It’s been a difficult trial.
The jury presents a guilty verdict.
I cannot agree with this jury. So, I tell them, “Members of the jury, in light of my 20 years of judicial experience, I find there is no evidence the defendant was near the crime scene, nor even knew the victim. Therefore, I declare the evidence insufficient to convict and hereby overturn the guilty verdict. Bailiff, release the prisoner.”
The courtroom is aghast.
I sit back down.
The judge says, “Well, Mr. Kaufman, now I’m sorry I asked if the defendant had anything to say. Bailiff, remove the prisoner.”
From Guest Contributor Kent V. Anderson
When Kent isn’t writing stories, he is building robots.
“This is my weekend,” Hugh told the windscreen, almost colliding with the car in front. “Hold on.” He tuned out until he could give the Bluetooth his full attention. The car skidded to a stop on the gravelly lay-by.
“You can’t spare the time to drop him off? No problem, I’ll collect him.”
Glaring at traffic, he struggled to keep his response relatively civil.
“Your lover-boy gardener is intimidated by me?
Right … gardener just long enough to plough you, eh?
Too bad, Cathal’s my son–
Hugh stared into space, eventually noticing an ironic sign.
From Guest Contributor Perry McDaid
Migrant storekeeper Piero Altobelli met word of his old friend’s recent passing with great consternation. Upon hearing, he leapt from his desk in the backroom of his little grocery and flew into a rage. He swatted the week’s receipts into the floor, ripped the telephone from the wall, and yanked the office door from its hinges. All the while bemoaning at the top of his lungs. So uncontrollable was he, not even his wife Maria, could calm him.
“Somebody better tell that summabitch next time he pass a by my store,” cried Piero. “He better pay me what he owes.”
From Guest Contributor Russ Sparks
Russ is currently an MFA student attending Lindenwood University.
by thegooddoctor in Uncategorized
Mrs. Hoover knelt in front of me, a gesture reserved for the quietest of her preschool students.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” she repeated.
I knew what I would become, but it had nothing to do with wanting or wishing. My fate felt solid, and it vied for my attention.
I tried to ignore the itch.
Even at a young age I knew that it would be dangerous to provide details.
“It doesn’t matter what I want to be, only what I am becoming,” I recited, the scales on my ankle yearning to be scratched.
From Guest Contributor Sarah Vernetti
After midnight, we climb the cemetery fence.
The sky is black as ink, but Gordy’s brought a flashlight. He’s been out of juvie for two days now.
I follow him to the far corner of the plot, wind brushing my clothes like ghosts.
“This is it,” he says.
His dad’s name is on the headstone along with this year’s date, him having died while Gordy was locked up.
I’ve seen the stripes on Gordy’s back, his broken nose, of course, but when Gordy takes out a sledge hammer, winding up, I grab his arm, saying, “Do that and he wins.”
From Guest Contributor Len Kuntz
Len is a writer from Washington State, an editor at the online magazine Literary Orphans, and the author of I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE AND NEITHER ARE YOU out now from Unknown Press. You can also find him at lenkuntz.blogspot.com
“But everything looks so tired and worn here.”
“You were the one who wanted to come to Paris to die.”
I took her hand and pointed. “There it is. That’s the café.”
We pushed through the crowd at the door and found a table for two.
“Everyone here looks so old,” she said.
“Except for that beautiful girl at the bar.”
“Madame et monsieur. Vous desirez?”
“Do you speak English?”
“Who is the beautiful girl at the bar?”
“That is Death.”
“But I thought Death was…”
“Monsieur, the older one gets the more beautiful Death becomes.”
From Guest Contributor Reynold Junker
Billy had never been drunk before. That’s why he didn’t feel much pain.
The stars above were bright.
The runt of the family, he’d run off from the farm and joined the ranchers. They had gone to the saloon.
The strumpet at the bar had smiled at him. After his seventh whisky she winked.
Billy felt like a man. He was somebody.
“Move over boy,” the stranger said.
Billy stood his ground. There were words, then the challenge.
Outside, Billy got shot in the chest. Alone, he lay dying.
Tomorrow they would bury him. A nobody in a nobody’s grave.
From Guest Contributor Ian Fletcher
Ian is originally from South Wales. He studied English Literature at Oxford University many years ago. He currently lives in Taiwan with his family and is a high school teacher there. He has also been a freelance writer for over 12 years, writing articles for Taiwanese educational textbooks. He has had short stories published in various genres on Short-story.me, Schlock! Webzine, Schlock! Bi-Monthly, Anotherealm, Under the Bed, and in anthologies by Horrified Press and Rogue Planet Press. He is an Affiliate Member of the Horror Writers Association.
Only a motorcyclist knows why a dog sticks his head out a car window, he thought. A perfect day for a road trip. 79 degrees, cloudless blue sky, divorce finalized, and the new girlfriend’s boobs felt terrific against his back. The speedometer needle inched past 105mph. Miles of Nevada Highway 50 stretched into the horizon.
The auditory bliss of an unmuffled V-Twin’s howl was joined, and subsequently replaced, by a symphony of mechanical annihilation. 1200 feet and sixty-five seconds later, a cloud of pink mist, feathers, chrome, plastic, aluminum, steel, and leather came to rest.
The desert’s natural silence prevailed.
From Guest Contributor Edward Yoho
Edward recently earned an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. According to his spirit guide/favorite professor, the title of his thesis, Science Fiction, Sarcasm, and Other Profane Oddities, accurately reflects his writing aesthetic. Edward’s previous publication credits include an essay and a fiction story in Potluck Magazine.
We hoped the bad dog was gone. We couldn’t put off seeing our daughter’s family in upstate New York but they had a mean pit bull who they said was as gentle and loved kids.
He was gentle as long as my daughter or son-in-law were around but the minute they left the room he’d look at us, bare his teeth and growl in defiance.
Last visit I took a picture of that look on my cell and showed it to my daughter as proof positive to bolster our fear.
“Isn’t my Bruno cute?” She said. “He’s smiling at you.”
From Guest Contributor Paul Beckman
As soon as Aarthi could walk she had toddled off to the nearby railroad crossing and plopped herself down under the sign to play in the dust with whatever curios escaped from the trains’ wakes as they slowed.
Her skinny brown legs had quickly lost their natural skin-glow as she had sprawled in pursuit of imagination. She’d found a shiny dollar once. Mam had taken that. Aarthi had got ice-cream.
Sixteen long years ago. Now, she eased her battered body to a sitting position and placed her hand on the rail. It was coming to free her from her abuser.
From Guest Contributor Perry McDaid