Mr. Burnett picks up his newspaper from his doorstep, scans the picket-fenced street, then retreats inside.
He’s a respectable, decent man, I remind myself.
His wife, Helena, hasn’t been seen for several months. Visiting her sister in Wyoming, apparently.
This is suburbia. We go about our day, no questions asked.
Mark Towers writes children’s books, short stories and poetry.
Carolyn shows up agitated, out of kilter. We feign concern and lean in for what could possibly be a delicious story.
“Mother is in jail,” says Carolyn. “She shot the neighbor’s hamster.”
We gasp. “Jail? For that stupid hamster?”
“The problem is,” says Carolyn, “she was aiming for the neighbor.”
Linda Saldaña lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to assure everyone that no actual hamsters were harmed in the creation of this story.
When Mrs Brain’s dog bit off her thumb, the whole village soon heard about it.
As the rumours spread, the thumb became all five fingers, which in turn became her hand.
In this way, the village devoured more of Mrs Brain than Lucky had ever done, or hoped to do.
Alanna writes short stories and flash fiction and works in publishing in Oxfordshire. She can be found on Twitter at @alannamadeleine
“Who is that? Why are they treating her like a celebrity?”
“Maybe she is a celebrity.”
“I don’t think so. I read every gossipy blog and magazine out there, and I’ve never seen her in any of them.”
“Maybe she’s a really well-behaved celebrity.”
“Ha, like that’s even a thing…”