All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Keys in a Sewer by Dave Gregory

The house keys fell from my pocket when I reached for my gloves. Attached to a silver ring, they clattered on the sewer grate, slipped through, and disappeared with a splash.

I cursed, threw my head back, and considered the enormity of the problem: it was the week between Christmas and New Year’s; my wife was at a yoga retreat with her sister, in upstate New York; my landlord was probably out of town; I had only loose change in my pocket; less than a quarter-charge on my phone; and my bladder was almost full.

After donning the gloves, I tried lifting the grate but it wouldn’t budge. Recovering the keys was unlikely, what I wanted was a hiding place from my shame.

Continue reading “Keys in a Sewer by Dave Gregory”

All Stories, General Fiction

Samaritan by Paul Blaney

Eight o’clock and the tubes were on strike again. Graham started at the bus stop closest to his bedsit but after two 19s sailed past, both packed to the gills, he began to walk down Blackstock Road. He passed three more stops, all besieged, before reaching the tube station at Finsbury Park, the first place the 19 took on passengers. People were standing three-deep in the road, shifting for position, waiting for a bus to come and carry them off to work.

Continue reading “Samaritan by Paul Blaney”

All Stories, General Fiction

Crisis Line by Harrison Kim

1.

After my wife died, I volunteered on a crisis line.  “You must keep clear limits with callers,” said Marilyn the training coordinator.  “Don’t under any circumstances interact with anyone in person.”

I didn’t tell her that my boundaries were non-existent. That’s why I lived mostly alone.

Continue reading “Crisis Line by Harrison Kim”