Warm Waves for Supper by nyoka eden

At first sight I thought it was some sort of exceptional moth. I had never seen anything like it. My husband’s best guess was an obscenely large bat. Neither had the ring of truth. I re-heated last night’s supper while we failed at calming each other down. It was all I could think to do. Perched on top of the microwave with its ovular, platinum eyes fixed open, the creature never once moved. I wanted to stop and inspect the down on its marbled wings. The texture of its skin reminded me of a mushroom’s gills. All we could do was chew and stare. Brian asked me sheepishly if we should keep it.

I suggested we call it Baby, short for Babylon. The weight of undying mystery seemed to suit it just fine. All day Baby sat perfectly motionless on our microwave. It became clear Baby needed to soak up a little radiation to survive.

Everything a Bronte Fan Could Hope For by Laurel Osterkamp

“You mean you aren’t coming home for Thanksgiving?” Eddie Yates whimpered like he had a toothache, but Annie was unmoved. Yes, it was true that months ago, before she left for college, she’d said to him, “If we’re both still virgins when we come home for Thanksgiving, then – fine. We can have sex.” Well, they both were still virgins. Yet some promises were made to be broken.

Annie had only told him that because she’d been sure she would find someone desirable to deflower to her. She was living on a college campus, for God’s sake. Except, she hadn’t counted on keeping company mostly with females. She lived in a girl’s dorm; she was an English major and heterosexual guys – for the most part – stayed away from classic literature; and, outside of class, Annie spent most of her time working with the campus group for women’s equality.

Gold Star by Charlie Jones

Aidy Adler had never received a gold star at school. Three years at Our Lady of Lourdes and not a single star. His teachers rewarded his classmates with stars for the slightest good behaviour: for clearing away their dinner trays after lunch; for not forgetting their PE kits on Wednesdays; for smiling. Every day, undeserving children were rewarded not for exceptional behaviour but for things they were supposed to do.

It was torture for Aidy seeing every purple jumper except his own covered in stars; at home time, he seethed and flushed hot with embarrassment as his classmates rushed to their parents congregated by the school gates, and puffed out their chests, beaming with pride.

Blatherwick Hall — New Luxury Apartments! by Rick White

I

Mildred wants to borrow a button again, she pleads with Charlotte — says come on, we haven’t played in so very long. Agatha chides them — we’re packing them away children, soon we’ll all be gone. The men with clipboards stand outside, saying this roof is crooked, something’s wrong.

This button was a porthole once, it was a Catherine wheel. These shoelaces were conger-eels, this matchbox was a bomb.

Agatha remembers this house so full of little feet and little laughs. Summer evenings yawned like dozing cats; we listened to faeries singing at the bottom of the garden, eavesdropped on wood nymphs chattering beneath the slow-crackle of bonfire leaves.

Haunted by Jayson Carcione

The boy calls me The Lady. Bed-ridden, surrounded by mountains of comic books and tissues of blood and snot, he looks  for me in the cracks in the wall, the grotesque stains on the ceiling, smudged window glass.  He should be looking outside where there is grey light upon the lake, where leaves turn yellow and red on the branches. He saw me once in the corner of a broken mirror in the old apartment in the city. He thought me very beautiful. I say this not out of vanity, but to note he saw me as the unblemished peasant girl I once was.

The Tin Man by Norbert Kovacs

Every Thursday, the theatre in our small town put on a variety show. Students from the college and local people who believed they could act or sing did ample numbers for the program weekly. The audience was treated to scenes from famous plays, takes on popular songs, spoken word poetry. The acts did not bowl us over as a rule, but most people enjoyed the evenings and felt entertained. I numbered among the few who went really hoping to spot talent. Brilliance shows up even in small towns like ours I believed. And I thought seeing or hearing some great, undiscovered singer or actor perform would be a magnificent event, that everyone would admire the talent revealing itself on the stage and raise no question of the artist’s greatness. True flare could do no less.