All Stories, General Fiction

Room For the Dead, Room For the Damned by Ella Paul

“You’re a kid,” he says, and his voice is so absolute that it leaves no room for argument.

Meesha isn’t sure she’d be able to argue even if he sounded uncertain. Her eyes are blank, her lips locked in that little downward position that everyone claims neutral (that everyone knows is actually a faint frown), and as she stands in front of this leathery heap of a man, she can’t bring herself to care that she’s been caught.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Black Coffee | Hēi Kāfēi by T.L. Tomljanovic

Cigarette smoke curls up in front of my face like curtains parting on a stage. I lower my hand to my drink and shift on the hard metal stool facing the band.

The western world may have quit cancer sticks, but Shanghai is a throwback to a wilder time, and I throw myself right into it. I take another drag off my latest addiction– clove cigarettes. I soak up the nicotine, the syrupy sweetness of my rum and coke, and the atmosphere. I like sitting by myself swirling the ice in my drink and smoking. It’s a nice contrast to my workdays spent corralling dozens of shouting, laughing, and crying preschoolers.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

 Standing in the Rain to Wash the Sins Away by Tom Sheehan

He stood in the rain to wash his sins away thinking it would do the trick, cleanse his soul, invigorate him once more, to be what he once was. That’s our hero, Viking Arel Tor, neighborhood leader, pointer of straight or straighter paths, finder of fame, good luck, saving for you the best lady of all in your welcome arms, for now and always. Viking’s way in the world.

But where did he go wrong, our Viking?

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Thursday Night Woman by Tom Sheehan – Adult Content.

It was all hers, the night, the huge house, the loneliness, the dark corners of every room that she knew so well. It was all hers, and Thursday was special, just about every Thursday except the ones precluded by her natural flow. First, there’d be a soak in the tub, for an hour or so, after which she’d stand in front of the 7-foot mirror and study herself, always noting the dark mass of pubic hair, curled and rolled and headlining her view. There was a connection with that action, left by her husband, Kent.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Hundreds of Little Pieces by Rachel Sievers 

The glass falls from the counter and I find myself sucking in air right before an explosion of small bits of glass and red liquid spill out over the beige tile. I mourn the glass in the aftermath, not that it is anything special, but I hate to waste anything regardless of its obscurity of significance.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Friend by Donnie Cox

Arthur Nagel is an ugly, little man. He stands barely four feet tall, and his head is much too big for his body. The muscles on the left side of his face are totally paralyzed causing his face to droop. Because of his looks, most people think Arthur is mentally deficient. He is not.

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Crime/Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction

To Anacortes by Susan DeFelice

Leena’s fingernails are thick as scallop shells, her case worker Victoria observes. Her clinical afterthought is shoe tying and sewing must be near impossible. They are driving to a campground outside of Anacortes where Leena will stay with friends. Borne from desperation and desolation the transitional housing definition has expanded to include camping. To pass the time as they drive Leena recounts traumas with her parents, ex-husband, kids – especially her youngest daughter who kicked her out.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Suzanne by Avery Mathers

I’m standing in the bus shelter on Union Street, and the number twenty-three has been ‘due in two minutes’ for the last five minutes. People troop past on the pavement; hoods up or heads down or fighting with umbrellas. Alone together in the shelter, we happy few peer through the drizzled glass and check our watches. A splinter of Leonard Cohen is stuck in my head: Suzanne.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Paper Flowers by Thomas Sanfilip

Fiction is a reconstruction of reality, duplicitous by nature because it forestalls the recognition of what exists, what changes, what constitutes the real nature of reality. Easing into narrative is a delicate series of steps, the task of memory and imagination putting flesh to bone, clay to hearth, shape to shapelessness. Night becomes day, for the man sitting still inside the house is like so much firewood waiting to burn, like leaves gathering and recircling, collecting and dispersing in a fierce wind, taking the dead to their last place of refuge. You want him living, breathing, thinking, but imagination is depth and breadth. There is too much to remember, like the broadness of the sea when it rises and collapses.    

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