Category: Fiction

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.”

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.

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.

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.

Requiem for a Home Cooked Meal by Krystian Morgan

Alice was yet again in the kitchen, checking on the food being kept warm. It looked appetising when it was ready over an hour ago, but the prolonged stay in the oven irradiated any vitality it once had. Steamed greens lay pallid and mournful. Within the casserole, the lamb, root veg and liquor have broken down into a single homogenous mash, and a thick skin has formed over the top, already tanning under the orange light of the cooker.

She hears the front door and his usual clatter when returning home. He ascends the stairs without fanfare; no explanation for his lateness, nor for not replying to her texts and calls enquiring as to his whereabouts. Just his work bag slung into a mangled shape in the vestibule and soaked-through shoes bleeding dirty rainwater onto the floor.

Best Foot Forward by Riley Winchester

On the morning of May 27, 2017, I woke up and couldn’t remember if I get out of bed with my right foot or my left foot first. This triggered a crisis in my mind that left me paralyzed in bed. Right or left? Left or right?

What was the impetus behind this podiatric enigma? I hadn’t the slightest clue. I realized that I had never once woken up and deliberated on which foot should lead, nor had I any intimation as to which foot usually led when I woke up. But there must be a dominant foot that I led with every morning. The body is a muscle with rigid memory. This worried me further and bolstered my crisis. What other everyday aspects of my existence was I ignorant to? How little did I know of myself?

My Friend Has a Name by Tam Eastley

His blood pools on the tiles, red and thick. I know I should feel something, to see him lying there, but where one would expect denial and sadness and fear, there is nothing. You probably think this is horrible of me, that I am monstrous, but I am balancing between two worlds right now and it is hard not to tumble all the way down into one of them. Will you judge me if I say he is already starting to look like meat? Like flesh wrapped in clothes?

My hands are nubs but I manage to push myself up out of the bath anyway and I slide against the porcelain because my skin has started to go translucent and onion-y. I lean in close and I am reminded that he is in fact human. It is the smell – soil and sweat and last night’s shampoo. A hint of metal. So unlike me, all pickled and peppery.

Another Baby by Kevin Stadt

Emily stood in front of the coffee pot at the kitchen counter, holding her empty mug and trying to talk herself out of pouring another cup. Her teeth buzzed already, and she’d been having trouble sleeping lately.

She listed all the reasons. The caffeine made her sleep for shit and then that led to her being tired and wanting more coffee the next day. And of course it then fed into her drinking more wine in the evenings just to take the edge off, which was a whole other issue. She’d also read lately that it was especially bad for people with anxiety issues and panic attacks.