He’d become predictable, springing through the patio doors unto the deck, BB gun ablaze whenever any squirrel touched a bird feeder. So this time they waited, massing along the edge of the roof overhanging the deck. When he sprang, hundreds of squirrels pounced, joined even (how ironic!) by the birds.
Tony Jasnowski teaches English at Bellevue University and tries to keep peace between all factions in his backyard and himself.
We drank whiskey like sorrow were rare.
Dead’s dead, I muttered, bottle gone dry.
Hog stepped into the firelight, Colt drawn.
Wasn’t us, Billy blurted.
Hog shot him.
Wasn’t us my foot, I said, and drew.
I hadn’t a chance.
I knew it.
Hog knew it.
God hadn’t a clue.
Originally from the Midwest U.S., Justin Bendell lives and teaches in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he edits the Manzano Mountain Review, co-hosts Point Blank—a podcast about noir, hardboiled, and detective fiction—and records music under various monikers including fuguers cove and Euthanized Horse. His stories and poems have appeared in Meridian, 3:AM Magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Thuglit, Washington Square Review, and more. He loves the desert. See more at justinbendell.com.
I force the door open. The smell of mold hits me hard. The floor undulates beneath my careful steps.
I’d finally heard the killer boast to a drinking buddy. He feared no one on this lawless, dank planet.
My lover’s dagger gleams in the kitchen light.
It’s time for justice.
Margarite Stever grew up in a tiny Missouri town. She currently lives in a larger Missouri town with her family and beloved fur babies. She writes stories and essays that touch a person’s heart and makes them feel something. Her secret identity is Ozarks Maven. You can catch her musings at ozarksmaven.com
“That’s only if you take ‘dimwitted incompetent moron’ to have negative connotations,” he said, sliding his hand along her shoulder in a motion that could have been reassuring, patronising, controlling, threatening, loving or just brushing away lint. “No judgment implied.”
Later she hit him with a hammer. Non-judgmentally, but hard.
Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. He’s been published, long-listed, short-listed and placed in numerous competitions and publications around the web. He has a short story appearing in a forthcoming print anthology published by Blood & Bourbon. He’s on twitter @tomwrote
and his website is tomobrien.co.uk
On my last day I prepared a fabulous dessert, as my ex sat in the restaurant, his bottled blonde nibbling at lettuce with perfect lips. Whipped cream, crushed toffee, smoothest ice cream, and tiny crystals of sugar-like glass frosting. Irresistible!
As they say, revenge is a dish best served cold.
Viv Burgess suggests you do not try this at home.
Guilt burns my gut, only slightly sated by the whisky I sip.
The affair had been revenge for all the times his eyes had strayed. Joke was, I couldn’t tell him.
So my gut continues to burn as I take another sip and watch as his eyes stray once more.
Melissa is a writer, teacher, and dog lover in the Middle of Nowhere, Michigan.
Survivors and the families of lost loved ones gathered en masse to gaze at the blue lights the city had erected.
They cannot forget. In the same way, they will not forgive, either. “We will seek justice,” they chant together.
With that, the plan is hatched. Retribution will be theirs.
Kim Smyth is a freelance writer who loves to blog about life in general and alternative health. She lives in a quiet suburb of Fort Worth, Texas, with her hubby and two adorable Shorkies. Find her at kimsmyth.org and kimmy1563.wordpress.com.
She held the bouquet above the trash; figures he sent flowers, probably something rare. Tropical.
Didn’t matter; it’s over anyway. Guy’s a bore. Freaking entomologist; creepo, always going on about bugs.
Well, it was done.
She glanced down at the bouquet, and felt a sharp sting. Burning sensation.
Dark, sharp, and short – Liz is a writer living in the wilds of Canada with her black cats and her laptop (the wifi’s pretty good in the boonies). She loves themes of loss, love, and change, all with a twist of something else. Her work appears in all the usual places, but most recently on Spelk, Yellow Mama, Near to the Knuckle and Twisted Sister lit mag. You can find her at lizmcadams.wordpress.com
His fork clatters against the plate. He lets out a choking sound, then grabs my arm. His fingers dig in too hard. More bruises to add to my collection.
Ever so slowly, I raise my darkened eyes to his. Panic keeps him from speaking, and I smile.
I am safe.
Growing up, D.C. Menard was always fascinated by the strange and fantastic. She spent her days lost in the worlds of her favourite authors. Her greatest hope is to create worlds that her readers can get lost in.
Helm in hand, the knight revealed himself. A dying man deserved to know the name of the adversary who’d bested him. He gripped the cold, spiraled hilt of his father’s blade.
The old man’s eyes widened, not because of the pain, but because of the ghost in front of him.
AC Baldwin wrote this story.