The Wife's Job by Anna Halabi

Jeweller Waseem suggests his wife Nada helps him with the finances, and makes a propitious sale; by Anna Halabi.

The silence was deafening. Nada sighed and tapped her fingers on the dining room table. She examined her fingernails and frowned at the new coat of bright orange polish her neighbor had painted on them this morning. It was definitely not her color, she decided.

She glanced at her husba…

Forgotten Flags by Enoch Daniels

An old space soldier wakes up in the future, and seeks out the descendants of the troops that died under his command; by Enoch Daniels.

Sam fingered the patterns in the little square of fabric. Stars and Stripes. The Old Red, White, and Blue. He wondered that it could mean so much to him and nothing to the woman across the living room. He tried his best to return her hostile gaze with a look of am…

The Barracks by Richard Seltzer

Richard Seltzer channels Catch-22 in this story of a group of bitter reservists on basic training in an army barracks that's seen it all before.

Building 3926, Fort Polk, Louisiana, was a "temporary" structure - a white clapboard oblong rectangle, hurriedly thrown together, like hundreds of other army barracks. Its first tenants were recruits and draftees bound for the Pacific in Wo…

Literary Mary by Christopher K. Miller

In this masterpiece by Christopher K. Miller, albino high schooler Joe is inexperienced with girls, until Mary joins his class and expands his horizons in ways he could never have expected.

Let me begin in a glad place, long ago. In my dad's little Pinto. Mary and I, parked in Jackson's woods. We hadn't kissed yet. In fact, I'd never kissed a girl. But Mary'd pushed my left han…

Sacrifice by Alexander J. Richardson

Big Mike and Jose are on a mission to rough up Tony Luchini, to defend the honour of Big Mike's little sister; by Alexander J. Richardson.

Big Mike leaned back in the front passenger seat of the SUV, his bulk straining the seatbelt's reach. He wore an unzipped hoodie over a Metallica t-shirt, sweatpants, and Nikes. A Louisville slugger rested between his knees and a printout from MapQue…

Fast and Steep by Mitchell Toews

Hart builds a toboggan run for his son’s first ride; by Mitchell Toews.

Hart's breath hangs in the air around his head and the sunshine makes splinters of floating ice into glinting flashes, gone in an instant. His long woollen scarf, creased canvas parka and red toque are all hoary with frost. Heavy leather work mitts, wet and steaming, cover his hands.

After first laying out a winding trai…

Seashells by Adam Dorsheimer

Adam Dorsheimer's character falls in love at first sight with a woman sitting on the boardwalk, but there is more than one obstacle between them.

On days like this, when the sun is lazily tucked away behind a sheet of dull, unmoving clouds and the voice of the sea is little more than a hushed whisper, I can't help but reminisce. I used to hate this kind of weather. I didn't think about…

Classical Studies 100 by Mark Williams

Patrick's lack of ambition means he ends up as a furniture salesman, with a pig, being played like a pawn by the women in his life; by Mark Williams.

All the gods, all the Heavens, all the Hells are within you.
- from The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

I was napping in my Lazy World with Helen, my fingers laced across her bristles, when I heard the sound of crickets down the hall. "Text,&…

Tucson, 1966 by Paul Justison

School rebel Mark Stenrud is threatened with suspension and sent home, so he joins some friends on a road trip across the Mexican border that will change his life, in Paul Justison's coming-of-age tale. 

My inner clock had beaten the alarm by almost four minutes. Not sure why I even set the thing. Safety maybe. Dressed and opened the door of my sanctuary. Quiet in the rest of the trailer, and …

All-Staff Meeting on Wednesday by Douglas J. Ogurek

Douglas J. Ogurek tells the story of Leslie Childs, intern at a strictly pretentious design agency, trying to fit in with her eccentric colleagues. 

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." - Mark 10:14

Celie Greenwood
Grade 1A - Reading
Ms. Blaise
The cat had a lot of orange. A lady was sad. it was snowing. Ms. Blaise y…

Meeting Brontë by Andy Martin

Andy Martin tells the story of a university student who becomes captivated by the absent poet whose room he is inhabiting.

"Morning, I'm calling about the room you've got advertised."

"Sorry, it's already taken."

"Okay, thank you." I drew a line through the phone number on my piece of paper. Another one gone. Surely, I wouldn't end up homeless on m…
Monday, March 8, 2021

Fighting It by Tony Artuso

Harry tries to sneak out for a haircut while his wife Glo is out, but she has other ideas - little does she realise how long Harry can hold a grudge; by Tony Artuso.

Prologue: 1988

That Saturday morning as I headed out our backdoor to go to the garage, I didn't anticipate encountering my wife.

"Uh, hi, Glo," I sputtered. "I, uh, thought you were with Daniela over at the Miller&#…

South Granby Way by A. Elizabeth Herting

Lonely widow Gladys spots a young boy across the street, left home alone for Christmas, and wonders what to do about it; by A. Elizabeth Herting.

On the third day, Gladys began to get worried.

The boy looked just like any average kid that plagued the neighborhood. She and Earl had lived here for over thirty-five years. Long enough to be on their third or fourth set of recycled youngish, yuppie-ty…

Improving The Odds by Patrick Ritter

Inveterate gambler Rake Mosely owes money he hasn't got to California's Ukrainian mafia, and hopes he can do a job for them instead; by Patrick Ritter.

Rake Mosely picked up his pace. It was bad enough to be called in like this. But if he was late, no telling what the maniac Lisko would do. Hell, it was almost midnight, something was up. How did he ever let it get this far? Stupid question…

Shirley Johnson's Tasker Rebellion by Dave Henson

Shirley Johnson is having an identity crisis - is she human, or is she Tasker? By Dave Henson.

"Your psychosis, Mrs. Johnson, is becoming more common. Well, less rare shall we say, with the growing presence of the Taskers."

"That's a relief... I guess." Shirley glances at her right index finger. "Do others also have hallucinations?"

"In extreme cases lik…
Monday, February 22, 2021

Silas Tully, Mechanized by Tom Sheehan

Retired cop Silas Tully investigates how his friend's car could have been stolen and yet not stolen; by Tom Sheehan.
Silas Tully, enjoying early sun and early coffee, heading into another quiet and lonely day, dropped his newspaper and picked up the phone on the first ring. Old pal Jud Haley said, "Si, something screwy down here at Butch and Tony's. I think my car's been stolen bu…
Friday, February 19, 2021

Keepy Uppy by Roger Haydon

Roger Haydon tells the story of a thirteen-year-old lad from the estates with one eye on his football and the other on his future.

I've been good. I've not touched my PlayStation since I got home from school. I said hello to Mum, she's just home from her morning shift and drinking a mug of tea in the front room with her feet up. I've come up to my room, stuck some music on my Sony …

Lake Thompson in December by Alejandro Escude

In a world where avuncular government advice is issued constantly by ubiquitous neon tickers, Bernie Navarone has had enough; by Alejandro Escude.

Bernie Navarone woke up to the neon ticker that ran along the moulding of his apartment reminding him to brush his teeth before heading off to work. It was a luminous bar, much like those one sees in stock exchanges, that ran all night. Sometimes, it ke…

The Singing of the Black Flowers by Alex De-Gruchy

Wayward addict Louise Randall makes her final confession in Alex De-Gruchy's Lovecraftian horror.

My name is Louise Randall, I'm twenty-six years old, for all I know I'm the last human being on Earth, and I'm looking out over a dead world from the roof of a multi-storey car park in Cardiff.

I haven't had anything to eat or drink in days but hey, I found a pencil and some paper,…
Monday, February 8, 2021

The Muse by Adam Kluger / sketches by Dreck

Artist-hustler Dreck is profoundly inspired by an eccentric Polynesian woman called Cricket, but can they open each other's hearts? By Adam Kluger / sketches by Dreck.

It's weird. The business of meeting a muse.

The artist known as Dreck didn't expect much when he started an online correspondence with a mystery woman named Cricket who posted no photographs online. It was intriguing to …

Margaret’s Birthday Present by Roger Haydon

Retired bus driver Henry tries to lead as normal a life as he can during the coronavirus pandemic; by Roger Haydon.

Henry's last trip to the surgery was two months ago to get the results of his tests. Danny offered to take time off work to go with him.

'Nah, you're alright son. I'll go on my own, it's fine, I can cope whatever the doc says and I need to ask her something a bit …
Monday, February 1, 2021

The Cursed Treasure of Mount Perilion by James Rumpel

The diminutive inhabitants of planet Bordeion try to exact revenge by using an Earthman's greed against him; by James Rumpel.

In an undersized servant quarters, attached to a newly constructed mansion, two diminutive beings spoke to each other in hushed whispers. The muted nature of their conversation was, in all likelihood, unnecessary since the person whose ears they wished to avoid would no…

Pride and Joy by Julian Grant

In a world overrun by vampires, Joshua's father teaches him he must be merciless to survive; by Julian Grant.

The first bolt smashed through the door, pinning the night beast to the wood. It screamed feral fury as Joshua reloaded the crossbow with shaking hands. He ratcheted the bolt into position, hands trembling still as he took aim at the screaming monster.

"Slowly, son... take your ti…

Pity Those Who Don't Feel Anything at All by James Rumpel

Tim has a job interview, and his roommate Jerry encourages him to drink emotion-enhancers to help prepare himself; by James Rumpel.

Tim heard the uncontrollable giggling coming from the kitchen of the small apartment he shared with his lifelong friend, Jerry. Dressed in his best polo shirt and his only pair of dress pants, Tim emerged from his bedroom to find his roommate doubled over in laughte…

Field of Gold by Sheila Sharpe

A forty-year-old widow seeks to get a potentially valuable old painting restored, but is more interested in the conservator's process than the outcome, and all is not as it seems; by Sheila Sharpe.

The first occupant I saw in Julia's conservation studio was a nine-foot-tall Madonna. She was a fright - her face flaking, her oversized halo full of cracks, her dull white gown ripped and sta…

Parkie, Tanker, Tiger of Tobruk by Tom Sheehan

World War II veteran Frank Parkinson tells a story he's never before dared tell; by Tom Sheehan.

Hardly with a hop, skip and jump did Frank Parkinson come home from Tobruk, Egypt, North Africa, madness, and World War II in general. A lot of pit stops were made along the way where delicate-handed surgeons and associates did their very best to get him back into working order. From practically ev…

Empathy by Christopher K. Miller

Emile, a teenage gun obsessive with Asperger's, connects with two suffering strangers at the Cordova Arms-Fair in Memphis, Tennessee; by Christopher K. Miller.

They met not at one of Memphis's over two-thousand Christian places of worship but at the Cordova Arms-Fair out on Trinity Creek Cove, a few blocks west of the old Walmart supercenter. Sally, who'd driven up from Germantown, was…

The Influential Amnesia of Mr. Billows by Matthew Shovlin

Phil suggests an unusual tactic for assessing whether Guy will make a good first impression on his date, and soon regrets it; by Matthew Shovlin.

In a two-bedroom Brooklyn apartment with no windows.

Guy emerged from his bedroom after an hour of preparation and asked, "How do I look?"

Phil gave him a quick once-over, said, "Good," and returned his attention to the television.

&qu…

A Commitment to Running by Laramie Wyatt Sanchez Graber

Johnathan is committed to running from his painful memories; by Laramie Wyatt Sanchez Graber.

People always say, "You can't keep running forever. Eventually your problems will catch up to you." Or at least that's what they say when they find it hard to look at me, when they sigh, when they shake their heads. But that's only because they've never committed.

When running i…

Garden City by Sumita Sami

When riots break out in the futuristic city of Erva Bereo, a diplomat turns to a secret garden and its mysterious curator for help; by Sumita Sami.

In the evenings, when I'd dispatched my diplomatic duties of the day, I'd change out of my professional attire and take long walks around the city. It never really felt like a single city to me, this Erva Bereo, and the more I wandered around i…
Friday, January 1, 2021

The Man Who Hid Music by Tom Sheehan

A traveller fixes up an old, abandoned house, and piques the curiosity of the locals; by Tom Sheehan. 

One day at the little house where the dowser used to live, a kind-looking man with a beard came carrying all he owned on an A-frame on his back. He set the A-frame on the ground and looked at the small house needing much work. Muscles moved under his shirt.

"Whose house is this?" he sa…