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.

Continue reading The Kid Who Thinks He’s Grown by Todd Mercer
All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Strutting Hog by James Hanna

The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense.

                                                                           -Bob Dylan

You are alive to the moment—nothing more. And the moment is not alive to you. The shrunken path you walk, the fogbanks swirling around you, the overgrown forest that slows your stride offer neither cheer nor condolence. Rather they make you feel perishable, as though you have stumbled here in your sleep.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

The Bannion Interlude by Tom Sheehan

The Bannions, from every direction and for as many reasons, pushed things their way, until all targets or causes fit the one corridor of family wishes. The power and might of their numbers, of their attitudes and abilities, made them a most pernicious band of unity tight as closed fists already past the knock-out punch and on for the kill, no matter the added punishment often unneeded.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

The Night of the Haunted by Michael McCarthy

It´s a balmy evening, there´s a couple leaning out of a dimly lit window at the side of a house overlooking an alley. They´re both naked and their heads are wreathed in smoke from their cigarettes, its effect heightened by the intermittent blinking of a faulty street light. You can´t even see the moon or stars.

Let´s call her Kate and him Daniel.

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