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Latest Stories

August 09, 2020
General Stories Schubert

The Last Shift

Danny switched on the kitchen light and peered at the clock on the wall above the cooker. It was 5.10am, the middle of Winter and two hours before the central heating came on. Butch opened one bloodshot eye, gave Danny a token wag, sighed and settled down…
August 09, 2020
Flash Fiction Andrei Sisman

Drop, Drop,Drop

Balance, in all things, the monk thought, his face calm and serene, as pea-sized drops of rain pounded the surface of his scalp like a drum. The world around him buzzed with static, yet his mind was like a lake on a summer day. He assumed the lotus position,…
August 09, 2020
Crime Stories Leroy B. Vaughn

Where'd Shirley Go?

He thought he was going to throw up as he staggered to his feet and headed towards the bathroom. Rasmussen splashed water on his face and drank water by cupping his hands and drinking from the faucet. He went back to his bedroom and looked around for Shirley,…
August 09, 2020
General Stories Stephen Faulkner

How It Was

I have often been asked how it was, how it came to be that I did what I did in the way that I did it. Often I will tell whoever has asked such a question that I have been driving for over thirty years and I have always been a very good and conscientious…
July 26, 2020
General Stories Lucy Maybelle

A Reputable Reptile Establishment

“When it feels like your world is ending, maybe it’s just beginning.” This I read in some tone-deaf article about the current state of the world; the equivalent of “keep your chin up!” for the modern depressive. And I wish I could believe it. Truly, I do. I…
July 26, 2020
Mystery Stories John Brady

Winter's Walk

White ribbons in a white landscape. The county doesn’t sand the roads except where they meet and that doesn’t happen much, so the snow gets packed down hard and stays. It won’t melt till spring. Climate change fucks up the weather lots of places but not up…
July 26, 2020
Fantasy Stories Michael Thirlaway

Waveless Ocean

The sailless ship glided smoothly across the waveless ocean. Captain Blake Osric looked over at the crew, each performing their mundane tasks, confused at how the ship was moving without wind. The vast smooth sea stretched in all directions, endless. It…
July 25, 2020
Flash Fiction C Alexis

For Hire

I was sitting, sipping my coffee, swiping my iPhone, when my eyes focused on the cork bulletin board immediately to my right. At the top, in black upper case letters were the words, “For Hire.” One particular card drew me to its interesting font, which looked…
July 25, 2020
Fantasy Stories Charles West

A New Prometheus

“Sit here, Mary, there is someone I want you to meet,” Jane said. “Who?” “You will see. It is someone famous. You will be very impressed.” Mary deferred to her step sister and sat down. There was another vacant chair with a small round table between them.…
July 25, 2020
Romance Stories Patric Quinn

Life on West 4th Street

"Hey, good evening, Frank. How’s the Farrell column going." "Going pretty good today, Pipes. Just finished. I know it’s late, but I just felt like coming out for awhile. Say hello if you were working." "Coming down here, 4th Street?" Pipes’ smile showed he…
July 25, 2020
Flash Fiction Walt Giersbach

The Lawyer Saw Green Until He met Red

Our Tullahoma Tigers weren’t all that hot as a football team. Or even lukewarm, but it was the last thing holding our dying town together now that the mill is closing. However, the real reason all the townspeople close up their shops and houses and come out…
July 19, 2020
Fantasy Stories Katya Kastro

The Year The Virus Came [Editor's Choice]

Lily was annoyed and upset. Her mom switched her virtual reality helmet into school mode and while Lily’s friends were chilling on some Australian or Brazilian beach, she was locked in her room. Lily’s mom won’t unblock the helmet until the homework is done.…

 

 

Mr. Joshi was on his way back home from the cinema. It was 10 P.M. and the evening show had finished just an hour earlier.

He was in a happy mood. The movie had been interesting—he liked the part where the hero fought and defeated all the villains single-handedly despite his background in journalism. Like most Nepali movies it had a happy ending and the hero not only managed to get the girl but also was able to convince the girl's parents to let him marry her. The audience had cheered and whistled and applauded when the couple finally kissed and then the movie ended.

He used to go to the cinema alone. He could not remember the last time he took Mrs. Joshi to to the cinema or anywhere else. Inside their house, they had their own private little lives and each respected the other's privacy. Mrs. Joshi had been a widow before he married her. He had decided to stay unmarried until he finally yielded to his family's wishes and decided to marry at the age of thirty eight. There was a narrow path that branched out from the main road that led to his house. On either side of the path there were vegetable patches—cabbages, little radishes and turnips. It was difficult to navigate the path at night.  His pocket torchlight lit the way, projecting a consistent beam of light.

As he approached his two-storied house he heard the sound of leaves rustling in the direction of his guava trees. As he pointed his torch in that direction he saw a silhouette of a man standing just below the trees. Except it wasn’t a man.

It had the body of a man—in a black suit. His humanlike qualities ended just as the neck began. It was a headless body.

Mr. Joshi let out a scream. He dropped his torch and fell back. The torch fell on the ground and flickered for a second but continued illuminating the grass. Mrs. Joshi must have not heard his scream; she would have come outside the verandah if she had heard him screaming in front of the house like a lunatic.

He picked himself up and stumbled towards the door. He banged the door with his fists. As he banged the door incessantly, he could see the body at the same place where he had first seen it. It was standing awkwardly—as if it was hung by the neck with a rope. Then it gave a lifeless twitch.

Finally, he heard footsteps from inside and the door opened and he burst inside. He bumped into his wife and nearly fell on the floor.

"What are you d—" she began.

"Out!" He said. He could not speak. "Outside!" he cried as he pointed to the door. It was all he could say.

She went outside. "There is nothing out here." she called back.

"A m- man" he stuttered "A man with no body!"  He wanted to say "a man with no head." He was breathing like of a drowning man.

Mrs. Joshi closed the door and looked at him with a perplexed expression.

"Just sit there on the sofa. What you need is a warm cup of tea." she said as she started walking towards the kitchen.

"Wait!" he said still shaking violently and struggling to from coherent sentences. "I'll come with you" he blurted out.

She gave him a smile and went to the kitchen and he straggled behind her.

He let out a bloodcurdling scream as he saw the body— sitting on the dining table—black suited and headless. It got up.

Horrified, he turned towards his wife to grab her and get out of the house. Instead, he saw a knife in her hand and a wicked smile on her face…

And then the lights went out.

 

The End

Author Bio: I am a law student from Kathmandu, Nepal. When not pouring over legal theories, statutes and case laws I try to write short stories. My hobbies include cooking and staring at the green wall of my room for hours thinking about story ideas.

 

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