed, from his crisply fitting suit to his smooth fedora hat. There aren’t many folks that can pull that off. He’s cooler than the freezer aisle on a sweltering summer day. He performs the type of yearning melodies that give you the goosebumps. I’ve never seen anyone put any money into his basket.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Short Fiction

Fiona and the Footfallfollower: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical by Leila Allison

But First, Noted Supernaturalist Miss Stoker-Belle, Unnecessarily and Inexplicably Evacuates the Contents of Her Mind 

Before I educate the readers on the ways of the Footfallfollower ghost, I’d like to introduce an innovation to the world of literature; an innovation of my invention (here, I will allow the suspense to build). Of course no stylistic innovation can spontaneously occur without inspiration. Hell, even Shakespeare played Hollingshead for a stooge–Right? In my case the Big Idea presented itself in the otherwise useless world of modern pop music–specifically that dodge-word creators of such use to obscure naked acts of plagiarism–namely, “sampling.”

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All Stories, Fantasy

Tabitha and the Tintintinabulator: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical by Leila Allison

But First, A Word From “That” Noted Supernaturalist, Miss Renfield Stoker-Belle

Unlike you “real” guys, I, as a Fictional Character, am able to speak directly to my “Creator” (aka, the nom de plume called “Leila Allison”). There ain’t no praying involved, nor are there a bunch of “mysterious ways” to incorrectly interpret. No, my Creator isn’t the type of deity whose image might be gleaned from the strewn innards of a calzone. To put it plainly, we meet and I tell her how it’s going to be whenever she wants something from me. Such happened when Allison came around and muttered something about having me take over the Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical introductions on account of my having actually written a Feeble Fable and appearing as a “Supernaturalist” in past stories.

At long last Stardom! Right?

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All Stories, Horror

The Ragged Frenchman by Matthew J. Richardson

Here! Follow my voice! Over here, I say! For God’s sake, man, come over to the fire. What in heaven’s name are you doing, out in such a storm? Come and warm yourself before you freeze where you stand. There, it is only a whistling nook amidst the snow and the cruel wind, but it affords us some small respite and the luxury of civilised conversation. Here we will wait for a break in the weather.  I would share with you a morsel, but I have none. Rest and talk must serve as our sustenance. I note that you are hardly dressed for being so deep in the mountains. A light jacket? Such flimsy trousers? I know I must look a fright, unkempt and unshaven, but I am something of an exception. Those who linger in these hills generally know the value of good boots and a winter coat.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Advice From the Otherside: How to Avoid Literary Success in Life and Be Considered a Genius in Death By The Late Judge Jasper P. Montague, Quillemender (Leila Allison)

But First a Word From Judge Montague’s Great-to-the-4th Granddaughter

Whenever a woman is constantly besieged by unseen faces and disembodied voices, it is for the best that she believes that the legions of non-violent hoo-doos and haints that only she experiences are real, and are not indicative of a mental illness (technical name for the affliction: scewious loosiest). Such is the case with Yours Truly. And although you may think that my thinking “it is for the best…” is misguided, I assure you that the hoo-doos and haints (whether they be actual or of my own creation) want only happiness for everyone.

Continue reading “Advice From the Otherside: How to Avoid Literary Success in Life and Be Considered a Genius in Death By The Late Judge Jasper P. Montague, Quillemender (Leila Allison)”

All Stories, Horror, Short Fiction

12 Nudes by JWGoll

I once got lost in the Badlands of North Dakota. I was working the wheat harvest as a hauler with a crew that ran fourteen combines and we were working our way up to Regina from Topeka, Kansas. One of the drivers, Mitchie Vanderbush, dared me to go camping there after he saw I slept in a tent. The rest of the crew stayed in cheap motels but I was trying to save money to buy a Linhof 4×5. He told me the place was haunted and said most people that go in don’t come out. “You stay in there three nights,” he said, “and I’ll split my bonus with you.” Most of the crew thought it was funny, but the foreman had some choice words when I informed him I was leaving early. He said I could just haul my ass up to Canada at the end of the season if I wanted my pay.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Haunting of Miss Gwen Cooper by Leila Allison

4 A.M. New Town Cemetery, Charleston, Washington

******

Eternal Keeper reached into the sky and plucked threads of starshine. The sheared strands merged as a multi-colored lightning bolt which struck the only oak tree inside New Town Cemetery. Thunder failed to tattle on the bolt; no one saw it strike; nor were the plentiful, watchful, sensitive, nocturnal creatures in the graveyard aware of it; nor did it in the least disturb the slumbering daybreak birds, nor squirrels, nor even the insects that inhabit the lone graveyard oak. But something did happen within a set-aside dimension where Keeper and the spirit of the tree coexist. Come sunrise, the shape of a  ghost, whom Keeper had woven from the threads of plucked starshine, rose from his grave and proceeded to the power and safety of the enchanted tree.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Versatur Circa Quid! by Leila Allison

I am a ghost. It’s best to get that out in the open, right away, for the benefit of those persons who still support the notion that the dead cannot possibly communicate with the quick. I am neither the walking nor the talking dead; but I am of the writing dead, whom living “literary types” resent for they feel that they have enough competition in their field as it is.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Customer is Never Right by Leila Allison

A few nights ago, Jim identified the great, distant sun Naazar in the autumnal sky, and then attempted to sell me tales of its splendor and glory. This had caused an old memory to trip my inner As If Alarm. Some claim my inner As If Alarm underscores the ever-suspicious side of my personality; all things considered, I find it a useful and necessary device.

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