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    WARNING: Stories on this site may contain mature language and situations, and may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.

    BOYS IN TIMES OF WAR by Justin Dunne
    July 29, 2014  Short stories   Tags:   

    At about what age do young boys stop fighting over whether or not their pretend bullets merely maimed or killed their friend?

    “You can’t shoot me. I already shot you!”

    “No! You only shot me in this arm, so I shot you with my other hand!” Are they just playing together one day when one of them finally realizes it doesn’t make sense to argue about it? (more…)

    BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by Courtney Button
    July 15, 2014  Short stories   

    His backpack sways lightly on his back as he walks, the worn straps hanging low from his shoulders. He can feel the few items knocking against him with each step, a constant reminder of the bag’s emptiness. His breathing echoes loudly inside of his gas mask, his hot breath reflecting back on to his skin. He clutches the hammer in his right hand, his calloused palm gripping its eroded rubber handle. The muscles in his wrist ache from the swinging weighted end of the tool. He flexes his hand around it as he reaches the turning for the street. The sun burns down, toasting his exposed arms. (more…)

    BLACK RIVER COUNTY by Craig Young
    July 12, 2014  Short stories   Tags: ,   

    The rain was driving down when the police came for Melanie Atkinson. She lived in a trailer on the verge of town and had, ever since the fire that obliterated the childhood home she had shared with her dad, Mitchell.  It had been a story of thwarted aspirations and dead ends, that sometimes occurs in depressed rural areas. About ten years before, Mitchell had moved to the town to start up a mechanics business, but the promised Taranaki oil boom had never eventuated, and the strains on his marriage with Alannah had led his soldier wife to take up with another man.  Or had it been Mitchell and Irene, the school teacher, at the same time? For whatever reason, Melanie became cold and distant. And then, one evening, she came running into town, with the night torn by the sound and fury of her home going up behind her.  Blackriver was a small, insular New Zealand town, and in such places, prejudice and rigidity are the main course. Anyone with ambition and drive left when they hit eighteen and went off elsewhere to learn a trade, or headed off to polytech or university. They never came back. (more…)

    WALKING THE DEAD by Jez Patterson
    April 11, 2014  Short stories   

    The ocean of bodies ebbed, swayed, leaning as if caught by a wind. There was the familiar moan, keening in time with the currents and Josephine could feel their longing; it was difficult not to give in to the urge and let her own throat vibrate softly, join their song.

    The aroma of fresh coffee kept her from stepping off the back of the Landrover towards them.

    “Full moon,” Stephen said, holding up a cup. “No moving them tonight.” (more…)

    THAT DAZZLING SMILE by Kevin Fortune
    April 8, 2014  Short stories   Tags: ,   

    For over sixty five years now – nearer seventy – ever since we were kids in the street, me and Ben have been joined at the hip. When we were young we were reasonably fashion conscious, mostly in our efforts to get girls, but nowadays we’re like dirtied up versions of Gandalf and Radagast, facial hair and all. It’s a kind of a disguise, you see, as our unwashed, shuffling, old man movements can sometimes fool the Dead into thinking we’re them. Except when we’re on our bikes, of course.

    In recent years, in this suburban desolation, we’ve had to avoid corpses entirely because we can’t defend ourselves too well anymore. Bad joints and malnutrition have made us slow and feeble; Ben even more so than me. His arthritis barely lets him walk. So for us its eyes peeled all the time and ears open all the time, but this morning we dropped the ball. Not a single whiff of danger registered on our radars. I mean, with our experience we really should have seen them coming. It just goes to show how charmed we’ve been all along. (more…)

    RUN CON RUN by Sean Lloyd
    March 11, 2014  Short stories   

    1

    Caine stopped, followed seconds later by Abel. Both turned their noses to the almost impalpable breeze. Maddy slid to a stop on the mucky soil, gratefully taking deep breaths. Checking her watch, she was impressed: 26 hours. They were approaching record territory. Jimmy John Donaldson had gone 38 hours straight, necessitating 2 teams working in tandem, but he had been a brain damaged clinical psychopath known to stay awake for 72 hour stretches. The kid she was tracking now was smart but   scared and running on adrenaline. The chemical fire on your bones only lasted so long. Once it was gone it left only ash and despair. (more…)

    DEAN AND HETCH by A.J. Brown
    January 7, 2014  Short stories   Tags: ,   

    “You good?”

    It was a dumb question. Hetch knew the answer, and it started with an N and ended with an O.

    Dean lay on the bed, his eyes half open—he had barely been awake for the last few hours, and now, as Hetch was about to go, he had woken, if only briefly. The wound in his side was bandaged as good as Hetch could get it, the patch being a sheet torn length-wise and wrapped around Dean’s midsection. Still, a dark splotch of red had bled through. (more…)

    THE SIEGE OF FORT BUZZARD by Eric Robert Nolan
    December 16, 2013  Short stories   

    It was the smell of the dead that Rodney hated the most.

    It was thick and pungent, but also sickly sweet, like sugar poured over feces. Once that odor hit his nostrils, it seemed to linger there in a terrible sense memory, even long after the danger had past. There had been times after the dead rose when Rodney would snap awake at night, from nightmares of that odor alone. (more…)

    LA FIGLIA DELLA MORTE by Graham Williams
    December 9, 2013  Short stories   

    Dull light seeped through the yellowed Perspex of the school toilet skylights. It was late, but the summer evening would linger for an hour yet. In sepia, the cracked, grubby surface of a mirror reflected the face of a living dead girl. Framed by bedraggled hair, soulless eyes stared dully from sockets surrounded by half-healed bruise smudging. The mouth hung slack, the split, swollen lips revealed teeth discoloured by blood, blood which was now slowly trickling down the chin.

    A deep wrenching sob abruptly convulsed the frame of the girl and the sudden defocusing of the image shattered the illusion. She wasn’t dead, she just looked it and she knew it. (more…)

    OUT HERE WE ARE ALONE, BUT WE ARE NOT SCARED by Kylie Saunders
    November 19, 2013  Short stories   Tags:   

    Out here, he thought, a man can be himself. To the west the sun was beginning to fold in on itself, an origami illusion whereby its roundness divided into thirds, refracted light from the cold earth compressing it as it fell, flattening, deforming. Still, there was an hour of daylight, and no one to see his hands shake or ask why it was he kept looking nervously down the hill toward the house and beyond to the town  whose roofs were burnished copper in the late of the evening. He thought of gold and precious things and his thumb subconsciously curled under the two tall fingers of his left hand and pressured downward on the warm band that had ringed this finger for so long it had worried an indentation below the first knuckle. (more…)

    FALLEN ANGEL by Jasmine DiAngelo
    October 25, 2013  Short stories   

    PREQUEL TO GRUBBY ANGELS

    Father Ronan McGuiness woke up with a snort. His bleary red eyes opened for a second then quickly closed again as pain shot through his skull.

    The pounding in his head seemed to match the relentless pounding he could hear on the massive church doors.

    He opened his eyes again, this time a little more cautiously and tried to lift his head. It seemed to be too heavy to lift until he realised his face was stuck to the desk with a combination of dried whiskey and drool. With an effort he pulled his head clear and was rewarded with more pain and nausea. (more…)

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