All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

The Weight of Return by Marco Etheridge

Darryl slid three quarters into the vending machine and weighed his options. They weren’t all that good. The overnight Greyhound had carried him across a state line, which violated of his parole. If his tight-ass parole officer got wind of it, Darryl would be on his way back to a cell in Lucasville. First off, don’t get spotted by the cops, same as any day for an ex-con. Second, don’t get spotted by the bad guys. That left having breakfast and finding the girl. He reached for the chrome handle and pulled. A snickers bar tumbled into the sheet metal tray.

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All Stories, Fantasy, Horror

Dust to Dust by A. Elizabeth Herting

The sheet snaps crisply in the wind, perfectly white, a blank canvas hanging on a line. A woman, neither young nor particularly old, bends over a large, wicker basket. Her hands are large and red, prematurely knotted from the harsh, unceasing wind. She is a good-sized woman. An old floral print dress clings to generous haunches as she efficiently plucks each item from the line and places it in the basket. She is one of an unbroken line of generations past, hardened and forged by life on the plains.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Right Honourable Friends by Thomas Lawrance

Sir Walter Alistair Remington had a fantasy. It was no small thing; he would have to wait until parliament’s summer recess to fulfil it. In the meantime, he’d try to satiate himself with his usual habit.

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All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Pie Eyed Peety the PDQ Pilsner Pigeon by Leila Allison

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I am a Pen Name, which means (unlike it is for “real” writers) there are little cracks in my mind that lead to places where strangely imagined circumstances are reality. Within one such crack turns a world exactly like our own except for one significant difference: On “Other Earth” the post WWII nuclear testing conducted by the US military out in the American southwest desert did result in the creation of  the gigantic ants, mammoth scorpions, huge tarantulas, scores of Godzilla-sized lizards and a smattering of profoundly effed-up human beings that we see only in 1950’s science fiction films. Among the traits these creatures have in common (besides experiencing the enlarging effects of extreme radiation) are an immunity to conventional weapons and insatiable appetites for murder and destruction.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Karaoke At The Pincher’s Arms by Hugh Cron – Warning Adult Content

Jimmy’s knees were indented where his elbows dug into them.

He gently moved to and fro on the swing. He could hear his father singing some old song that he’d heard too many times. He looked across the road and saw Charlie The Paedo staring at him. Jimmy knew if he told his dad, he’d end up in jail again.

He heard the pub door open, “Here you go son. Is your mum not back from the bogs?”

The boy shook his head. He accepted the crisps and can of Coke.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction, Writing

Jim’s Aunts by Hugh Cron

I’ve always liked Gin.

Straight gin that is.

I know exactly where it started…My love for the gin.

I used to go to my mum’s boss’s house with my parents and I was allowed the odd can of beer. One night that we were there, his old aunties were visiting.

Weird they were.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Humour, Short Fiction, Writing

Never Being Confused By Hugh Cron. Warning – Strong Language.

balloons bunch

100

So, Hugh now joins the teeny tiny group – well I say group – there’s only one other, of writers with 100 posts on the site. CONGRATULATIONS.  It is fair to say that it has probably been harder for Hugh. As editors I think we are tougher on ourselves than we are on other authors. We are so keen not to be seen to be showing any sort of positive bias that we are brutal with each other. However, Hugh always accepts rejections and edit suggestions with good humour, humility and professionalism.

He is the backbone of Literally Stories, he has kept on going through his own personal traumas, never letting what is happening in his life get in the way of his work on the site. He has been an incredible rock when the rest of us have had our own dramas, kind, sympathetic and stoic (hahahahaha – his hate word – ha) and he makes the work, which at times can feel overwhelming, worthwhile and rewarding. As well as the reading and emails, Hugh comments on the stories and together with other of us give feedback to authors who have requested such or who we feel deserve an explanation as to our decisions or a suggested edit. He writes almost all the Saturday roundup posts and let’s be honest they are hilarious and a brilliant end to the week, even though the times when he says ‘That’s it there, Diane. Sorry’ I do quake in my boots.

I have never actually met Hugh, or Nik in person, or Adam or Tobias for that matter, but I count them among dear friends, but Hugh, and Nik are the blokes I want to have a drink with, the blokes I can count on to unload to when life throws cabbages at me and I just want to say thanks and, Hugh, my life is richer for knowing you. You are a fearless, uncompromising writer and I admire that more than I can say and many, many Congratulations on reaching this outstanding milestone.

Xx dd.

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Never Being Confused

It was a typical day in the life of Jim and Debbie, the parents of SeptemberThe28th.

They were on The High Street championing their offspring’s cause as usual. They wore their ‘Asexual Is Not Fluid UCUNT!’ Tshirts, The back of which said ‘LGBTQI+Forever!!‘ And underneath that was ‘I am not a label!’

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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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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Friday Night by Hugh Cron – Warning – Very Strong Adult Content.

Foreword: This is a story that I have been given the go ahead with even though it was a split decision and wasn’t accepted as a majority. I am very grateful.

I wanted to explain where this came from. I think this is the best example I have of a state of mind dictating a story. Writing is therapeutic. To go somewhere you would never tread yourself is as liberating as you can get. I’ve always thought when life really gets to you, do something horrific on a sheet of paper. Challenge yourself to write a character that has no redeeming qualities what-so-ever.

You can end up with something dark, ‘passionate’ and an MC that you’ve absolutely no empathy for.

…And its fun to worry those who want to analyse the writer more than the story!

(Last Warning – Very strong language and distasteful adult content / attitude. Do not read if you are liable to be offended.)

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