Category: Fiction

Bottled Up by Yolanda DeLoach

“I can’t take this heat anymore,” I said, pushing back strands of hair that blew free from my headband. The open car windows did little to bring relief from Louisiana’s thick, oppressing air. “Might as well be holding a hair dryer up against my face,” I added for dramatic effect.

“For someone who grew up here, you sure complain a lot about the heat,” Daniel said. He poked me in the thigh.

“Well, we had this thing called air conditioning and it actually worked,” I said, returning a double jab to his thigh.

Teen Night by Brad Austin

A different boy calling this time—how many were there? Sounded like a party was happening in the background. Were parties so boring now that kids made prank calls to random businesses in the phone book? Or crank calls, was that the correct term? Roger was maybe 12 the last time he called someone as a joke. As a teenager he mostly called Steve. He’d ask Steve what he was doing, Steve would answer nothing, and they’d meet at one of their houses and do nothing. When they discovered drugs, they added drugs to the nothing-doing which made them feel like they were doing something. But they were doing nothing, especially not prank- or crank-calling anyone.

Bad Fruit by Catherine Roberts

Falling in love is like lighting a scented candle. You spend years in the dark and suddenly everything is filled with light and the sweet smell of berries and roses. But before long, it’s snuffed – a part of you forever melted away until the wick is lit again. This can only happen for so long until you’re left with nothing but a pool of cool wax. 

After the first few loves of my life, I only had boyfriends I couldn’t stand. Jake with the specks of toilet paper stuck to razor cuts on his chin, or Troy who peed in the sink while brushing his teeth for “convenience”. There was always an urge, squirming, eyeless and hungry, under the surface of that once-sweet fruit. To feel more.

So, I started crashing funerals.   

Memories of an Island by Ian Johnson

Byron Tatterman pulled open the big church doors and stepped inside. He was early, but Father Holm was already in the lobby, a hand raised in greeting. He wore khakis and the standard black shirt and white collar, and approached Byron with the step of someone comfortable on his home turf.

“Hey there,” the Father said. “Thanks for coming in.”

Byron said, “Sorry to interrupt your day.”

Movie Magic by George Nevgodovskyy

I could always spot the look. That glint of recognition. A sideways glance, a tinge of embarrassment. Most people crumble – unable to separate fiction from reality. You’ve thrilled them. Aroused them. You’ve made them sob violently in an empty theatre. A matinee.

They’ve even modelled themselves on the characters you’ve played. The way they speak. The way they dress. That’s why most can’t resist the urge to approach you. Make sure you know they exist too.

Aren’t you that actress from –

I just loved you in –

When Henry Ford Hired The Invisible Man By Maureen Mancini Amaturo

I am invisible. As yet, I have not been able to reverse that. I need money to continue my optics research to discover the remedy, and my resources will not last to fund equipment, chemicals, a place to conduct my experiments. This apartment serves me for the moment, but I will not be able to afford it much longer. A classified I saw in the morning paper seemed a timely opportunity.  

“Ford, here.”

I could tell by his voice he was a man of little patience. I got right to the point. “Griffin calling. Your classified for an opening on the assembly line, the night shift, has it been filled?”

Hands Up Who Wants To Die by Sonya Vatomsky

I didn’t think anything of it when the mail arrived. Or rather I thought about the mail arriving, about the spoils of my latest shopping spree. I had, you see, a moderately popular YouTube channel and was in a perpetual state of buying and receiving perfume — samples usually, tiny vials always turning up under sofa cushions and between the pages of magazines. Mail, much like my life, could be exciting but was under no circumstances unusual. X led to y without dilly dallying; events brushed the crumbs of chance off their no-nonsense cardigans. My flat smelled of vetiver and old habits.

Detroit in the Distance by David Harris

They were in their hotel room watching a movie on Netflix when the power went out. Scott had been dozing on the bed with his eyes half-closed; AJ was occasionally glancing up at the television while texting with someone back in the States. Only the glow of her smart phone enabled her to see anything when the room went dark. She switched on the phone’s flashlight and walked up to the balcony window. The promenade along the ocean was dark, save for the headlights of a few cars cruising by the open-air cafes. She opened the sliding door, stepped out, and listened for a moment. With no music blaring from the cafés, she was suddenly aware of the sound of waves from the Mediterranean as they broke and surged across the wide sandy beach toward the hotel. She felt scared.

The Taxidermist by Alison L Fraser

It was not abnormal for taxidermy to be around the apartment, but it had been a long time since Ruth had last seen it. Not since her mom died, she thought, and she brought a few to a consignment shop, the type of shop that loved to decorate itself like a hunting lodge. But there the bird sat on the askew toilet lid, statuesque. The kestrel’s body was firm, heavier than it could have been when it was alive. Ruth gently lifted the taxidermy creature off the toilet, its beak unaligned appeared to be mid-joke.