• Dial M for… by Bruce Harris

    Sy Foreman sat on a round, unpadded cushion at the Borough Diner. “I can’t believe it,” he said into his phone. “First time I’ve ever done that. I must have left it in the house.” After a brief pause, he said, “My knife, what else?” One seat away at the counter, Detective Doulas Fisher cut […]

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  • Savage Beads by Pearson O’Meara

    Lee never planned to kill.  The murderous thoughts came to him like savage rosary beads strung together. In his son’s bedroom, sitting on the edge of the twin bed reading his son’s suicide note, Lee’s hands hung heavy between his knees.  The words on the lined notebook paper detailed a truth that yanked Lee into […]

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  • Life in a Northern Town by Abra Deering

    Life in a northern town, she thinks in the diner, wearing a black turtleneck, desert boots, her cigarette, burning. The coffee smell is intoxicating. The notebook and pen have an everlasting battery – it won’t lose its charge, ever. But some things do lose their charge. She taps the notebook. She’s been called a wise […]

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  • No Wrong, Come Along by Jason M. Tucker

    Southern California, 1972 – Somewhere Outside Los Angeles Family taught me a few things. Using memory and the full moon’s light, I eased the ’69 Chevelle down the overgrown dirt road, chaparral scraping the car like bony fingers. Swollen eyes made the drive difficult, but I eventually reached the scarred remains of the old ranch […]

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  • Puff, Puff, Pass by Angel Luis Colón

    Rock bottom. Addicts talked about that, but shoplifters? My rock bottom—or so I thought—was walking out of an adult video store with a stolen rubber fist firmly up my ass. I rarely kept what I stole. Usually threw the items away or gifted them. Wasn’t like I shoved everything up my ass on the regular. […]

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  • Apprentice Test Prep by JM Taylor

    They picked him up at a Fridays, after ditching the police cruiser and the body of the woman they’d pulled over. Marguerite vetoed the guy Kelly had picked out, in favor of Tim. Kelly agreed. Those were the rules. They left in his Jeep. Marguerite sat in the back, Kelly up front, where the wind […]

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  • The Patron Saint of Sleeping Dogs by Trevor Duplessis

    He pushed himself off his knees and sat looking over the empty nave from the altar steps. Blisters formed on his palms during prayer, and the stone stairs sapped the warmth from his bare soles. He’d left his boots back in the porch with the shovel and the rifle. Wind slipped through the open front […]

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  • Two Stiffs in Search of a Grave by Steven Nester

    “What is the saying,” said Rodt in his thick accent, “The grave is half full?” “Wrong,” said Smartt. Rodt sounded ignorant and unclean, as if he had a mouthful of pickled herring. Everything that came out of it stank, thought Smartt. It didn’t matter what the guy said, it all sounded like he was a […]

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  • Remittences by Pamela Ebel

    Sofia Rojas inhaled the steam rising from the ancient cast iron pot. Like all of the Rojas women, at fifteen, Sofia possessed the exquisite sense of smell that told her what spices to add and when the food was done. She dropped the last of the beef into the pot, closed her eyes and breathed […]

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  • Fission by Timothy Owen Davis

    Thomas thought about the hospital. Thought about those who had fired him, thought about the car that had done what Thomas couldn’t do, and he wanted revenge. Most nights, before Tracey left for good, Thomas would be sweat-soaked and pacing; his thoughts a type of werewolf, which had cursed him and his loved ones. He […]

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  • Yes Man by Blake Johnson

    All would be forgiven, the Don promised, if Marcus killed a man. The Don talked of vaporous concepts, like the eternal legacy which extends beyond death, how every choice is an immortal echo, a permanent imprint on the consciousness of humanity. A ripple without end. Though the Don spoke in cosmic riddles, Marcus understood their […]

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  • Federal Offense by N.J. Lucas

    Miranda Lake listened to the chatter in the break room. It was late and the 3rd shift was gathered in the correctional officer’s lounge shooting pool and drinking coffee. The conversation turned to the death of a high-profile inmate housed at their sister prison, MCC New York. At MCC Chicago, guards wondered; could you murder […]

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