• Ending Things by Vinnie Hansen

    The end of my story is problematic. Too many choices. Theo strolls up to the gray, stucco bungalow. Lizzie flings open the red door, her eyes bright blue in her flushed face. Theo isn’t alarmed, though, until she says, “I know about your affair.” Theo searches her damp eyes, clasps her to his strong chest, […]

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  • The Eighth Button by Julie Burandt

    Carl couldn’t remember how the fight got started. He thought he heard the insult, incompetent moron, but that might have come from him. Carl had been using that expression a lot lately, began just days after the new sous chef arrived. The new sous chef, Derrick, had become a source of annoyance and disappointment for […]

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  • Numbers by Stephen Cook

    At the bottom of a remote lake in the Sierra, a skeleton rocks with the current, ankles and neck chained to the decaying hulk of a snowmobile.  Close by, covered with muck, lie a rusty ax and a pistol. The corpse wore, for a while, the expression of a man both surprised and betrayed.  A […]

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  • Summit Lake by Tom Gartner

    The day they killed Frank Watson, I was three hundred miles away, fly fishing in the High Sierra. If I’m honest, I have to say I ran out and left him holding the bag. True, I’d had the fishing trip planned for months, well before I’d ever heard of Dave Silva or Rawcliffe Construction. But […]

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  • A Life Worth Living by N.B. Turner

    I only tried to kill one person in my life, and it was out of mercy. He was in misery. But he cried when I put the gun to his head. My uncle was a strong man before the accident. Up until I was a teenager, I would hang from his flexed arms like a […]

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  • Family Business by Miranda Dahlin

    I remember the long thin bloodstain that had frozen into the ice in our backyard. It formed a dripping pathway from the bed of my uncle’s truck to the old dilapidated garage that had always been off limits to us as kids. I knew the drill because I had heard it before. I would hear […]

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  • Anticipation by Michael A. Raithel

    “Freeze and let me see your hands!” Fosdick’s raspy voice cut through the warehouse from behind me.  My stomach turned over and a chill went up my spine. “Gun out, slowly.  Throw it to the side. Good. Now turn around… slowly.” I turned and saw the forty-five in Fosdick’s right hand with its ugly death […]

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  • Slim Jim by John L. Thompson

    Glen’s Liquor Store was just off the main drag along the way home. The joint was lit up with half-dead, flickering red neon lights surrounding a shit-pile.  I’d meant to stop in for the past week, but the bossman had me doing other things off the normal route. The overhead bell jingled when I pushed […]

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  • Tinian Then Saipan by Ted Flanagan

    Tinian then Saipan, one worse than the other, Jenkins falling in that mangrove swamp, so utterly gone it was like he’d never been there. Whose hand is this? Gloria’s? Gloria’s been dead for years. Months? Yesterday? Better not let the Mulcahy kid make the collections. Useless. Never gets the count right, shorts all the working […]

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  • Stick with the Plan by Dustin Walker

    I parked the stolen Monte Carlo across from the strip mall, feeling damn good about this job. Few shoppers, light traffic. Should be easy. But then Mark tossed his surgical mask up from the back seat. “Gonna wear my ski mask instead.” His voice like crushed stone. Ben spun around. Brows creased, eyes narrowed. His […]

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  • Collect Call by K. Anderson

    The sun beat down on the hotel patio. A glass door was cracked open. Inside a man in a pinstripe suit sat on the edge of the bed, holding a telephone to his ear. Mary watched him talk, his mouth barely moving as it pressed near the pink handset, his other hand holding a faded […]

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  • Was It Worth It? by Chris L. Robinson

    It had been nearly four months since James Daley had won the lottery. Not a fortune, but a good chunk of change. Nearly $100,000. His wife of more than twenty years had been thrilled and, for a couple of weeks, the money was like a shot of Viagra for both of them. Their passion was […]

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