All Stories, Fantasy

After Dark by Nico Gurdjian

Ida hates the sunset. She also has a profound dislike for the ocean, Greece, Italian villas, and all 30,000 islands of the Pacific Ocean. But every morning she wakes up to one of them, rotating views out her window: a nightmare cycle of 5 star resort views. Sometimes she thinks she is already dead, stuck in a penitentiary of hell’s ennui where every day is more passive then the last.

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All Stories, General Fiction

What’s in a Drink? by Sushma R Doshi

They call me an English movie addict. True that. I watch every movie, web series and show streaming out of Hollywood. Not watch. Binge watch. Everyday. Till my eyes ache and my head hurts. I watch those images on my television, riveted by those pretty houses and manicured green lawns in what they call the suburbs, the crowds in…what they refer to as downtown, walking briskly to work, women in heels, men in blazers and overcoats…. the glamor of beaches, blue oceans and snow capped mountains. Even the sunlight seems different…. a golden hue showering gently on the landscape. Basking in the sun was a term invented for them. Here it is a blazing sun scorching the earth and burning us. But out of these pictures, it is that of a woman driving to a bar for a drink that I’m addicted to.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Romance

Cinema by Evelyn Voelter

I’m in our living room and the sun is hitting the couch in your spot just how you liked it. I always wanted to close the curtains so it wouldn’t fade the fabric, but today I leave them open, like you would’ve wanted. I suppose I’m daydreaming again because I swear I hear your voice. But when I turn to look at you, your spot is still empty.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, Fantasy

On Alternate Realities and Blocked Noses By Daniel Ashmore

There is a truth about loneliness that is known fervently to all those suffering from it, and yet is forgotten the very moment we find ourselves free from its oppressive yoke. That is to say that being alone is not unlike having a blocked nose.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Bobby’s Shadow by Desmond Kelly

Watching the planes take off and land. It’s possible to observe them through a gap between trees. Little glimpses, a flash of light, a roar of the engine. Gone again, come again. I’ve watched so many, it puts me to sleep. It takes a while to realise those sausage tubes contain real people. Pilots and stewardesses in their perfectly tailored suits. When I turn away, the sound of traffic returns, the commotion on the street. Windows don’t close, except in monsoon season. Even then… Snakes slip between unguarded spaces. The monkeys set up a racket. The creatures lurking in the forest make their presence known. There are no trophy hunters; no men emulating Hemingway. The fish have buried themselves in the deepest deep, the wild game have found a habitat across the border more in keeping with their lifestyle. The forest will flourish until the loggers return. And then there will be mayhem.

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All Stories, General Fiction

A Left-Handed Woman by Ann Harper Reed

Frank noticed the couple when the Antique Collective shop doorbell clanged. Even to this day, he expected to see his wife June pass through that door as the bell reverberated. The couple came inside. She a bit mousy and dressed with some expense to look like she shopped at thrift stores; he was in expensive clothes meant to look expensive with a smartphone glued to his ear. They were the kind of patrons the collective needed to survive. They were the kind to admire his craftsmanship, while still needing furniture and having the revenue to purchase.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Psychic Promise by Yash Seyedbagheri

My father seeks help from the psychics, their names a litany, a liturgy. Padre, Maria, Esmerelda, Christin. They promise good fortune, alignments of the planets. They promise to vanquish his opponents. To vanquish bad luck. And he has so much, at least in his opinion. There’s the divorce from years ago, something that still simmers. I, his only son, didn’t become a lawyer. I up and left. I became a writer, a marker that to him conjured garrets and begging for food, and not victory, conquest. He tried to amass a coterie of girlfriends from abroad, each one coming in from distant lands, snatching a green card and the possibility of things. They called him prophet, valiant lord, but those were only obsequious platitudes.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Bravado by Hugh Cron

Fuck me Ah’m pished!!

…How much shite can Ah talk tae myself?

Dae ye ken, Ah pride mysel’ oan it!

Ah look at this photo of you ma auld gran and Ah ken Ah can tell you things. Ah fuckin loved ye and ye spoilt me rotten!

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All Stories, General Fiction

Aussie Girls by Kirk Alex

(story excerpt from Blood, Sweat & Chump Change ––
Taxi Tales & Vignettes by the author)

I’m first up on the taxi stand at the Beverly Center, after waiting for close to an hour and a half. Two Aussie girls climb in the backseat. One is blond, the other a particularly thin brunette with pocked cheeks. They want to go to Melrose.

“The Bank of America on the corner,” they tell me.

Melrose is a long street, goes for miles. I need a cross street. They can’t think of it, but explain the bank is “by the shops on Melrose.” Not much help really, but feel we’ll be able to find it.

I get the meter going and pull off the stand. Turning left on La Cienega, I take them north. When we reach Melrose Avenue I make a right. I find out that the blond has lost her wallet at the B of A “by the bus stop,” and this is why they are having me take them there. They wonder what the fare will be. I quote them between five and six dollars.

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