The skinny cat slinks through damp alleyways with hunger in her eyes, desperation sharpening her senses to a degree that she never thought possible. She’s found freedom in starvation, purpose in the chase, salvation in the feeling of blood between her teeth.
She will never be a house pet again.
Ethan Noll writes short stories and poems. He hopes to write something longer someday.
I’ve been collecting things since I was very small. Conkers, feathers, snow globes. Then onto stamps, butterflies, coins.
It was only natural for me to progress to larger, more beautiful and precious things. Hard to find, harder to keep.
People demand their freedom in a way that stamps never did.
Charlie Swailes writes short and very short stories when not teaching English or looking after her two small boys.
High Noon; the Kid faces Sundance. Fingers twitching, onlookers gathering. Quickdraw! Boom! 1860, the irons virtually explode in their mitts. Smoke, lead, everywhere. Recoil flattens the Killers. Two Mexicana bystanders lie dead.
An old Comanche watches, already telling how the Killers pumped each other full of lead and miraculously survived.
Peter Li-ping continues to travel, work, and rest in an arc which stretches North-East to North-West. But he feels the Great Light shines from the South West.
We woke under a perilous sun: too red, too hot, too close. How did we come here and how would we ever get back?
We meant only to watch, to observe the Arcane Plane. But one cannot observe without becoming part. The mirror showed us more than our own darkness.
Casey Laine comes from a long line of talkative women. She works as Fantasy Editor at Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, and publishes an annual anthology for her writing group, Writers Assembled. In her spare time, she chases butterflies with her camera. Find her on Facebook.
When we found a body under the conservatory, my husband and I disagreed on what to do.
We should call the police (me).
No, definitely not (him).
We inherited the house from his parents. His dad, actually, who’s living in a care home.
Now I know why we don’t visit.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her fiction has appeared online, in print and in various anthologies. She tweets at @laurabesley.
Doomsayers warned of apocalypse. “Disaster from the sky will destroy the world and the entire species!”
“Ridiculous superstition,” trumpeted Tyrannosaurus and Brachiosaurus. “We rule. Always will.”
The prophets were right.
A puny bunch with no claws or sharp teeth took over and wreaked havoc.
But their end, too, would come.
Marilyn McFarlane is a travel writer and the author of Sacred Stories: Wisdom From World Religions. She also writes poetry, memoir, and fiction. She lives in Oregon with her husband, a sizable garden, and maple and fir trees. See more at marilynmcfarlane.com.
The pistol tucked in my waistband is a constant reminder of my vulnerability, the reason that I can never feel safe.
Sometimes I forget it’s there. Sometimes everything feels normal. But then I remember all at once: the gun, the people I’ve hurt, and the retribution that’s sure to come.
Ethan Noll writes short stories and poems. He hopes to have as many published as possible.
Vicious attacks plagued the sleepy town.
Victim after victim, each unable to defend themselves.
I made the journey to walk the darkened streets alone.
Finally it was my turn to face the flashing blade,
but the paltry criminal did not count on my maniacal nature
and rapacious taste for blood.
Kristyn Mass lives in Iowa with her husband and three cats. She is a professional voice actor and aspiring writer.
Mom warned me not to look in the mirror between the hours of 2 and 4 A.M. “If you do,” she said, “don’t ever look your reflection in the eye.”
I caught my eye and she winked, and yanked me by the collar. My head cracked the glass.
Olive Richardson is an unknown but human adjacent creature made of spite and caramel lattes.
The zombies falter. Flesh becomes corrupt. Limbs are shed; animation a struggle.
Yet the fiends still pursue us. Onto our fields we stagger; new furrows disrupted by frantic feet.
Spades raised, we strike; the dead fall, cleaved into pieces. Good fertilizer, for our crop.
We live on, another winter assured.
Paul Lewthwaite, who hails from Scotland, hopes to start writing again after a ten-year hiatus.