The cloud came in low over the horizon as if it was holding hands with sky and Earth, and shadows fell from its silhouette forming strange figures of shade across the landscape. Gurley Kindreck, at the lookout post on Foster Creek, grabbed the phone and twisted the crank on an old army land phone. Behind him, wires snaked all the way back to headquarters in the heart of Burrell, Kansas, much of its corn crop already pulled, the rest of it dying in the after-lights of the enemy’s rays.Continue reading “Ray Guns of the Invaders 1202 by Tom Sheehan”
He say, “You a pitcher or a catcher?” I say, “I’m the red-necked Sandy Koufax.” Sandy being a big deal at the time.
He laughs, asks if I’m hungry. I say, “Yeah and cold, wet and tired.”Continue reading “How Daddy Gets his Due by Leo Reilly”
‘Çoè-àòk!?’ blurted officer Gargles.
‘Çoè-àòk!?!?’ he repeated with a bemused look. ‘How the feck am I supposed to pronounce this? Christ but these alien names would wreck your head. Why can’t they just be John or Bob for feck’s sake!?’Continue reading “A Dose of the Glitters by Cataldo Carroll”
Ned the Necromancer and his otherworldly friends live in splendid isolation in the derelict Mortlake House. Unfortunately, they need a new tenant to pay the bills.Continue reading “Dead Together by Oliver Lavery”
Sometimes genius isn’t recognised the first time around. It took until the year 2035 for the world to appreciate the song-writing force that was Shakin’ Stevens. Since his reign in the rock and pop charts, music had become formulaic and contrived.Continue reading “This Ol’ House by Mark Gormley”
I always feel awkward in social situations with strangers. I guess everybody does. But for some reason when I find myself at that point, my reaction is beyond control: I start lying like a madman.Continue reading “Submarines, Like Ships in the Night by Steve Sibra”
So, Hugh now joins the teeny tiny group – well I say group – there’s only one other, of writers with 100 posts on the site. CONGRATULATIONS. It is fair to say that it has probably been harder for Hugh. As editors I think we are tougher on ourselves than we are on other authors. We are so keen not to be seen to be showing any sort of positive bias that we are brutal with each other. However, Hugh always accepts rejections and edit suggestions with good humour, humility and professionalism.
He is the backbone of Literally Stories, he has kept on going through his own personal traumas, never letting what is happening in his life get in the way of his work on the site. He has been an incredible rock when the rest of us have had our own dramas, kind, sympathetic and stoic (hahahahaha – his hate word – ha) and he makes the work, which at times can feel overwhelming, worthwhile and rewarding. As well as the reading and emails, Hugh comments on the stories and together with other of us give feedback to authors who have requested such or who we feel deserve an explanation as to our decisions or a suggested edit. He writes almost all the Saturday roundup posts and let’s be honest they are hilarious and a brilliant end to the week, even though the times when he says ‘That’s it there, Diane. Sorry’ I do quake in my boots.
I have never actually met Hugh, or Nik in person, or Adam or Tobias for that matter, but I count them among dear friends, but Hugh, and Nik are the blokes I want to have a drink with, the blokes I can count on to unload to when life throws cabbages at me and I just want to say thanks and, Hugh, my life is richer for knowing you. You are a fearless, uncompromising writer and I admire that more than I can say and many, many Congratulations on reaching this outstanding milestone.
Never Being Confused
It was a typical day in the life of Jim and Debbie, the parents of SeptemberThe28th.
They were on The High Street championing their offspring’s cause as usual. They wore their ‘Asexual Is Not Fluid UCUNT!’ Tshirts, The back of which said ‘LGBTQI+Forever!!‘ And underneath that was ‘I am not a label!’
Delphine’s teacher cracked a joke. Delphine didn’t smile because she didn’t think it was funny. The teacher said, ‘Oh dear, Delphine. I do feel sorry for you. At the age of seven you ought to know what humour is.’ She brought her out to the front of the class. ‘Now, everyone, let’s show Delphine how we express humour.’
Hans returned home from the pub.
He stomped up and down on the bare floorboards of his living room. He grinned as he thought about the neighbours moaning at the noise but never complaining.
Hans turned on the radio, it was more static than station. He settled down on his white painted kitchen chair that sat in the middle of the living room. It was cold. The wind whistled up through the floorboards. He pulled the collar of his donkey jacket higher and pulled his cap lower and then put his hands into his pockets. He shut his eyes to sleep.
Something woke him.
The shuffling line stretches out before Maurice and Estelle.
“Walmart on Black Friday,” Maurice quips. His face is red with effort and a drop of sweat is stranded in unfamiliar territory on the tip of his nose.