Featured Stories

1969

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Jim looked out of his upstairs apartment window. He watched as a drunken man staggered up to the door of the Bus Cafe. It was late. No doubt after a night of drinking he was going for a burger and fries, or some greasy chili. Jim and his wife Brenda rented one of two apartments that were above the New …

April 20, 2019 :: 0 comments

I Have a Mistress

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Back in 2017 I acquired a mistress, or should I say she attached herself to me. I informed my wife of the mistress and she begin to cry and said can you get rid of her. I said I will try. But now she is with me all the time. She demands to go shopping with me and then I …

April 13, 2019 :: 0 comments

A Quiet Thanksgiving

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She was an old woman now. The crime her son Aaron committed was on her mind every day. And why shouldn’t it be? He had killed his wife and was serving a forty-year sentence in Chino Men’s Prison just south of Los Angeles. Her husband, God bless him, had left her plenty of money. Sitting at her cluttered dining room …

April 7, 2019 :: 0 comments

Contributed Stories (Past Year)

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A Digital Copy

by on July 28, 2018 :: 0 comments

This article first appeared in the Portland Press-Herald on February 8, 2046 Milton Schaefer of Portland was the first American to have a digital copy of his mind implanted into a robot. Schaefer, who had been in ill health, started going to Eternity, Inc. in Freeport last July. At Eternity, Inc. technicians were able to make copy the contents of …

A Foreshadowing on the Avenue

by on June 30, 2018 :: 0 comments

It was snowing lightly that mid February morning as I prepared for my hike up a slippery Greenwich Avenue. It was Sunday, a special Sunday. My eighth grade class was gathering for Mass, followed by a pancake breakfast prepared by our parish priests, Monsignor Brannigan and Father Prizzi. My class had recently achieved statewide recognition for our accomplishments in arithmetic …

A Light That Called His Name

by on June 17, 2018 :: 1 comment

Through a hollow darkness the Cherokee son traveled. He looked up to see a moon riding the skies and stars galloping across the heavens. Carrying the searching song of his soul, he journeyed on until he came to a mountain that he looked through to see another world beckoning. This was the world that held the spirits of all things. …

A Wind-Bent Daffodil

by on September 15, 2018 :: 0 comments

He asks me to count to ten. I am lying in a bare and chilly room on a very high and narrow bed, which he helps me to mount with the aid of a few steps. I’m wearing a pair of feather-light slippers. He looks so ridiculous in his green cap, a strange color for such a muscular man who …

Antimatter Chitter-Chatter

by on August 18, 2018 :: 0 comments

Why are we matter and not antimatter, or are we the latter and think that we’re not? Brought into contact the one with the other, the two would annihilate right on the spot. Opposites attract— some do— but in this case, it isn’t true; for in that mirror image clash the counterparts destroy their doppelgangers in a flash and thus …

Between You, Me, and The Devil

by on May 19, 2018 :: 0 comments

We got this one sayin’ — really a lotta sayins up here, but my personal favorite is: “hell ain’t worth a damn ‘less you know why you’re damned.” I ain’t paraphrasin’ neither. We don’t have no time for paraphrasin’ up here. That’s right, you’ll find out soon, once you too get damned. Hell is actually above all you regular type …

BLACK ROOMS

by on September 1, 2018 :: 0 comments

I was in a considerable state of nervous overload when the Black Rooms made their first appearance in my young life. That life had been one of panic and slip sliding instability. Evictions again and again from a long succession of scabrous hovels the merest step from wretched homelessness. All of them grotesquely filled with gobbling monstrous ghouls. Such places …

BONES

by on December 10, 2018 :: 0 comments

I never leave the city. In its steel canyons and paved valleys I lose myself. Metal and granite body of the colossal organism pulsates in artificial mechanical rhythms while I tumble through its gridded metropolitan veins. Never do I look at the sky. Nor linger on the fringes. Cubiforms and sectored geometries dissolve into random natural contours here and I …

Bringing Up Little Beasties

by on June 23, 2018 :: 0 comments

Hello, everybody! Great to see you. I guess you can tell by looking that I am a geezer, a crank, a codger, an old fart – as well as a wizened wise man in an age that can’t tell wisdom from information. After making that profound remark, I’m going in another direction. I know what information is but don’t have …

Cages

by on November 3, 2018 :: 0 comments

I “read” the other abductees for you. What more do you want? “Wake up! I paid millions for you. There’s no time for sleep.” There’s no mutuality to our “contract.” “Drat! Sebastian, get me the longer pole. This one doesn’t reach.” “He’s already pretty bruised up, Boss.” “Shut up or I’ll thrash you, instead.” “I’m getting the broomstick.” And I’m …

Damien Ricardo III and Goneril Elektra

by on December 15, 2018 :: 0 comments

Damien is at the main tranquerawith a dozen armed black-suited people behind him,Goneril is standing beside himholding a newspaper above her headto block the sun from her face.Three grey-suited men with legal pads in their handsstand to her right. Damien is Teresa and Obligation’s son. Goneril is his wife. Obligation bought this ranch. Obligation died of a heart attack while …

Donald Peterson

by on September 22, 2018 :: 0 comments

There was a long stopover from the American Airlines flight from Seattle to Cleveland. She wore a loose fitting dress with tiny birds seeming to fly off into the distance. Lucy disembarked with old carryon baggage coming apart at the seams. She made sure her name was visible on the small plastic card as she lugged it to the nearest …

Eventually

by on May 5, 2018 :: 0 comments

The kitchen floor was still damp but she squatted, still trembling from the shock of the untoward incident. It was purely accidental and she had no regrets. It was preordained that way. He was incorrigibly testy, always chastising her for being “childless.” His propensity to criticize had corroded their relationship. After giving vent to his anger and frustration upon her, …

Exactly

by on November 10, 2018 :: 0 comments

Justin enjoyed his daily walks. A lot of people jogged or ran for exercise, but for him, a long walk was not only good for his health, but also relaxing. He could look around at the world he lived in and get a feel for what was going on in it. An unhurried look at his surroundings. His walks also …

Fly High, Little One

by on March 31, 2019 :: 0 comments

Fly high, little one. Let your beautiful wings spread. You’ve learned much, now, and far more to see still. Travel onward, now, across this peculiar world. Mature, experience, and feel. You’ve come far. All the trials of your life you’ve surpassed; all the pains you bore them well. Carry on now, little one, and fly high. Soar across this beautiful …

Forgetting

by on March 9, 2019 :: 2 comments

“They tell me I shot myself in the chin, shot somebody else, too, but I don’t think that’s right. What happened was I fell off a fruit wagon.” That’s Dr. Wagner. He’s a pharmacist, had his own small town pharmacy out in the Valley for years, seemed fine, until this happened. I’m his occupational therapist. It’s my job to determine …

Girl Next Door

by on October 13, 2018 :: 0 comments

After racing stop signs jutting from small town Texas school buses dull in pre-dawn’s sunray deprivation, I park where we used to play. Tossing basketballs into a net without a backboard, occasionally one would volley next door where my friend’s dying heart was pushed by an electric wheelchair and a young shaking hand. A teenage boy dying from ataxia, the …

Hands of Steel, Not Today

by on March 16, 2019 :: 0 comments

My urologist recently asked me, “John do you know where you are going and have you found the right path to clarity of expression and urination?” As I looked at him with a quizzical expression, he directed his nurse to schedule some tests for me at Community Hospital. I thought I was feeling fine, but I guess my doctor wants …

Hanging by a Thread

by on February 9, 2019 :: 0 comments

I was a high school teacher before they came. I’m not sure what I am now. They said they chose me because they needed cases to test. To make sure their experiments worked. Now I feel more like a Wax Museum custodian than anything else. What I most recall is that it was a very regular night. Even the light …

He Did Not Shoot the Deputy

by on January 26, 2019 :: 0 comments

The cherry cocktail sticks jumped on the neon sign outside the 114 Lounge. Inside, the singer was singing of these cherry cocktail sticks as part of a tune he had written: The neon cocktail lights a dancin’ invitations so bright… The place, the 114 Lounge, was located at 114 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. Hence its unostentatious namesake. The …

Healing Magic

by on August 11, 2018 :: 0 comments

Wash away an obliterated heart. Leave it alone to beat its last thump. Yet, the heart wishes to be seen, understood, accepted, loved. But loved, it never was. Ever a dream and ever a thought, and still this heart strives for it. This youthful heart stuck inside me… Wash it away. Drown it. Disintegrate all the memories. Wash away the …

Homage to Julius Fuick

by on December 29, 2018 :: 0 comments

A hissing sound awoke me from a gentle dream of circuses. Light-footed elephants and happy clowns inhabited the dream. I was sad to leave it. “Psst. Are you awake?” The voice emanated from a corner of the pitch black room. “Who is it?” I whispered. “Are you awake?” I threw off the blankets and kicked my feet over the side …

I, Adam Porter (GONE ALASKA novel excerpt)

by on February 16, 2019 :: 1 comment

It was near noon and the crisp, sea-refrigerated air had evaporated from the cove. The sun was hot, straight up, hovering above the inland ridge of mountains. I was on the rear deck of a trawler, down to my T-shirt. In my sweaty sunburnt hands was an electric drill, plugged into a portable generator on deck. Wiggling the drill bit …

Judgement Both Ways

by on December 1, 2018 :: 0 comments

A history student, entering an ex-magistrate’s shop, always said: “Hi.” The ex-magistrate never answered, the student thinking: “Prick.” “My usual, please,” the student said. The ex-magistrate always wrapped up the wholemeal bread the student always ordered. “It’s delicious with butter and honey,” the student once said. The ex-magistrate just glared. “Bye,” the student always said, never receiving a reply. One …

Kleptomania- of music, people and conversations

by on August 4, 2018 :: 1 comment

I come back to a dark house. It’s so dark every time I open the door that I rush to switch on a light. Any light, big, small, doesn’t matter. And in seconds- as I see the outline of furniture and other things kept- the house transforms into a home. (Look at me, investing life into the lifeless. Look at …

Name of Hope

by on January 19, 2019 :: 0 comments

Where do good feelings come from? They are tucked away and concealed in a calming, charming, and uplifting voice; they are within the frame of an embracing, delightful, and warm soul; they are within tiny acts that aren’t oft committed in the world; they are within the reassurances of the words “I’ll always be here”; they are within every smile …

Now’s The Time To Play

by on October 27, 2018 :: 0 comments

Characters Lisa and Mike. 20-40 years old, but of roughly the same age. Not a couple, just a couple good friends. Nothing apparently remarkable. Should be dressed in the current fashion of the age, but with color. They both have Bi-polar Syndrome. Death. Normal looking man. Dressed in dull clothing, maybe khakis and a gray sweatshirt. Setting Stage should be …

NUMB

by on September 8, 2018 :: 0 comments

George Tango sat on the L train, on the gray, hard seat. He spotted a Liz Smith gossip column headline in an open News, spread wide by a middle-aged man in a slightly weird, off-green Hamburg hat. George got off the train dulled by the headline of Liz Smith, dulled by the weather, dulled by life. He walked one-half block …

Playgirl

by on August 25, 2018 :: 0 comments

It was the late seventies and I’d never known any woman like Marie, who would cover one whole wall of her room with naked men centerfolds taken from Playgirl Magazine. Marie had graduated from the university in Cedar Park and was now in a medical program at Galveston’s Sealy Medical Center to become a medical photographer. “You’ve got some interesting …

Plutonic Ponderings – Present and Past

by on November 17, 2018 :: 0 comments

Most haven’t a clue what to do here on Earth to fix our gargantuan plights… Still Dwarf Planet Pluto in Kuiper Belt ring, in that most amazing of flights, has been closely surveyed, contemplated, perceived, scrutinized, photographed, (not to mention its moons), long after discoverer Tombaugh departed, though ashes of his were on board the spacecraft in its celebrated flyby …

Prince of All Pursuits

by on March 2, 2019 :: 0 comments

Kester requested courses. Thus, Oboe, Advanced Poetry Workshop, Dynamics and Equilibria, an independent study of melanoma research, and Latin III were scheduled. Mom was a pathologist, Dad a collagen scaffold engineer, and Sis a nuclear radiologist. Kester was the rebel. That coed dropped out midterm, anyway. Family knowledge, friends’ good wishes, even lessons with a master yogi hadn’t prevented recurrence. …

Riding the Roads

by on December 23, 2018 :: 0 comments

My ex-husband and I bought a used Winnebago for $111,000. A doctor of jurisprudence, Michael had never gotten over me. The feeling was not mutual. Now in our sixties, I felt sorry for the man. His third wife, Nedra, had died. He’d made widows of every single woman he’d married or dated. He was always a terrible driver, even when …

Scuttle

by on January 12, 2019 :: 0 comments

I eventually change accommodation and occupy a new flat that is an improvement on the first but totally unfurnished. The move is costly for me after surgery expenses. There is no money left with which to furnish two sunlit rooms with a balcony that has tree-fringed villas for company. It is an affluent neighborhood and each family keeps to itself. …

Simulacrum

by on June 2, 2018 :: 0 comments

Ever since St. Bernadette had a vision of Mary in the grotto, tourists came to Lourdes, some to be healed by its miracle. Arriving by train in Lourdes, Roberto alighted onto the streets, now crowded with seekers from across the globe. They came from all over the world, some on crutches, some in wheelchairs, and some even on flat beds. …

Splat

by on July 7, 2018 :: 0 comments

“I wish I could say things are better,” wrote Charlie Anderson, about his wife Callie, “but they’re worse.” The experimental drug for her early onset Alzheimer’s had not worked. “Now it’s like I have no wife. She can’t speak and has a blank look on her face like a dead fish.” I was on his email mailing list and felt …

St. Vitus Dance

by on February 2, 2019 :: 0 comments

“The vegetables often leave their stalks. Yes, they go gallivanting about. Yeah, mostly at night. Oh, they are always back on the stalk, or vine, by morning. Why do you ask?” “Couple of veggies been acting up. On the west side of the garden.” “The west side? That’s where the eggplant, the aubergines, grow. And the green beans. Those horrible …

The Answer

by on April 28, 2018 :: 0 comments

Roy looks in the mirror. Says “What am I doing with my life?” and feels worried after he says it because he said it reflexively. He’s wearing a red and white shirt. He has short brown hair and a beard. “So how’ve you been,” said Ariel. He reached into his bag and surreptitiously pulled out the answer. “I’ve been good. …

The Cuckoo That Couldn’t

by on May 12, 2018 :: 0 comments

Is destiny carved or does instinct win out? What causes a species to thrive or thin out? Are queries and theories the puzzles they seem? Let’s hark to a cuckoo tale spun from a dream. There once was a cuckoo who happened to grow into a rare nestling that needed to know about all the whispers and strange twittered words …

The Day I Went to See David Lee Roth

by on October 21, 2018 :: 0 comments

I read about it in a free weekly that was delivered in the mail to my apartment, one of those local tabloids comprised of advertisements for tanning salons and burrito vans. At first, I was incredulous. In no way did I believe David Lee Roth would come to Manchester, New Hampshire. But it turned out to be true. He was …

The Fates

by on May 26, 2018 :: 0 comments

As I looked out the window, leaves were randomly floating to the ground. It was their destiny from the time they were formed on the trees in the Spring to lie scattered on the lawn this Fall. It had been my destiny to go to war, survive, get married, raise two kids, and become divorced. Now this… My thoughts drifted …

The Forensic Dry Cleaners of Murray Hill

by on October 6, 2018 :: 0 comments

Seven a.m. in Manhattan, and I have a full week of meetings looming ahead of me. Latte in hand, I take my Hillary Clintonesque navy pantsuit into the dry cleaning shop next to my hotel. “Just a pressing,” I say to the olive-skinned woman behind the counter. She is dressed head to toe in black, a shawl embroidered with threads …

The Silence of Slow Time

by on September 29, 2018 :: 0 comments

He is crouching on the grass behind a bush, out of wind. Only a few feet away he hears the growling of a tiger. He holds his breath until his lungs almost burst, cautiously letting the air seep out of his lungs. The tiger lingers, but then seems to stroll away. It doesn’t matter what we call this being. He …

The Worst It

by on January 5, 2019 :: 0 comments

After prayers for small town dreams, miniature struggles for good grades to play sports before graduating to find someone to get caught up in a wedding proposal so ladies in room 39 can tally praises or prayer requests, Janice speaks wearing the elbow chub of Sunday school authority, “And now we can see there’s a new face with us today.” …

Thelma and Louise

by on November 24, 2018 :: 0 comments

I’ve always been overeager, so when Summit.org started advertising that they could make you live forever, I was one of the first to sign up. It cost a lot of money, but I had it. I was getting on in years. and I knew I couldn’t take it with me. The first session lasted all afternoon. They wired this thing …

They Came

by on July 21, 2018 :: 0 comments

He knew most of the people who had been killed. Except for one guy who was known for his piss poor treatment of anyone that crossed his path, Terry could think of no explanation for most of the murders. It seemed to be senseless. People run over by cars, stabbed, shot, or strangled. Old lady Johnson, who was a happy …

Through the tunnel

by on July 14, 2018 :: 0 comments

The stairs are blocked by steel rails; I can’t access them from this side. She’s told me my keys are down below, where the party was. I remember being surrounded by women for a brief instant. I’d shouted — something I don’t remember. She’s caught the trolley off to work. This little English town, asleep, and asleep. In bed she’d …

Train Tracks

by on February 23, 2019 :: 0 comments

The shortcut to Steven’s house was about two blocks from the train station. Every day he walked on one of two train tracks. He could smell the home cooked meal his sister had bragged about two hours earlier. When he saw the train coming towards him, he took a step to the left and easily reached the other track. He …

Who Guards the Lifeguards?

by on June 9, 2018 :: 0 comments

“Dos horas,” their mother said before rolling up the windows and sitting in the music of air conditioning and radio. Bass shook their peeled back window little league football numbers. The Lopez brothers breathed on reflex as they walked into the volunteer fire department. Voting, city meetings concerning softball field noise violations, and courses on how to give life to …

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