On the Edge by Mel Nicholson

 

Aeryn Baker climbed into the back of his limousine and read the letter from his late husband, Van Philip Harris, for perhaps the hundredth time.

            Dearest Mother and Beloved Husband, 

You each have been a comfort and loving support to me in your unique ways, though the feud between you has been a source of consternation to me. It is my earnest wish that the two of you find a deeper understanding of one another. Toward that end, I wish the two of you to spend an evening together on my yacht, the Floating Edge. Should either party decline to participate, the declining party shall be awarded the sum of one dollar. The remainder of their inheritance shall be forfeit.

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A Thousand Little Benjies by Mohammad Sadegh Sadeghi

I

A thousand little Benjies constantly talk in my head. A thousand little creatures speaking, some in subdued almost suppressed and some in apprehensive yet hollow tones, somewhere in my head. They all talk, all of them, together, simultaneously. Shut up, shut up, shut up. They keep repeating those words. Like parrots on cocaine, they keep repeating those words. Blah, Blah, Blah. Tickets please, sir. I was sitting, and the clock went one, then two, then three, then she came picked me up and then we were here and I was sitting again but we were moving. And we are moving, and they are moving, and those are moving, and maybe it was a bicycle and not a bike. Maybe we’re not moving at all, and it’s just my head horsing around. I have liquid memories and container moods, the latter follows shape and the former follows suit. I press my eyes against my palms, and I melt right through. They won’t let me forget. These bastards won’t let me forget.

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The Absolution by Leila Allison

“Is it fair?”

 Those were the last words Eddie said to the man he had thought I was before he drifted back into the only honest sleep of his final days. A smiling sleep caused by my youngest daughter, who did one of the finest  things I have ever seen a human being do.

Eddie died yesterday, and his parents have asked me to speak at his “Celebration of Life” this Sunday. I have plenty of harmless Eddie anecdotes to warm hearts and kill ten minutes with. It may be cynical of me to say it, but even though the most timid human being tends to live an R-rated life, few celebrations of such are anything less than family friendly.

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Vestigial by Thomas Elson

What can loosen a bond of thirty years?

What can strengthen what can no longer be made strong?

David felt as if he were living inside his recurring fear begun decades earlier inside a chanked and abandoned farm building off a path hidden by overhanging branches surrounded by unproductive land more than fifty yards from a gravel county road when he sat on the wooded floor with the tip of a rifle barrel stuffed in his mouth.

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