QuickRead

Before Dinner

less than 1 minute read

‘Tonight will be perfect’, she thought, snipping an errant shoot and placing the bonsai tree on the table’s centre. I will be perfect.

The Long Moment

less than 1 minute read

Lucy trembled as Ricky’s fingers moved down the small of her back–not quite touching, but her skin reacting in electric anticipation. She kissed him deeply.

The Joker

less than 1 minute read

“Two guys walk into a bar; the third one ducks.”

The Last Voyage of the Nancy

1 minute read

Young Mary laced my bodice tight and helped me into my skirts. Dinner with the Captain required me to look my best. We’d been at sea for several months, and ...

The Bonded

3 minute read

Not every Fayre could be trusted. I learned that lesson early on. But for every million of the flittering little freaks that infested the planet, there was o...

Lemony Rain

2 minute read

I constructed my lair from the choicest rock candy, not dollar store seconds. The emerald green ribbon glowed deep within the rot of my heart. Shielded from ...

Full Circle

4 minute read

“A strange thing happened on the way to the bus stop,” I said, taking a plate from the rack and wiping it. Well-worn, these wedding gift dishes stood the tes...

Riding the 80

1 minute read

The bus hit a bump and my head snapped back, cracking against the glass window. I’d drooled on my coat. Wiping it off with my sleeve, I looked around the bus...

Pull Over

less than 1 minute read

“What seems to be the problem, Officer?”

Karma Ran Over My Dogma

less than 1 minute read

We raced past an ambulance on the way to the airport, careening through traffic to make our flight. In a funny twist of fate, we rode the same ambulance back...

Haley in the Tank

3 minute read

I sat on the steel cot and stared at the three other people in with me: the chick and two dudes. She was throwing up. One of the guys laid passed out on the ...

Haley on the Road

2 minute read

We had to pull over on the side of the road when the jeep started to overheat. I got out and stretched. Even though it was early November, it was unseasonabl...

Tough It Out

less than 1 minute read

The water stung the cuts and scrapes along my arms. I inspected each one. Were they bites or scratches? No, just the rough and tumble bumps and bruises of a ...

Haley on a Plane

3 minute read

I grabbed the first aid kit off the cabin wall and a jug of water. Eunice lay unconscious on the floor of the cabin. It was spacious. More cargo space than s...

Reunion

less than 1 minute read

Haley saw Ben across the parking lot and ran as fast as she could, tears streaking down her face. He picked her up in the massive bear-hug, so familiar from ...

Is this the End, Haley?

3 minute read

Jimmy drove too fast for my liking, but under the circumstances, I didn’t argue even if we didn’t use headlights. Ben was in the front with him acting as nav...

Haley Into Darkness

2 minute read

We huddled in the dark closet for what seemed like forever, our hearts pounding in our chests. The blood washed in my head, a tidal ebb and flow with each be...

Scare Tactics

less than 1 minute read

“Why don’t you try poking out your eyes?”

Cellar

less than 1 minute read

My hands shook in the cold rain as I fumbled with the shovel handle as another flash of lightning illuminated the back deck’s leaf litter blanket. I gingerly...

A Close Call

less than 1 minute read

It was a dark and stormy night, my wife and daughter were driving to a Fire Hall outside Chester for a family gathering. The rain pounded the roads and the c...

Iced Up

less than 1 minute read

Jamie slammed his hand against the dash of the car and the heater fan rattled to life. The sun glared through the crystallized windshield as he waited for th...

Aguta's Trek

less than 1 minute read

Nanuk the Bear stood on his hind legs and sniffed the icy air. Dog. He looked across the snowy plain and saw the sled make its approach. The team of malamute...

Tommy and Jamie

less than 1 minute read

I hate waiting at the bus stop. It’s cold out and I forgot my mitts. Jamie went back to get ‘em. Tommy keeps pulling my hair on the bus. It’s around the corn...

First Change

less than 1 minute read

Raised by the pack, we didn’t know about the Change util it happened to my friend Brown Ear. Running in the woods, four-feet, paws and fur was all we pups ha...

Strength

less than 1 minute read

“You can do this,” he said with an intensity that made me smile. I marvelled at the heft of the weapon, feeling its steely coolness, knowing a simple purpose...

Playing with Fire

less than 1 minute read

My thumb flicked the striker of the lighter and the spark gave birth to yet another flame. I studied its flicker and playful dance, the power in my hand call...

The Perfect Trick

5 minute read

All eyes were either on Scott’s hands or Amy’s outfit. That was part of the hook. He’d fumble through the basic show tricks ably enough despite only picking ...

Fortification

less than 1 minute read

David’s hand trembled as he poured the Ballantines over the ice. He drank it in a single pull and refilled his glass, wincing at the burning fortification. D...

Haley Burning

2 minute read

I knew I was playing with fire, but since when had that stopped me? I couldn’t turn it off even if I wanted to.

Eddie's Decision

1 minute read

No one fucks with Eddie. I grab the green duffel bag and stuff the small assortment of my belongings into it: a pair of jeans, a couple t-shirts and shit lik...

Nightfall in the Glade

4 minute read

Legato and Mezzo flew as if their wings were aflame, knocking baskets of gathered berries to the forest floor far below. The twins corkscrewed their way up a...

Too Hot

less than 1 minute read

Billie winced as she tiptoed across the sun-baked deck with two cold wobbly-pops in hand. “You look smokin’ hot, sweetheart,” I said, taking the beers with o...

Scott Woos Amy

less than 1 minute read

“I would give you the moon, babe.”

Moby on the Beach

less than 1 minute read

I closed my book and tossed it aside. It landed in the sand with a thump. No matter how many times I try, I just can’t get past the first fifty pages of ‘Mob...

Alpha Dreams

1 minute read

Dawn’s dim light glows in the porch windows. I sidle up to my girl and nuzzle her neck. She wakes and looks at me, her whiskers twitching. She smells it too....

The Hike

1 minute read

My life will never be the same. I spent the day climbing the rocky hillside. I needed to reach the summit and the cliff-side. I passed many other outcropping...

Dog Days

1 minute read

My life will never be the same. All it took was one moment of lazy exasperation. Supper steamed on the table, taunting me with its awesomeness. I was hungry....

Alone on Tazin Lake

4 minute read

The Cessna’s wings clipped the tops off several jack pine as it thundered through the brush on its way down. When it finally slammed to a stop, Gus unbuckled...

In the Eye of the Sandstorm

2 minute read

A gust of wind stirred up the dust of the deserted street. It stung the stranger’s face as he led his burro into town. He brought his free arm across his fac...

Knife Master

less than 1 minute read

I probably shouldn’t have been drinking last night. I smile at my lovely assistant as I heft and feel the weight of my knives. Perfectly balanced, but was I?...

Clown Car

less than 1 minute read

Cuddles, you go first. No, you go first, Stinky That’s Twinky. Not when you had beans for lunch. I was hungry And this is a little car The crowd want a...

Bigtop Bulge

less than 1 minute read

So, you see, I’m really quite worried about your health. Have you been feeling fine? Oh, healthy as a horse, you say? (I guess you shouldn’t have eaten one.)...

Milk

less than 1 minute read

Eunice sniffed the milk carton left on the counter and wrinkled her nose, swallowing hard against her rising gorge.

Riding the Train

2 minute read

Riding the hover train this time of night always made me sleepy. The route passed through seedier parts of the city, so I took to people-watching to stay ale...

What's a Dwaithelord?

less than 1 minute read

Dwaithelord – an honorific for the tribal leader of a coven of dwarven wraith soul stealers. Traditionally male, Dwaithelords are honor-bound to defend their...

Shardik

2 minute read

Shardik woke to the high-pitched laughter of the woman and growled quietly to himself.

Jake

1 minute read

Jake hobbled in to the kitchen and half-sat on his haunches. The old dog’s hips didn’t quite have the elasticity for a proper sit. He more or less squatted a...

Piscans Interruptus

2 minute read

Captain Nestor breathed a sigh of relief as his yacht left the hanger bay of the Vindictus. Finally, some alone time. It’d been too long since he’d taken hol...

Torture

less than 1 minute read

Reflected in the steel above, I watch the red line widen as he traces the scalpel from my navel to between my breasts. I tense as the sting turns from bliste...

Smoke

2 minute read

Peter wanted a smoke. It wasn’t so much a physical need as an emotional imperative. After all, he was three years old. Fucking gypsies.

Wendell's Solution

2 minute read

‘How the Hell did he get up there?’ thought Tony as he looked up the rampart wall of the prison’s exercise yard. Wendell held what could only be a shiv to th...

Caught

less than 1 minute read

I waited impatiently for my computer to shut down. It’d been a long day of meetings and Brenda called several times.

Sierra Enigma

6 minute read

It’s never been easy working in the same place where Mom died. The university’s sprawling campus occupied most of the peninsula, and the hospital sat at its ...

The Last Days of the Marcy Bell

2 minute read

Officially, the Marcy Bell was a salvage rig, licensed for Canadian and international waters but not American. Since 9/11, it was only through a sea of red t...

Justin Takes Control

6 minute read

Agent Justin Cayse left the bordello from the rear, having escaped his captor. Ava Longleggs, always the most generous of hosts, enjoyed Mister Cayse’s visit...

Dead Inside

less than 1 minute read

Eunice sat on the edge of her daughter’s bed and stared out the window, the rustling of leaves muted by glass. Spotting a flash of motion to her left, she sn...

Random

less than 1 minute read

“Goddam it,” Rita O’Neill said as she let the curtains slide back into place. She stomped out of the kitchen and met Rodney in the driveway, her nails biting...

Scrambled

7 minute read

“I hate to bother you, but I have something important to ask,” said the new waitress, setting down my plate of scrambled eggs.

Human Oddity

less than 1 minute read

I smelled the human long before I laid my seventeen eyes on him. All that fur and sweat! I greeted him as best as my translator-matrix would allow, but I thi...

Billy Doesn't Fit In

less than 1 minute read

Billy hated being an alien. His green skin didn’t match anything the other kids wore at school. His mother always had to cut holes in his trousers to accommo...

Western Standoff

less than 1 minute read

Billy: Ya rascally varmit, git back here! Davey: Who’s gonna make me? Tommy: That’d be me. Billy: With what, yer lady’s ladel? Tommy: Better than yer rol...

Poor Kid

less than 1 minute read

The Sheriff hauled Jimmy to the gallows to become acquainted with the hangman’s knot. You see, he tried to clean the table with a counterfeit full-house. Dru...

Jolene

less than 1 minute read

Me and Little Tim race our horses hard trying to catch up to the train. I saw him tumble from his mount. If the bullet didn’t kill him, surely the trampling ...

Georgie Groundhog

less than 1 minute read

“Oh dear, oh dear! I’m late, so terribly late,” muttered Georgie Groundhog to himself as he dressed for the storm outside.

Festus

less than 1 minute read

You see, Sheriff. I was taking a shower at the Deadman’s Falls after Festus pushed me in the dirt. Sure, there was a bout of fisticuffs, but nothing too craz...

Cowboy Games

2 minute read

The Cedarwood Home for the Elderly stood at the end of a dead-end street in a rotting borough of a dying town, an apt image not lost on the staff and residen...

Maggie's Secret

less than 1 minute read

“So, I know something you don’t know.”

Ballroom Dreams

less than 1 minute read

I entered the ballroom and searched for her in a sea of gowns and tuxedo. I had to find her, to touch her. All these masks! The ladies looked like angels flo...

Panic

5 minute read

“Hold the elevator, please,” said Trudy. I stuck my arm in the closing doors and they bounced open, to much irritation judging by the disgruntled huff behind...

Fletcher Returns

1 minute read

Carol Bannister placed the breakfast tray in front of her Aunt Jessica and stood staring out the window at the autumn leaves swirling about the grounds.

Moon and Badge

less than 1 minute read

“What seems to be the problem, Officer?” I ask.

Lucky Me

less than 1 minute read

I woke up dreaming of gold, which was weird, because I normally crave coffee. I swing my legs to the side of the bed and was shocked to fall flat on the floo...

Burnout

1 minute read

Eric thought his day would never end. Mr. Farnsworth kept him late working on that miserable laundromat account. How, in God’s Green Garden, did anyone expec...

Woden's Daughter

1 minute read

The Allfather’s daughter, shame of Asgard, fled the Great Hall and made her way through the wood to the cliff-side. There, she gathered her furs about her sh...

3014

2 minute read

We’re not made for this damp shit and neither is our tech, thought Gil. What is it, 325 Kelvin? He took his smart-helmet off and leaned forward with his hand...

Lies

2 minute read

Hugh pressed the ‘check mail’ button again and the little closed envelop popped up, taunting him with its secrets. ‘Everything you know is a lie,’ read the s...

Unreal World

2 minute read

School wasn’t working for me. Three years in and I crashed and burned, my high school ambitions laid to waste. Despite my so-called potential, I wasn’t cut o...

Planning

3 minute read

Everything was going according to plan. Everyone had their roles to play. Amy was dealing and Scott was running the table, losing just enough to keep the eye...

Second Chances

2 minute read

Archie winced and swallowed. The beer tasted watery and flat. Ever since Pop died, this place wasn’t the same. Jug tried hard, but he didn’t have the mind fo...

Snow Day

2 minute read

Ellen loved her brother, of that there was no doubt. He worked hard to provide for his kids despite the long hours threatening to destroy his marriage to Kat...

Haley Meets Jimmy

3 minute read

I should have trusted my instincts. The girl, calling herself Haley, possessed a wild look about her. Despite the frame of a teenage girl, Haley put out the ...

A Promise Kept

2 minute read

“Damn,” Marnie said as she pulled over onto the icy soft-shoulder and got out, leaving the car running but the door ajar. The beep-beeping cut through me lik...

Jonas

3 minute read

Jonas leaped over the barricade and wormed his way through an opening in the quarantine fence without being noticed, his stolen prize held tightly in his jaw...

Haley's Homecoming

2 minute read

I hitched my knapsack up over one shoulder and got off the bus. The bright summer sun and dusty air assaulted my senses after the long ride. I’d gotten used ...

Thanksgiving

less than 1 minute read

“Good man, where might I find your nearest mooring dock?”

Patching Annie

2 minute read

Walking by my daughter’s room with an armload of laundry, I pause to listen at the door. It’s always closed these days with Becky’s preteen need for privacy ...

Manhunt

less than 1 minute read

Leaves crunched noisily under foot despite their practiced woodsman experience. Autumn air froze everything brittle. Rifles slung, hunters like these knew ca...

The Apprentice

1 minute read

She wakes up groggy, and I watch from behind her eyes as she senses my invasion. I drink from her panic, revelling in its energy, so vibrant and alive.

Hallow's Morn

2 minute read

Jackie pulled the collar of her housecoat tight around her neck and opened the door to let her cat inside after his morning romp. She clutched the coffee cup...

The Standoff

less than 1 minute read

Missy’s moon shadow cast long, tail twitching in anticipation; the taste of freshly killed squirrel electrified her whiskers. She named her quarry Nemesis.

Thoughtful Magic

3 minute read

The life of a super-villainess was burdensome to Amy and when her fembot henchman, Stacey, suggested a vacation in her winter-lair on the Caribbean, she jump...

The Craftsman

2 minute read

“You see, Detective, I have a little problem with knives. I collect them, large and small. Not swords, mind you, or anything garish like that. Just a simple ...

Davey's Boat

3 minute read

There was only one bus in town and I missed the last run, its taillights taunting me with the faint spray from the wet wheels. As I stood hunched over, ass a...

Chimera

3 minute read

Betty haunted what passed for downtown Dorchester. It was two in the afternoon on a griddle-hot summer day. She had the whole crumbling sidewalk to herself. ...

Intention

3 minute read

Larry sat in the jail cell and tried to make himself invisible. The smell of piss, sweat and stale booze made him light-headed. An acrid mouthful of pre-vomi...

Newsworthy

4 minute read

David Pemberton leaned into the mirror and fussed over the crow’s feet starting to creep into his face. He liked the look he was cultivating. While Janice su...

Broken

6 minute read

It was a slow night, even for a Tuesday. The rain kept everyone off the streets and away from the watering holes. That suited me just fine given my mood as o...

A Hole in the Plan

2 minute read

The blade of the shovel rang loudly as it hit rock again. Dale winced. Sound carried far in the night. There was too much noise for one evening already. He s...

The Gift

3 minute read

It took a lot of effort to get the fingerprints just right. Even a little too much would ruin them. Too little and they’d never find them at all. It was Chri...

Grace Under Fire

3 minute read

Grace raced to the emergency pull station on the other side of the room. There wasn’t much room for debate and doubt on this one. They fucked up. The quarant...

Falling Star

3 minute read

Martha woke from her terrible dream with the chills. She was having the same dream that she’d been having ever since the confirmed diagnosis two years ago. S...

Herb's Bad Week

4 minute read

Herb was delusional. He fancied himself a ladies man and a friend to all his peers in the office. He was his boss’s trusted lieutenant and the only one who w...

Tommy Collects

3 minute read

Tommy Andolini was a brute. That simple fact, coupled with an adversarial disposition, made him well-suited to his profession. In truth, he loved his job. Wo...

Artemis Nightrise

6 minute read

Evie had a problem. She was overwhelmed. The coven hadn’t assembled like this in more than two-hundred years. She was unsure how many of the Night-seekers we...

Deus Ex Machina

3 minute read

“Where’s my son?” Luthur Pinderton slammed  his large hand against the cinder-block that framed the window of the interrogation room. Inside, Detective Goran...

Free-Fall

4 minute read

Josie pulled the visor down on her heads-up display as she entered the airlock. Her pulse was racing. She felt a trickle of sweat bead down the small of her ...

Let the Chips Fall

4 minute read

Candy emptied the tobacco can in the sink, put it back under the leaking window and sat down. The chair squeaked its complaint, but bore the man’s girth stea...

Emerald Fire

1 minute read

I had just parked my car and pressed the lock button when I noticed her. The old woman on the street pushed her shopping cart, stuffed to the brim with her l...

The Doorway

10 minute read

I climbed the back staircase of my grandparent’s old house. The layers upon layers of white paint adorned the railing and casings. They were only slightly du...

Timmy Calls Wish Fulfillement

1 minute read

“Hello. Wish Fulfillment Department, a division of Hopes and Dreams Incorporated. Welcome to our Customer Care Centre. Please listen carefully to the followi...

A Bargain

3 minute read

Saturday mornings were never complete without the obligatory yard sale run. We’d hop in the family beater and dash from trailer to trailer all over the park ...

Martin Makes His Stand

3 minute read

Martin slipped his battered old pickup into neutral and turned the engine off. Ol’ Trusty coasted behind the bluff and crunched on the gravel shoulder. He wi...

Masks

2 minute read

Every day of the week he wears masks, trading one mask for another. His true self always guarded and held apart from the world of men.

Danny's Redemption

20 minute read

A sharp breeze stirred up the gutter dirt as Danny crossed the otherwise motionless street. It stung his face, both the sandy debris and the cold air. He pul...

Stormy Night

25 minute read

It was a dark and stormy night. Sure, it’s cliché but thats how I remember how it all started. How I was forced in to making this decision. How I ended up al...