The Hand Shop | by Christopher Iacono

     I never wanted to sell hands. I had never thought people would want such things until a lawyer told me I had inherited my father’s hand shop.

     I hadn’t spoken to my father in years, so I was surprised that I was even in his will. Then again, who else would have received the shop? He had no other children.

     I wanted to sell the shop, but according to the will, I had to sell the rest of the inventory first. No reason was given. Maybe my father was punishing me.
Continue reading “The Hand Shop | by Christopher Iacono”

Prime 3 | by Doug Hawley

Julie Collins: We are here for the third interview with Yeti/Angwin spokesman
Dook. For the five people living under rocks in Blankistan, in the first two interviews we learned that the Angwin are small relatives of humans, who live in the Himalayas. They sometimes have mutant progeny that look just like humans, but all of them are brilliant. Dook agreed to an interview in order to gain a homeland for his people. After a few troubles, he has succeeded and he will tell you about that today.

Tell us Dook, how you succeeded. Continue reading “Prime 3 | by Doug Hawley”

Fine Specimen | by Rob Parrish

The dually trucks were right on schedule, each zipping into the park, diesel engines roaring. They were like jets flying overhead. But this was Texas. These were ranchers.

The smell of cooked meat from the concession stand’s big grill hung heavy under the bright lights. But this wasn’t football. This was little league baseball.

Plumes of dust from the trucks collided with grill smoke. The crowd, attired in denim and leather, rose from the bleachers with their hands half-circled above their brows. Lloyd stood with the crowd, but looked in a different direction. His eyes were on his son, Tommy.

With a palm the size of the panhandle, the umpire raised his arm to stop the game. He was known as Minotaur. Before the transformation, his name was actually Harold, but no one bothered to remember anything from before. Continue reading “Fine Specimen | by Rob Parrish”

Daughter of the Gods | by Linda M. Crate

Maevelin knew she had to save her failing brother. He was the only family she had left since her parents had died when they were children. Even though she was only four years younger than he was, he had practically raised her, himself.

She couldn’t just allow Maedri to die.

“Maevelin, we all have a time to go.”

“Don’t talk like that. I will find help. Surely there’s something I can do,” she insisted. “The herbs and potions the healers are giving you aren’t doing anything to cure your ailment. Surely, I can find something better. Something to cure you of this mysterious illness.”

“I would be more content if you would stay, sister. Sometimes you cannot fight fate.”

“Sometimes it’s up to you to change it,” she protested. “I won’t let you die. You don’t deserve it,” she protested, tears running down her cheeks. “Wait for me, I will come back. I promise.” She thought if anyone knew how to save her brother it may have been the strange oracle that everyone avoided. Continue reading “Daughter of the Gods | by Linda M. Crate”

Weeding | by Steve Campbell

Carl bursts out of the church door, storms up to the nearest gravestone and kicks it repeatedly. Gripping the top of the stone he looks down the weathered face as each new strike lightens the leather across his toes.

“Aaaaarrggghhhh…”

“I wouldn’t let Father David catch you doing that.”

The man is sat on the bench, smoking, his face obscured in a swirl of grey. He’d been gardening in the churchyard a few moments early when the congregation had shuffled inside wearing reluctant clothing and, as they’d passed, he’d nodded politely at them. Carl had made sure to return the mock salute he’d received with a smile, even when everyone else in the group had acted like the man wasn’t there. Carl had been bought up better than that. Continue reading “Weeding | by Steve Campbell”

Cerise | by Danielle Lea Buchanan

     Bon Appetiting on Sauvignon Blanc and tiramisu. Little Red sits alone on a stump in
solitude of a wood. Sweetest girls chaperone a weapon. Sits she, Little Red: a worn slump of disladily spread-eagled so menstruation wafts cursively in cerise. Clots cherry her pubic hair in red cement. These thighs no cotton can tame.

     The wolf: stumbledrunkedly is patriarchy on four, furred legs. He’s ecstasies on Little
Red’s pubescent secretions and dreams of fallopian tubes to muzzle his snout. Little Red’s lips guzzle the Sauvignon Blanc. She burps. The tiramisu is detonated in omnivoric grace. Woozies is what wine and mascarpone give but Little Red smells like cracked peppercorn, not plum compote.
Continue reading “Cerise | by Danielle Lea Buchanan”

Lifeboats | by Paul Curtis

     Every third Thursday of the month, the town held an art competition in one of the bars along the sea front. The tables and chairs from outside would be brought in and arranged along with the furniture they already had inside.

     The chairs were positioned to face the back of the bar, where a screen was erected to display all of the artwork. The place would always be busy and the low buzz of excited chatter permeated the entire venue. The candles which were dotted about the venue on tables added to the warmth and cast wicked shadows along the walls and ceilings. Samantha was looking at these silhouetted shapes when Catherine had asked her for the third time if she wanted something to drink. Samantha remained silent and shook her head before looking down at the table. Catherine exchanged a look with Peter who shrugged and turned to face the stage. They had both gotten used to her by now.

    Samantha was fourteen and for the past year Catherine and Peter Tuens had been taking her along to events like these. They were a couple in their late fifties who had no children of their own and had offered to take Samantha out every now and then, which both her parents agreed to.
Continue reading “Lifeboats | by Paul Curtis”