Graperoo | by Mitchell Toews

IT MAY SHOCK readers to know that I am a so-called inanimate object.

Please let me explain. While inanimate objects are indeed inanimate, we are skilled communicators. There are varying degrees of communicative ability among inamimates, but for the most part, we excel at and are capable of rapid, clear, and expressive telepathy.

Unfortunately, we can communicate only among ourselves – not to the animates who surround us and, in some cases, like mine – create us.

Humans speak, inflect, and move. They use posture, volume, expression, gaze, silence and a myriad of tools to communicate. Similarly, animals communicate among themselves and, with varying success, back and forth with humans. Inanimates send and receive our thoughts and feelings telepathically. We emote through the air – thick, thin or absent. Continue reading “Graperoo | by Mitchell Toews”

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”

Three Poems | by Akaky Akakievich

A Sonnet to the Siren Lizanka

Dirty green hair, sharp pointy teeth, kind-hearted


Plump patterns have contrived to stagger along the path made to stand

For the flashiest of the targeted but put to esteem the rather not vented

What could have to be the least of the matters has engrossed the noose

For her straggly pertinent and overshadowed was the rather resulted bland

Put to confabulate and release those of the mesmerized and mere cheated

What could have to reside with the mere unsatisfied was her esteem loose Continue reading Three Poems | by Akaky Akakievich”

Prime | by Doug Hawley

Interviewer: Welcome to the most significant television show ever. I know that it sounds like hyperbole, but this is the first ever interview with our closest relative, sometimes know as a Yeti or abominable snowman.

Because of the worldwide interest, the show is being simulcast around the world in English with translations into every major language with additional showings delayed for prime time viewing. DVDs will be available within a week of the broadcast. There will be minimal commercial interruptions.

The first order of business is to introduce our guest on my left. What would you like to be called?

Dook: A close approximation to my name in human languages would be Dook.
Continue reading “Prime | by Doug Hawley”

Guillotine Grabber | by Michael Carter

     Liam was jailed in the basement of Jedburgh Castle to await his execution by guillotine. He had been the housefather of Bethany Orphanage, and he was innocent of the crimes charged. He had no alibi witnesses. The reigning noble did not believe his defense.

     The guillotine would be quick and his suffering minimal. For that, Liam was thankful. But he wanted to live. Why should he die for a crime he did not commit?

     A grey man with a hollow yellow face snuck into the castle jail. He believed Liam’s story of innocence. He wanted to help. “On the day of your execution,” the man said, “I will release your ankle stocks, and loosen the wooden lunette around your neck.” Liam smiled. Continue reading Guillotine Grabber | by Michael Carter”

The Tinker’s Damn | by Ed Ahern

     Once, not so long ago, a tinker came to the town of Bitten Apple. Townspeople who glanced at him saw a man groomed and stately. Too few stared hard and saw the clutching little fingers and an expression at once sneering and boastful.

     The Tinker, who called himself Augustus, set up shop and began buying and selling all manner of things. He was a sharp trader, and told those who argued with him that they’d best be careful or he’d damn them with lawsuits and embarrassment. Such curses were feared. The menfolk in the town listened to his blustering, and thought Augustus a clever man who must be respected.

     A few years later Augustus was a very rich man. (The townsfolk were poorer of course, but they were afraid to say anything) He was elected the town leader, and appointed a sheriff and constables who were in his debt. Continue reading “The Tinker’s Damn | by Ed Ahern”