Mrs Murchison met the man from Vienna on a train. She was leaving the city where she had spent the day at her granddaughter’s fourth birthday party, and the train had just pulled away from the station. She hadn’t said anything to her daughter, but she wasn’t comfortable on trains. It wasn’t a physical thing – the jolting motion she rather liked – it was the sense of being trapped there, hurtling along at a terrific speed, but held still, at th...

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Bean, a nickname which has stuck longer than its origin, sits in front of a small black laptop lying on the kitchen table. An empty bottle of Gilbey’s gin lies on its side in the window sill, aimed at a silhouetted spider plant. The spider plant shoots stems and leaves relentlessly at the hapless bottle. Past the glib Gilbey’s bottle and beyond the window pane, sits an empty football stadium. Bean stares blindly at the computer screen and then...

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Lorna didn’t want to be an apartment mom. Not in Birch Point. Tommy, her ex, started this whole thing. There was a woman they would see around town that he started calling Apartment Mom. They both thought of her as a bit of a fuck-up. Although they knew nothing about her, except somehow Tommy knew she lived in an apartment, a rarity in Birch Point.   After the divorce Tommy confided reluctant lust for Apartment Mom. His not so reluctant lust w...

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Nick sat in his usual booth by the window that overlooked the highway. He watched the the cars race past each other while he sipped his coffee and ate a raisin bagel. The newspaper in front of him had the usual trash of headlines of crime and car accidents. This one murdering this one. That one robbing that one. What a bunch of losers in this town. Time to stand up and take charge just like a true spartan warrior, Nick thought to himself. Nick...

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We’re at the doorway to her apartment, her key entering the lock. And no, I’m not going to make the obvious double entendre quip. But this is do or die time. It’s now or never and all that jazz. God, I’m so nervous. I can’t believe I’m actually going to go through with this. As she opens the door, I move in closer than I’ve ever dared invade her personal space. “It’s been a nice night,” I say. “Yeah, it has been.” Inside her apartment now. “To...

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Perry got the slip for where the next Pizza Palace pizza was getting delivered: Jackson Raynor. His old high school principal. Principal Jackson Raynor, who wouldn’t let Perry attend his own high school graduation last year because of his poor attendance record. That bastard Principal Raynor. And his bastard family. The Pizza Palace had a rat problem and kept rat poison in the manager’s office. Perry sprinkled some poison on the Mega Meat pie ...

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Pablo grips a bottle of booze he managed not to drink last night. A block away Miguel and Niña trail pre-school kids who are joined by a tether and are blocking the sidewalk. The children are noisy and joyful. Their smiles glitter under cloudy skies. This is Pablo’s favorite time of day, a modest slice of time when he’s drunk from the night before, but not drunk enough. Bright sun breaks over the Verranzo Bridge, southeast light making its way...

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“You might feel a little pinch.” That’s how it starts and I turn my head to the right. I never can watch the needle go in, but I look back as soon as she snaps the band free of my bicep and tells me to unclench my hand. The blood fills the glass vial in steady waves of thick pumps. It’s so red, so final and I know. This test will determine it. Pass or Fail. Live or Die. Like the thumb of an emperor, it comes down to this. “I didn’t even study,...

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I take the pizza box out of the bag. I hand it to Man #3. He opens up the box. He looks at me suspiciously. He ordered pepperoni and pineapple and if it isn’t just how he likes it, he’ll blame me. I know the type. Man #3 seems satisfied. I smile. I even got the pizza to him early this time. He digs into his pockets. “How much is it, again?” he asks. “13 bucks,” I reply. He takes out $15 and puts it in my hand. “Keep the change.” He walks insid...

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It was such a lovely dream, too. My first dream about Sadie, how could it be anything but? So rife for pseudo-Freudian psychoanalysis, everything a metaphor for my fears and desires, my excitement and my frustration. The dream started with me at work, caught in a playful argument with my fellow workers about whether or not my dream girl actually had any interest in me, especially seeing as she hadn’t shown much. Then to the amazement of myself...

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Adventures of G.O.D. – By Darlyne Baugh
Flash Fiction / August 8, 2010

Pablo grips a bottle of booze he managed not to drink last night. A block away Miguel and Niña trail pre-school kids who are joined by a tether and are blocking the sidewalk. The children are noisy and joyful. Their smiles glitter under cloudy skies. This is Pablo’s favorite time of day, a modest slice of time when he’s drunk from the night before, but not drunk enough. Bright sun breaks over the Verranzo Bridge, southeast light maki...

Ripped from the headlines – Horror Collection now accepting submissions
Short Story News / August 8, 2010

ReadMe Publishing is announcing a new horror collection which starts accepting submissions ASAP! Everyone knows the saying that real life is stranger than fiction. We believe this should be taken even further, that in fact real life is scarier and more horrifying than fiction. We are putting together a collection of short stories inspired by horrific events ripped from the headlines of local or national news. The short stories should...

It must be love – By Rosemary Bach-Holzer
Offbeat Writings / July 11, 2010

She is such a vixen. Who is? My car! Is that why ex-husband says she reminds him of me? Hmm… must remember to ask next time I see him. Anyway, back to this particular vixen in question. She’s a real pedantic always-has-to-be-something-wrong-with-her automobile. Take this morning for example. She was low on petrol… all right! She was running on fumes but still that is no excuse as to what happened, to what she did. Having noticed the ...

A Little Pinch – By David Aquila
Flash Fiction / July 11, 2010

“You might feel a little pinch.” That’s how it starts and I turn my head to the right. I never can watch the needle go in, but I look back as soon as she snaps the band free of my bicep and tells me to unclench my hand. The blood fills the glass vial in steady waves of thick pumps. It’s so red, so final and I know. This test will determine it. Pass or Fail. Live or Die. Like the thumb of an emperor, it comes down to this. “I didn’t e...

Late Delivery – By Nicholas Conley
Flash Fiction / May 9, 2010

I take the pizza box out of the bag. I hand it to Man #3. He opens up the box. He looks at me suspiciously. He ordered pepperoni and pineapple and if it isn’t just how he likes it, he’ll blame me. I know the type. Man #3 seems satisfied. I smile. I even got the pizza to him early this time. He digs into his pockets. “How much is it, again?” he asks. “13 bucks,” I reply. He takes out $15 and puts it in my hand. “Keep the change.” He w...

Such A Lovely Dream – By A.L. Cerda
Flash Fiction / May 2, 2010

It was such a lovely dream, too. My first dream about Sadie, how could it be anything but? So rife for pseudo-Freudian psychoanalysis, everything a metaphor for my fears and desires, my excitement and my frustration. The dream started with me at work, caught in a playful argument with my fellow workers about whether or not my dream girl actually had any interest in me, especially seeing as she hadn’t shown much. Then to the amazement...

Vanity – By J.J. Daniels

They were filthy, every single one of them. He could barely stand to look at them as they wandered down the grocery store aisles in their sweatpants, cut-up jeans, t-shirts and tank tops, carrying with them the unshaven, foul-smelling stench of poverty. Not a single ounce of self-respect remained among the lot of them; because of that, they had lost all respect from the rest of the world. Joe Dublin slid the iced-over glass door to t...

The Brave, the Bold, the Battered – By Daniel W. Davis
Short Stories Of The Week / April 13, 2010

He wasn’t surprised that it still stood. There was no reason the building shouldn’t have been condemned and destroyed—all the windows were busted, the brick walls were crumbling, the doors were dented or knocked off their hinges. The floors inside were probably full of holes. Any wood remaining had to be rotted through by now. The building had stood empty for twenty years and looked it. Yet he’d known it would still be there. H...

May 30th – By Sean Sundquist
Flash Fiction / December 27, 2009

that saying “April showers, bring May flowers.”   May 12th My life is under control once again. I’m happy. This brand new baby boy is the light of my life. He’s my first, and I wish it could have only happened sooner. His smile allows me to forget past troubles. His face portends a brighter future. His eyes shine from unrestrained optimism. May 22nd The way he giggles fills my soul with hope. My existence has changed. I have purpose....

In the eye of the beholder – By Rosemary Bach-Holzer
Offbeat Writings / December 27, 2009

Remember those prints called “Magic Eye” that were so hip and of the moment a few years back? They looked like leftover wallpaper from the early seventies except they hid a treasure chest full of three-dimensional (3D) surprises and the key in which to unlock them was held in your very own hands. Or, should I say eyes? The trick was to stare at them until your eyes became so tired they would cross and only then the picture hidden amo...