She had attempted to ignore him, hoping he wouldn’t approach her as she stood alone in the aisle of the bookstore. He was the persistent kind, though.
After approaching her, he mustered a polite smile and blinked twice.
“Excuse me,” she said by way of introduction, gently fanning behind herself.
Ran Walker is the author of seventeen books, the most recent of which is PORTABLE BLACK MAGIC: TALES OF THE AFRO STRANGE. He teaches creative writing at Hampton University.
Ken believed our scoutmaster when he said adding dry leaves would give the stew a nice “hickory” flavor.
We couldn’t stop Ken in time to keep all of the leaves out, but when we won first prize for “Best Camporee Meal,” no one mentioned the secret ingredient to the judges.
Ran Walker remains perpetually amazed by what you can do with fifty words.
He’d taken this route every year. Nothing like this ever happened before. Guy came out of nowhere.
The reindeer were fatter this year so they blocked his view.
Opening his hip flask, he studied the splatter on the road.
Nobody believed in him anyway. Better go before witnesses turn up.
Joey does not and never did believe in the existence of Santa.
After the strange cow—on our land that night, yet unbranded—nipped Pete, we watched him close for a month, and, this proving wise, every full moon thereafter, until Ma, Mellie, and I returned from vacation to find Pa’s dementia had deepened, and over a mouthful of burger, Mellie asked, “Where’s Pete?”
Graham Robert Scott teaches writing at a university in north Texas. His stories have appeared in Barrelhouse Online, Nature, and Blink-Ink. See more at hemicyon.wordpress.com.
Covered in powdered sugar and melted chocolate, my beautiful blond roommate, who had never before set foot in our kitchen, looked up from her painstakingly crafted graham cracker crust in horror.
“Oh my God,” she said. “I just remembered. His mom’s a diabetic.”
I laughed. She managed not to cry.
Taylor Boucher is a writer of creative nonfiction and occasional fiction, when she realizes her exaggeration has gotten out of control. Her claims to fame are surviving being hit by a bus and meeting JoJo in a restaurant bathroom in 2007. In her spare time, she enjoys long conversations with her deaf dog.
Dark matter, a mysterious shadow cosmos existing side by side with our own.
The portal was his life’s work. He stepped through, breaching the barrier between universes. He would be humanity’s greatest explorer.
He saw structure. People.
A voice behind him, malice oozing from every syllable.
“Explorer: welcome to Hell.”
Bill is from Aberdeen, Scotland. His therapist sees his writing as a pitiful cry for help. Probably best just to ignore it. See more at northeastnotesblog.wordpress.com.
I went out with the Devil’s only daughter. Or so she said.
“You’d be surprised how many girls claim that,” I teased her. She just smiled.
It didn’t work out, but we remained friends.
Now I’m in Hell; God knows why. And the Devil just gave me an encouraging nod.
Anu Varik is not famous. She might be one day.
“Tell me about your girlfriend.”
“Lucinda calls herself a witch but I have my doubts. When she tried some closeup magic, she wasn’t very good at it.”
“Did she cause you to break out in a rash?”
“No. These red marks are where she accidentally jabbed me with her wand.”
John H. Dromey stands tall but often writes short.
I’ll never forget the phone call.
“Your Uncle Joe is your real father.”
“Your father never knew.”
“Mom, why are you telling me this now?”
Mom’s hurried confession that day made for some awkward family holidays in the future.
Especially since the pilot managed to save the plane.
Sarah Hausman would write more, but her ideas are terrible. This one is sort of a dad joke, sent just in time for Father’s Day (Editor: but arriving on the site a little late. Sorry!).
It was nearly the best moment of my entire life.
I was sitting in the sun,
drinking a wonderful cocktail,
and suddenly the most handsome man
looked me directly in the eyes
and gently said,
you are sitting on my towel.
And you are drinking my wonderful cocktail.”
Leydi Cuesta wrote this story.