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Latest Stories

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…
June 26, 2024
Crime Stories Nicky Tomsko

Ashes To Ashes

Danny rifled through the duffle bag on his lap like a kid rooting through a Halloween candy sack. “I feel good, Man. I feel alive.” The optimistic words were followed by an indulgent swig of cheap vodka. Michael nervously exhaled smoke out of the cracked…
June 26, 2024
Flash Fiction Yuan Changming

Tender Night

Finally, in body as in spirit, you two joined each other respectively from Melbourne and Vancouver for a temporary elopement in Zhuhai, where Hua used to work and live before retirement. After almost a whole night of talking and lovemaking, both of you felt…
June 26, 2024
General Stories Marvel Chukwudi Pephel

Till The End Of The Moon

The truth is limitless in its range; if you drop a "T" and look at it in reverse, then it could hurt. — Lupe Fiasco My name is Q. I'm dead. That was five years ago. I died in Los Angeles. My body was found in a swimming pool, discovered by my friends. Now,…

I trekked deeper and deeper into the forest while the frigid air smacked me in the face, sneaking inside my lungs, as it almost drowned me.

The hairs on my back pricked up, making me whirl around for a second.

Nobody was there.

I shook my head again before shuffling through more of the forest and almost scoffed since it wasn’t like I could use magic to escape. That would attract unwanted attention, and there were already enough problems with the wanted posters of me that were propped up on all the trees in the forest in addition to everywhere else.

Although I could at least smirk because my red wig and sunglasses helped me stay incognito even if the scent of formaldehyde wafted through the air as I continued walking.

Cars honked in the background while zooming by as I came to a clearing a few minutes later.

The blades of grass bounced in the wind as I continued standing on the stretch of land that was adjacent to the highway, and it wasn’t long before a billboard for a nearby hotel popped out at me.

I paused for a moment to take something out of my satchel and smiled while gazing at the man in the photograph even if tears were inevitable.

To think I was the one responsible for his murder was beyond crazy since Damien had been my fiancé (even though I was only 21). I guess that was the problem with not having an alibi in addition to being different by practicing magic.

The hairs on my back stood up again, forcing me to shove the photo back into the satchel before wandering towards the hotel.

***

I arrived outside the hotel a few minutes later while the neon sign of a coffee shop glowed nearby, taunting me of the life I could have had. After all, my weekly Sunday morning coffee dates with my Mom ended a long time ago.

I went to the hotel bar after deciding to grab a drink or two before getting a room for the night, and the bartender pushed a martini in my direction a couple minutes later. I reached for it without any hesitation.

The burning sensation of the cocktail jabbed my throat before trickling down into my stomach as a man approached me.

“Is this seat taken?” he asked.

“No. By all means sit down.”

The man gesticulated at the bartender, and I went back to minding my own business. Or at least that was what I tried to do.

He furrowed an eyebrow. “Are you even old enough to drink?”

“I have ID.”

“I might need to see it.”

The blood drained from my cheeks, turning them pale.

 

“I was joking,” he said.

I downed the rest of my drink before tilting my head back in his direction. “Well, it wasn’t funny.”

“I’m sorry. Why don’t we start over? I’m Orlando.”

I shook his hand, admiring his physical appearance. His wrinkle free skin screamed that he was in his early to mid-twenties.

“And I’m Penelope.”

His eyelids widened. “So what brings you to town?”

“I just felt like getting away. What about you?”

The man sighed at me. “I have some work to take care of.”

“Oh. That sounds boring.”

“No, it’s fine. I’m pretty sure it’ll be easier than expected.”

My stomach twisted in ten different directions at the sight of his blonde hair, as there was something about him I couldn’t shake because I could have sworn he was wearing a wig.

The issue of his chattiness was nothing to be infuriated about. Men chatted with women all the time. It was as natural as anything else in the world unless a person had nefarious intentions.

Orlando’s tongue wet his lips. “Why don’t we go upstairs and get a room for the night?”

“Yeah. I’d like that.”

***

The sound of shower water continued splashing in the bathroom while I stood in a hotel room hours later. I shifted my focus, staring at the flamingo pattern on the curtains.

The bathroom door burst open a moment later as I continued to have my back facing it.

“That was a pretty long shower,” I said.

“Yeah. But it was worth it. It’s too bad you didn’t join me.”

“Maybe next time.”

I whipped my body around after a silence ensued for a couple more seconds longer than necessary, discovering he had a gun pointed at me.

“You’re one of them, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, I am Cecily.”

Cecily?

That confirmed it. Only a government agent would know my real name.

“Just think what will happen when they find out I killed you.”

“Yeah, you do that.”

He pulled the trigger while I moved my hand, sending the bullet back in his direction. It pierced him in the chest as blood started oozing out of the wound.

The man made a loud thump when he hit the ground, and it wasn’t long before his shirt was drenched in red.

I went over to his body and checked his pulse.

Yeah. He was dead. There was no doubt about it.

I peaked inside one of his coat pockets, finding a photograph of me.

My hand jerk for a second time while a sea of yellow, orange, and red swallowed the photograph as it then devoured the agent’s body before the fire vaporized.

I bit my lip, realizing I would now have to flee the hotel since finding a new place to stay had become a necessity all over again.

 

End

 

Bio: Chris Bedell's previous publishing credits include essays on the

online magazine Thought Catalog. He has also had several stories

published on online literary magazines, which include "Surface

Tension" on Crab Fat Literary Magazine, "A Little Accident" and "The

House That Never Was" on Quail Bell Magazine, "The Wronger Murder",

"Game Over", "Poof and I'm Gone," and "The Vanishing Girl" on

Short-story.me. Furthermore, Pidgeonholes Magazine will publish one of

his stories in December

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