Someone is locked in the trunk of the car. They bang against their prison as the woman climbs onto the roof.Continue reading “Too Close to Hell by Phil Hurst”
I sit in darkness, isolated from the world by a dark wooden door. If I think hard enough, I can imagine I’m standing in a sunny field, or listening to the roar of ocean waves. But I’m not. As much as I try, the thin closet door in the bathroom is not enough to block out the screams.Continue reading “Seroquel by Olivia Austin”
“Open your eyes.”
The voice crawls in from the dark. It is little more than a whisper. I am still dazed; I can barely distinguish the words.Continue reading “The Maker of Crèches by Loredano Cafaro”
She has a gun sitting in her lap. It’s stark against the pretty floral pattern of her dress. Like a bomb ticking away in a family’s flower garden, and Reverend Davis has no idea what to do about it.Continue reading “Eye of the Hurricane by Engela Snyman”
How he came to finding her was funny. Funny ha ha. But fuck all else about this was funny.
He dropped the key. Or the key dropped out of his hand. Depending on your level of charitability.
Double fuck and bollocks.Continue reading “The Girl with the Feet by Jane Houghton”
Louis Pyne squats on his haunches beside the corpse. The boathouse is cold as a meat locker. A massive hangover is dancing a tarantella six-eight time inside his skull, and the two guys standing behind Lou are making him nervous. At least they’re hungover as well. Hell, even the corpse would be begging for aspirin if he wasn’t so dead.Continue reading “The Fall Guy by Marco Etheridge”
Her husband wondered where she had gone. Bernadim could see his wife’s car clearly from the air. There didn’t appear to be anything wrong. He took a quick look as he passed over, spotting his wife’s Jag, a beautiful new sedan which she preferred to drive herself, often leaving her driver when she was certain to find parking. He hadn’t noticed before the beauty of the drive’s flowering canopy. Years ago, on a trip to Table Mountain and Cape Town, his grandfather had been inspired by the wide use of the jacaranda and, upon his return, had dozens of the flowering trees planted along the road leading to the family house. When in full bloom, which happened more or less all at once, the full-grown trees created what looked to be clouds of lavender and violet descended from the heavens, ready to carry away all those anxious to meet God.Continue reading “Baptism by Fire by David Lohrey”
You find meaning where you make it, I thought, polishing off my second bourbon and getting up to leave. I’d stopped by Puffy’s after an early piano gig, hoping to take the edge off before heading home. I couldn’t stop thinking about the old man —always worrying about him, continually reframing the narrative in my mind. I’m grateful for the time I have left with him was the best I could come up with.Continue reading “In For a Penny, In For a Pound by David Thomas Peacock”
She shrieks, and the noise echoes through the vast space and up towards the high, glass roof. She is half running, half tottering through Glasgow Central Station wearing a pair of siren blue stilettos. They clatter. A huddle of lads, all pastel shirted up for a night in the town, look over and stare. She throws her arms around me as if it’s a feckin lover’s reunion. ‘Bernadette. Oh My God,’ she squeals. ‘You haven’t changed a bit.’Continue reading “One Treacherous Evening by Claire Deans”
They say you’re a paladin, but all I see is a fool.
Look at you: armored like a crawdad with the brains to match. One wrong move on that poleboat and you’ll sink to the base of the swamp.
Gimme your hand. Let’s get you back on solid ground—if you can call this pier solid. The stilts wobble in the sludge, so watch your step.
Not a talker, clearly. Don’t bother unrolling that scroll. I know all about your oath of silence. Word travels fast among us Marshmen. As the village shaman, I was among the first to learn about your little quest. You seek redemption, yes?
Then go home. Adopt a war orphan and get on with your life. Truth be told, you’d have better luck floating in that platemail than slaying the Bogroth.Continue reading “The Grim Morass by David Samuels”