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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…

 

 

Shines like a beacon - Editor

My Wife Glows in the Dark

by Brian Ross

My wife is following me.

Again.

Lately, I have been distant: hands-off when she wants me to be hands-on, too busy or too tired when she wants to talk. She has suspicious blood, my wife, but she trips over her reckless curiosity. She does the math, comes up with five, and paints herself a pretty picture. Next thing I know, I’m watching my back because she’s on it.

She never stops to ask why.

So we play the game.

She asks me how my racquet-ball practice was and I say, great thanks. I rub my shoulder convincingly as she tells me about her evening of dishes and dirty nappies. Her story is as transparent as mine, but I’m working a lie so I don’t question hers.

She is a poor detective - more Clouseau than Poirot. She thinks I don’t see her - behind cars, in doorways, around corners - but I do. I see everything. She doesn’t move when my eyes try to find her, but she is there just the same, not realising that I have her chasing her own tail.

I’m happy to indulge her, to pretend I don’t notice my new shadow, because she will only ever see what I want her to. And besides, after tonight, she won’t do it again.

#

“It’s work, honey,” I tell her, already shrugging my jacket on. “I’m sorry. I have to go.”

I’m a doctor, so leaving the house at eleven-thirty on a Thursday night isn’t such a stretch. I have made midnight trips before: I have saved lives at this hour several times. This one though is different. Make up a patient, give him a name, a tumour, two months to live. Shake and stir.

I cross the street and make as if I’m checking for traffic, but there are no cars at this time of night, and it’s really her I’m looking for. She’s still there, hands frightened by her sides, pretending to be interested in the sides of beef Joe has in his butcher’s window.

My wife, the vegetarian. She can’t fool me.

The town is black, but the truth cannot be masked by flicking a switch and killing the light.

I turn up my collar and sink deeper into the gloom.

I pass a guy on the street, his hands shoved deep into his pockets like he is digging for answers. His eyes meet mine as our shadows merge under a street-lamp, and he quickly looks back at his guilty feet, as they take him towards the wrong bed.

I turn the corner and there’s the building I’m looking for. Five storys. There are a few yellow eyes in the wall of concrete and black glass: dozens of numbers on the silver panel by the door. I press forty-two, and say:

“Sorry to bother you so late, but I’ve locked myself out. Can you let me in please? It’s seventeen. Thanks, man.”

He doesn’t say a word. There is a buzz, the lock springs, and I push inside. The door falls closed on my tail.

The outside chill is replaced by artificial warmth. The heating system tick-ticks within the walls of the building like a telltale heart.

I climb the stairs, passing seventeen, and throw a look over my shoulder.

Nothing.

She has learned fast, but not fast enough.

Out of sight, and soon to be out of her mind, I think, almost loud enough to hear outside my own head.

When I reach the third floor, Number Forty-Two is standing in his doorway. Bare feet, wild hair, black pants. His middle-of-the-night curiosity is a dangerous thing, although at this moment he doesn’t realise it. I don’t mind. It saves me knocking or breaking in.

Less noise, more haste.

I walk up to him and say: “I believe you know my wife.”

It’s not a question but he seems to think it is. I can see him wondering who the hell I am and why the hell I’m here. He looks at me strangely - because comprehension is asleep at midnight - then tries to say something, but I am not interested in any of his excuses.

I pull a gun from my inside pocket and shoot him three times in the chest.

Phfft.

Phfft.

Phfft.

Silencers are wonderful. It’s like plugging a pillow.

Forty-Two falls back and hits the carpet, dead before he does. I’m a doctor. These things I know.

I put the gun back into my jacket and make my way downstairs.

My wife is standing in the foyer with her mouth open, looking at me the way people do when they don’t know what to say.

I smile and brush past her into the night.

You see, a cheat is easy to see, and a betrayal of the heart shines like a beacon.

My wife glows.

But not anymore.

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