Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Disjointed Reaction to a Scream

07 Dec

By Brandie Hyde

Hearing the shrill shriek caused her muscles to freeze mid-stride with only forward momentum providing the little extra nudge thus forcing the otherwise stop-motion foot to at last drop from its state of momentary suspended animation.

Her eyes slam closed as if to keep the recalled detail specifics from escaping the swirling centrifuge at work in her skull. Had the person who uttered the sound been a woman? A man?

A manly girl? Or a girly man? Not that sex, gender, or identity mattered per se, but it is a factor in terms of deducing a superior approach. Had it originated from a forward or a back alley? From the left or from the right? Was there any other clue to be gleaned from that split second? An informed decision is key.

Her eyes reopen following the near instantaneous blink which felt so much longer while the snap analyzation was conducted. Alone she ran against the sea of others who, in choosing to ignore the potential danger, had quickly spun on their heels 180 degrees opting to mind their own business.

Others flee as she passes in favor of pursuing the origin point most likely, and she readies herself to take on whatever scene she may encounter and simultaneously observant enough to testify to details in court.

The oddity of her otherwise gun loving nation, she didn’t see the necessity for them and thus didn’t have one nor cared to.

A problem with guns? They’re too easy, too disconnected, and she feared they may take her to a place she doesn’t care to go. There’s no such thing as unarmed as people have been killing one another from the beginning, so she didn’t need a manufactured tool developed specifically for that singular purpose.

A person who needs to be packing heat to defend themselves and are incapable of doing so by any other means were wussies… guns are for pus—-.

Rounding the corner and witnessing the act in progress she closes in… 3… 2… 1… showtime.

Bio: My name is Brandie and as a resident of the North Port / East Venice area, I’m what they call a “displaced homemaker” who in light of her situation decided it was time to crank out a few degrees at long last in hopes of landing a position making a Living wage. I’ve learned well enough by now that making any sort of “plans” is an utterly pointless and futile exercise, at least so far as I’m concerned anyway. That’s not to say it’s for lack of trying mind you… things just rarely go ‘as planned’. To counter this, I typically have a contingency, or two for that matter, at the ready. I was never a Girl Scout, but as a general rule I prefer to be prepared as opposed to the alternative.

Thirteen axes minus one

07 Dec

By Lexxa

Blood is pouring from my fingers again and I have no clue as to why. Maybe it has something to do with my cell phone being cracked. Glass pieces are everywhere and I am lucky enough to crush every piece in between my fingers somehow. At least that’s what I think, even though I cannot find any glass on my actual hands. As I am washing off the blood I peak out of my kitchen window. Crazy old lady Jane’s garage is open inside I can see a total of 13 axes hanging from the tool box. Why would such an old lady need that many axes? It’s not like she’s planning to chop down any trees anytime soon. Her husband was murdered three years ago. I was the one to find him laying in a pile of blood and guts. I thought for sure I would be scarred for life, but I wasn’t. They never did find the murderer, even after six more killings. Still, I was not scared. I went to grab a towel to dry my hands and a thought came rushing through my head. Axes. Each victim was killed with an ax. Maybe old lady jane is hiding something. Something big. What if she is the murderer afterall. I must figure this out. I spent the whole day planning how I would get inside of crazy Jane’s home and how I would find clues and fast and get out. It’s now 9:02 pm and I patiently waited for the clock to strike 9:04 pm which is the exact time the lights in her house go off and she goes to bed. 9:03.. I left the house dressed in black, I hope she does not see me or attack because I don’t have any weapons to defend myself. I am now at her house outside of her window I peek in and stare for 15 minutes so I knew she was asleep. She was laying there so lifeless in her pink nightgown. I went to window number two and stared for another 15 minutes. I sprinted to the next window and to my surprise it was unlocked. I quietly rolled it up and snuck inside. The house is so old ladyish. Floral wallpaper, floral furniture, floral everywhere and it smells like old people. Figures. I go to the garage and notice that there are only 12 axes now when earlier that day there was 13. Was she planning on another murder? I search high and low and find no other clues but where oh where did that other ax go to? What is crazy Jane hiding? I go into her room and see her lying there so hopeless, so innocent. “AHHHHHH!” pitiful jane screams with all her might, I run out of her house drenched in blood and sweat. I look at my right hand and there is an ax in it, a bloody murder weapon. I must have taken it from the garage for self defense when she attacked me and forgot all about it. I fall asleep and when I wake up I there are cops everywhere and the garage is wide open. I look closely and count. Twelve axes hanging on the tool box. A smile rises on my face.


07 Dec

By Megan Finsel

I spend three weeks in the dining room staring at it on the shelf before I find the courage to touch it. When my hand doesn’t pass through, when my fingertips connect with the cold, rough metal, I could cry.

Touch is a funny thing, when you think about it. How when you are alive, you use it to interact with the world. A touch on a shoulder equals familiarity, while a hug offers comfort. Textures tell you what is pleasant, and what is not, while temperatures warn you of danger. Then, when you are dead, touch is what you feel starved of the most.

When I lift it, it’s heavier than I remember from my past life. I stroke the metal; run my fingertips over the rust and peeling paint. I touch it to my lips to feel the chill. I sit and hold it for hours at a time. I try to carry it with me, but the doors quickly thwart my efforts. I cannot open them, and it cannot pass through. So I stay here in the dining room because when I hold it I feel alive again. It reminds me of my humanity.

Sometimes, I imagine I can still see traces of blood on it. Isn’t it funny that the weapon used to kill me is now the only object I can interact with? Yeah, it’s hilarious.

You Did

07 Dec

By Lydia

We told you not to light the match, but you did it anyway. You were so drunk you couldn’t understand yourself. We tried to stop you. You said you wanted to do it. So you did it.
We hid from the fire department when they arrived at the Celery Fields, ten minutes after the fire started. We can still smell the putrid stench of burnt hair and seared skin. We can hear the homeless mans’ screams echo in our minds. We can still close our eyes and remember him waking up from his sleep, already engulfed in gasoline fueled fire. The flames licked vertically along the edges of the roof as the entire gazebo was engulfed. The 30 year old picnic bench turned to ashes. You were laughing, holding the matches. We couldn’t believe our eyes when you dowsed everything in gasoline, including him. As quickly as the fire started, it ended.

You were too drunk to remember, but we remember. We remember you threating us, if we told anyone what we saw; you would do the same to us. Finally, you passed out. Sarah’s brothers loaded you in the bed of her Ford Pickup. No one wanted to take you home after what you did. So they dumped you behind the closest McDonalds. When we saw you next, you were drinking again. Jimmy thought about knifing you for what you did, but we told him to wait. We realized if we kept giving you Whiskey, you would pass out fast and then we could leave. It wasn’t unusual to see someone passed out drunk at a place like Ackerman Park.
Three months go by and a few of us are riding our four wheelers on top of the Celery Field Hill. You hear about it, and ride yours up to ours. Jimmy dares you to take the Trail all the way to the dead end. You were already drunk, at least 12 bottles in. You wanted to put money on it. Jimmy bet a hundred. When you disappeared down the hill, we all bet on your life not your money.

You didn’t know that there was barbed wire fence at the dead end. You found out quick, after you couldn’t stop in time. The barb wire made a perfect line across your neck, almost all the way through. Your intoxicated blood was squirting out of your severed trachea, covering your white tee shirt. We have that memory etched into our brains too.

We all won the bet we placed on you. We bet you saw the homeless man appear before you, as you hit the wire. The Gates of Hell opening for you as you drive through; severed head and all. But you said you wanted to do it, so you did it.
We knew if we told, you would still find a way to kill us, so we didn’t. We would rather not think about it, but weeks after we couldn’t help but notice the vultures circling, where we knew you were. We would all sit on top of the Celery Fields hill and talk about you, watching the vultures.

We knew you had a rough life. Your parents were going to put missing posters out for you, but they didn’t. Your dad is abusive and your mom loves pain pills. We knew you were taking pain pills. We knew your mom practically fed them to you. Your dad would take you out back and beat you until you couldn’t fight back. Sometimes he would give you a shovel and make you dig a hole big enough to be your grave. Your hands would bleed, and you would wonder if today was the day your dad would come out and put you in your grave. That was when you were fourteen.

You were really fucked up by twenty one, selling beer to minors. You went away for years. When we saw you, you had changed from PTSD. Then you came to us, wanting attention. Said you needed friends, someone to care. We thought there was hope for you. Then you turned to the bottle again, twist top and child proof. Then you burned that man alive. We will be the only ones who know you for what you are, a murderer. Who is now in the stomachs of vultures.

The Third Law

07 Dec

By Beatrice

(1)MASKING (n). The act of covering up one’s own natural appearance.

(2)Beatrice Jolie is an intelligent, attractive 26-year-old woman. She is studying to be a nurse during the day, and working nights at a nursing home. Beatrice doesn’t find it hard to stay awake all night; the patients are elderly and sleep fitfully, so there is often someone getting up who needs her help. They all – the men and the women – tell her how beautiful she is, and often.

(3)Beatrice Jolie leaves each night shift feeling she will never be able to wash the smell of death out of her hair, her skin.

With careful strokes Beatrice applies primer, foundation, and concealer to her face. She no longer has to think about what she’s doing; it is a part of her day, putting on this other face. She swipes liner, mascara, fills in her eyebrows, layers color onto her lids. Chooses a larger brush for the contouring that will create bones where none exist. False lashes are the final step, and her work is complete: identity in place. She checks the mirror to be sure. Good.

(5)Lambert’s third law states that the luminous intensity of LIGHT decreases exponentially with distance as it travels through an absorbing MEDIUM.

(6)Beatrice gets to class just on time and sits in her usual seat, not too close to the front (where she could draw the professor’s attention) but not too far in the back (where she would feel invisible). She feels the eyes of the other students as she stacks her notebook and textbook onto the desk, feels in her bag for a pen. Beatrice is prepared for this. All young people look at each other, searching for flaws. She is safe, thanks to her careful routine in front of the mirror. The professor starts the lecture.

(7) The professor has wispy, flyaway hair. He hasn’t shaved in days. He is highly respected in the field; they even bragged about him on the university website.

(8) Masks keep their own timetables. By the time Beatrice finishes classes, gets home, eats, starts her homework, it is time to change into scrubs and rush to work. All night in the dimly lit nursing station she will answer calls,
change soiled linens and try to read her textbook, hunched over the metal desk. As usual, several patients smile up at her as she approaches their beds that night and say, “Hello, beautiful.” It makes no sense to Beatrice – her carefully applied makeup has long ago been wiped off with a towelette; leaving only mascara residue ringing her tired eyes.

(9)Her mask expires every night here; these people have never seen her any way BUT unmasked.

(10) No one in Beatrice’s classes have ever called her beautiful. If anyone does talk to her, it’s mostly about assignments or this or that professor or where to go for a parking pass.

(11)According to Lambert’s third law, the luminosity of Beatrice’s natural beauty was decreased with every smudge, every brush, every finger full of Revlon and Mac that she placed on her face. The makeup became the MEDIUM which absorbed all the light, so no one ever saw her true intensity.


07 Dec

By Megan Finsel

She was lying to me. I knew that because the truth was spelled out across her face. It was hypnotizing, in fact, how each word bled across her forehead. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. Was I the only one who could see them? I couldn’t tell; no one else seemed to notice.

“I’m alright, a little tired…” she was saying. Maybe I had asked her how she was doing, I don’t remember. I just recall watching the words I’m exhausted appear and disappear on her cheek.

“…life has been treating me well, you know, and work has been fun.” she continued. “I couldn’t be happier.” I’m depressed spelled down her neck. My stomach twisted.
“My brother? Yeah, he’s good. Parents are doing well, too.” I could see sadness in her eyes, an unwanted emotion she was struggling to mask. I must have asked whether she was sure or not because she answered, “of course.” But her right arm spelled out no. I tried to smile as she did.

“Well, I’ll see you later.” she said with a wave and turned to leave, and I stood there watching as two words swirled down both of her legs.


Going Down?

07 Dec

By Riley Quinn

The space is cramped with all thirteen of us in here, but we couldn’t tell the woman in labor and her neurotic husband to wait for the next elevator with her looking ready to pop, and nor could we disclude the man with his son and daughter here to see their mommy who they talked excitedly about seeing while their father stood behind them with tears silently rolling down his face, but the annoying man yelling into his cellphone about how his mother had yet another heart attack and how could she keep him from meetings with these important high-rolling clients, so him we could’ve told to catch the next ride up though he had rudely shoved his way in pushing the nurses, just coming in for their shift, towards the back of the elevator and it wasn’t that the nurses were nice or anything, shoving is just rude, but I mean, there were three nurses and at the time when they got on the elevator we had plenty of room for them but it didn’t mean any of us particularly enjoyed their presence because one kept telling the other female nurse about all the crazy partying she did last night with a bunch of girlfriends since her boyfriend, who was nurse number three, was busy last night doing things with his family but judging by the look he and the other female nurse exchanged when she wasn’t looking, so we all figured the only thing he was doing last night was her, female nurse number two, but of course the three of them were oblivious to the doctor in scrubs with a surgical mask hanging from his face just under his chin with this almost broken look on his face because he had just broken the news to a family that he had lost their child on the operating table but at the back, the very back, was the passenger everyone was avoiding and it wasn’t because of the two orderlies standing on either side of him because they actually had friendly faces and were some of the nicest guys working in that particular part of the hospital, so, shocker, the other passengers were afraid of the psych ward patient in the wheelchair in a straightjacket muttering to himself about how they’re going to die, they’re all going to die, crash, bang, boom, splat, followed by a crazy laugh and then he’d start it all over again, and now I know what you’re wondering, that’s all thirteen passengers, so which one is he because he has to be one of them, and the answer is yes I am, but you have probably guessed already which one I am, and you are also probably wondering why I am muttering such things and telling you about all these people in the elevator and that would be because they are all going to die, myself included, and someone should know the truth of what happened here today because when people talk about the passengers on the elevator and say they were great people, but you’ll know the truth, that some of them were rotten and deserved the end that befell them, fell, I’m so funny, you see, the elevator is rigged so that once the door closed after the last person got on from the first floor, the elevator will make a direct trip to the top of the building and then one more express trip, straight to the morgue in the basement and so you see the hilarity of my word choice, and I laugh manically again and you can see them all flinch, they can’t wait to escape me, but probably noticed that we have reached the top, the thirteenth floor, that is until the elevator comes to a screeching halt and suddenly drops and over the deafening sounds of their terrified screams, my manic laughter can be heard.

Today As I Walked

07 Dec

By Annette Kinship

…downtown called upon me to notice the many beautiful sights. There are buildings of great importance: a well-known museum; a magnificent looking bank with a Gold dome; an old theatre where famous plays and dances had been seen and an Old Catholic church of great size.

It is fall and the leaves around town were at their height of beauty in color. The old church was wrapped around with leaves, on vines, of golden yellows, brilliant oranges and romantic reds. I stopped to look at this master piece of a building with all its glory: the pillars, the stone construction and stained glass windows.

I became curious as I saw movement through one of the windows. I wondered, “A woman?” Then I saw two bodies. “Are they kissing?” I said, wondering as I turned around to see if anyone had heard.

Why would it seem so strange for them to be kissing? What deemed such importance to my soul? Possibly because the Catholic Church has such an incredible reputation of self-control.
. . . (I began to sing a song from the 70’s)?

Gazing upward into the window, I realized they were definitely kissing and hugging, even more intently now. They appeared relentlessly not wanting to release. Suddenly they backed away from one another relinquishing their lust. For a moment I thought to walk away, but they swiftly and ravenously molded back into each other’s arms. I could see them fairly clear as they were behind a window that had obviously been replaced with clear glass, as the stained glass in all the rest of the windows seemed, still, to be intact. The windows height revealed them from thigh to above there heads, which allowed me to see the closeness in which they stood.

Were they so encapsulated that they had forgotten about the clear window? I stood gazing, exhilarated by the beauty of the stone and fall leaves, and the passion of two human beings within a high society catholic church embracing their desires with such efficacy. Romanticism engulfing me in this rare and courageous moment they were sharing.

As I thought upon these things, he reached for her leg at her thigh and pulled it to his hip, her inner thigh being raptured into his groin with such passion. I could feel the excitement. Beginning to feel guilty I wondered should I walk away and give them their privacy. Is anyone

watching me watch them in this passionate moment. I could not look away.

In the church…, I kept thinking, the Roman Catholic Church of worship! Passion discouraged if not shunned especially within the cathedral. They did not know I was there watching them. If anyone belonging to the church knew of this would they be forced to leave the church and never return? Would they be shunned to the body of the church and through eternity? Though I see love as a gift from God, and intimacy of this type, relished by the God I would want to know, they were making love in the church!

They had removed clothing sometime when I was in deep thought, and the passion had worked its way to me where I stood on the sidewalk. She embraced him tighter while he pulled her closer, then she lay back, allowing him to move in closer and deeper as she welcomed him into her.

They had absolutely, unconditionally made passionate love in the church, the Roman Catholic Church. The heart of legalistic religion. The influence of man’s means to survive. They were now my idols.

The Culvert

27 Apr

by Anonymous


Curled up in the culvert, I spun the cylinder on my revolver as I struggled to release the last shred of emotions that had once made me feel human. To my surprise and discomfort, a black crow landed by my feet. To me, it was a sign that the loaded gun in my hands was ready to be used. If I wasn’t going to travel outwards, then I would surely either die from the cold or the heartache of infinite solitude.

Although I had no real way of tracking the days anymore, I figured that it had been almost a year since the plague had wiped out humanity. Ironically enough, one could assume that my immunity to this severe, lethal pneumonia would have made me incredibly fortunate, but as it turned out, no one else in the city of Albany had been quite as lucky.

For months on end, I made radio calls that were never answered. I considered traveling south to avoid harsh winters as well as potentially finding others, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave the borders of my hometown. I wasn’t sure whether I was more terrified of impending disappointment or simply feared interacting with strangers again.

It was late February when it happened, right after most of the snow had already fallen and melted for the season. I assumed that it was around late October or early November by now. The weather was becoming crisp and I had an intuition that snow would soon fall. Survival had been slightly challenging without electricity so far, but I made do. The city had an endless supply of candles, blankets, canned goods and water to last the rest of my lifetime. My main concern was the amount of snow that would fill the streets. I could only shovel so much by myself. Soon enough, it wouldn’t matter anyway.

“Goodbye,” I said, holding the barrel to my head and making direct eye contact with the bird.

Just then, something happened that inevitably saved my life. Perhaps the bird was not an ominous sign of death, but God creating a split second distraction so I did not pull the trigger before I was able to spot the beautiful woman walking towards me. Did I still believe in God? I wasn’t sure of anything at that moment. I wasn’t even sure if I had been hallucinating or not. Maybe I had finally gone mad. Although my mind was mesmerized, my body reacted instantly. I jumped out of the culvert and tucked the handle of the gun in the back of my waistband.

A petite, blond and incredibly attractive woman approached me with the sudden movements of a small rabbit. Her appearance was not nearly as grungy as my own, so I assumed that she had remained more secluded.

She was obviously nervous, but I knew that she was just as excited to see another human being as I was. I finally heard the soft, timid voice of this angel say, “Hi there, my name is Angela. You are the first person that I’ve seen in a really long time.”

Angela. Of course, she had the name of an angel too. I held my hands up in surrender and said, “It’s okay Angela, I’m friendly. You are the first other survivor that I have met so far.” I held out my hand for her to shake. “Blake. Nice to meet you.”

She smiled with teeth whiter than those one would imagine seeing in the apocalypse. Then again, I’m sure that she has had just as much access to the endless supply of toothpaste as I have.

“What have you been through, sweetheart?” I asked tenderly.

“Well, I’m from Troy. I’ve been held up in my home, for the most part. I’ve only wandered three times. Twice I have filled my van with food and supplies, which lasted me for months. This is my third time. Before now, I didn’t want to leave the walls of my home, for those walls were the only true thing that I had left that made me feel safe and helped me remain sane. I think that I finally faced the fact that I was going to die alone and I also feared the harshness of the winter, so I decided to head south.”

“That’s what I considered doing, but I had essentially given up on trying. Angela, you truly don’t realize what you have just saved me from,” I said, carefully revealing my gun, ensuring that it was pointing at me, not her. She jumped back instantly. I could tell that she was not familiar with it’s presence. “Please, don’t be scared. I won’t hurt you.”

“Were you about to…”

“Yes, I think so. I mean I know so. Either way, thank you. I really owe my life to you.”

She looked at me expressionless, eyes wide. I could sense how terrified she was. I felt as though I was trying to coax over a baby deer in the woods. I unloaded the gun, pouring the bullets into my tattered shirt pocket and placed the gun in the culvert. She had to know that she was completely safe. We stared at each other in awe for a moment. She was so beautiful. Instantly, I was no longer the most unfortunate fellow on the planet, but a man of incredible luck. What were the odds that the first person I found would be this stunning? I wondered if I would have a chance with a girl like her during domestic times. We inched closer and closer together, examining every detail, as if we were reassuring ourselves of each others existence. The sensation I got from being next to her was remarkable. I held my palm to her cheek, craving to touch and taste and smell every bit of her. I pulled her in for a passionate embrace and we held each other there tightly, surging with the longing desire that we each possessed. Angela, the delicate angel, saved me from myself.




Space Aloner

27 Apr

by ThatSynGirl

This is Moore.

I’m one of the pilots from the spacecraft that went rogue.

It’s lost all contact with Earth.

This is just a journal entry. Just some thoughts. No one to talk to.

May as well talk to a camera.

It’s quiet up here.

The most solitary silence that you will never know.

You’ve heard the saying “silence is loud,” yeah?


It’s excruciating. And it’s heavy.

It can cause claustrophobia in even the most iron-minded individual.

It’s just me up here.

The other guy is still frozen. He’s as good as being a corpse.

He doesn’t supply much conversation.


I’m alone.


I’d be grateful if he woke up, but that could be well after I’ve perished.

Our cryogenic freezing tubes were set for a millennia in the future.

But, our ship must have been knocked, because we’ve lost contact with earth…and our displays are all flashing incoherent data.

Nothing about the year.

Nothing about what happened to us.

Nothing about our fate.

I question my sanity by the second.

I remain hopeful that I’m sane….because I’ve heard if one were truly insane…they wouldn’t even question it.

So there’s my silver lining on that.

And I really…I really hate this window.

It’s a big, dark, ominous hole.

It gives me sight directly into the heart of the vast, deep and desolate space that is now my captor and home.

I don’t want to see that.

But this ship is small…and the window is looming. Large and imposing.

It encompasses one entire wall of this cabin.

Try to ignore it.

But you can’t help but see it.

I see it.


I see nothing but the darkest darkness, speckled with dots of light.

Cold, unwelcoming, vacuum.

The feeling of hopelessness weighs heavy on heart as I peer out this taunting window.

Hope all but vanished.

The loneliness absolute and ever present.

I am lost in the ever expanding, yet infinitely confining space which we call our universe.


There once was a we. But now, there is just me.

And him. Kind of.

Those people. Those creatures whom I once thought so ill of, and wanted nothing but to be away from…

I now yearn for their contact.

Solitude can do strange things to my kind.


We overcame all other species, dominating with intelligence, and yet…we are one of the weakest.

The most flexible and changeable.



We can be twisted to do funny things.

Jeff keeps laughing at me and he won’t tell me why.

I don’t know if he speaks English.

He’s stuck here, too. But he can leave when he wants.

I saw him one day…in a corner. In a shadow.

I heard him laughing, and I saw him.

All he does is laugh.

It makes me insane.

But I’m not.

Sometimes I wish he’d just go away for good, but other times I’m grateful for his company.

I tell him all my thoughts.

He doesn’t talk. He just sits there.

He doesn’t eat, which saves me supplies.

The ship was stocked for four years.

If I stretch it, it could go maybe five.

That’s before the other guy wakes up.

Shut UP, Jeff.

Jeff was snickering behind my back the other day.

I saw him over by my comrade.

I bet he isn’t even frozen. I think him and Jeff talk about me… I hear them whispering sometimes, but when I look, Jeff’s gone and my shipmate pretends he’s asleep.

That bastard is a LIAR!

I don’t know what he wants, or why he’s plotting behind my back, but I’m not gonna sit here and the laughing stalk for these two.

There’s an emergency axe in the storage container…

I’ll see who’s laughing at who when I bust him out of his tube.

Let’s see who’s laughing then.



But I’m not crazy. I’m not.

I’m NOT.



Bio: In my day to day life, I am known by Nikki. But in the realm of my creative works, I’m Syn. I don’t waste time telling people who I am; people don’t listen. I show people who I am. And just like any good work of art, people will form their own opinions of you, regardless of what you tell them or show them. And that’s why I leave that up to the individual.