FLASH FICTION *The Things We Do For Love*

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The Things We Do For Love
R.A Goli

He smells a bit funny tonight.
Sniff.
It doesn’t really matter as he is already taking off his torn t-shirt. Watching him undress makes me feel tingly between my legs. I move forward to help him unzip his jeans. He rips my t-shirt off in a desperate act of passion and it makes me moan in anticipation. He starts to kiss my neck and slips a hand up my skirt. He nibbles at my skin gently, licking and tasting, then he bites. Hard. I can feel my flesh tear and my own blood spill across my neck and shoulder. The pain is intense and I let out a warbled cry, my hands grasping his hair to pull him back. Tears prick my eyes and my breath quickens, but I resist the urge to move away from him. I love him. This is the only way we can be together.

I’m just glad that he doesn’t want to eat my brains.

He pushes me back onto the bed and then scrambles on top of me. I slide my hands up his chest, the skin mottled gray but mostly unblemished, and I look into his cloudy eyes, as he chews and swallows a piece of me. I wonder where he will bite next, how much I will have to endure before I can be with him. Be like him.

The door bursts open and a shotgun blast rings through the small room. I scream, as his head breaks apart and I am splattered in the gore and fragments of my beloved’s skull. I sit up, wiping the blood from my eyes, my face stinging from the shards of bone splintering my skin. I look down; he is still. Most of his skull is gone, his face torn away, leaving him unrecognizable. But, he smells so good. I pick up a limp arm and begin gnawing at his flesh.

I tear a piece off with my teeth and let it roll over my tongue before I begin to chew. It tastes better than the most succulent steak I have ever eaten, his blood sweeter than any red wine jus. I hear the click of the shotgun barrel as it’s reloaded and I look up, but my vision is blurry, everything has a yellow tinge. I put a hand to my chest and realize that my heart has stopped.

The man says, “I’m sorry pumpkin,” but it comes out in heavy sobs.

That’s when my slowing brain puts the pieces together and I realize who it is.

“Daddy, no,” I say as he raises the shotgun, aiming at my head. I put my hand up as though it can stop a bullet. I see it splatter in a thousand crimson pieces, in slow motion. And then everything is black.

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My Father’s Buick

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My Father’s Buick

by David Gilman-Frederick

            Cyrus could scarcely believe his ears.

“You can’t seriously be saying,” he raised both eyebrows, “that you don’t make any decisions at all? That the Lord Jesus Christ does all your thinking for you? I mean, he chooses your outfits in the morning; they, like, magically appear, all laid out on your bed? Do you do your homework, Jeremy – or does your Heavenly Father? What kind of grades do you get?” he laughed without amusement, a friend without an r. “I mean, God what, God brushes your teeth for you . . . .”  He mimed this and then laughed again.

Sitting opposite him on the stoop, Jeremy slumped forward, pale and shivering. His skin was a sallow, hypothermic blue, despite the warmth of the early May evening. He focused on a spot on the step between his generic tennis shoes. He didn’t answer, just trembled and tilted his head in a gesture somewhere between a nod and a shake. Continue reading

Cover Reveal for ‘One Night in Salem’

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Autumn 2017, explore Halloween Night in Salem through a collection of short stories spanning four-hundred years. PRE-ORDER HERE.

One Night in Salem - High Resolution

From the cursed settlers to the Great Salem Fire of 1914, from the whispers of war in 1812 to the story of a bullet hole in an alley on Gedney Street. Bear witness to things both lost and forgotten in the passing of decades and remember tales of a city long gone, for Salem is different on every other day of the year. One night remains a celebration of the darkness wrapped up in the arms of specters still haunting the place in which they lived and died. Travel through time, glimpsing the Witch City on the most important night of the year, October 31st.

OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE TBA, EXPECTED LATE SEPTEMBER, 2017. Pre-order now to ensure your copy and a special pre-order bonus, TBA.

Featuring stories by:

Erin Crocker, Kathleen Halecki, Linette Kasper, Elizabeth Sweetman, Nancy Brewka-Clark, Jim Towns, E. D. Margay, L. W. Bellin, Jonathan Nichols, Jeremy Megargee, Samantha Lucero, Heddy Johannesen, Daniel LeFever, R. C. Mulhare, Steve Zisson, Chad McClendon, Kevin Lewis, Patrick Cooper, Charles Reis, Benjamin N. Thomas, Few More TBA

The Only One in the Room

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The Only One in the Room

By Nick Manzolillo

The bodies sway gently in the breeze, with one hanging from every other lamppost along the Main Street.  Robert wonders how they all got up there, he doesn’t see any ladders.  He takes one final pull from his cigarette and then tosses it against the asphalt. There’s a brilliant flash of sparks before the stub’s sole ember is left struggling to remain alive before it eventually suffocates.  Other corpses rock to and fro from the tree branches, but they are shrouded in the late evening darkness.  Go figure, the next bus isn’t coming ‘til the morning, but this was always meant to be the boring part of the trip. Continue reading

Theater Three

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Theater Three

By Ellie Brown

When I was in my early twenties, I worked at a small movie theater that showed only independent, cult, and foreign films. The theater was built in the early 1940’s and was decorated in the style of the era with heavy red velvet curtains, stained glass light fixtures, and dark wood. My co-workers were mostly college students at nearby Wayne State University or were enjoying their post-graduation “lost years”, like me. We slacked off, smoked pot in the basement and on the roof, picked the films for the summer midnight movie series, came up with cast lists for who would play each of us in a movie about our theater, and generally had the run of the place. Despite the minimum wage pay, tacky uniforms, and the misanthropy that comes with working with the public, it remains my favorite job. Except for this one thing… Continue reading

A Cry for Help

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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

Flicker

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Flicker

By Claire Davon

The candles flickered, once, twice and then burst to life, surging up in a synchronized flare of yellow and sulfur.  They cast their shadows across the altar in forms that to the untrained eye appeared random.

They were not.

The flame sought the stale air, using it to gutter higher. Although it had no eyes, it could see; no ears but it could hear. No mouth but it knew the taste of flesh.

A human was coming from the heavy slap of feet, one after the other; after so long another being had found this place of worship. It had been that human once, come to make offerings to the terrible, magnificent altar of skulls and smoke and power. It had dared to invade this sanctuary and had paid this price. Then it had waited for the next one to come. It had not expected the decades that followed.

There was a faint squeak, a terrified high pitched noise. The human did not come alone. A paltry offering, to bring only a rat, but it would serve. Continue reading