The Water Writer by Britta Benson

The ritual was painstaking. It never got any easier. First the freezing cold shower to make his skin tingle with shock, jerk the lethargy out of his bones, bump his soul into existence. Then, turn the dial to piping hot, leaving him red raw, aching, reduced to a whimper. Next, lower the temperature back to…

Special Delivery by Joni Caggiano

The giblets of a turkey never got me worked up. Thoughts of stuffing, long-necked turkey soup, or even giblet gravy didn’t dance in my head.  Instead, my mouth would water when Mama breaded and fried up those turkey gizzards, yummy! Our menu included lots of small lobster tails with the usual seafood trimmings.  Sides included…

The Angel on Broadway by Nigel Byng

“Oy! You hold ya horses now.” She shouted at the driver while standing in the doorway to the bus. I ran, half asleep, dropping my half-eaten packet of chocolate digestives. I didn’t care. I grabbed a seat and promptly tried to get back into that napping phase like a lazy alligator. “Simpletons. Every one of…

You Can Have Her by Dawn Pisturino

The call came in on his office landline.        “Tony Blackwell?  We want two million dollars in small bills, or your wife eats a bullet.”        Tony laughed.  “She’s a whore.  I don’t give a damn about her.  Do you know how many times she’s cheated on me?”        “Hey, man, I’m sorry, but she’s…

Booze and Bobcats by Joni Caggiano

Anguish threw her vile smell around the house like a cat who sprays the coffee pot.  Strings of tension gave rise to erect hair follicles like they always did when something horrible was about to happen.  Mom and my little sister Rosa were nowhere to be found. Dad’s car was parked in the back of…

Buttercream and Biscuits by Britta Benson

I’ll chap her door. What else can I do? That woman must know something that I don’t. Hettie died on Friday. The family didn’t hang around. No wake, no cake. Her son clearly adopting the less is less approach. ‘She wouldn’t have wanted a fuss’, he said on the phone, like he knew her. Trust…

Dead Man’s Party by Joni Caggiano

Isabella was having a difficult time breathing.  Every inch of her was crying silently, releasing her anger on the gas pedal.  She restrained herself by pumping the breaks so her husband, Liam, whom she was tailing, would not see her red Tesla. Isabella was a striking woman who loved her husband of twenty years.  She…

A Silent Conversation by Maitreyee Telang

We sat across the table, tension gripping hard onto me every second that passed. The air was so brittle, it could snap. They looked at me straight into my eyes and asked, “HOW DID YOU SURVIVE?” —————- On a deeper level, there was another intense questioning going on. Our eyes became a communication system at…

Ghosting by Richard M. Ankers

Not ghosted, but ghosting. There’s a difference, though it’s too subtle for most air-breathers. One may ghost into any room, into which, in retrospect, one would say they ghosted. The ghosted are identifiable by time and place as in seeing the ghost here or there at such or when, whereas one is only ever ghosting…

Secret Behind My Dad’s Death by Joni Caggiano

Strange questions were bouncing off the wall when I said goodbye to Dad.  As I lay, the phone down, my intuition was flexing its head like a water moccasin.  I sensed a myriad of harsh realities lurking like monsters in dense fog.  It was a simple lung biopsy, and they had stabilized his blood pressure,…

Death of a Stranger by Joni Caggiano

Hearing the rush of nurses heading toward the ICU, I followed the herd.  My youthful intuition was kicking in as an eerie sense of suffocation and dread encircled me.  I suddenly felt like a child waking from a nightmare.  I was already on edge since yesterday having been informed that three nurses were raped in…

A Big Job by Dawn Pisturino

As Dmitri untied the rope around Dr. Morgan’s neck, his cellphone suddenly buzzed in his pocket.  He reached into his suit jacket and pulled out the annoying thing.  It always interrupted him at the most inopportune time.        “Daddy, you promised to come to my play.  Where are you?”        Shit, Dmitri thought. He had…

The Lovely Lady Who… by Britta Benson

For this man, I’m just the lovely lady who comes in once a week and plays Ludo with him. He has no idea why I visit. Perhaps, he thinks, I’m a community volunteer, like those do-gooder older women in pale lilac cashmere cardigans, widows, who seem to spend all their free time knitting more pale…

AQUA – Part 3

(A short story in Vietnamese by Trần Băng Khuê, translation into English by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm) PART 1- PART 2- PART 3- I took Aqua to a forest full of soothing leaves and lullabies. I took Aqua to my forest that particular day, the forest bed was thick with fallen leaves. But as they…

A Stormy Night by Kunjal Gupta

The night was cold and torrid winds blew kissing the roofs of all the houses in the colony. Ramu kaka’s little paan shop faced the road which veiled itself into darkness as it entered the ‘AMAR COLONY’.  He shook his head and stretched his face up in a grimace. The LED bulbs were flickering, more…

AQUA

(A short story in Vietnamese by Trần Băng Khuê, translation into English by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm) PART 1– There were only wolves on the moon. The wolves live on the moon. Then, what will you find in the forest? Aqua. Aqua. Aqua. Someone’s soundless voice cut across the darkness. The fifteenth. The full moon…