*Flash Fiction* The Stranger in Your Bed



The Stranger in Your Bed

By Laura Beasley

Her answers didn’t add up.

She told him the wooden cage was for a large bird she’d caught. But only small and medium-sized birds lived in the woods. She let him chop up the cage to burn in the fireplace.

She let him scrape the candy off the outside of the cottage. It had been a failed decorating project she’d seen on Pinterest. Women do crazy things.

They met on a dating website. He liked her long, grey hair and flowing black dresses. She was interested in marriage and liked children. She owned her cottage in the middle of the woods.

Their relationship was clicking and he planned to pop the question. He was ready to bring his grandson to visit on weekends.

Everything changed one day. He was fixing dinner in her kitchen while she painted her nails blood-red. He needed more EVOO for the salad dressing. He found the pouch of bones in the pantry. They were children’s finger bones.

He never married her. He kept his grandson safe.

He called the cold case district attorney. The DA had been searching for the killer of a missing child. A little boy had been lost in the woods for more than a decade.

Hansel’s parents would find peace at last.



Flash Fiction Friday *Waltzing Matilda*



Waltzing Matilda

By Jillian Bost

Matilda trudged down the country lane in a huff. She shouldn’t have been walking by herself this late in the evening, but Emma had stayed behind at the party to bat her eyes and giggle at every word Thomas Ward said. Matilda was the one who’d coaxed Thomas out of his shell, and taught him how to waltz. Yet Emma had been the one he’d stared after, as if she were the cupbearer and Matilda the desert.  “You can’t dance, you great big drooling beast!” Matilda had yelled before storming out of his house.

Jealousy bit at her insides, and she winced. She drew her cloak tighter around herself, hating the wind that battered her face and cursing the moon that was hiding in the dark, for Thomas would be walking Emma home tonight, not her.

Matilda closed her eyes and imagined a new dance partner. This man would be taller than Thomas, stronger, and have a full head of lush black hair. He wouldn’t fall prey to the simpering lamb act of a bored young woman. He would know every dance, including the waltz.

She opened her eyes and gasped. “Oh my…”

“Good evening, milady. I’m sorry to have startled you.”

It was him. Tall, strong, and mysterious.Her dream.

Together they waltzed, though he moved as if he were pained. He released Matilda just as she caught a glimpse of yellow eyes. Some trick of the moon, she mused, which had peeked out from behind the clouds.

“Thank you for the dance.” He bowed, then hobbled away, curled in on himself.

“But wait! What is your name?” Matilda hurried after him, nearly stumbling over her skirt.

She gasped when he swung round, his snout and fangs shining in the light. “Oh dear,” she managed, before he closed in.

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A Cry for Help



A Cry for Help

by Rivka Jacobs

They turned left from Peachtree Street, into the parking lot beside the Brookhaven apartment building. Kayla, sitting like an unstrung marionette slumped against the back seat, caught her mother’s eyes as she glanced in the rear-view mirror. “Young lady, put your knees together,” the woman demanded of her daughter as they pulled into their reserved slot.

Six-year-old Kayla didn’t move. She watched as her mother checked her makeup and hair, then switched off the ignition. “I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with you,” her mother said as she exited with a graceful swing of her legs, stood, tugged her tight red skirt back into position. “The doctors and counselors couldn’t find anything wrong with you. They don’t have to live with you, sitting there with your mouth hanging open like a dumb animal, your mind the hell knows where…” She paused, then said loudly, “What are you waiting for? Take the damn seat belt off and don’t forget your book bag.” She waited another moment, then shouted, “Kayla Marie Boggs, get your butt out of that car!” Continue reading

‘Night in New Orleans’ Now Available!



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*Flash Fiction Friday* That Hugh Grant Face



That Hugh Grant Face

James Pyne

A pinch in Gary’s neck with him blacking out had him waking up roped to a chair in a dimly lit kitchen. Wintery-grey hair draped his captor’s back who he hadn’t seen face to face yet.

“Where am I?” He tried wiggling loose.  Who are—”

By the sounds of it and looks of the package of carrots, she was cutting some on a cutting board.

“I’m Barb’s ex.” She pulled out a carrot from the bag. “Why so quiet? Your wife didn’t tell you that she was into girls? Does that excite you?”

Barbra’s family was from money. Ransom was the only explanation; his luck to end up with a smartass kidnapper.

“She gave me the speech,” the woman continued, “about how she’ll always love me but she’s met someone else. Looks like Hugh Grant in his prime, she said. Like it was the most important thing ever.”

“Money, is that what you want?”

“I tried winning her back.” She sliced some more. “But, Hugh, you got your roots deep inside her.” Gary caught himself from correcting her on his actual name. He didn’t want to provoke her, especially when she held up a knife with carrot bits on it as if looking at her reflection in it. “Yes, this one will do just nicely.”

She spun around. Her face was a painted-skull of black and mustard-yellow makeup with dark branches spreading from her eyes and a black saw-like mouth drawn up to either ear.

“Look, whatever you want, you got, just don’t kill me.”

“I’m not going to kill you, Hugh.” She smirked, pressing the knife tip against the cleft of her chin. “Question: When she finds you, and Barb will, I’ll make sure of that, do you think she’ll still love you without a face?”

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Flash Fiction Friday *My Favorite Pillow*



My Favorite Pillow

By Briana McClendon

The anger that rolls through my head sometimes blocks out all other noise, so all I can focus on is how mad I am. Have you ever just wanted to stab something so badly that you can’t think of anything else? This is the case in my marriage. My husband just doesn’t understand my needs anymore. I NEED him to do what I ask the first time. I NEED him to stop watching the football game long enough to spend time with me. I NEED him to stop seeing other women. Which is what brought on this sudden case of the stabbies. We are going to be late for counseling. My husband called to tell me he would be late because he was going out with “friends” after work. Funny how he always smells like a French whore when he is finished hanging out with “friends”.

According to my counselor when I feel the need to stab something, I should stab a pillow or piece of foam.“It’s best to let it out,” she says. I grabbed my favorite pillow from the bed, and the knife from the drawer in the bed side stand. Going into the bathroom I stabbed the pillow I had gotten for these occasions. I stayed in the bathroom to watch myself. I stabbed it and stabbed it till my arm hurt, and then I threw the knife as hard as I could at the wall. It missed. Oh well,I’ll find it later. I finished getting dressed. I wasn’t going to be late for our counseling session. The bastard could be late and drive there on his own; I still didn’t know where he was. Exiting the bathroom, I found my knife. It was sticking out of my husband’s lifeless body. It doesn’t look like he’s going to make it to counseling tonight after all.

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