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Latest Stories

May 19, 2018
Fantasy Stories Jo Carroll

The Curl and Vampire

She was a pretty thing to be sure, the little girl with the curl. Her cheeks were as red as blood and her skin as smooth as porcelain. And yet there was something odd about her clear blue eyes—something empty and soulless. She sat atop her throne of building…
May 17, 2018
Mystery Stories Nicole Robb

New Frontier

Still groggy from her hibernation chamber, Stacey checked the readings once again on the ship's control panel.She had read them right. "Tom! Something's wrong." "What is it?" Tom emerged from the back where he had been checking on the twelve hundred sleeping…
May 17, 2018
Mystery Stories Laura Ellison

Remedy

The smell of death hung heavy and pungent in the air. Sickness touched the skin and covered it in a dewy glow that in any other situation could have been attractive. Castellan held a scented handkerchief over her nose as she walked through the village to the…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Dylan Thomas Nichol

Forged in Shadows

Screaming was all that could be heard through the bone chilling halls of the dungeon. This was what the supposedly great nation of Hace really was. An ugly abomination lay underneath the stunning Admor Keep, and Caelin made the long journey through it, his…
May 17, 2018
Mystery Stories Isabel Schwaak

Something Stronger

A thick grey stone wall separated the village of Telly Fenn from the wilderness. A narrow path led the way out of the village and melted into a crossroad, from which a crooked path strayed far into the dark forest. The inhabitants of Telly Fenn were content…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Jade De-Terville

A Light Bulb Called Tink

“This is more than just a bloody mid life crisis,” Karen said clutching a tattered red book, until her knuckles started going white. She savagely threw the book onto the chequered dining cloth, and ran her hands through her untamed hair. “Oi, mind the…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories April Winters

Area Twenty Four and a Half

I, Jim Roberts, got fired today. I didn’t realize Mr. Kerr, my boss, was standing behind me when I referred to him as Kerr-mitt. He failed to see the humor, and now I have no source of income. Looks like my journalistic aspirations are out the window. I…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Jeremy Szal

Crimson Snow

16th Day of Regon, Year 455 of the First Dawn I could feel the cold as we climbed higher, the chill reaching into my bones. The wind whispered across the grassland, flapping my black hair over my face. I wanted to lie down. I wanted to sleep. I wanted to…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories B.J.Neblett

Forever

“Segue the next couple of records with a jingle then go into a stop set. I’m gonna get some air.” Hy Lit flashed his agreeable smile, adjusted his trade mark tinted glasses and winked. “You’re a natural, kid.” Then he disappeared out the studio door. The…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories BJ Neblett

Pockets Full Of Wishes

“Don’t put your hands in the pockets!” Jimmy looked at his sister. It was just a winter coat, a used one. It was all his parents could afford. But it was his. He picked it out. Now he stood proudly before the store mirror admiring the blue denim coat with the…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Laura Ellison

Consumed

Arlia knelt down on a silk cushion in the middle of the room. She took a deep breath and centred herself. Gramps always told her to do this, sometimes he jabbed her in the sides with his walking stick if he thought she rushed meditation. In front of her the…
May 17, 2018
Fantasy Stories Paul Magnan

Scorned

I grasped the rough edges of the tombstone and pulled it from the strands of thick, yellowed grass upon which it lay. I set it in an upright position. The words “Dear Love” were carved along the top of the stone. I had carved those words. For a few seconds…

 

 

In short, time skipped back ten years, and in the blink of an eye everyone found themselves where they were ten years ago. The things that everyone in the world had done were now undone; children were not yet born, love had not yet been found, death had not yet come - but the memories of those ten years were still there.

All of it was truly too much to contemplate for any length of time; most found comfort in ignoring the bigger picture and centering on their own lives, and that’s how Kate and Dale found themselves sitting across from each other in a diner almost a year before they were to meet for the first time.

The time skip was just a week old and the world hadn’t collapsed into complete chaos yet, but the news was full of worldwide events having to do with the effects of the skip, and the news played on a TV in the corner to a full but still mostly quiet diner. Dale glanced at the TV but the girl seated alone at the boot next to the TV took his attention. She looked around the diner and caught his eye and smiled and when she looked beyond Dale her smile faltered a bit and she looked away.

Dale turned around and to see Kate taking the other seat at the table.

Dale rubbed his arms, appreciating the muscle there that ten years from now would decrease significantly. “Weird huh,” she said and motioned with her chin to the arm he was rubbing.

“I just can’t get over it. I’d forgotten how fit I was - am.” He rubbed and then slapped his stomach muscles and laughed. “I mean, is it weird that I feel like a freaking super hero? I mean seriously, this is great, huh?”

“Have you talked to your parents?”

Dale’s body slumped a bit and with a sigh he stopped smiling and tilted his head just a bit to the right and said: “Gosh I miss that.”

“What?”

“You and your . . . No, I haven’t talked to them. We haven’t gone that far in the past for me to do that.”

“Even when you know what will happen to them?”

Dale shrugged and started rubbing his other arm and asked, “What about you?”

“Well,” Kate began, “I live with my parents now, totally forgot about that.”

“Jesus, that sucks.”

“Mom cries a lot now and dad just watches the news.” Kate watched Dale pull the sleeve of his shirt up a bit to show off more muscle. “Have you called your girlfriend?” He lowered his head a bit and shook his head.

“No, Kate, I haven’t,” and he straightened his back and lifted his chin and looked at Kate. “You know what I’m glad I don’t have to deal with anymore? Your treating me like crap and then asking for a favor.”

“Dale, what are you talking about? What favor?”

“We both know why you’re here, and in the past - or, well, you know what I mean, in our history I would have done it, I would have done anything for you.” Dale leaned forward. “It’s important that you understand that I did love you, and I did everything I could for you, and when you wanted something or asked something of me or whatever, I did it or did what I could to get it for you. You never appreciated all the things I did for you, or if you did you never said so. Then we got older maybe, married, I don’t know, but things changed, we changed. I started to get tired of doing things for you and you never appreciating them, and you stopped asking me and just expected me to do them and when I didn’t you got mad, and then I’d get mad and it would snowball.

“It’s my fault just as much as it is yours but in the end I had to break free of it all, so I left. There’s never a good time to leave and it would never be a good thing so of course it sucked but it had to happen for me to survive - for both of us to survive, really - and I am sorry but that’s all you will get, an apology and nothing more. I see now that I was a pushover when I thought I was being nice and considerate, but that’s not me anymore. I don’t want to repeat the ten years, I want something different, better.”

“You’re an asshole.”

Dale nodded. “I can’t believe you’d really want to still be with me anyway. I mean, honestly?”

“I don’t want you - “ She spat through grit teeth and suddenly leaned forward before stopping and taking a breath. “You left us. She was all I had when you left, she was everything to me and now she’s gone and I want her back!” Dale looked around but no one was paying them any mind. “I was holding her and then I wasn’t. I was holding her, looking at her and she was looking at me and then she was gone; and I could still feel her in my arms for days after - ” and Kate’s despair took over and she stopped speaking and instead just wailed into her hands while she sat there.

Dale looked at her, tried to console her but to no avail. He managed to get her into his car and he drove her to her parent’s house; and when she got out he offered to take her back to get her car if she wanted to give him a call but she made no sign that she heard him while she got out of the car and walked towards the house.

Dale, backing down the driveway, thought he’d stop by the diner on his way home to see if maybe that girl was still there.

End

Joshua Hampel lives and works in Wichita, Kansas

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