What if his taxi had arrived after instead of before me? If we hadn’t met on the steps? I wonder at possibilities and am no further ahead. Did he hate me that much for wrecking his business?
All the imponderables leave me exactly where I am: shot, in a coffin.
Joanna M. Weston has had poetry, reviews, and short stories published in anthologies and journals for twenty-five years. Her poetry, “A Summer Father”, was published by Frontenac House of Calgary. You can see more of her writing at www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com.
He called me at work. “The house is flooding!” he said, then laughed.
I rushed home, panicking. He was wading knee-deep through black sludge in the living room. “It’s crude oil!” he said. “It’s coming in through the bathtub! We’re rich!”
In retrospect, I shouldn’t have lit that celebratory cigarette.
This story was based on the prompt “it’s crude” at TypeTrigger.
“Look, Pa! A dead rat!”
“Lemme see, Gerald,” said Pa. “Ah, it’s only a skellington and a bit of skin. Musta died a long time ago. Funny how nice he’s sittin’, like he went out calm and peaceful. Makes you wonder, kinda.”
Deep inside Ratankhamen’s corpse, a long-preserved soul-spark flared.
In a Brooklyn apartment complex, she’s one anonymous echo among many. She doesn’t know anyone’s name. One day, she finds a dead ant outside her door. She wonders how it survived in a world where everything was bigger than it. She gives it a name. She feels very large.
Kyle Hemmings is the author of three chapbooks of poems: Avenue C (Scars Publications), Fuzzy Logic (Punkin Press), and Amsterdam & Other Broken Love Songs (Flutter Press). He has been pubbed at Gold Wake Press, Thunderclap Press, Blue Fifth Review, Step Away, and The Other Room. He blogs at http://upatberggasse19.blogspot.com
A merchant found an old oil lamp. Amazingly, a beautiful genie was summoned as he rubbed it.
“For freeing me, I will grant you one wish,” said the genie.
“I wish I didn’t have to worry about money,” the merchant said.
“So be it,” the genie said, and killed him.
This is the third in a series of stories from King Kool, who has previously contributed multiple other series.
I clutch the pink note in my sweaty hand.
My heart beats furiously.
The room smells like chalk.
“Welcome, Dads!” is written on a big blue banner.
The cruel children laugh at my shoes while I hand over the note.
It reads, “Dear Ms. Wheatley, Elena’s father died last year.”
This story was submitted by Elena Agnello.
One shot is all it takes. He is dead.
Her blouse is wet with blood. Her cigarette rests between her swollen lips as she drags him through the dead leaves with a shovel in hand. She doesn’t cry until she drops his limp body in the hole.
His collar jingles.
Adam is a student at Rowan University and plans on graduating in December 2010. He is an avid writer, concentrating on contemporary adult fiction and concrete poetry. He is currently working on a collection of selected poems, revising and perfecting the prose. His website is adamgpoetry.tumblr.com.
He peered over the edge of the bridge.
“Are you sure it won’t snap?”
“It’ll be fine,” she assured him. “Hundreds of people bungie jump here every year.”
“Stop worrying and jump!”
“Fine.” He jumped.
Her cellphone rang. “What happened!? He’s still alive!”
“Sorry, boss. I couldn’t do it.”
“Huh. It was dead.”
“Told you. What do we do with it now?”
“Bring it to a scientist? That’s what you’re supposed to do with aliens, right?”
“Do you know any scientists? Any that survived, I mean.”
“Good point. Let’s just burn it, I guess.”
The invaders saw the smoke.
It was the dead of night. Silence reigned over the misty hills. A cricket chirped, then fell still as a malicious whisper overtook him. The moon highlighted the twisting shadows of the fog, as gradually the shadows took form. Ethereal shapes churned into being.
They were the dead of night.