Shipwrecked

Est. Read Time: 4 min Think of it this way, comrade, I said to Vasily. If the bears eat us, when the wolves come we won’t have anything to feed them. Vasily failed to see the humour. He only further furrowed his brow and checked the ammunition...

Writing Lessons with St Francis de Sales

Est. Read Time: 1 min ‘I can’t do this, Frank.’ ‘Is my task too hard for you?’ ‘I am struggling to find words which comply with your instructions, and my writing is turning into pompous rubbish.’ ‘How disappointing!’ Frank laughs in triumph. ‘Trying to avoid a common...

The Island

Est. Read Time: 1 min I had been to the Island before and knew I had to return, ease my mind, repair myself. I don’t know what is was about being there as opposed to anywhere else on earth, maybe the peace and tranquillity, the way the...

Missing Tomatoes

Est. Read Time: 2 min There are only two of us now. We are starving. We will have to risk the long trek to find shelter, sustenance, spare parts… anything of use. I am so blessed that the love of my life and I, from our first...

A Prayer in Cinnamon

Est. Read Time: 1 min Wander to the kitchen at one a.m., sleepless. She’s there, of course. Try politely not to notice She’s been crying. She looks up, smiles, conspiratorial. It’s less lonely when there are people in the house. “I was about to make hot chocolate,”...

The Pastor and His Dark Church

Est. Read Time: 1 min Someone changes the porch light bulb to red again. A “red-light district” bulb. A persistent prank. It doesn’t seem, to him, an accusation: “Pastor, you prostitute.” His parishioners are always outraged. It bothers him less. He advises turning the other cheek. Changing...

The Summer of Love

Est. Read Time: 1 min 1967. They were Barbie and Ken. Everything perfect, the world before sex and death. Plenty of money, Cadillacs, steaks cut into precise squares. Each evening always full debonair dress, hand in hand, hand on waist, violins swirling. Nothing could spoil the magic,...

Chelsea

Est. Read Time: 1 min When Chelsea stopped by the supermarket, they were setting up for the wine tasting. The store put on a “Six for Six Celebration” with six appetizers and six samples of wine at little stations throughout the store. She bought a pregnancy test...

Totaled

Est. Read Time: 1 min “I got you cinnamon tea. Is that okay?” Cinnamon tea tastes like screeching brakes and burned skin. Like pushing open the classroom door, still gasping, forty minutes after the exam started and explaining to the teacher I canttakethetest, needtogohome, donthavedryclothes, cantstopcrying. I...

Joyride

Est. Read Time: 1 min Randy adjusted his sunglasses and lowered the top on his red convertible. He pushed the Start button and the engine roared to life. It was a beautiful sunny day, and he headed out. The winding mountain road bordered the beach, and he...

New Life

Est. Read Time: 1 min Northern snows assault my squinting eyes. Saucy southern rhythms heat my blood as it mamboes to my heartbeat. Exotic spices from the East break their journey in my kidneys, and arid west winds parch my lungs. Meanwhile, the deep earth of my...

Nothingness

Est. Read Time: 1 min ‘Everyone knows about nothingness, don’t they?’ she asked Raj. ‘Well I never until you told me, I still don’t get it’, Raj wore a perplexed look even though he was used to Shirley’s deep and weird thoughts and ideas. ‘let me explain...

Extra Cheese Whiz

Est. Read Time: 1 min “I’ll have mine with hot peppers and grilled onions,” I said to the guy at the cheesesteak joint. “Cheese Whiz?” “Extra, please.” As I bit into my cheesesteak, I noticed a dark energy coming from two men in shiny suits. It was...

A Second Chance

Est. Read Time: 1 min My specialist leans forward in his chair, a blank expression on his face. His brown eyes gaze intently into mine. During a moment of silence, I am suddenly overwhelmed by fear and trepidation, so I break eye contact. I run my tongue...

Zzzzzt!

Est. Read Time: 2 min Zzzzzt! Itty bitty pretty kitty, my ass. That cat is a monster. Why she constantly murmurs baby talk at him is beyond me. Yes, I may be jealous. Sure, I wish I could cuddle and be her pet. But it cannot be....

The Hunt

Est. Read Time: 1 min Couldn’t remember how we were chased down this dark sewage tunnel. I ran my guts out, might have slipped, but dared not pause a second. The zombies were fierce. Kurt was limping behind, the creatures sprinting near. For a moment his face...

Charm School

Est. Read Time: 1 min I have a coffee mug that says Charm School Dropout. Every time I see it, I smile to recall that I did go to Charm School once, back in the sixth grade. The school was a three-hour Saturday session sponsored by Goldsmith’s...

Dear Mom

Est. Read Time: 1 min Dear Mom — It has been a rough month. My house burned down and is nothing but a pile of ash. The water and electricity to the barn are still connected; I’m sleeping in the barn sharing an old sofa with the...

Light and Darkness

Est. Read Time: 1 min Looking intently on his computer-screen at the recently-released photograph of a black hole in a distant galaxy, Prof. Guy Lafon, a brilliant theoretical-physicist at the Sorbonne was stunned in awe. Light from periphery was forced by gravity to travel inside the central...

Trapped in Guilt

Est. Read Time: 1 min It happened whenever a child came into his shoe-repair and key-cutting shop. Usually they came with parents, but this little local girl had visited frequently with her unsuspecting mother and had come alone for the first time. The girl was there to...

Winter Walk

Est. Read Time: 1 min I walk my lhasa briskly, sharp wind stinging my face and ears. Bhakti stops to sniff a mound of snow on the brown lawn, a black fedora perched forlornly at its peak. From its sides two bare branches reach bravely toward the...

The Rocking Chair

Est. Read Time: 1 min I was early for my weekly visit to the care home and a rocking chair on the porch looked enticing. As I swayed I observed nurses arriving for their shifts. I wondered how many old-timers had resided in this chair remembering long-ago...

Clean Mean, Lying Machine

Est. Read Time: 3 min “I just see me, Ma’am”, I reply into her bathroom mirror through clenched teeth, hoping I can preserve my volley of lies deep inside, hermetically sealed in a light-resistant jar, preserved in termite vinegar and moon-salt. But this mirror doesn’t lie. I...

What They Don’t Teach You At Space School

Est. Read Time: 2 min Sometimes spacers come back to see us. Anyone chosen for a visit gets notified, which is why Vera is waiting in a tidy house, with a home-baked Victoria sponge and wearing her sleeveless cotton print dress with the sage-green leaf pattern, because...

Algorithms of Life and Death

Est. Read Time: 4 min The first thing they taught me was the Trolley Problem. The hypothetical car under my control is heading towards five people; I can change the direction but that will hit one person, what should I do? My neural network played the scenario...

Who Wants To Be Normal?

Est. Read Time: 1 min Today the doctor said that everything is just fine. That I’m COMPLETELY normal. What? How can that be? I mean, he’s a DOCTOR, right? Of all the people in the world, surely HE’D notice! Yet, he didn’t even wink when he said...

Jail Time

Est. Read Time: 1 min ‘I can’t believe I ended up in jail!’ Brad exclaimed. His friends glanced at each other and sipped their drinks. They were all thinking the same thing; Brad knew exactly what he was getting into and should quit complaining. ‘You weren’t in...

They Call It Grace

Est. Read Time: 1 min The chief’s son broke one of the major tribal laws. One that the chief himself had made. The penalty was thirty-nine lashes with a whip in the public square. He loved his son so much, he couldn’t bear the thought of his...

Best Be Sure

Est. Read Time: 3 min Mersion stayed off the open streets, choosing to pick a much more demanding path through the cratered homes and rubble where the bombs had fallen. His progress was further impaired by the amount of meat that he’d lost from his body. Blade...

Innocence

Est. Read Time: 1 min Linda smiled at me today. I cannot describe the immense feeling of bliss I get in the pit of my stomach when I’m around her. We’ve only been collegues for a few weeks, but she is by far the most astounding woman...

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