Author: Idle Ink

Launderette by Thomas Morgan

We are sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast. My wife Linda is saying something about a dream she had last night. Here is what she says.

“I was sitting in my seat at the cinema when these two guys came in. They were dressed in black and wore masks that covered their entire faces. I couldn’t even see their eyes. They had guns and said they would kill someone if they didn’t get what they wanted. They followed through with that threat and shot me right in the head.”

Flung to the Winds Like Rain by Rick Hollon

“Tell me about my other lives, Mama.”

“That’s not a good idea, Elm.”

“I’m not a child.” I stomped away from Mother and pressed my nose against the station window. I saw my eyes, brown, angry, reflected above fog and black rocks. If I looked at the horizon I could pretend not to see the other reflections, the vast white curve of Mother’s body behind me, the other girls tumbling around me. I could pretend to be alone on this empty wet and dreary world.

Work Ethic by Jennifer Walker

“Don’t exaggerate,” her mother snapped when Sarah phoned about her new boss at the Bureau of Land Management. “I’m sure he’s only a demon from the horde. The Apocalypse’s been hard on everyone. Just be glad you have job security.”

Sarah wasn’t surprised. Even with the world in flames her mother had to focus on her career. Still, she tried to protest her boss was, undeniably, the Beast of Revelation, but she was interrupted by a horrifying scream from somewhere very close to her mother before the line went dead. A minute later her mother texted: dead rising at B’Nai Abraham, grandma not looking too good, call you back.

Moat by Subhravanu Das

When I was a child, Bear built a moat around my crib.

The poison ivies that Bear had coiled along the frame of my crib were not enough protection. A deer or a rabbit—with their Bear-like immunity to poison ivies—could have chewed through them, chewed through me. Hence, Bear, with Bear-claws wrapped around a shovel, carved up the plateau circling my crib and filled the steaming cavity with the tears of a Lotus Queen.

The Peacock Lady by Erica L. Williams

Your house smelled as if bathed in Pine-Sol. Ebony and Jet magazines cluttered the coffee table. You didn’t care that they were twenty years old. It reminded you of when Junior was young and your husband, Manny, was faithful and alive.

“How you been, Mom?” Junior asked. Cheeks puffy. He sat in the chair next to the sofa.

“I’m fine, Junior,” you said, adjusting your auburn-colored wig. “Nice of you to ask since I haven’t seen you in months?”  

His face, the color of sandalwood, flushed crimson. “It’s only been a couple of days.” He fiddled with the papers in his hand. “You’re all set to move next week.”   

The Woman with All the Answers by Sara Dobbie

She wakes up with the dawn each day to patrol the edges of the island like a sentinel. Secures the boundaries, checks the horizon for unwanted visitors. The waters are invariably still, the sky a cool blue stretching for miles. Here, in the center of this enchanted lake, Mona is alone, except for the lion. She relishes the solitude inside her soundproof cottage, but she must never forget why she came here, why she must keep watch against intruders.

She remembers the difficulties involved in building this sanctuary, gathering the supplies, cobbling it together over many days and nights. The necessity of escaping The Amazing Muldoni had given her the strength to do it. Just thinking of his handlebar mustache and the giant cage he kept her in, spray painted metallic gold, fueled her arms to swing the axe again and again. She cut down practically every tree on the island for timber. She lashed pieces of wood together with braided ropes made from branches, and she collected stones and rocks to cover the floor like the inside of a castle.