All Stories, General Fiction

Hunger by Shawn Eichman

The old woman would still be alive if she had just stayed inside.

Stefan clawed at his sweat-soaked blanket. She haunted him every night. Damned locals. It was their own fault.  If they didn’t sabotage the supply lines, the soldiers wouldn’t need to requisition food from the villagers. Requisition. Steal. Stefan didn’t care. He was hungry. Her farm looked abandoned. The doors on the dilapidated barn came off the hinges with little more than a pull. Inside there were an emaciated cow, two goats and a few chickens. Pathetic. Stefan balked when Ivan ordered him to search the attic—he was sure to break his neck if the stairs collapsed. But orders were orders. One bag of wormy grain. Wasted effort.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Cartoon by Cy Hill

It would be a lark to sit before a cartoonist at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, a joke because last night two of her oil paintings were hung in an art exhibition hall side by side with a pair of her husband’s oils.  Would not a cartoon of her be the perfect ironic token to give him to commemorate their recognition?  One local art critic dubbed them the “Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera” of Orange County, California.  Granted, her husband had cultivated him and planted the phrase, but now it was out there.

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All Stories, Fantasy

I Will Gift My Dragon by LC Gutierrez

Other people’s dragons?  Maybe you find your rooftop scorched and have to change your weekend plans.  But when you say “MY dragon”, that’s a different story.  My world was all fucked and I could no longer ignore it.  Two choices: 1- Keep stumbling along, half-assing a mediocre existence, or 2 – Take control. 

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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, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, Horror

Regrets de Foie Gras by Mitchell Toews

The shuffling line stretches out before Maurice and Estelle.

“Walmart on Black Friday,” Maurice quips. His face is red with effort and a drop of sweat is stranded in unfamiliar territory on the tip of his nose.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Three Things by L’Erin Ogle

“Three things?” he said.

“Three things,” Lexie said.  She was lying on her stomach, ankles crossed and held in the air, typing on her Mac.  He had a Dell himself.  But Lexie and her mother were Apple through and through.  His ex-wife would buy a toilet seat if the Apple logo was on it.

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All Stories, General Fiction

February by Nik Eveleigh

Some days bring sunshine. Some bring rain. And somewhere along the line life settles in hard as a February sky. Locks down your dreams tight against the iron earth and dares you to object. For such a short month it exacts a long toll.

A bunch of scientists did an experiment once with fleas. They took half a dozen of the brightest and bounciest, dropped them in a jar and screwed on the lid. For a couple of days those fleas launched themselves into almost continually. Eventually, through pain or weariness or both, they stopped jumping so high. They settled on a spot two thirds of the way up the sides of the jar and that was their limit. Even after the lid came off and they could have bounded their way to freedom those fleas kept right on jumping to a place well below the potential of possibility.

Maybe I’m being melodramatic but if that leaden February sky ever clears I wonder how high I can still jump.

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