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Latest Stories

May 03, 2021
General Stories Marco

Gardening In New South Africa

I stood at the gate, gazing up the road. As expected, it was too early for people to be out exercising. My neighbours had warned me about getting casual gardeners in. As far as they were concerned if you get a casual in, a week later you will have a “home…
May 03, 2021
Flash Fiction Sean Fitts


I found you in New York City walking on the northside of West 50th, between 8th and Broadway. You’d told me you had already eaten, refusing my invitation to join me for lunch. I was in town for a gallery opening; you were in town to stay. “Break a leg,” you’d…
April 28, 2021
General Stories Jaclyn Garing

True Or False

I was just the average high school student trying to figure out who I liked, if anyone liked me, or if I even liked myself, whoever I thought I was. Unintentionally, somewhere between recess and advanced calculus, I had tricked people into thinking I was…
April 22, 2021
Science Fiction Stories Adrian Des Champs

Rainbow World

I always wanted to escape but I didn’t know how to. Now that I have the opportunity, I feel that there are no limits. There was no achievement in it, it was me just as easily as it could have been anyone else. Since I could not give it back, I had to use it.…
April 22, 2021
General Stories Vidal Martinez

Don Poncho

“Daddy, Daddy.” My eyes crack open. “Daddy.” My bed slightly moves. “Son, what is it?” “My little sombrero man is saying bad words.” I reach over, tapping the top of his head. “Son, go back to bed.” “But—” “Be quiet, you’ll wake Mommy in the other room.”…
April 15, 2021
Crime Stories Rishabh Rajesh

Busting Of The Drug Cartel

4am in the morning. The airport was hustling and bustling with travellers travelling from one place to another. John Deep, a narcotics department head officer at MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT was on duty to catch hold of drug peddlers and smugglers. He has an…
April 12, 2021
Flash Fiction Rishabh Rajesh

The Darkest Night

CHAPTER-1: Introduction It was a dark and murky night. The moon and stars were hidden by the hazy clouds. The streets of Penton Avenue were deserted and desolated. No humans, animals and birds were seen. The streets had not streetlights nor any light source.…
April 12, 2021
General Stories Jack Karolewski

The Last Library

Perhaps it was inevitable. For what is life but a never-ending cavalcade of change and loss? People around the world stopped purchasing -- then soon, completely stopped reading -- physical books and other print media such as newspapers and magazines.…
April 07, 2021
Horror Stories Rishabh Rajesh

The Haunted Bungalow

John was driving down the desolated roads of Pressman Avenue. It was almost midnight. A storm was blowing and leaves were creaking. There was a heavy rainfall and a strong wind which made the whole weather cold. The road ahead couldn’t be seen because of the…
April 07, 2021
General Stories Joshua Santiago

Until We Meet Again

Dedicated to my nieces Natasha and Anayah. Uncle Joshy loves both of you immensely. Also dedicated to my older sister Alisha. You’ll never be alone. (page 1) It was a moist, cool, rainy September night. I had already gotten my things ready for work tomorrow…
April 02, 2021
Flash Fiction José Acosta

Bush Of Ghosts

Crowds Almost all the decisions we make in our daily lives have more to do with automatized rituals than with autonomous acts, much less with gestures of freedom. Our days are more-or-less predetermined by the voracious demands of the economic system. Since…
April 02, 2021
General Stories Jack Karolewski


Nobody knew his real name, or even where he came from. He had seven different passports at any given time, and spoke eight languages fluently. He went by the names Simon Hunter, Miguel Torres, Ivan Borodin, Spiro Kallis, Sergio Cavetti, Turget Bayar, or…

Benito Guzman carried a gun. He shot the men who came after him. A woman, his foster mother, lay on the floor stunned from the blow the man delivered. That moment had given Benito time to shoot them. He walked between the men. The one to his right twitched. Benito shot him between the eyes. The other man looked dead. Benito shot him between his eyes. He didn’t bleed. Benito searched their pockets. Numb with fear, he took cash, plastic cards, full clips, loose bullets, and guns. He put them all in an old bag and left it by the woman. He pocketed their keys and his gun.

If he could run without her, he would have.

He heard the baby crying. He got a second bag, went to the bathroom, and put in all the stuff they used in the morning, and pills he saw the woman take. He pulled the diaper bag from behind the door and dropped the plastic bag of dirty diapers in the shower and stuffed in clean ones.

The baby wailed as Benito changed her diaper and dressed her in two sets of clothes. His mother taught him how to run. He pulled her into her carrier whispering, “Don’t cry. I love you. I’ll keep you safe.” He pulled the carrier to the kitchen.

The woman lay still on the floor.

“Wake up. We have to go.”

Bento shook the woman’s arm gently. “Wake up.”

He shook her harder. Scared, he pounded on her chest.

“Wake up. Wake up.”

She opened her eyes. Her baby in the carrier captured her attention. As she pushed herself up, she saw shoes and pant legs and that the men were dead.

Staggering, she tried to walk straight to the bathroom, whispering, “This is bad. This is bad.”

“We have to go.”

In the mirror, she saw blood on her left temple. She pressed a cold wash cloth on the spot.

“We have to go,” Benito yelled. “We have to go.” He thought about running without her.

Benito’s fear filled her. She jammed everyone’s clothes into suitcases.

“Wheels,” said Benito, holding up the keys to her.

“Let’s find that car.”

Three doors down stood a grey sedan that didn’t fit the neighborhood. The keys started it.

She pulled as close to the back steps as she could. Benito watched as she struggled with the suitcases. He popped the trunk. She pushed the suitcases into it and Benito crawled into the trunk and pulled them in. In the back of the trunk he found a gym bag filled with bundled money. He handed a bundle to her. She counted the bundles.

“That’s enough to support us for years. This is bad. Real bad.”

“We have to go.”


Hours later they crossed the state line.

Stopping at a drive thru, they ate fried chicken in the car. She nursed the baby. Benito fingered the door handle ready to run.

“How would you like us to be a family? You didn’t want to live with me.” She paused and switched the baby to the other side. “You scare me.”

 “You’re scared because of those men.”

“They tried to kill us. Somebody gave them a lot of money to do that.”

The baby made smacking sounds. The scent of the milk comforted Benito.

“We’ve got it now,” Benito said.

“You saved us. You killed them like the men killed your mother.”

“Those men shot her in the head. These men, I shot them. They fell down. I shot them more. One was dead already.”

“That’s what’s scary. You know those things. You learned fast. Can you learn other things?”


“Can you learn to be my boy?”

“You took me just to get that house.”

Benito fingered the gun.

“Now I care about you. Love you, just like they knew I would. You, baby, and me all got a house.”

“I have a mom.”

“She’s gone now. If I were dead and she was here, I would want her to take my baby and be her mom.” She burped the baby. She tears rolled down her face. “I did a dumb thing. He was a bad man. I didn’t leave soon enough. He killed my little boy. Nobody knows. His name was Steve.”

Benito hated his dad. The last day, his dad pushed his mom’s face into the dish water until she was quiet and limp. He pulled her from the sink and smacked her back until she started gasping.

Then, like every other day, his father said, “Time to memorize.”

It wasn’t complicated: name, date, place, weight, price. His dad read from a sheet of paper that he’d burn.

The men killed them because of those lists. He still could smell the farts of the man who killed his mom. Each day he rememorized the lists, because someone wanted it. “They’re after me," Benito said.

“Together, we can hide," she said. “A few days ago, a friend sent a copy of that man’s death certificate. He died in a bar fight.” She blurted, “Can you be my boy? We’re safe from him.”

Benito felt sad for his mom and Steve.

“Can you be just plain Ben? Never again Benito? You can go by Ben? If someone pushes, say your name is Steve. We can use my real last name. It’s Appel.”

Benito, antsy to leave, said. “Ben Apple. I like apples. Who’s baby? You?”

“Baby doesn’t have a name, yet. I’m Cloe Appel. Mom. OK?”

Benito fingered the gun then decided to love his new mom.

“We gotta go, Mom. Now.”

“Steve’d be six come Halloween.”

“Steve was twenty–two days older than me.”

She put the baby in the car seat and drove. They both had the instinct to keep moving. They both relaxed to the sound of the tires.

The End

M.J. Holt lives on a certified organic farm with her husband and many animals. Her stories have appeared in "Low Down Dirty Vote Volume II," "Alternate Theologies," "Short-Story.me", and her poetry may be found in "Gutter Eloquence," the poetry anthologies "300K," and "Timeless Love", and other periodicals. She studied history, English, education, and holds a Masters in English Literature. She is a member of SFWA and MWA.



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