Who knows why I even bother, but I inform every army that the rented siege weapons must be returned in the same condition if they want their deposit.
“Of course!” they all say.
Then they haul back a pile of splintered wood and mangled metal, assuming they return at all.
Iain Young found a two-for-one discount in his mail. He’s wondering how he got on that mailing list.
No one knows why color disappeared. Leaves browned. Flowers faded. Clothing looked washed-out. Even blood turned beige.
My son’s never seen a sunset, only gray skies.
The last green shoot attracted longer lines than the Mona Lisa. When I took my son to see it, he scrunched his nose. “Gross.”
Hannah Whiteoak is a freelance writer and poet from Sheffield, UK. Follow her at @hannahwhiteoak.
The lonely widower broke into abandoned houses. Careful overnight work pulled lines of wallpaper down whole. Safely home, he hung them up and rested his forehead against them—breathing memories of crayon scribbles, the height charts of those who’d grown, and frames of lost portraits burned by the fading sun.
Mark Farley writes novels, flash fiction and the occasional poem.
Labradors are clever and mine is really, really smart. He watches Jeopardy with my wife and me. He can answer more than she can, but neither of us tells her.
Once my wife is asleep he creeps into our room and licks my nose. Then we go chasing cars together.
Stuart is a retired teacher from New Zealand. He likes writing short stories and flash fiction.
Josh stopped at concessions for two orders of cotton candy, strolling to their rendezvous in penny loafers and bowling shirt.
Sixteen minutes passed before she texted, canceling. But cell phones hadn’t been invented yet.
Ghosted, he waited another hour, gave his blues to a bobbysoxer, and slowly slumped home.
Raised in Chicago and residing in Nashville, with a B.A. from DePaul University and M.Ed. from Belmont University, Doug Hoekstra is a working wordsmith whose short stories, essays, and poems have appeared in numerous literary journals through the U.S. Hoekstra has two book-length collections to his name: The Tenth Inning (2015) and Bothering the Coffee Drinkers (2007 – winner of an Independent Publisher Award Bronze Medal for Fiction). He lives in the Music City with his son Jude.
Hoekstra is also a singer-songwriter troubadour who has released eight “critically acclaimed” albums of original material on labels on both sides of the pond, touring throughout the U.S. and Europe, performing at bookstores, coffeehouses, clubs, libraries, pubs, festivals, radio stations, and castles; solo and with combos in tow. Highlights included Nashville Music Award and Independent Music Award nominations, lots of Top 10 lists, and many groovy times. As the pundits used to say, “a lot of people write songs, Hoekstra writes five-minute worlds” (Wired Magazine). See more at doughoekstra.wordpress.com.
An acrid chemical haze blanketed the city wastelands. The noon sky glowed with an eerie crepuscular light. The Cataclysm proffered two choices: adapt or die.
In the fields we no longer chased butterflies. They now chased us, their flapping avian wings dusting us with fine powder that necrotised human flesh.
Melanie always feared her childhood obsession with catching butterflies would, one day, come back to haunt her.
Splinters of wood from my door lay scattered on the floor. The intruder, eyes wild, face thin, pointed towards the window. “Trying to kill me. Ninjas on the roof.”
I dialed 911.
Cuffs on wrists; police took him away.
A metallic flash. A small throwing star embedded in the doorframe.
Roni Slye travels the land in search of hot springs, cool forests, and creative sparks. Her work has been published at The Molotov Cocktail and Nailed Magazine.
they are going to vote ‘guilty’
and she refuses to believe
the new procedures are fair
nervous as she ascends the podium
unfolding her statement – she is not
convinced that bias has been eliminated
a dozen people deliberating in a room
is better than
a million poised behind smartphone screens
Note: Now read the story from the last line through to the first!
Alanah Andrews is an English teacher in Australia. She is the author of “Beyond,” A Short Story Collection of twisted tales, ghosts, aliens, murder, and “beyond.” You can follow her at facebook.com/alanahandrewsauthor.
The doppelganger couldn’t fool Bracken. She knew it wasn’t her master. Wasn’t even human. The scent was off, alien.
The rest of the family didn’t notice, but she knew.
However, the creature seemed happy to walk her as much as she wanted, so maybe she wouldn’t miss Bob after all!
Bill Cox is from Aberdeen, Scotland where he has been procrastinating for the past forty-nine and a bit years.
The platform’s empty. The train isn’t due for almost an hour, but I’m in no hurry.
Someone left yesterday’s newspaper on the bench. Another celebrity wedding. Another mass shooting. Same old, same old.
Tomorrow will be different. “Woman saves child,” it will say.
This time I’ll stop him from falling.
Kim McGreal lives in the UK with her husband, daughter, and a cat that believes scritches are more important than writing. She can be found on Twitter @kimsfic.