During Uncle Harry’s visits he dazzled me with magic. At six he held my nose, tapped my head, nickels tumbled out. At eight he pulled quarters from my ear. At eleven he reached up my skirt to pull a ten dollar bill from my panties just as dad walked in.
Paul Beckman was one of the winners in the Queen’s Ferry 2016 Best of the Small Fictions. His stories are widely published in print and online in the following magazines amongst others: Connecticut Review, Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Flash Frontier, Matter Press, Metazen, Boston Literary Magazine, Thrice Fiction and Literary Orphans. His latest collection, “Peek”, weighed in at 65 stories and 120 pages. See more at paulbeckmanstories.com
“What? No! I need to go back! Please!”
“Your life savings would give you… maybe a month. Sign here.”
*Frantic scribbling.* “Yes! Take it; just get me back there now!”
The pod clicked closed. The custom Virtuatopia and life support resumed.
“Now we can afford another pod. Excellent.”
Jason was inspired by dystopian literature and the science fiction short stories of Ray Bradbury. With virtual reality at the forefront of gaming technology, Jason wonders if simulations may end up being abused. Escaping reality can be quite addictive. On a more personal note, he is looking forward to high school graduation, attending UC Riverside, and perhaps taking a creative writing course there.
Rain spat sideways while Mother tugged our hands until we were jogging.
Dad was drunk again, and he’d hit her this time. The bruises glistened like purple glass.
At a diner, Mother used the restroom.
My brother asked what I knew.
I told him, “Love isn’t supposed to be cruel.”
Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State, an editor at the online magazine Literary Orphans, and the author of I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE AND NEITHER ARE YOU, out now from Unknown Press. You can also find him at lenkuntz.blogspot.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.
“But they must have noticed the bruises? The black eyes?”
“I told them I fell down the stairs at work.”
“And they believed that?”
“Please, Clare, you have to tell someone. You can’t keep this inside you. It’s too big.”
I’m better than I was.”
Mark Farley is attempting to write 1,000,000 words in 2016. Please wish him luck!
They drank coffee together every day of their marriage. It had always been a part of their routine. Like the evening shows. Like the dinner parties. Like the slaps to the face when she got out of line.
She looked across the table to his chair, empty now, and smiled.
Melissa is a writer, teacher, and dog lover in the Middle of Nowhere, Michigan.
Amy’s boyfriend never physically abuses her, but the emotional abuse is constant.
One night in the kitchen, Amy snaps after a relentless barrage of name-calling. She takes a long knife out of the holder and stabs him repeatedly.
Amy is in shock as she sees sparks coming from exposed wires.
Denny E. Marshall had had art, poetry, and fiction published, including recent fiction at 101 Words. See more at dennymarshall.com
It was the first time she had ever scared him.
She sparked the lighter, the jerk of her arm sending the sharp jag of petrol to his nose. Then she was engulfed.
He pounded on the flames with fear-numbed fists.
It was the last time he would ever beat her.
Stephen McQuiggan is proof of Intelligent Design; evolution could never explain how this useless lump of slobber and gristle still manages to draw breath, or what function it could possibly serve. His first novel, A Pig’s View Of Heaven, is available now from Grinning Skull Press.
The young girl looked broken beyond her cracked cheekbone and bloodied, blackened eye. She’d been so pretty, so innocent, Marianne remembered, when her boy, Jake, had brought the girl to Sunday dinner last week.
As she dabbed a washcloth against the clotting blood, she knew she’d failed as a mother.
Melissa is a writer, teacher, and dog-lover living in the Middle of Nowhere, Michigan.
Lisa kept sweet Kyle confined to her heart, refusing to allow a breath without her approval.
Kyle believed himself lucky. She was, after all, smart, beautiful, wealthy; so he did “good time.”
The seventh time Lisa bloodied him in a fit of unprovoked rage, Kyle decided his sentence was up.
Hillary Nichols is proving more and more every day that it’s never too late, for anything.