All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

The Ballad of Simon Bolter by David Ford

The only thing fake about me is my name. Everything else, from the leather of my riding coat, to the bullets in my revolver, to most importantly, the intentions in my heart, are very real. To the world, I will soon be known as Simon Bolter, but to one currently unsuspecting soul, I will even sooner be known as “the man who robbed me.”

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All Stories, Editor Picks, General Fiction, Latest News, Short Fiction, Writing

Week 428: Spring Cleaning; the Week That Is; Ten Names For the Inhabitants in the Box Behind the Stairs

In Just Spring

The American Pacific Northwest is similar in climate to the UK. Both are just about as north as the other and both are close to an ocean. My home in the Puget Sound region is typical of the kind of weather found in such latitudes. We get twenty, sometimes thirty spring days spread over the course of four months. Seldom more than two in a row.

When it does come, everything gets all warm and cheery. People appear ready to spontaneously break out in song, smiles are unforced, and birds often garnish people with necklaces made from wildflowers, just like Snow White.

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All Stories, Science Fiction

After the Robot Wars by Kim Morrissy

I do not recognise the face of the man who sits across from me at my dining table. Like a patchwork quilt, his skin is stitched together with different shades of white, pink, and brown. He does not blink; one glassy grey eye gazes listlessly at nowhere, while the other stares directly at me as it flits and shutters like an old-fashioned camera lens.

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Fantasy, Humour, Short Fiction

Ping’s Complaint by Leila Allison

Ping Beams of Jim

No matter what type of dimension you inhabit, watching and hearing a Moon roll noisily toward you from the sky is an odd thing. Such happened the other night as I was out in the Barnyard shooting the evening breeze with Daisy Cloverleaf the Pygmy Goatess and my Lead Imaginary Friend and second in command of the realm of Saragun Springs, Renfield.

“Ping’s coming down,” Renfield said.

“You hear that? He’s making a noise, like thunder,” Daisy added.

Renfield held a hand to her ear. “Yeah, I think you’re right, Daisy. He sounds like a rolling bowling ball.”

“Hope he’s not attempting a three pin spare,” I said. But I had been expecting the visit.

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All Stories, Editor Picks, Fantasy, Short Fiction

The Awful Truth and What’s on Your Playlist

The Awful Truth has a way of sneaking up on you. I once had a body type like Popeye’s Olive Oyl. Yet around age thirty, my clothes began to get mysteriously tighter. I went into denial. I even tried telling myself “they must be making my size smaller.” But there was no denying the Awful Truth.

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All Stories, Humour, Short Fiction

A Conversation About The Sixties by Hugh Cron (Adult Content)

“I’m fed up watching the news. Seemingly, the queen’s still dead.”

“That’s six months now and they’re still harping on about it. I can’t remember the last time I bought a paper.”

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Short Fiction

Week 418- Advice; Action; Distraction


I believe that doctors, mechanics and everyone else whose work alters material objects should always listen to advice offered by their peers and seek it when in doubt. “Dr. Smith, I know I am only assisting–but is there a reason to leave a scalpel in the patient?”; “Hey boss, we got some doo-hickeys left over from that 737 engine we just serviced–you think that means something?” Indeed there are situations when ego should be set aside, but I do not believe that is always the best policy in works of imagination.

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Short Fiction

Week 416: Crystal Ball Vision; Words of Now; Big List of Dopes 2023

The Future

Predicting the future is big business. Aging psychics are falling aside, usurped by new frauds (you’d think the veteran charlatans would have seen that coming). So, it may never be too late to make a fortune by lying to people. So I open my crystal ball and see:

A distant evolutionary jump that will announce itself with the first and only generation of children who will unanimously call bullshit on both Santa and the “true meaning” of Christmas.

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Fantasy, General Fiction, Humour, Short Fiction

The Riddle of the billigits by Leila Allison

Meet the Hammy Dodgers

The crystal ball on my desk flashed red. This happens whenever the Witch HeXopatha (nee “Hezopatha”) wants to pee in my lager.

HeXopatha is an immortal Wiccan. She has been around for thousands of years and will continue to be around for however long it takes for her to get bored with the world and retire permanently to Hell–but I don’t count on that happening soon. Once upon a time the “peasants” might have been able to do something about HeXopatha, but her skill level has risen beyond river tossing and the pyre. In fact it is a bad idea to mention such previous activities in HeXopatha’s presence; nor is it advised to claim to be of “Puritan stock,” unless you enjoy long hours in pillory stocks.

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