Short Fiction

Literally Reruns – Paraffin Lamp by Alex Sinclair

This story has content that some readers may find distressing.

Under normal circumstances, a tale of a violent, animal abusing prick wouldn’t get far with me. But Alex Sinclair is not the usual writer; nor is Paraffin Lamp a usual story. Alex has the tremendous ability to bring forward the least appealing elements in a character and make them interesting and alive. It lies in his effortless mastery of the language and perfect ear for dialogue.

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All Stories, sunday whatever

Sunday Whatever: I Kissed Her Goodbye by Jacob Greb

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Feature. Today we proudly present a breathless little “kiss” of a work by Jacob Greb. Although it is brief and lies somewhere between a prose poem and a story, we found this too wonderful to pass by. We hope you agree.


I Kissed Her Goodbye

I stare at the headlights with distress. The restless night made me a zombie. “Brains?” I beg a bystander. He kindly smiles.

“You fool,” memories of Julia’s last words like waves return to the shore. If only I knew how to swim. I keep on chasing the wrong fields. The meadow has turned brown. The autumn has come and Julia’s feet got cold. She likes to wear orange and green striped wool socks. My mesh of a head however can’t catch any fish. I am lonesome for her touch but Julia repeats that she loves me more. We sweep each other into our arms and lay wrapped in the blanket.

“Your heart beats radicle,” Julia says between her hums. She does so to sway me to sleep, but my fingers tingle readily to paint a thousand moons. The notes stain another night as the pianist plays the wrong lullaby. My mother’s curse carries on. White stripes and surgical tables. That’s where my mind wonders at the late hour. The wanderer I become. Julia falls asleep and I lay listening to her light snores. Nothing can cure my disease. I lift my feet and leave the bed, stumbling on the crate reused as storage for books and doctor’s notes. Hope has left the day. The streets at two finally breathe with relief. A bicycle leans against a steel pole for thieves to gaze at and take.

“Don’t leave your valuable unattended.” The reminder notice I keep in my pocket. I stole it from the psych ward.

I enter the middle lane and take my chances. The strange air is left behind by the last exhaust pipe and I inhale the pollution and cough. Fly by with a honk, but I continue to walk to the top of the block and close the loop. Takin’ on the sideways, finding a nickel, before I stop and stare at the headlights approaching, thinking of poor Julia. The curve of her smile as she whispered, “I love you. Good night. Be in peace. You fool.”

I kissed her goodbye.

Jacob Greb

Short Fiction

Literally Reruns – Short Straw by Louisa Owens

I selected this story by Louisa Owens as a rerun in 2020. Louisa intelligently and graciously answered my humble questions. But if episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies must be re-aired endlessly until Armeggedon, then perhaps it is just that a small good thing like Short Straw should appear on the site for a third time.

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