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Latest Stories

June 17, 2018
Poetry Marty Kay

Hand of God

Then there you were. Calling through the din of war, you beckoned, and I obeyed. I make amends. The muzzle of my gun muted, I mask my military might and squat to greet your greatness. Give me your hand. For I am more than war. A mother; my name is Mary. Call…
June 17, 2018
Crime Stories Scott Sinclair

Saturday Night at Fort Apache

Saturday February 8, 1973 I never thought I’d be a cop on the take. Hell, I never planned on being a cop period. My goal was to follow in the footsteps of my older brother Scotty and join the fire department. Succumbing to family pressure to not follow Scotty…
June 17, 2018
Romance Stories Alicia Aitken

The Lemon Sherbet Cafe

Emily Chambers stood on the wooden decking that surrounded her cafe watching the tide slowly come in. Just over a year ago, she would have chuckled bitterly at anyone who dared to tell her that this is where she’d be. At that time, she was at her weekly…
June 17, 2018
Crime Stories David De Santo

As Good As It Gets

The detective proceeded cautiously. It wasn't comfortable driving on a dark country road at night. The long narrow stretch of highway faded in the distance. The barren land looked like one of those places that had been declared dead but refused to die. There…
June 17, 2018
Horror Stories Patric Quinn

When It's Time To Go

(Harold and Vlad are a pair of aging monsters. Harold is a werewolf who no longer fully transforms during a full moon. Vlad is a vampire with dental problems.) The night was beautiful in the cemetery, especially one as old as this one. The full moon on the…
June 10, 2018
Poetry BR Giga

The Fix

Cool steel penetrates consciousness, piercing the ravenous flesh. slowly the Momentary agony is Dispelled by the plunging rush of toxic euphoria. the elated quest for Weightless tranquility begins to Transcend the mortality of mindless despair. mercifully,…
June 10, 2018
Horror Stories Grace Treutel

Braised Heart

When I saw him for the first time, I knew I had to have him for dinner. It was in the ripe red of his mouth, the plush of his lower lip. The hollows of his cheeks were little inlets for his amusement, surprise dusting his high cheekbones from the shadows of…
June 10, 2018
Science Fiction Stories R.Scott Venegas

The Bottom Line

 Motivated by the odium of self-aggrandizing butt-hurt under the guise compassion for the surplus population, perceived slight of the day, those who were productive, hatred for anyone not in agreement with her views and hunger, Duhlia Abzoog wormed through…
June 10, 2018
Horror Stories Elin Ridge

Vengeance

The rust-coloured blood flakes off my hands and falls to the ground like snow. Grime is caked underneath my fingernails and twigs nest in my hair. My shirt is torn, boots covered in mud. My throat is closing with my heart beating out of my chest. Sweat drips…
June 10, 2018
Mystery Stories Jerry Hogan

The Flopping Arm Burial

When I was fifteen, Mom told me that we were going to the funeral of her Great Aunt Mildred. I never heard of Great Aunt Mildred. “Who? Are you kidding me?” I said. “Jay, don’t give me a hard time,” Mom scolded. “We are going to pay homage to my grandmother’s…
June 09, 2018
Romance Stories Brian Glass

She Needs To Go

She had to get away. The timing wasn't ideal, but when was it ever? Her boyfriend of six years proposed last month and she had said yes. They met at one of the Marist College dining halls. He was a junior, she a sophomore. There might have been a slight…
June 09, 2018
General Stories E.Louise Jolly

The Doctor and the Pear Tree Switch

"Robert! I will not speak to you again. I want you to quit teasing your little sister.” "But Mama, she kicks my marbles every time she goes by!” "If you two can't play together without quarreling I will have to punish you both. Remember, my overshoe is out…

 

 

The second of the planets twin suns dipped into the ocean, which began to burn in colors red and purple. The darkening sky reflected this, as clouds danced across a firmament on fire. Sooleigh, alone from her village, sits outside the village walls on the cliff top watching the dragons fly.  Dancing in unison against the setting suns. She doesn't move as she hears the heavy step of The Villous-Man approach.

Margaret leaned back in her chair and looked about her room. The mid afternoon sun streamed in through the living room curtains picking up the dust particles and outlining the many pointless ornaments that littered the room.

Margaret Summers, was one of the most successful and prolific fantasy writers of the 21st century. With 37 novels to her name, she knew what she was doing, and what she was doing was novel number 38.

Margaret learnt long ago the secret to good writing was just this – writing and plenty of it. So she always made a point to write a chapter a day. It was a lot by most people's standards, but Margaret never really had trouble writing, often it was the stopping that stumped her.

She stretched, deliciously content in a job well done. It was barely three and already her work was done for the day.

There was a knock at the door. Although expecting someone, Margaret panicked. Anything that forced her to face the outside world sent her into a cold sweat. Padding down the hall in her slippers, Margaret faced the door as if facing her doom. With shaking hands, she began to unfasten the locks, three, four, five. Then slowly she turned the handle and allowed the weight of the door swing itself open.  The sunlight hit her like a sledgehammer and she was momentarily winded. Blinking, she held onto the door handle as if grasping onto a life buoy. It took her a few moments to register a presence on the other side of the door. But something spoke and Margaret was able to collect her thoughts enough to see there was a deliveryman standing in front of her

"Your groceries Ma'am"

Margaret stepped out of his path, letting him into her sanctuary. She kept hold of the door handle for safety as he deposited the boxes in the kitchen.  In a matter of seconds he was done. It felt like a lifetime to Margaret. Just as the deliveryman was leaving, Margaret felt compelled to speak.

"Right, thank you. See you in a fortnight."

It was a triumph. She beamed as she began to barricade herself back into her home.

*


The dragons were disappearing. The Villous-Man had told her. But she didn't need The Villous-Man to tell her their numbers were dwindling. Their fire dance almost a memory, as their magnificent shapes disappeared from the night sky. Even the villagers were noticing. They couldn't decide whether to…

A scream disrupted Margaret's train of thought, but it was happening outside in that other world that didn't concern her. Before she could resume her writing, she heard another scream. A siren went off followed by the sound of running footsteps, doors slamming, a baby crying. Curiosity became too much, even for her and she moved to the window, twitching the curtain only a little, she peered out. What she saw left her gasping for breath.

What can only be described as rips in the sky, great gouges across the vista letting in colors of deep red and purple like some alien sunset. It was both terrifying and beautiful at the same time. Once over the initial shock, Margaret did what any sane woman would do in these circumstances; she turned on the TV, flicking between channels, desperate for information. No one seemed to know anything. They appeared, great rents in the sky, sometime after lunch. They didn't seem to be doing any damage, but what they meant was anyone's guess.

After half an hour of channel surfing, Margaret's curiosity had dulled somewhat and besides, there was still a chapter to finish.

*


The last of the dragons were gone. The villagers didn't care, didn't see the significance. The changes in seasons, in tides. Sooleigh alone amongst the villagers cared. The Villous-Man approaches her as she stands on the cliff top watching the now empty sky.
"They are gone." He mumbles into his fur. She nods. "They need to return"
"Yes"
"You must bring them back" He looked at her for the first time
"But how?"

Margaret was distracted. She shouldn't write distracted. But ever since the rips in the sky had appeared, she had left the TV on when she was writing, waiting for news. And today she got news

Dragons. Real, actual, live, fire breathing dragons in the sky. No one seemed to know for sure, but they appeared to have come in from the rips in the sky. They were flying high, doing this intricate and beautiful aerial dance.

She looked for a second at her computer, her story, the missing dragons, then shrugged, just a coincidence. It was almost funny really.

For a moment, Margaret wished she could go outside & watch the beautiful animals, but she would be content with the coverage on TV.

It seemed there were hundreds of them, these beautiful, magical creatures. Spread out over the country. Flying high in the atmosphere. Ignorant of the commotion below. They seemed to be dancing an intricate pattern, each centered below a red/purple rent in the sky.

What was also remarkable, the news reporter told Margaret, was the fact that, although spring, it had just begun to snow.

*

Sooleigh stands on the snow capped cliff top holding the amulet before her.
"It is time" The Villous-Man shivers involuntarily
"Can't you come with me?" For the first time Sooleigh looks the frightened 14 year old she is
"I will be there when you need me" He takes the amulet from her shaking hands and places it tenderly around her fragile neck.

Then what? Margaret was stuck. She never got stuck. This was unnerving. For the first time in her life, Margaret had writers block.

She stared blankly at the page for what felt like hours and what may have been close to five seconds before abandoning her computer and beginning to pace the room. She began to talk to herself.

"Now Sooleigh has the amulet, where does she go?"

"Wherever the dragons are, obviously."

"Where the heck are they?"

"Down the street at the moment."

"No, seriously, another world, another dimension or another time?" Here she paused, weighing up the options.

"It’s all getting a bit science fiction…" And then, straining, as if out of practice, Margaret swears

"…Balls!"

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