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Latest Stories

July 24, 2024
Fantasy Stories Mario Kumi

The Hunter's Lament

"Damn it!!! I cannot believe it..." said Stellan, hanging upside down from an old tree. His senses had not fully returned, and his arms were numb, caused by a lesion in his head. However, he began to focus and could see that he was hanging upside down, from…
July 24, 2024
Horror Stories Marvel Chukwudi Pephel

A Scanner Darkly

It's darkly. And it's booming. The machines and the helicopters are the precursors of this sinister boom. The Omega virus has wiped two-third of the world, turning victims into shish (jellylike monsters that move like unicellular amoebas). It seems like the…
July 24, 2024
General Stories Paula Bernstein

Generations

“Before you were born, I had an important job at City Hall,” my mother says. I sit at the kitchen table eating Oreos with milk and watch her iron my white middy blouse with its blue tie for tomorrow’s school assembly. I have heard this tale before, but I…
July 17, 2024
Science Fiction Stories Nelly Shulman

Elle

Beneath his feet lay the warm wood of the walkways. Mosquitoes buzzed around the yellow swamp flowers and spindly birch trees. The hills, overgrown with ancient pines, obscured the lake where Michael went, following a path strewn with fallen needles and…
July 17, 2024
Poetry Paweł Markiewicz

The Dreameries With Egyptian Cats

I looked at the window of my villa and it was midnight. The brown cat meowed. He is the guardian of many blissful melancholies. He is the crimson memory of philosophers. He is a signpost for golden-hearted poets. I am tender ancient sage. I am the poet of…
July 17, 2024
Science Fiction Stories Ocelotlzin

The Battle Of Cerberus Plains

“Todd, Down, now!” The soldier just moved his head a couple of millimeters when an energy flash passed where his head was an instant before. Todd rolled immediately and took cover behind one of the boulders hidden below the Martian soil. “We need to keep…
July 17, 2024
Horror Stories Marvel Chukwudi Pephel

The Haunting Of Glass House

Nobody knew for sure how the Glass House came to be. Even the native Americans who have known the area like forever. At least, so it seemed. When the Stones, a Black-American family, were relocating to the area little did they know they would live close to a…
July 17, 2024
Fantasy Stories Paula Bernstein

The Secondhand Store

Sarah and Annabelle finished their ahi tuna salads, sipped their iced teas, and asked for the check. “Feel like browsing?” Annabelle asked. Annabelle was always in the mood for browsing and Montana was their favorite street, with its charming high-end…
July 02, 2024
Fantasy Stories Paweł Markiewicz

The Birdies Part VI

Alps. Way back to the guesthouses. July 3, 2014 Thursday. Night Mary and Paweł decided to return to the guesthouse. They had to complete a section in the forest. There was another danger waiting for them there. They were both very scared when they heard the…
July 02, 2024
Crime Stories Paula Bernstein

Moonlighting

None of this would have happened if the Medical School of Manhattan hadn’t decided to raise tuition by $5000 at the start of my junior year. There I was, thinking I’d saved just enough cash to get me and Beryl through, when all my careful calculations were…
July 02, 2024
Mystery Stories Marvel Chukwudi Pephel

The Hitchhiker

You were born on a train, a product of miscegenation. Nineteen-seventy-five it was. You have a hair thick as the cumulus clouds. Not cauliflower-shaped, but thick enough. Your mom used to be a footloose traveler who lived most of her life in Australia. Gone…
July 02, 2024
Poetry Alejandro Casas

Cipher I

Two tomorrows and one afternoon. That is what was given and removed. One evening, zero incantations added. Three mornings, infinite regressions subtracted. Four, junctures, free will Tallied. What is forgiven and what Is not renewed. What is a preamble, If…

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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