Target confirmed, advance fee accepted, Robert dresses that night to kill. Black pants, black turtleneck, black greasepaint covering every inch of face and hands. Stealthy, he waits in shrubbery. Hours pass. Lights dim. Robert heeds nature’s call at last.
Sirens erupt: the alarm!
He’d never considered greasepaint below the belt.
Alexandra Renwick’s literary pulp fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s & Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazines, The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir, and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. When not inhabiting urban wetlands in Austin, Texas, she can be found curating a crumbling historic manor near downtown Ottawa. More at alexcrenwick.com.
He’d been running for years—even hijacked a spaceship once, using a plasma rifle and a bluff. But they’d finally caught up.
Mirrored glasses reflected his mute, fearful face as they scanned him and nodded.
“At a fifty percent penalty, you owe back taxes in the amount of…”
Alison pays her taxes. Honestly.
She saw him walk from cubicle to cubicle, and her heart filled with longing for him to drop by.
“Would you like a date?” his sweet voice softly whispered in her ear. She stopped breathing for a moment, until noticing a plastic bag of dried fruit next to her face.
Katya Duft is a translator, interpreter, and language teacher, and enjoys writing short stories, poetry and her blog Tales from the Bus
He likes listening to music, so the choice was easy for his birthday: a Bluetooth speaker!
Right now, I regret it. The music is way too loud! I can’t handle it anymore.
I go to his bedroom, open the door, and shout: “Please, dad, can you turn the volume down?!”
Noé Colle is a 17-year-old student from Chimay, a town in the French part of Belgium. He saw the website 50WS during his English lesson and wanted to give it a try. Noé is a composer and a DJ: music is his passion.
Evelyn True was pronounced dead. Her doctor had checked: no pulse, no heartbeat, no breath. The herbal tea she swore by for ninety years couldn’t help her any longer.
When the undertaker noticed the body bag twitching, he zipped it open.
Evelyn slowly sat up and asked for some tea.
Candace based this story on an incident reported to have actually happened in Poland a few years ago. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Tea anyone?
Crosswords, cappuccinos, and Classic FM: I basked in the gentle cadence of Sundays until I was caught depositing company profits into my account. Now, Sundays are indistinguishable from every other day: anaemic coffee, bartering jam for marmalade, and the sonorous symphony of my cellmate making a different kind of deposit.
Fee Johnstone is a managing editor of a medical journal who lives in Scotland and favours cats, craft beer, and cheese over most other things.
It was one of our last meals together. She’d fixed pork chops the way I liked: plain, fried, with onions, in an old iron skillet.
How could I tell her I’d miss her? “Whenever I see a pork chop, I’ll think of you.”
Once again, she gave me that look.
Norman Gin is a novice at writing and this is his very first attempt at a 50-word story.
I’m always skeptical when my boyfriend says he’s a lumberjack.
There’s something about the way he cuts his hair every winter, how his checked flannel shirt hangs loose around his trunk and his thorny beard scratches my cheeks when we kiss—but I wouldn’t put roots down with anybody else.
Guy branched out into story writing to compensate for his wooden personality. This is his seventeenth 50-word story.
Red roses are cliché.
Daisies’ friendly faces look pitifully eager.
Orchids make you work too much for their beauty.
Lilies’ quiet elegance masks a faint bridal whiff.
Tulips: unassuming and perfect.
Later, I offer her the painstakingly-selected bouquet. “No!” she yelps, slamming the door. “I’m allergic to those!”
Nina Sudhakar is a writer, photographer, lawyer and wanderer. She writes about travel and culture on her website
I don’t know why,
I don’t know when,
I just know that today
I wanna live again.
you are the one that makes me write
what my heart felt when we began.
You wanna know what I’m trying to mean?
I’m in love with your sis.