All Stories, General Fiction

Show Off by Frederick K Foote – Contains adult language and themes.

On a balmy day in May, Betty Brown said to a joyous Black boy jiving around on Broadway, “Walk that walk, Boy. You know you sooo fine. You know I’m gonna make you mine. It’s just a matter of time.”

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Veil by A E Rocher

It was a beautiful wedding. I knew it would be. After all, I planned it.

Held outdoors, next to a crisp, perfect stream in the Great Smoky Mountains where we loved to hike. Gorgeous fall morning, with blue mist gently rising, the crop of massive boulders on the bank looking quiet yet colossal, like waiting, sleeping giants.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Bride of Christ by Mary J Breen

Every Sunday morning for the past nine years and one month, my mother-in-law has made her dauntless progress up the centre aisle of Holy Family Church on the arm of my husband. This, she believed, was ample evidence that despite his marriage to an ex-nun—holy women all of them, although those who leave their vocation perhaps not holy enough—her Danny’s primary devotion was still to his mother, not to this drab failure of a Grade Three teacher who got her claws into the school principal, no less, the gentle, much-loved Mr. Lynch. Sweet and kind and considerate with his staff and with the children, but away from school, the embodiment of an ineffectual man. But I didn’t know that then.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Hana by Mariam Saidan

I’m baking a cake, a well-mixed paste of carefully measured amounts of flour, eggs, oil, sugar, banana, baking powder and a pinch of cinnamon, ready to go in the oven for 45 minutes, when she knocks on the door. I think of taking my apron off, but I decide not to. It’s cute, with birds frolicking in a pink world. I look like an unusually traditional woman for our time, I feel. A woman. A kitchen. An apron. A cake. Pink. But I feel something perverse, almost noble, in quietly subverting these clichés still viciously clinging to these symbols. 

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction

The Making of a Star by Ximena Escobar

Red lacquer on her toenail, in the exact colour of the Duesy parked outside. One good thing about putting up with Fritz, was the cabbage.

“Money, money” she mouthed mutely; placing the cupid-bow stencil on her lips. Painting them to match the car and the nails.

Another good thing was that a man was never going to replace her in this business; no matter how wonderful the Maybelline; no one will ever want to see scantily clad men in the movies.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Darby by Rachel Lynch

Darby was born flying, and I was born hating her for it. Our house was just across the river from Darby’s family’s, our backyard and theirs stretching warlike to the banks. Their house was smaller than ours but more forceful; it was three stories tall and white and wide and had grand glass double-doors that looked out toward our back porch. We were born the same year, and our mothers would stand on either bank rubbing their bellies and swelling in the June heat.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Dream-Dresser by S. A. Leavesley

What the hell was she going to do? Claudia interrogated herself as she turned from the current strangeness of her reflection in the mirror to inspect her feelings. They were…she didn’t know how to describe them. Unsettled and unsettling? For the first time in twenty-five years, she scowled. Not only did she scowl, but her lips didn’t then pull automatically into a copycat expression of the person she’d last been with. The scowl didn’t feel right though, any more than her usual shape-shifting smile did. Or the unusual summer slacks and T-shirt she was wearing.

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All Stories, General Fiction

To Sleep Perchance to Dream by Stephen J Matlock

There it was, in black and white: Cecily VanDeGroot, dead at 88. Rich. Well-known. A good-sized family who’d want a good show. One I could give them.

Damn. “Services provided by Eternal Rest.” Lo’Retta had beat me out again. Early bird gets the worm.

And so do the dead. But we don’t tell the customers that.

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