All Stories, General Fiction

Just Trying to Make a Living by Donna M. Williams

Ethel Jordan holds her hands out in front of her. She never liked her hands. The fingers are stubby, too short to be mistaken for the fingers of a pianist which she had wanted to be in another life.

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All Stories, General Fiction

An Invite for Kanji

Kanji’s shop is easy to spot, the name board is big and backlit, and it stands out amongst shabby establishments with dull yellow-red lighting. I shoulder my way through the late evening bazaar crowd to reach the store.

It’s getting dark and I don’t like the look of this neighborhood. Yet I set out to see ‘my uncle’ thanks to my innate sense of duty.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Wicked Magdalena by Ailbhe Curran

Hovering over the table, the young lady stands. Though she calls herself woman. But only in whispers. The room caves upon her slight frame as she leans to re-read the letter, clutching the pen in her hand. Her wild crimson hair which once ran free and loose is pinned and smoothed from her face, just the way it pleases him. The kitchen is sparkling too much for an observer, but all appearances are in place so that he can tell himself that life is perfection and that he is perfection too. Little does he know that the table is set tonight for his Last Supper with the wicked Magdalena. The Magdalena who beneath her apron hides the bruises of unladylike womanhood, the bruises of those who dared to challenge his Gospel one too many times.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Whole Me, the Whole She, the Whole Nine Yards by Antony Osgood

For an ugly man making minimum wage in his thirties – okay, then, mid-twenties – it is a hard life – for a man who could do with a change of apron, you’re full of mucky questions. Rather than stare at me and pepper my face with questions, you could be busy changing blown bulbs, or turn up the café’s heating, maybe put the clock right, or making a decent cup of coffee. Maybe you’re simply the curious kind, or have learned to believe I am, as your only customer, late at night, your business. Perhaps my being alone is nothing less than an invitation for you to make enquiries while you run your eye over me. What’s the unshaved old man doing out so late at night in Brighton on a wet weekend in March? Shouldn’t he be thinking about escorting his accent back to Lincolnshire? Has he no home to get to? Where is he staying?

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All Stories, General Fiction

I Love You More by Harrison Kim

A hollowness opened in me as I entered the house, a space within a space, as if I already sensed what had been lost.  In the TV room the stuffed toys lay piled almost to the ceiling, their little heads and tiny eyes facing up.  A whirring in my ears began, from the space within a space, “hello?” I said and the sound disappeared.  Where were the cats?  I paused at at the stairs to the second floor.  The steps up seemed staged, like a movie set, “Follow us, the show’s about to begin,” said the hollow in my head.  I went to the kitchen instead.

I will not give in yet,” I thought, though that hollow space signalled over and over again “this is not going to be good.”

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Passing On by John J. Dillon

Kemp emerged from the dark woods behind the little St. Andrew’s church and took a moment to look things over. One car sat in the small lot and a few stained glass windows glowed with feeble light. His watch showed 8:58 p.m. All good for his scheduled private confession.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Saturday Omelettes by Paul Kimm

James was making the Saturday omelettes as they called them. The late morning meal he made each week whilst Penny took her long Saturday bath. He cracked two white shell eggs into the glass bowl. He preferred the white shell to the browner shell ones. He tapped in some salt and pepper, picked up the whisk and mixed slowly with the bowl secured between his arm and torso. He admired the way they went from two yellow spheres to a marbled swirl of yolk and transparent albumen, through to a singular, opaque, autumnal sun colour. The girls were playing in the garden, chasing each other around, shrieking when one made a grab for the other. The day was warm enough to keep the kitchen door to the garden open. He put a frying pan on the hob, lit the gas, and knifed in the butter which bubbled immediately. After circling the melted butter around the pan, he tilted the mix into it at a slight angle allowing it to slowly slide in. He went into the hallway and called upstairs.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Wrecking Ball by Stevie doCarmo

“I’ve done it more than once. Which makes it possibly a bad habit.”  

 “What’s that?” Rama had asked.  

She’d been complexly twisted in her bus seat, patchouli-scented Jessica, pea-coated back to window, New Jersey gliding by behind her in what Rama remembered as a raw and drizzly November afternoon. “I just tell some people straight-out I’ll sleep with them if they want.”  

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All Stories, General Fiction

Biff Malibu by James Hanna

My wife, Mary, and I sit on the deck of The Boatyard, a Sarasota seafood restaurant. Since our retirement, we lunch here several times a month. Mary is eating a hamburger because she is allergic to seafood. I am devouring fish-and-chips, which I have smothered with malt vinegar.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Strange Encounter by Tom Sheehan

I knew it was one of “those” days the very moment I woke up, my head spinning as dawn clustered around me calling for attention, trying to snap me back to a real encounter, not the lingering touches of darkest night I had no control over.

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