Short Fiction

The Entrepreneur of Chaos by Harrison Kim      

“All hail the long-dead coal baron and builder of our city!” Mayor Giovanni announced at the erection of Captain Rumsby Calvin’s fibreglass statue back in 1973, at the 100th anniversary of the mining development that changed our farming town of Satilano into an industrialized and prosperous mid-sized urban area.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Killer Killer by Doug Hawley

I had been hoping to be invited into The Posse for some time.

If you are too young to remember, or have been asleep for many years, here’s how we came to this.  The world has always had serious divisions, not the least the USA, but disintegration here accelerated with the ravings of a former president whose name I don’t use.  He died of a heart attack screaming “I’m the president’ while being questioned during his 2022 trial for various and sundry financial crimes.  Soon thereafter, led by his sons and daughters, true believers were convinced he didn’t die and would soon return to save the country.  Cult 45, as it became known, began to plague politicians at all levels of government with arson, death threats and kidnapping.  Politicians aligning with Cult 45 were treated likewise by the enemies of Cult 45.  Those opposed Cult 45 were called Anti45 by their supporters, and spelled derisively Auntie45 by Cult 45.  The country was further divided by an Endemic, worsened by many variants.  Mask or not, vaccine or not, the country was violently divided.  As government was forced to protect itself, the business of governing the masses was left behind.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Danse Russe by David Lohrey – Adult content.

It was late. I was ready to split. He had my keys. I’d given him them at the back door. I’d warned him on the phone. I had work in the morning. “Me, too. Me, too.” I figured we had an understanding. I hesitated to wake him. I’d been having a good time. I had been triumphantly unselfconscious. Now, not so much. I pulled a throw rug around myself. In my excitement over the phone, I had said something about my rule, that I wouldn’t leave until he’d come three times, but he didn’t seem too interested. He just said, “No negotiating, bro. Nah, house rules. You come into my home naked, you mine. That’s it.” I said okay. Now, I was stuck. It was getting to be midnight. Finally, I threw off the cover: fuck it.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Long Live Carl Mar by Jane Houghton

Two punks sat outside a church, their slouching backs touching the north-facing wall, a few metres from the entrance – so as not to block God’s passage. Neither were religious, in fact they thought it utter shite, but they knew about respect. Respected respect. Their hair was spiky, but there were no spikes on them.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Museum Picture By Jeremiah Minihan

“Completely naked?”

“Don’t worry, my dear, it will be all right.” He cocked his head. “You did promise.”

Mr. Thayer moved to touch Lydia’s shoulder, but she pulled back, wrapping the thick robe tighter. Mr. Thayer – she would never have thought to call him Gregory – stood back from her. Lydia could not interpret his expression. He might have been showing a twist of amusement or contempt around his bearded lips, but mostly she felt that he was studying her as if she were an animal or a specimen. That was what he did, after all, studied and painted.

And she had promised him. She found herself blushing. At the same time, she felt in control, in some way.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Science Fiction

The Night by Desmond Kelly

He doesn’t peer into every corner. He doesn’t need to know. There are shadows on the wall, leaving an indistinct impression. One among many. The walking wounded stare back. Casualties of war. Now, they’re in another place, fighting battles for survival. Their wounds are all too real. There is no front line, or back seat, or room with a view. Come dawn, along with the rats, they all disappear.

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All Stories, General Fiction

To the Brim and Back by Tom Sheehan

The sun fell sideways through windows of his home looking on the river, silence an absolute enemy, his mind suddenly clearer than ever, 79-year old Guillaume Gee Gee Poupon threw down his cane and screamed from the head of the stairs: I’m tired of leaning. I’m tired of being alone. I’m tired of this goddamn house holding me like a briefcase. I’m out of here. He cursed in a deep Acadian voice and the sounds brought a smile on his face. Blood pumped in his chest, being known; cavalier, he thought, Vesuvian, oh that once I had been so young.

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All Stories, Historical

Blue Flame Rising by Holly Wells

Something shakes me from sleep, a rhythmic clanging, harsher than the church bell. And closer too.

I sit up. The walls flicker in the dim light of the hearth fire. Across the room, Father’s side of the bed is empty, but Mother’s is not. She can sleep through anything.

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All Stories, Science Fiction

Never Coming Back by Matt Hobbs

‘This is Britain! My fuckin’ Britain!’ shouted Gleeman as he slammed his ham-sized fist into his wife’s stomach. ‘Things are different now! There’ll be no more of your lip and no more of your equality. We don’t do that shit in my country no more!’ He stuck out his oily hand. ‘Gi’s it!’

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