All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Passing On by John J. Dillon

Kemp emerged from the dark woods behind the little St. Andrew’s church and took a moment to look things over. One car sat in the small lot and a few stained glass windows glowed with feeble light. His watch showed 8:58 p.m. All good for his scheduled private confession.

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General Fiction, Short Fiction

Good News Club by Leila Allison

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Mom was a world class liar. Once in a lifetime. She believed that a solid lie should have few moving parts; this theory allowed her to capitalize on the specious notion that true-sounding things are brief. Mainly, Mom got her whoppers over with a confident attitude,brevity and something in her eyes that told you not to fuck with it further.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Black and White Christmas by T.L. Tomljanovic

Isla liked to play a little game while driving on Highway 4 to Grandma and Grandpa’s for Christmas. She zigzagged her eyes between telephone poles and farm fence posts until her head hurt. The car window was an endless stream of canola fields blanketed with snow and open skies. 

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General Fiction, Short Fiction

In the Right Spirit? by Nidhi Srivastava Asthana

It was a very steep slope. Even the hunters felt unsure of their steps. The thick creepers and grasses made every tread a threat since there was no way of knowing what the escapees were disturbing on the untrodden path. The deerstalkers amongst them could have been expected to feel less unsettled, but it felt strange for them to be carrying babies or half-carrying the elderly. Noi insisted on clinging to Sai. In the Asia of so long ago, much before any contact with Westerners or Christianity, ‘till death do us part’ was her own inborn resolve. Sai had no choice.

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All Stories, Fantasy

A Currency of Serpents by David Henson

Five minutes, twenty-nine seconds for milk, bread and a few other items? Ridiculous. The clerk transfers the time from my corporate God Assurance card to the store’s account. “Here you are, Mr. Spencer.” He gives me a rattler.

I pass the diamondback between my hands a few times then raise it to eye level to complete the required time. As I give the snake back to the clerk, I hear a woman in the next booth gasp.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Bride of Christ by Mary J Breen

Every Sunday morning for the past nine years and one month, my mother-in-law has made her dauntless progress up the centre aisle of Holy Family Church on the arm of my husband. This, she believed, was ample evidence that despite his marriage to an ex-nun—holy women all of them, although those who leave their vocation perhaps not holy enough—her Danny’s primary devotion was still to his mother, not to this drab failure of a Grade Three teacher who got her claws into the school principal, no less, the gentle, much-loved Mr. Lynch. Sweet and kind and considerate with his staff and with the children, but away from school, the embodiment of an ineffectual man. But I didn’t know that then.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Temple Dog by Richard Yu

Abbess Wang was the first to discover the baby at the doorstep of the temple, bundled up in thick layers of blankets, protecting it from the chilly night. She checked its sex. Instantly, she developed a deep dislike for the boy. This was the first time someone had left an infant at the temple, and Abbess Wang did not want it to acquire a reputation for being an orphanage.

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Fantasy, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Rapturous by Marco Etheridge

The Rapture came to pass on an Easter Sunday and the irony was lost on no one, except perhaps the two and a half billion people who were vacuumed off the face of the earth. What exactly the departed experienced, ironical or literal, remained a mystery. None of them ever returned.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Julia’s End by Hugh Cron – Warning – Strong Adult Content Of A Sexual Nature

Foreword:

This is one of two stories that I’ve been given free gratis with. I really do appreciate that and that is why I wanted to explain why I chose this one.

I was playing around, for so many reasons, with changed perceptions and this is what I came up with.

My fellow editors felt the content was too strong but it had to be for what I was going for. I wanted to see if I could alter a reader’s sympathies and to do that I needed the situation to be so abhorrent that they would need a real change of heart.

I wondered if we always fall down on one side or another with our sympathies or were there situations where, until all was revealed, our initial gut feelings may not be relied on and would be changed not just dramatically but more than once.

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