Short Fiction

The Kid Who Thinks He’s Grown by Todd Mercer

Cognitive Dissonance, my jazz combo, show signs of being on an upward swing, even though we left the audience at the altar last Fall when we almost but not quite played “A Love Supreme.” The show was a victim of unexpected interference from my day job, when my boss Ronnie was thrashed by the competition’s guys. I had to run to see him at the hospital minutes before we were planning to hit the stage. It was mandatory.

Some band members blame the inexplicably awol drummer, who prioritizes a half-week relationship over Cognitive Dissonance’s long-term reputation. Months of practice down the drain. However you frame the situation, our musical reach exceeded our grasp.

After I refund the ticket sales out of my own pocket, it’s ketchup soup and toaster leavings until Spring.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Violin by Frank Jamison

Whistler stood in the weeds, leaning against the brick wall of the old train station and listening to the susurration of wind over the tracks. The others might have known he was there, might have seen him suddenly after looking once and not seeing him as the wind stirred through the cyclone fence, wafting the trumpet vines and grasses down near the old, rusting boxcar where Nathan lived, but he saw no one. Bobo and Saint Louis lived at the other end of the yard in a faded red caboose, but nobody knew where Whistler lived. He appeared and disappeared. No one knew.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Half Broke and Fully In by Josiah Crocker

It didn’t take long before I regretted everything. By then it was too late. I cast a look back at the events that had landed me here in this moment and saw nothing but weeds. Overgrown brush and dry mud cracking under the low winter sun. A life left without watering.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Friend by Donnie Cox

Arthur Nagel is an ugly, little man. He stands barely four feet tall, and his head is much too big for his body. The muscles on the left side of his face are totally paralyzed causing his face to droop. Because of his looks, most people think Arthur is mentally deficient. He is not.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

How to Write a Hit Song by Les Bohem

Laying the Groundwork for a Hit

  1. Choose between digital or physical production.
  2. Select a theme.
  3. Draft lyrics that are timeless.
  4. Split your lyrics into syllables on staff paper.

Composing a Hit

  1. Set the tempo.
  2. Write the bass line.
  3. Design a catchy melody.

wikiHow, “How to Write a Hit Song”

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Air Guitar Eddy by Richard Leise

Because we didn’t know his name, and he played air guitar outside Family Dollar, we called him Air Guitar Eddy.  He had two dogs.  We called the pit bull Pitbull, and the other, a terrier, Funky Bitch.  Funky Bitch was pregnant, bursting at the seams, and she would sit and pant in the shade.  Because it was Family Dollar, Air Guitar Eddy, Pitbull, and Funky Bitch didn’t get much by way of charity.

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All Stories, Fantasy

Tabitha and the Tintintinabulator: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical by Leila Allison

But First, A Word From “That” Noted Supernaturalist, Miss Renfield Stoker-Belle

Unlike you “real” guys, I, as a Fictional Character, am able to speak directly to my “Creator” (aka, the nom de plume called “Leila Allison”). There ain’t no praying involved, nor are there a bunch of “mysterious ways” to incorrectly interpret. No, my Creator isn’t the type of deity whose image might be gleaned from the strewn innards of a calzone. To put it plainly, we meet and I tell her how it’s going to be whenever she wants something from me. Such happened when Allison came around and muttered something about having me take over the Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical introductions on account of my having actually written a Feeble Fable and appearing as a “Supernaturalist” in past stories.

At long last Stardom! Right?

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Day the Music Died by Deanna Shiverick

It’s a quarter past two when I get the news that someone has died from consuming too much Fizz Fresh. In a sense, I knew this day would come. Fizz Fresh is the latest and greatest carbonated beverage on the market (with a taste somewhere between Coke and Fanta, if you can even stomach that) and our newest client. Considering its 250-calorie count and the 80 milligrams of caffeine per can, I figured some people out there would become addicted enough for there to be long-term health consequences. I didn’t figure that someone would try to see what happens if you drink fifty cans in one day. But here we are. One dead thirty-two-year-old later.

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