All Stories, General Fiction

Light by Yash Seyedbagheri   

It’s the first clear winter night in almost two weeks. I drive the streets into our valley community, 2003 Subaru Forester rattling with age and emptiness. Well, more like I’m driving down the one winding main street that slopes down a hill, flanked by cathedral-like ponderosas. A few side streets branch off to the market and the cluster of shops and the one or two churches that flank either side of the river. The outskirts, the hills beyond, my cabin,  darkened rooms, and bills wait behind me, all splayed across the kitchen table. Power, water, a myriad of cards maxed out, in part due to my fondness for Fat Tire.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Carried by Yash Seyedbagheri

The coffee shop with the sunshine walls closes. The skies are dark with charcoal-colored clouds. Home looms, Nick’s thesis waiting to be formatted with precision. Half inch margins flush with some part of the page or another. Overdue credit card bills demand their due. Graduation looms.

There’s no more time to sit and absorb laughter and dirty jokes. No time to watch undergraduates and senior citizens move with ease and a devil-may-care attitude.

The world awaits.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Empty Histories by Yash Seyedbagheri

At the coffee shop, all the tables are full, both the rectangular tables and the smaller square ones. People fill each side, hunched over computers and stacks of notes. There are boyfriends and girlfriends in turd-colored hoodies and skimpy white tank-tops, parents and children dissecting fractions and Abraham Lincoln, laughter, hugs, shoving, F-bombs deployed with cheer, fusillades of life fired into my ears.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Dying Things by Yancarlo

There was a dog on the road. A mangy thing with grey fur falling out in tufts showing its wrecked body. I saw him one night limping up the road as I smoked my cigarette and did nothing. I watched it limp towards the side of the road snout burrowing deep into the dewy grass looking for anything to eat. He found the mouse whose body I had thrown there earlier in the day. I didn’t kill the mouse. Something else did. The mangy thing found the mouse and eyed it suspiciously for a moment, natural suspicion overriding starvation for an instant, and then ate the mouse. The mangy thing limped away just as I finished my cigarette and went inside.

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All Stories, General Fiction

All My Darlings Waiting by Antony Osgood

I caught her eye. Recognised a kindred spirit. Her head then converted into cruor popcorn. Colour of grey nail varnish, millet porridge. Scarlet white and woeful.

I feared I’d lose my lonesome bench for good.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Friend Request by Yash Seyedbagheri

Mom costs me friends. She shows up drunk to my high school functions. Double-fists Merlot at a parent teacher conference. And it happens again at my drama club production of Hamlet, set in a Burger King. Although this time she imbibes Pinot.

Friends’ parents suggest I’m not good company. It’s not me, they claim. They just have to be selective. This is high school, it’s a volatile time for everyone. People are easily influenced.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Horror

Vampires by Paul Blaney

Jonathan was out on his front porch swing, engrossed in another vampire book, when he gave a shiver and, looking up, caught his neighbor’s dark eye. Willy was across the street, standing on his own front porch. ‘Okay if I come over?’ he called apologetically.

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