Class Reunion

By Mickey Kulp

Rick killed the engine outside the conference center. It rattled sickly, then silence. He took a deep breath and wished for a cigarette instead. Too bad he had quit last year.

The marquee said “Welcome Class of 1983.”

The car pinged. What made that sound? Dave would know. Rick smiled, remembering teenaged Dave driving through a corn field one night just for the hell of it. He wondered if grownup Dave would be at the reunion. Maybe Dave still worked on cars, like the old days.

The old days. He stared into the rearview. He looked tired.

Would they even recognize him? Was Angie in there? Maybe she would recognize him.

Angie. He sighed. She had been the first, and she had left a permanent scar. Had she gotten fat? She had always been worried about her looks. He straightened a little and pulled in his gut.

A bald guy went in. Rick flipped through his mental yearbook and stopped. Benny. Asshole. Rick remembered the short, sharp scuffle in a gravel parking lot. Shoving, a couple of clumsy punches, friends jumping in to break it up. Curses and dire promises, but nothing happened.

Rick still hadn’t unbuckled. Who would care if he went in? Why had he gotten dressed up just to be inspected by a bunch of barely recognizable old people?

Sure, he wanted to talk to Dave, and he wanted to see if Angie had stayed hot. And, a little, he wanted to stare down Benny the Asshole. It was agonizing, this unexpected attack of indecision.

He glanced into the rearview once more, catching a sudden glimpse of teenager Rick looking back. He liked that kid. That kid had powered through hundreds of unexpected attacks of indecision.

Man, he wanted a smoke. Maybe Angie still smoked.

He unbuckled.


Author Bio: Mick is a writer and father of two mostly grown children who have survived his shenanigans through smarts they inherited from their mother.

His nonfiction articles, fictional stories, and poems have appeared in consumer magazines, newspapers, and literary journals.

Twitter: @mickey_kulp

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Tongue-tied

By Shannon Bell

He is laid upon the altar. His heart beats. Fast and hard. Faster and harder. The more it accelerates, the quicker his time on this world draws to a close. He has seconds left. His lips part in a final whisper of farewell. He is no more.

My tongue touches the back of my lips. Eager. Questing. Demanding.

The pain and sadness of his death lingers in the air. I taste it. I breathe it in. The subtle power of it nourishes my soul and extends my life.

She is laid upon the altar. Her heart beats. Fast and hard. Faster and harder. The more it accelerates, the quicker her time on this world draws to a close. She has seconds left. Her chin lifts in defiance. Her eyes fill with anger. She is no more.

My tongue darts from my mouth. Arrogant. Disobedient. Stubborn.

The air around her crackles with the energy of her small defiance. It settles on my skin. The fierce power of it soothes me and energises me.

Hundreds of voices cry and beg. I look at them huddled in their holding pens. Their fate is sealed. When I consume their flesh, it will make me younger. They know what awaits them and their fear hangs thick in the room.

My tongue dances across the roof of my mouth. I clamp it firmly between my teeth. “Not yet my wayward friend. But soon. Very soon.”


Author Bio: Shannon Bell is addicted to words. You will find him madly writing away in the spare time he has available between holding down a full-time job, being part of a dysfunctional family and looking after his attention seeking dog. His stories have been published in Dark Edifice, Short & Twisted, 101 Fiction and strippedlit500. You can follow Shannon at @ShannonBell1967

Issue 2 Is Here

Feel the power! Eight stories of Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Literary fiction feature in our blog and PDF edition of Issue 2; we will publish the stories simultaneously on our Twitter page; please do have a read of them, we are proud to present more fantastic new short fiction. The theme for issue 2 was “power” and it delivered an eclectic mix of great storytelling.

Scroll down from this post to read the issue 2 stories individually. You can also search for stories by category in the sidebar. The stories are also collected under the Issue 2 Category

Issue 2 is also available as a free PDF file for you to download or read online. You can access the PDF file here. Happy reading and enormous thanks to all our contributors.

Margaret

From July 1st to 31st we are open for submissions for our August edition, Issue 2. Send us your short fiction, of any length up to 500 words;  a complete story, a tale of wonder, excitement, horror, caution, love.

The theme for our second issue has been on my mind for a while – trying to conjure up a theme at once broad enough to allow multiple interpretations, yet evocative as a word on its own, my own day job led me in the right direction.  I work for a major utility company, and what are utilities except the taming of the elements for consumption? The consumption of…power! So “power” is our theme for the summer; take a moment to mull over all the possibilities this theme offers!

Will your story deal with power in its literal definition, of energy or force, that created the universe and fuels out daily commute, our cars, our electric lights, our water taps? Maybe a future source of power that allows us to traverse the unknown voids of the galaxies.

Or will your story speak of power over people, events, history? Will it be a benign force, or a tale of treachery, political manoeuvring, and double-dealing, that creates and destroys dynasties and empires?

Maybe your power is a more personal, subtle and insidious influence over those people around you? Maybe your power is a special power, an unusual capability, a superpower even?

Power in its most basic meaning equals force – does your power deal with an army, an invading force, an epic struggle for military supremacy?

You don’t have to use the word “power” in either your title or the body of your story, but it must deal with power in one of its accepted meanings. (Oxford Dictionary definitions)

Please read our full submission guidelines here.

Get writing, submit your short fiction and make us thrill at its unbridled POWER!