All Stories, General Fiction

Low and Behold by David Lohrey

I tried playing it cool, but Malik knew I was pretending. We pulled out onto the highway at his usual speed, churning up a cloud of sandy dust. After a few minutes, he said, “You enjoyed that.” I said nothing. He looked at me, which was rare. So, I said, “I know you did.” Silence. I felt myself pulling a face, my childhood pout. I tried to stop. A good ten minutes later, Malik slowed considerably. I actually thought something was wrong with the car. Then, he began talking in a voice I hadn’t heard before. He started confiding in me.

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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

Ooame by J C Weir

It was almost dark.  “Ooame desu ne,” said Yumiko Sakuragawa barely audible, as she gently placed the final two bowls amongst the myriad of others on the small table, and took her place on the tatami mat floor opposite her husband.  He sat with his gaze fixed through the open shoji doors, beyond the polished pine veranda, out across the patchwork of rice fields, colourless now in fading light and heavy rain.  Two weeks ago he would have said, “It will be a good crop.”  The temperature and the humidity were favourable.  But he had become uneasy.  It was near the end of tsuyu, the rainy season, but the old man in his ninety one years, had never lived through a downpour of unceasing weight.  Such rain is not sympathetic to rice saplings.  Since morning stories he had heard when he was young, that the old people told, of a deluge that washed away the rice and the villages, had come to him.  He nodded pensively.  “So desu ne.  Ooame desu.”  Yes.  Heavy rain.

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