Third Wish – By Matthew C. Plourde
Flash Fiction / October 4, 2009

Jake scratched his chin. “I thought genies granted three wishes?” The dark, impish creature grinned and said, “We do… just not like you think.” “How does it work, then?” Jake asked. “You get one wish, then I get one wish,” the genie said. “And, if you survive my wish, you will get one more.” “If I survive?” “Yes, yes,” the genie said. “As I already said – you will have one year to enjoy your first wish. Then, I’ll return and make my wish in your presence. Just don’t expect to make it through my wish.” “I didn’t mean to wake you,” Jake said. “Well, you did,” the genie said. “You have three minutes left to make your wish, or it is forfeit.” “Alright,” Jake sighed and closed his eyes. “I wish…” *** One year later… “I told you I’d return,” the genie said, rows of yellow teeth exposed in a jester’s grin. “Did you enjoy your wish?” “Indeed,” Jake said. “Good, good,” the genie said. “This is my favorite part. Let’s see – how can I most enjoy my next year with you?” Jake glared at the disgusting little creature and said, “Just get it over with.” The genie…

Habits – By Paul Beckman
Micro Fiction / October 4, 2009

I took up smoking to lose the weight that I’d gained when I quit smoking earlier on. Then I began chewing gum, big wads of it, every time I wanted a cigarette and I was able to quit again but I always had a full cheek of Double Bubble. Pinch yourself between the thumb and forefinger each time you have a craving the hypnotist told me. It’s good for food, gum & smokes he said. Soon I was off the gum and the skin on my left hand where I pinched had turned an ugly black which spread. I saw my doctor at a party. That looks real bad he whispered after looking at my hand, come see me first thing in the morning. I don’t like the looks of that one bit he said later on in the evening in hushed tones that scared me. I left the party and had my wife wait in the car while I ran into the 7-11. That’s not good for you she said as I lit up a smoke and put the Twinkies and gum on the dash. You ought to see someone about these weaknesses she ragged. I pinched my hand…