Tomlinson raged to his feet, scattering the table and playing cards. “Cheater!” he hollered at O’Leary.
“Go home, Tomlinson, you’re drunk!”
As Tomlinson stumbled toward the barn door, his boot knocked over the lantern.
For three days, Chicago burned.
Tomlinson blamed it on O’Leary’s cow. Nobody alive could contradict him.
Jen Mierisch draws inspiration from science fiction, ghost stories, and the wacky idiosyncrasies of human nature. She lives, works, and writes just outside Chicago, Illinois.
“I’ve eaten your plums,” he sneered.
A fruit fight ensued. Mangoes, a hail of cherries, a ballistic Crenshaw melon.
After, we lay prone, exhausted and covered in juice, near the icebox.
A non-participant plucked the last plum off the kitchen counter.
It was delicious and sweet and cold, he reported.
Erin Gilmore is an artist and editor living in Los Angeles.
Editor: The title refers to this classic poem.
She won’t stop haunting me.
I can see her wavy hair. I can hear her sweet voice. I can smell her soap and fragrance. I can taste her red lips. I can still sense her as I walk over the ground where I buried her.
She won’t stop haunting me.
Chad Bunch writes speculative fiction from the suburbs of Saint Louis. He is currently trying to publish the first of many novels.
Glass shards sparkled against the flagstones in the light of stark realization. He repented and reversed time, erasing the mess and its memory.
The crystal ball sank heavily in his hands and glimmered darkly, foreboding.
He could bear no more. He hurled it down.
Glass shards sparkled against the flagstones…
John Samuel Anderson lives one nautical mile from the beach and five light-milliseconds from space. When not speculating on human colonization of the stars, he enjoys life on Earth with his wife, seven kids, a cat, and a bunny. See more at twostarshipgarage.wordpress.com.
Yosef was the family exterminator. Marie was Buddhist—didn’t want to accumulate bad karma through killing.
A new insect appeared daily. Yosef stomped them, swatted them, drowned them. Crumpled chitin and ichor crowded his nightmares.
When he left for work, Marie scoured the garden for the next victim to plant.
Tim Boiteau lives and writes near Detroit with wife and son. Follow him at @timboiteau.
She loves me… She loves me not.
I visited her at the cemetery, laid daisies at the base of her headstone. Last time I saw her she was across a meadow wearing a sundress. She was within range.
No need to mind the restraining order now.
She loved me not.
Karin Aurino is currently working on poetry, short fiction, and a first novel, which draws on an early career as a fashion model. She got her start in the talent department at ICM and enjoyed a career as a Longform and Series Television Producer. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Literary Orphans, r.kv.r.y. quarterly, Agnes and True, and Bacopa Literary Review, and has received recognition from Glimmer Train. Aurino lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children, and their dog, George. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Death comes creeping slowly, quietly, closer and closer.
My Priest says not to worry about it, that the pain will only be momentary. But what does he know? He’ll still be alive.
Ever closer the fatal date creeps, until at last it is here.
Time to take my math final.
Daniel Quillen is a retired HR director and a writer (19+ books). He lives in Centennial, Colorado with his wife. They are the parents of six children, grandparents of fifteen. They are currently living in China, teaching English at a Chinese University.
“Harry the Magnificent” the sign read.
“You’ll be amazed by his magic fingers” it added.
“Oh, please,” I thought. “I’ve never been amazed by any carnival magician.”
The act was boring, bland. Harry’s claims, however, were spot on.
I was amazed to discover my wallet and watch were both missing.
Susan Gale Wickes lives in Indiana. You can find her on Twitter at @SusanGaleWickes.
A girl in a red hood skips along the forest path. A wolf beholds, entranced. His mouth waters.
He never hears two little pigs sneak up.
The pigs drag the unconscious wolf away, discuss rebuilding their flattened homes. They can afford brick now; the girl’s grandma has paid them well.
Maura Yzmore is a Midwest-based writer of short fiction and career nerd. See more at maurayzmore.comstories/ and Twitter: @MauraYzmore.
Unseen eyes watched, sending a chill down my spine. Loathing enveloped me. What had I done to deserve this hatred?
My last thought before Lucifer sunk his claws into my back was that it would be a cold day in Hell before I agreed to feed the neighbor’s cat again.
Anita Roberts Soupir is a wife, mother, photographer & freelance writer. Her work can be seen in: Crack the Spine Literary Magazine and Mused – the BellaOnline Literary Review Magazine, as well as Boston Literary Magazine, Literary Juice, 50 Haikus, 50 Word Stories, and SpeckLit.