All Stories, Science Fiction

The Ancient Wisdom by Crispen Lish

Two of the three fish tanks were ok. Only, where were the large angel fish in the third? My daughter, Sam, walked around to the side. She was standing on tippy toes and still her nose only came up to the sandy bottom of the aquarium. Nevertheless, it was she who found the fish lying flat on their sides gasping. I couldn’t understand it. We had used the same filtration, the same water in all three tanks. What had happened? Five year old Jo, on the other hand, was busy running in and out of the spacious rooms. Finally, at last, our flat was finished. The pictures were hung, the antique carpets were laid and looked luxurious in the mahogany sitting room. It looked like home. Home away from home. Home now in Japan.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Three Headed Monster by Grace Larson

Waking up is really a dreadful affair.

I think most people would agree, but allow me to elaborate. Waking up is really not so bad when you know you are coming awake, but you also know you are allowed to do it slowly. You turn over a few times, gradually renewing the sluggish flow of your veins. You yawn, your eyes still clinging to semi-darkness, and relish the delicious emptiness of your mind. There is nothing to clog it up yet. Then, after a time, you might decide to let your eyelids crack all the way open. This accomplished, you are pleasantly surprised to realize that it is warm, and sunny, and reasonably late. You lie on your side for a moment, watching the faint flutter of the curtain and the golden pool of light beneath it. You think you might roll over and go back to sleep, comfortable in the knowledge of a beautiful day outside, when you are suddenly forced upright, your nose quivering with the acuteness of a bloodhound.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Friend by Donnie Cox

Arthur Nagel is an ugly, little man. He stands barely four feet tall, and his head is much too big for his body. The muscles on the left side of his face are totally paralyzed causing his face to droop. Because of his looks, most people think Arthur is mentally deficient. He is not.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Too Lonely for Dying by Tom Sheehan

There was a special sight out in front of him as he rested near a small cave, the weight of his own body suddenly too much for him to carry on weak legs. The decision to stop and enjoy the sight came quickly, in touch with a rare sense of goodness finding its way in him. It was akin to the old days when Sally and he sat on the small porch he’d built for her mornings, the sun giving a grand start to her day. “Oh, Sal,” he’d said a thousand times since then. A thousand times. Once, he had shrugged his head when he said it, as though belief was elsewhere, as Sally was but how long he couldn’t remember.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Strange Encounter by Tom Sheehan

I knew it was one of “those” days the very moment I woke up, my head spinning as dawn clustered around me calling for attention, trying to snap me back to a real encounter, not the lingering touches of darkest night I had no control over.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Her Special Day by Nicholas Katsanis

Clara looks up from the edge of the bed. Her eyes are red and swollen. She dashes to the wardrobe, blurting something about a different pair of shoes.

“The black flats are fine, hon,” I say with my softest voice. Next thing I hear is her scream, the crash of the shoe rack, her sobs: those unbearable sobs that cut through my flesh. I rush to the closet. She’s curled up at the corner, empty boxes strewn everywhere. The edge of her hand is bleeding.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Summer and Sweet Peas by Oso Jones

He places the cloth bag carefully on the kitchen table; Formica, worn and chipped. She had trained him in in the use of cloth bags. You would have thought the simple act of remembering to take a cloth bag to the shops was a panacea against climate change. More like a superstitious tick, like genuflecting at church or throwing salt over your shoulder. Something to make you feel like you are warding off an even greater calamity when the real damage has already been done. He unpacks the bag carefully: a hammer, a hatchet, some rope, an apple. The apple was impulsive, they looked fresh. Crisp and juicy. He tells himself he must eat it soon. He has his own superstitions and the longer an apple is the house the more he suspects that it is mealy. Many a good apple has gone to waste because he couldn’t shake the feeling it was imperfect in a sickening, unnameable way. Of course, you can never tell with apples, not until you take a bite, but he could never bring himself to take that risk.

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