All Stories, General Fiction

Gameday with Gran by Shawn Nocher

 “But why, Gran, why does everybody have to die?” He was only eight and it wasn’t like the idea was news to him. But it wasn’t something he thought much about until it got personal.

She only shrugged, advanced one of her checker pieces. “Pay attention.”  

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All Stories, General Fiction

Counting Leaves by Tim Frank

“I want you to go out into the street today, Lionel, and stand there, for maybe an hour or so, then come back and tell me what you’ve seen. I want you to be real descriptive, make it all come alive. Don’t let me down because I’m really getting fed up sitting here, not even able to see a leaf on a tree. You’ve got your problems, but you still have your sight so please treasure it and share it with me.”

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All Stories, General Fiction

A Better Mousetrap by syndie allen

Chairs splintered. Egg yolk dripping off the ceiling. A gash here, a bruise there and he was tired. He was more than tired. The lumps and blame he had taken over the years finally put him over his line and as he sat nursing the latest wound, carefully devising another excuse to avoid punishment, a little place in his feline brain began expanding. Instead of the inevitable excuse, instead of the blood dripping down his paw, the brain space began to grow. It began to focus on his blood.

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General Fiction, Short Fiction

Only a Jellyfish Would Live Forever by Leila Allison

The Scenario: Part I 

He crushed two pills between his teeth and swallowed. That made four in an hour. A stomach that wanted to stay alive would have objected; but for once there was consensus. He believed that two more similar doses within the next thirty minutes should punch his ticket to the Undiscovered Country. Perhaps such an important event as flirting with self destruction should come accompanied by an unfilched metaphor, but when in doubt go with Shakespeare–Besides he’d used up all the sparklers in his suicide note. It was a fine suicide note. Well written, streaked with effortless pathos and humor. It was the best thing he had ever written. “All show, no tell,” he’d said after lighting it on fire and watching it curl to black in the kitchen sink.  “Best punched ticket ever.”

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

The Line Man’s Last Drive by Harrison Kim  

Scrawny old Bill Jackson worked twenty years as janitor at the mine.  He swept the lunchroom, washed and waxed the office floors, operated the snowplough and weed whacked the grass.  He liked to see things clean.  After the mine closed, he spent most of his time driving up and down the highway and side-roads picking up cans and bottles.  “Without me, the garbage would just pile-up” he told anyone who’d listen. He hauled discarded tires, old couches, rotten mattresses into the back of his pickup and drove them to the landfill.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Crimson Coloured Raindrops by David Darvasi

Part One: A murderer I cared for

There was a young boy once who has read a lot – not for any romantic reason, other than his father being unavailable, and his mother being overly available. He spent most of his Saturdays in Chapter Zero (local second-hand bookstore and library) – not for any romantic reason, other than his father being unavailable. He would have spent most of his Sundays there too, but he stayed home instead – not for any romantic reason, other than his mother being overly available.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Of Empty and Sliding by Thao Nguyen

You tap left but the phone doesn’t register. Touchscreen gloves aren’t so touchy after all. Instead, the story slides onto the next one, the one on the right, which glowed orange and black like hot molten metal. There’s a silhouette of a kangaroo.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Strays by Annie Moore

On our third date we did some petting. She said she didn’t mind my nose that drooped like burnt wax and was porous with puss. She coiled her hands into my chest hair which was whitening with the withering days. I couldn’t afford to pay her much, hence she only gave half-assed blowies. Out of pity she called this encounter a date. She knew I was dying, and I knew I needed to put that pity where my pennies weren’t.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Fast Train to Burton by Matthew Roy Davey

As he emerged from the subway, George shaded his eyes, blinking into the morning sun.  At the top of the steps he paused, glancing around the island platform.  It was busy and the benches all seemed taken.  A little further on he found a space between a middle-aged woman and a gnarled old man.  It wasn’t hard to see why the space was free, but George’s head was spinning and he had to sit down.  He nodded as the man’s yellowy grey eyes met his for an instant.  The man folded his newspaper to make space before hunching his shoulders and continuing to read.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Fire by Nicholas Higginson

The groaning and gibbering column of mourners stood over the small, still warm cat. All wept and shook save three. The old man, leaning slightly harder on his left side, looked only at the boy, his daughter’s son. The boy was silent also, though wore the look of the savaged. The third to keep from buckling to the emotion of the scene was the vet who had administered the barbiturates.

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