Monday, December 28, 2020

A Simple Plan by Ross Hightower

Alar and Ukrit stop in a bustling village while fleeing Imperial soldiers, and witness the arrest of a child witch; by Ross Hightower.

A mandolin playing the opening notes of a traditional song, soon joined by a woman's high, clear voice, could mean only one thing. Alar remembered right, it was market day in Kartok. As the two boys stepped from the hard pack surface of the Imperial Highway ont…

Going Home by Eamonn Murphy

Patrick, now an old man, wants to move back from England to Northern Ireland, to live with his brother near their extended family; by Eamonn Murphy.

Passengers were boarding for the three-thirty afternoon flight from Bristol to Belfast, and the queue snaked forward with its usual agonising slowness. Patrick patiently waited for his turn. In a long life of seventy years he had, finally, learned pat…
Monday, December 21, 2020

From the Deep by Jon Fain

Two lovers married to other people pillow-talk about their dreams and delusions; by Jon Fain.

"Last night? I dreamt of something called Competitive Nut. You go into a store with an exotic nut, bring a few in a little box," I explained. "They clean them off for you... to your specifications, of course... and you eat it."

"What do you mean by exotic?" She gave me a smil…

Jungbu's Mother by Henri Colt

A fifty-year-old divorcee sips medicinal wine in a Nepalese mountain tent in Henri Colt's atmospheric tale.
"Three nips and a cup." The shapely owner of the Himalayan teahouse smiles after filling my reusable marmalade jar with chang for the second time. I take three sips and, according to tradition, guzzle all that remains of the sweet barley wine. An empty plate of Dal Bhat lays ne…
Monday, December 14, 2020

Queen of the Tabloids by Brian Clark

An Ontario newspaper is on its last legs when a British gossip queen arrives to stir things up; by Brian Clark.

She was the Tabloid Queen, schooled in the ways of Britain's racy scandal sheets, and someone had the bright idea of hiring her to run our stodgy old Canadian daily. She certainly caused a stir. Picture a piranha pool at mealtime.

She was young, blond, thin and pretty - not to mentio…
Friday, December 11, 2020

Organic Materials by Michelle Ann King

Keith's marital neglect catches up with him, and he resorts to extreme measures to express his anger; by Michelle Ann King. 

Keith left the community centre early, since his talk on the history of housing development in East Anglia had attracted an audience of just two people - and they turned out to have got lost on their way to the Mature Ladies' Erotica Reading Group. Arriving home to f…
Monday, December 7, 2020

The Journey to Hell by Rosemary Johnson

Rosemary Johnson's character is inducted into a polygamous religious cult at the tender age of five.

I need to do this alone.

I daren't look back, yet my ears insist on straining for the click of an opening door or the snap of a window catch. Nothing. The breath I'm holding hisses from my puffed-out cheeks and out through tight lips.

I slip behind the line of trees along the path, spin…

Current Affairs by Matthew McAyeal

In 1939, 14-year-old Mary Brown's girlish obsession with Gone with the Wind matures as she becomes more aware of world events; by Matthew McAyeal.

"Hey, where's my book?" screamed Mary Brown. In an instant, her angry shriek brought tension and headache to the otherwise tranquil spring day in April.

By "my book" she meant her copy of Gone with the Wind. Margaret Mitchel…