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Latest Stories

May 17, 2022
Flash Fiction Sharmila Ghosal

The Fateful Evening

Barrackpore, a small town was situated a few kilometres from Kolkata. My father had recently been transferred here from the State Bank of India Kolkata branch. Life was enjoyable. Every day in the evening I would go for a walk near the riverside with Malati…
May 14, 2022
Flash Fiction Ben Macnair

A Conversation With Your Seven Year Old Self

The first thing you notice about him is the jumper he's wearing. it is one like you had when you were younger. You wore it out, you liked it so much. This jumper is a lot newer than the old one you had. The colours are brighter, it is a better fit. Then you…
May 14, 2022
General Stories Yolanda Billingsley

The Prophet Who Struck At Midnight

Introduction Prophetess Tanya didn’t just attend Church ; she considered herself to be the epitome of all that Church should be. She was religious and loved it. She was a prosperous business woman, she wore the finest clothes and shoes and always had a…
May 14, 2022
Mystery Stories Beauty Anyanwu

Of Fire And Heartbreak

AGATA'S POV Nasty C said ‘we start to question GOD like we can play his part’ and nothing has resonated with me so much in my entire life. When I think of the butterfly effect, and how the flap of a wing can change the course of our life—I remember those…
May 14, 2022
General Stories Luke Beling

The Rosebush

"We're going to revisit your blood, run some extra tests since it's your third miscarriage in as many years, Mrs. Cozbi." Susan stared into Dr. Tims' cold eyes, one hand gripping Chuck, the other the arm of the teak chair. "I thought it was because the fetus…
May 13, 2022
Horror Stories Pavan Kumar

A Grisly Party

Albert hosts a party to his coterie of friends on the eve of getting a promotion and increment in the salary. Three of his friends (Michael, Peter, and Robinson) attend the party in the evening and fill the aura of his house with excitement and joy. An old…
May 13, 2022
Crime Stories Doug Jacquier

If You Cuckolded Me, I’d Have To Kill You

It was a fact that Phil had organised for Matthew to die. Phil took full responsibility but there would be no trial. He could have confessed but he chose not to. On principle. When the Reverend Matthew Patterson and his wife, Penny, moved in next door they…
May 13, 2022
Poetry Paweł Markiewicz

The Marvel Of The Freedom

In patches The vault opens oneself at dawn. The calyx of an Arctic alpine forget-me-not reopens for an enchanting glory of the sunshiny dreams, because of the eternally august poem, that reads lenient and benignant. Throughout the day: there is up there a…
May 13, 2022
Crime Stories Mike Merchant

The Molly Prom

The airpods looked like pallid worms crawling into Robby’s brain. Or maybe crawling out, leaving a nest of annelids inside. His slack jaw and laugh-at-anything smile suggested the latter. His head bobbed to the music like a tzadik at the wailing wall. “Yo,…
April 20, 2022
Science Fiction Stories L Christopher Hennessy

She

Everything about her was human except she wasn’t. She was humanoid. Model SHE0456. Her male counterpart was a HE. Her name was Mira. She was a generation three model SHE. She was fifty-seven years old but didn’t look a day over twenty. She kept herself well.…
April 20, 2022
Horror Stories Alexander James

3:33 AM

Ever since they moved into her grandmother’s old house way on top of Bannockburn Hill, he had woken up every morning at 3:33 A.M. without fail. He hated the old house. He hated the way it creaked and moaned. The way it seem to attract the wailing wind on cold…
April 20, 2022
Crime Stories L Christopher Hennessy

Dead Dogs Are Good Dogs

Sweetheart, I’ll tell you exactly what’s going to happen if you drink with me tonight. First we’ll get talking, then we’re going to laugh a bit, and then we’ll hit our third drink each, and I’ll be in your lap crying like a baby. I haven’t held a woman…

The gas station was still just a small matchbox in the distance.

The sign just outside of Merkittsville warned her that it was the “last stop for 80 miles for gas” but she figured she had more than enough to get through.  She looked down and saw the little red gauge was still above “E.”  Besides, she did not like the look of Merkittsville or especially the men in the diner that kept staring at her.  She knew those kinds of looks.  She grew up with them.  They always started as nothing more than stares that lasted a little too long and then it was a walk over and some dumb flirty comment about her red hair and then it was her outside by her car pushing some hands away.

 

It was best to stay on the road.

 

She thought she had enough in the tank to make it 80 miles.  But it was close.  The gas station was getting nearer but she could almost imagine running out of gas and having to walk the last half mile in the dark with a gas can in hand.

 

She did not want to find herself alone on the road at night with only an empty gas can for protection.

 

She pulled into the yellowish light of the station and stopped at the first pump.  She turned off the engine and waited for the attendant.  She honked her horn softly to get some attention.

 

The first thing she noticed about the station was the Jaguar.  It was parked alongside the station with about twenty other cars.  It was an older model and still had the ornament with the large cat leaping from the front hood.  The silver plating of the ornament shined in the station’s yellowed light.  Next to the Jaguar was a Mercedes.  It was an older model too and just as shined as the Jaguar.  She looked at the entire row of cars.  She did not recognize many of them but they all looked expensive.  And each was in perfect condition.

 

The attendant was still nowhere in sight.  She pushed at her horn a little harder and started to get out of her car when the door of the station suddenly opened.

 

A man in spotless white overalls walked over to her car.

 

“I’m sorry, mam.”  He yelled over to her.

 

“Please don’t tell me you’re closed.”  She yelled back from her window.

 

“No, no, we never close, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.”

 

The attendant stood at the front of her hood looking at her car.

 

“This is what, “ the attendant bent down and looked at the grille a little closer, “ a ’73, ’74 Barracuda?”

“A ‘74”, she called out.

“And you got the V8 in it?

“360 V8.  You know your cars.”  She was impressed.

“Well,” the attendant said pointing to the Jaguar and other cars, “I been building me a collection.”

“What about the Jaguar, is it for sale?  Or maybe trade?”

“Oh, no, mam, none of them are for sale.  I couldn’t rightfully do that.”

The man walked over to the pumps and pulled out a pair of gloves from a box on the ground.  They were the thin white plastic type that doctors seemed to use.

“Fill her up for you?”

“Please, and could you check the fluids.”

She thought it best she have him check everything.  She did not want to break down in the middle of wherever this was.

She watched the man handle the pump and then rip off the gloves and put on a new pair to check the oil.  He took out the dipstick and backed up a step to check the oil against the overhead light of the station.

“You’re fine on oil.”  He yelled over to her.

The man ripped off the gloves and again bent down and put on a new pair as he went over to the pump and finished filling her up.  He pumped at the handle to even off the sale.

“That’s forty-six even, mam.”

She reached into her purse for her credit card as the man stood just outside of her window.  He smiled at her and then looked into the back seat of her car.  She looked up in time to see his smile fade for a moment but then it was back again.

“I’ll have to run the card inside mam, I won’t be but a minute.”

She watched him walk over to the box and get out another pair of disposable gloves.  He was an odd little man she thought to herself. He changed gloves in between every service he provided.  Efficient and very clean, but odd.

The man came out of the station carrying a clipboard with her credit card attached to the top and handed it to her through her window.  As she went to review the sale she noticed in neat little block letters a message written on the bottom of the credit card slip:

 

DO NOT TURN AROUND OR YELL.

THERE IS A MAN IN THE BACK SEAT

OF YOUR CAR.

 

She read the message twice and started to instinctively turn around and yell when the station attendant suddenly reached down and opened her door.

“You can take care of this inside mam, my machine’s been printing funny.”

She did not even bother responding to him but rather ran as fast as she could from her car and into the station.  The man ran right behind her and closed the door as soon as they were both inside.

“What did you see?  What did he look like?  What are we going to do?  What are we going to do?”

She knew she was talking too fast and her words were spilling from her like blood from a wound.  She kept repeating the same questions over and over.  She kept thinking it must be one of the men from the diner back at Merkittsville.

“What are we going to do?

“Don’t worry, settle down, just settle it down a little.” The man grabbed her by both arms and held her until she stopped talking and shaking.

“Look, I know what to do, okay?  Just relax, relax. I’ve taken care of this sort of thing many times before.”

And with that the man let her go and walked out of the station and towards her car.  She ran to the window and watched as he slowly made his way to the driver’s side.  What did he mean “taken care of this sort of thing many times before?”  How many times could a thing like this happen, she thought to herself.

The man stood for a moment watching her and then he turned to face the car.  He seemed to take a measured breath and nodded at her as she watched from inside the station. The attendant opened the door and sat in the front seat.

“No,…”,  She yelled and banged at the glass of the station’s window.

He closed the door and started the engine and drove the car forward a few feet.  He  parked in-between the Mercedes and some fancy car she did not recognize.

The man in the back seat never moved.

The attendant got out of the car and locked the door behind him.  He rubbed at the roof of the car with his gloves and told himself how it would all need a good wash and waxing in the morning.  At least two coats.

He walked over to an old rusted Ford parked by the gas sign and reached into the back hold of the truck.  He pulled out a large axe and walked over to the front of the station.

“Come out mam, please.”  He yelled over to her.  “I promise, I’ll make it nice and clean.”

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