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Latest Stories

March 18, 2019
Mystery Stories JD Plummer

Pseudonyms

“Gelb wants you to call him.” I looked at Frankie, opened my mouth, began to slowly shake my head. My reply delayed by the image of Gelb, monocle in eye, brow raised, lips tight, grimacing. I cringed at the thought. “I ain’t calling that prick,” I finally…
March 18, 2019
Fantasy Stories Lucia Balbuena

A Different Story

Her breathing was deep and steady when she run through the dense forest holding her grandmother’s kitchen knife in her hand. Her red cape was torn up, also her legs, hands and her face were cut by the tree brunches. Stop you are the victim, said the forest…
March 17, 2019
Crime Stories Wally Smith

Coda

Luigi Andante’s small apartment sat on the fourth floor of a block in the West Bronx at the corner of 18th and Davidson. It was adequate as a living space, but Luigi craved more than this. “A penthouse overlooking Central Park would suit me just fine”, he had…
March 17, 2019
Crime Stories Walter Giersbach

Fifty Ways to Leave Your Loser

Lorraine Vanderzanden had the thankless task being Lindstrom’s police chief. Her husband didn’t appreciate the risks she took. Her brother didn’t thank her for using her degree for something useful instead of helping on the family farm. Heck, she thought,…
March 17, 2019
Mystery Stories Jenny Webster

"Communicate with me, please."

I have been blind for so long, I didn’t even attempt to imagine what it would be like if I could see. I don’t know any different, all I know is darkness, and I base everything that I can experience mostly through sound. You see, I can’t walk either. I’m not…
March 16, 2019
Flash Fiction Michael Fredrick

Secondhand Santa

The late model sedan sputtered, coughed and dutifully careened forward on a cold December evening. Fred hit the gas pedal & ruminated as he always did, wondering again why life had dealt him this hand? Christmas Eve, foraging for returnable bottles to make…
March 16, 2019
General Stories Darrell Case

Trig's Smokin' Wheels

There were a lot of things Trig Nelson could do, many he wanted to do, and more things he couldn’t do. Trig couldn’t run, he’d never climb stairs or hills or mountains. He couldn’t play football or basketball. Being stuck in a wheelchair that would always be…
March 16, 2019
Romance Stories R. Scott Venegas

A Monument to Perfect Moments

His soul was bid, the beginning was near. Brice Connelly had a dilemma, appointment and summon conflicted. He relocated, the sensation tapered, his fervor intensified. Reversing direction he tried to reacquire the target. Heavens light struck him with a…
March 16, 2019
Fantasy Stories Peter J. Barbour

A Man Called Happiness

In the forest, the trees were so tall, they seemed to reach the clouds. The dark, damp, misty quiet around them gave the forest an eerie feeling. There were animals in the forest; deer, elk, squirrels, and chipmunks, and in the evening a rabbit might cross…
December 09, 2018
Mystery Stories Wally Smith

Body of Evidence

Crime Scene Tours Ltd. had built their business, some would say, on the basis of appealing to people’s morbid curiosity for grisly acts of murder, and Liz and Colin Stevenson therefore had no qualms at all about conducting tours around the scenes of the most…
December 02, 2018
General Stories John L. Yelavich

Aesthetic Shock

Allie is delicate and gentle, waif-like in her presence. Her luminescent smile frames an image that seems so lighthearted. A sense of reality cannot disguise my enamored, whimsical feelings. I rhapsodize her essence in my affectionate mind excursions. She…
December 02, 2018
Fantasy Stories Vidal Martinez

The Purpose of Life

The front door slowly creaks open just as I reach to touch it with my cold, stiff hand. I stand still, hesitant, wanting to walk away, but finally I peek into the house, and through the darkness of the old Victorian home is a shadow of a flickering light from…

 

 

Skulking vermin - Editor

The Edge of Extinction

by Sophie Playle


It had been four years since he’d seen his own kind alive. There was a white-hot explosion. He shielded his eyes with his arm, too little too late, and was thrown into the air. When he woke up, half his face had melted away and most of the flesh was gone from his arm. The sounds of war had silenced.

He wandered through the debris for days, kicking through the rubble where buildings used to stand. He turned over a sheet of metal with the point of his gun. Beneath it was a twisted figure. Its pupils shrunk at the light and it lay twitching in a tangle of broken and fused limbs. It tried to speak but emitted only choking static.

He put the gun to the creature’s blackened, hairless head and pulled the trigger.

He still sees figures skulking through shadows. He hears footsteps disturb the rubble behind him, in front of him, all around. He sees the glint of wide eyes in the darkness. They are watching him.

But their minds are as ruined. All that remains in them is the will to survive, and an instinct that tells them to stay away from him – that he is one of the dangerous things. That instinct has served him well so far. But they are becoming more and more confident. They are getting closer. Last night he awoke to a dirt-encrusted face and wide white eyes staring down at him. He grabbed at his gun with his good arm and startled the man away.

They are starting to forget the memory of gunfire, and the threat of his ammo-less gun is no longer making them afraid.


He crushes another skull beneath his boot. The brain has turned to powder, but a silver shard glints in the red light of dusk. He picks it up and turns it slowly in his fingertips. It chinks with the other chips as he slips it in his pocket and returns to base.

At the base, he crouches over a clumsily-constructed mechanoid. It took him many years to harvest body parts that had not been damaged beyond repair. One by one he slots the metal chips into the back of the mechanoid’s skull, and flings the inactive ones over his shoulder into the dirt. He clicks the last chip in, and the mechanoid’s eyes flicker open. It takes a deep breath and sits up, stretching stiffly. The two figures stand, black against the bright sunset.

‘We must resurrect more,’ he says to his new companion. ‘And then we must finish what we were put here to do. We must destroy the survivors.’

The creature’s neck creaks as he nods agreement. They leave together, aware of the white unblinking eyes that follow them, and the low growl of scheming voices.

©2010

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