All Stories, General Fiction

Once Screamed to Drunks at the Vets Bar, Memorial Day Evening by Tom Sheehan

Sixty-six years now and they come at me, in Chicago, Crown Point, Indiana, by phone from Las Vegas.

I tell them how it happened, long after parting, one night when I was in a bar, thinking of them all.

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All Stories, General Fiction

The Last Light of the Library by Jennie Boyes

In silence, we drew back the curtains and watched the bombs explode. Josef leaned his head against the wall, cigarette limp in his mouth, his round glasses askew. He didn’t look afraid, and he wasn’t curious like me, not any more.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Writing

Residual Grief of The Dead Soldiers Mother by S.A. Cavanagh

When we received this work we were undecided what to do with it. We knew that we wanted to publish such a powerful and emotional piece of writing but, in fairness, it isn’t what we would normally class as a story. I will be honest and say that it moved me to tears.
Anyway, fate took a hand. We were scheduling this week at the time and when better to publish this than Remembrance Day. 

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General Fiction, Short Fiction

Paperboat by Kenrick Pinto

The last paper boat. At least Herman hoped it was, watching it float away. Transported by the Danube to a world far from his own. A world without weapons and bombs. Without destruction. Where dreams didn’t die, where they weren’t shattered. Where men lived. He watched as it carried a tale of love, of loss, of grief and of war. Is that why they call it the Black sea, he wondered. All emotions coalescing to form a black, murky mass. Was the sea black inside, hiding behind a shade of blue, flowing nonchalantly. Like the people around him, hiding their sadness behind a smile. It will all be alright, they said. To others, to themselves. That it was destiny. There was nothing they could do, and the world would return to normalcy. It had to. Someday.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Top Secret by Tom Sheehan

His name was Maxwell Max Dugan and this is his story, but only covers those disturbing and warful years between 1941 to 1947, just seven years chockfull of battles, combat, explosions, heroic people, deadly people on a world-wide rampage, and means of salvage, at least of the souls, if nothing else.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Wingsy by Tom Sheehan

Long and lanky and always of a dark eye, ever adept at study of any kind, Wingsy held a broad maple leaf aloft, with fine fingers at the end of one long thin arm, against an angle of penetrating August sunlight. To a young friend he pointed out the webbing of shadowed filaments. As he pointed out the leafy veins, he spoke in an instructive manner, yet indirectly, as if for the moment he had but half interest, which was somewhat unlike him. Interest was something he had a facility of generating, no matter the subject.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

A Change in Latitude by Terry Sanville

Tan Son Nhut Airbase, South Vietnam, 1968: 10° 46’ 5.99” N

Sweat stained the underarms of his short-sleeved khakis and dripped from his upper lip. But after six months in Nam, surviving its hot-and-wet and hot-and-dry seasons, Jeremy didn’t notice. His mind still wandered the jungles of the Central Highlands, in the teak forests, hunting the enemy and sometimes finding them.

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All Stories, Horror

The Ragged Frenchman by Matthew J. Richardson

Here! Follow my voice! Over here, I say! For God’s sake, man, come over to the fire. What in heaven’s name are you doing, out in such a storm? Come and warm yourself before you freeze where you stand. There, it is only a whistling nook amidst the snow and the cruel wind, but it affords us some small respite and the luxury of civilised conversation. Here we will wait for a break in the weather.  I would share with you a morsel, but I have none. Rest and talk must serve as our sustenance. I note that you are hardly dressed for being so deep in the mountains. A light jacket? Such flimsy trousers? I know I must look a fright, unkempt and unshaven, but I am something of an exception. Those who linger in these hills generally know the value of good boots and a winter coat.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Caught Wearing the Rags of War by Tom Sheehan

The day’d gone over hill, but light still remained, cut with a gray edge, catching rice paddy corners. In battle’s blue brilliance they’d become comrades, friends, Walko and Williamson and Sheehan, at night drinking beer cooled by Imjin River in August of ‘51 in Korea. Three men clad in rags of war. Stars hung pensive neon. Mountain-cool silences were earned, hungers absolved, ponderous God talked to. Above silence, that God’s weighty as clouds, elusive as windy soot, yields promises. They used church keys to tap cans, lapped up silence rich as missing salt, fused their backbones to good earth in rituals old as labor itself, men clad in rags of war. Such August night gives itself away, tells tales, slays the rose in reeling carnage, murders sleep, sucks moisture out of Mother Earth, fires hardpan, does not die before dawn, makes strangers in one’s selves, those caught wearing rags of war. They’d been strangers beside each other, caught in the crush of tracer nights and starred flanks, accidents of men drinking beer cooled by bloody waters where brothers roam, warriors come to that place by fantastic voyages, by generations of the persecuted or the adventurous, carried in sperm bodies, dropped in the spawning, fruiting womb of America, caught wearing rags of war.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Horror, Short Fiction

One Prisoner Too Many by Tom Sheehan

 The sound came once more. He stiffened. It was closer. His whole body knew it was closer. It was not just in the hearing. It approached. It made inroads. It said so. The metal toe. The kick. The slash. Ping Too smiling through his teeth. Oh, would Ping have a thirst for amontillado! Oh, were he himself the finest of stone masons, setting Ping Too up for the full sentence; to make an end of my labor, to force the last stone into place; to set the best of mortar, forever? 

Caught between the professor and the captain!

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