Lost in Space

By Murray Carlson

We drove silently through the rainy Seattle night. When we stopped, I couldn’t feel my body. I was a shell walking into that dimly lit room, where a red curtain was the door to the hallway. I looked around the room just to take my focus off what might be brewing behind that curtain. I filled my mouth from a bowl of candy.

There was a small television. The dial sounded “chunk, chunk, chunk” as I looked for a distraction of any kind. To my astonished joy, the fifth channel was airing “Lost in Space!” I leaned over to get as close to the screen as possible. I pleaded with Billy Mummy and Mr. Smith to save me. I was shaking. Continue reading

Smile in Aisle 7

By David Cox

She came through fast, brushed my arm and almost knocked the jar from my hand. I started to exclaim, “Well, pardon me!” when she stopped and turned.

“Excuse me,” she said with sincerity.

I smiled forgivingly. She continued down the aisle. Where was I? Oh, gherkins on sale, buy one get one, but I loved dill. Crap! The pickle decision paralyzed me. Dill in one hand, gherkins the other. If a thumb had been free, I’d been standing with it up my ass. I grinned stupidly, unable to make a decision. My tears of frustration were close to cresting when a horrific cry came from aisle’s end. It was the gut wrenching sound of potato chips breaking, torn where ridge meets ridge. I smiled in sadness. Continue reading

Smokin’ with the Cabbie

By Kevin Moriarity

I remember some things from that day vividly. Other things are still fuzzy. I remember the warm sunshine and crisp air of a Minnesota summer morning. I was in Minneapolis to speak to a client about their new software system. I was sipping coffee in front of my hotel, waiting for a cab to take me to that client.

The cab pulled up the hotel driveway. I got in on the driver’s side.

“Where to?” the driver asked. Continue reading

The Hardwood Floor

By James Thibeault 

They don’t know until I hit the hardwood floor. I make my knuckles crack, then bleed. I scream. The neighbors hear and call. Police and sirens surround me, checking for bruises and scars, but don’t look too hard. My father tells them, “She stressed herself out.” The neighbors don’t call again — not even when I attack the floor later that night. He doesn’t give me scars, I tell myself, except the ones I make. But those don’t count. Those are my fault. Continue reading

Bookends

By Jon Richards

Henry Otis shuffled down the street, rounding the corner to the liquor store.

He kept playing in his mind, over and over like a movie, the time when he was 18 years old. He remembers how he won the gun in a card game. A pair of twos, my God! It wasn’t a real gun — he didn’t run with that kind of crowd — but it looked like a real gun he thought. The day after the win, Henry woke up, dressed, walked down to the liquor store, pulled out the gun and walked away with 19 dollars and 63 cents — a lot of money! No hassle, no one chased him. No sirens, no wanted poster. He just walked away. Continue reading

Lying Naked

WARNING: This story includes graphic sexual language. It is intended for mature audiences only.

By Meredith Castle

In my 38 years, I have been laid a lot, mainly because I was willing and eager to please. Almost any man with a hard dick would go for that. I’ve been spanked by a mayor, sucked the balls of a preacher, and made a Muslim, a fire chief and a doctor feel as if they’d died and gone to heaven. None of these men were any different from the factory worker, traveling salesman or guy looking for a job. I was lucky if I remembered their names a week later — that is if I ever knew their names at all. Continue reading

Lesbian Hair Cuts

By Anne Ryan

I saw the wedding ring on her finger and heard talk that she had a husband, but my first words to her were still, “Girl! That’s a lesbian haircut.” A year later I was convinced she was my soulmate. A year after that, I’d convince myself of anything just so it meant I wouldn’t love her anymore. She had spent 14 years married to a man convincing herself and the world that the suburbs, two dogs, a pool, timeshares and Sunday dinners equated to subliminal happiness. It only took one summer of falling in love with another woman to know that she never really felt happiness before. She never really felt herself at all. Continue reading