General Fiction, All Stories

Jimmy, the Architect by Dan Shpyra

As he was falling from the rooftop, Jimmy`s whole life flashed before his eyes. That is why it was even more upsetting. A gap year in Australia, a few good years at college, and a job until he finds something better. After his skull would have crushed against asphalt, his brain splashed all over the road, and his broken limbs would be packed in a plastic bag, would there be a grand procession? Or, perhaps, just his parents and two or three friends would mourn him for a month. Falling, Jimmy knew: the latter was the case. They would have to use vague language during his eulogy sprinkled with cliches, for there was not much to tell.

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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, sunday whatever

Sunday Whatever: I Kissed Her Goodbye by Jacob Greb

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Feature. Today we proudly present a breathless little “kiss” of a work by Jacob Greb. Although it is brief and lies somewhere between a prose poem and a story, we found this too wonderful to pass by. We hope you agree.

***

I Kissed Her Goodbye

I stare at the headlights with distress. The restless night made me a zombie. “Brains?” I beg a bystander. He kindly smiles.

“You fool,” memories of Julia’s last words like waves return to the shore. If only I knew how to swim. I keep on chasing the wrong fields. The meadow has turned brown. The autumn has come and Julia’s feet got cold. She likes to wear orange and green striped wool socks. My mesh of a head however can’t catch any fish. I am lonesome for her touch but Julia repeats that she loves me more. We sweep each other into our arms and lay wrapped in the blanket.

“Your heart beats radicle,” Julia says between her hums. She does so to sway me to sleep, but my fingers tingle readily to paint a thousand moons. The notes stain another night as the pianist plays the wrong lullaby. My mother’s curse carries on. White stripes and surgical tables. That’s where my mind wonders at the late hour. The wanderer I become. Julia falls asleep and I lay listening to her light snores. Nothing can cure my disease. I lift my feet and leave the bed, stumbling on the crate reused as storage for books and doctor’s notes. Hope has left the day. The streets at two finally breathe with relief. A bicycle leans against a steel pole for thieves to gaze at and take.

“Don’t leave your valuable unattended.” The reminder notice I keep in my pocket. I stole it from the psych ward.

I enter the middle lane and take my chances. The strange air is left behind by the last exhaust pipe and I inhale the pollution and cough. Fly by with a honk, but I continue to walk to the top of the block and close the loop. Takin’ on the sideways, finding a nickel, before I stop and stare at the headlights approaching, thinking of poor Julia. The curve of her smile as she whispered, “I love you. Good night. Be in peace. You fool.”

I kissed her goodbye.

Jacob Greb

All Stories, General Fiction

Feathers by Lindsay Bennett Ford

The plasticity of the charity bag felt like another cruel humiliation to Marilyn. Her once fashionable flowered sleeved blouses and trim-line shift dresses had been taken down from their hangers in the wardrobe – only to be dragged out in handfuls by the spiky haired shop assistant with youthful enthusiasm while Marilyn’s cheeks burned. Bright colours clashing like layers of a trifle, chiffon and polyester laid on top of one another in the bag, pressed trouser legs are unseemingly wrapped around a starched collar, polyester and cotton acting like reunited accomplices caught and stretched out on the counter, inspected and held up against the harsh fluorescent light. Something bounces out the bag and with a loud ping, rolls across the floor.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Helen vs The Gas Pump by Joel Pedersen

Helen stood at the back of her car, in the unrelenting heat of summer in the desert, staring blankly at the pump. This was the first time she had pumped gas since David had passed. A great, vital man. A locomotive halted by the failure of the tiniest part, cascading into ever progressive, irrevocable destruction. It was one of the worst things she had ever experienced, and when the end came it was the worst relief. She had her hand on the valve when, looking back at her car, past the faded McCain 2008 bumper sticker, there was no gas cap cover. She remembered then that she had always been on the opposite side of the car, in the passenger seat, as David pumped gas. So she got back in the car and turned it around.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Horror

Their Greenness is a Kind of Grief by Jie Wang

The sun is gone. They have a new sun now: a giant in a suit and tie floating in the sky like a zeppelin, holding a gigantic glaring mirror. They don’t know what the light source is. Maybe still the old sun. Maybe it was captured and hidden by the giant. The new sun never sets. He gives them no break.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Desert Dust by James Bates

The middle-aged, balding man sitting behind the desk at the Arapahoe County Funeral Home looked up as I walked in. He smiled a greeting. “Good morning.”

“Good morning,” I said, trying to be polite since I really didn’t want to be there. “My name is Sam Jorgenson. I think I talked to you earlier this week. I came for my father’s ashes.”

“Ah, Mr. Jorgenson.” He nodded, his face taking on what I figured was his practiced look of sad commiseration. He stood up, came around his deck, and extended his hand. “Nice to meet you,” he said. “Yes, we did talk. I’m Jack Benson, the director here. May I offer my condolences.”

I shook his hand. It was dry and cold to the touch. “Thank you. Nice to meet you,” I said.

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All Stories, General Fiction

R.I.P. Beautiful Man by Tim Goldstone

He’s dead now of course. But my fondest memories of him are those summers when he would spend the long days in his garden catching mosquitoes in his special trap. “They’re not malarial here in England,” he said, “But we can soon sort that out.” And I would watch him injecting them with what he called his malarial blood that he siphoned out from the veins in the backs of his hands and stored in the same small transparent plastic bags the goldfish came in that you could win at the fair. He hung the blood-bags up medical style from the interior horizontal poles that kept the roof of his khaki ex-army canvas tent from sagging; then dressing himself as Ava Gardener he would attempt to nurse the mosquitoes back to health, constantly mopping their brows while delicately using tweezers and a magnifying glass to turn their tiny heads from side to side in a perfect imitation of febrile delirium, and calling them all Stewart Granger until he fainted. Once he was comatose on the tent’s dirt floor I would without fail take the opportunity to examine his astonishing knees. In the past they were simply called ‘knobbly knees’ and as such regarded both as humorous accessories, and objects of pride which could be awarded a small cash prize at a 1950s Butlin’s Holiday Camp. He was lucky to live when he did, as nowadays no doubt a doctor would insist that for your own comfort and quality of life you had them replaced with alloys of cobalt-chromium and titanium and high-grade, wear-resistant plastic, and, as perhaps you’re beginning to see, that would not have suited him at all.

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All Stories, Historical

Margery by Chloe Price

Margery was a stubborn woman, but not without reason. She spends her days sitting on uncomfortable ground, sweating over tiny cooking pots and trying to make the best meal she can with the small amounts of food she has. Everyone is thankful, no one complains, but she knows she can do better.

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Short Fiction

‘Will They Remember Us?’ Little Ignaz Wonders by Antony Osgood

‘Will they come this morning?’

The boy cannot see his older brother’s face in the gloom, and neither can his forgetful toy bear. On any given day, during each endless hour and restless night, the single candle they afford themselves silhouettes the pretence of confidence. It has become a circus puppet show they take turns to perform.

 ‘Not this morning.’

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