Archive for December, 2011

One Could Do Worse by Nicole Monaghan

Dec 30 2011 Published by under Stories

My parents would have been pissed if they knew I was there but I’d wanted this girl for four years.

It was the only parentless graduation party in the neighborhood, the basement of the nefarious Frank Marino. My dad would call Frank’s dad a greasy poltergeist and then snort his prick snort, muttering something about the screaming dego family being hard of hearing.

I showed up at Frank’s already topsy-turvy from drinking a six pack to work up my nerve. I hated the Marinos, but I hated my parents more for looking down their snotnoses at them.

Frank called me Einstein more often since word of my academic scholarship got out. I called him Tuxedo since the senior prom because he changed out of his and into jeans and a tank top in the hotel lobby. I pushed through the losers by association to Frank and demanded, “Tuxedo, where’s Celeste?” He answered, “With her boyfriend, Einstein,” which I knew was a lie. Half his mouth went up and he added, “You want a piece of that too?”

I spotted her on the edge of a circle of girls, walked over, and told her to come outside with me. Addressing her by name for the first time felt like a porno scene on my tongue. As we walked, I told her my parents had names for everyone and that I was scared shitless of the pressures that were about to suffocate me, that I wanted to ask her out since freshman year, that my family would say she was fast and going nowhere fast. She grabbed my hand like we’d been a couple forever and said she needed Doritos.

We ended up at Finkel’s Deli where my mom called the owners unusually generous Jews. Celeste said my Adam’s Apple was hot and my scholarship was hot. The crinkle of the Doritos bag in her hands was a firework. I always imagined I’d finally kiss her up against a wall in a remote corner, pinning her from all the pent-up desire, but instead it was gentle in front of the blinking light of the unusually generous delicatessen.

Nicole Monaghan is founder and editor of Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal. She is editor of Stripped, A Collection Of Anonymous Flash due out from PS Books in 2012. Her work has appeared in Bartleby Snopes, Used Furniture Review, Foundling Review, Storyglossia, and Literary Mama, among many other venues. Visit her at

No responses yet

Unfortunate One by L.A. Craig

Dec 22 2011 Published by under Stories

Jade raises money for kids with leukaemiea. She sells miniature clay skulls. Their tea lights seep amber from eye sockets, gaping noses and between crooked smiles. She fires them in a kiln in her backyard and sells them at craft fairs, car boot sales and on days when she’s not busy, from a fold-up pasting table on her front lawn.

Jade saves stamps for the blind, buys pet food for the animal rescue centre, volunteers two afternoons a week at Mind. She collects jumble for the Lifeboat Association and shops for elderly neighbours. She feels it wasteful to allow time to fritter.

Her husband said their marriage might have lasted, if they’d had more idle moments. Jade signed up for the evening class as soon as he had gone.

A nightlight was the first project. While others fashioned toadstools and rockets for their children, Jade’s thumbs rounded out two hollow eyes, a rigid grin. The uneven base wobbled as the flame caught the wick, then, fire dancing between jagged teeth brought something dead back to life.

At home she made another then another, painted each a different shade, added fake jewels, bandanas, fangs. She made one for every child on the ward, to their individual specification: rock star, furry, fairy skulls with tiaras, pirates slashed from hard fought battles. Skulls dipped in glitter, with feathers and earrings, one with false lashes to frame its blank stare.

When all her clay is used up, her hands unemployed, Jade slumps from the weight of doing nothing and sobs.

Her tears are frustration for the poor children, she will tell you, for the abandoned pets, for the old folk, housebound, no family to visit, for the starving in Africa, for those unable to help themselves.

LA Craig writes in the UK. Her work has appeared in Everyday Fiction and The Pygmy Giant.

No responses yet

Final Moments of a Free Man by Ryan Priest

Dec 15 2011 Published by under Stories

In front of me stands the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. Part of me knows she only seems so attractive because my heart is pumping like a piston and my adrenaline is dripping from my pores.

From my right periphery I see the five cops. They’ve made it through security and they’re in a hurry.

I’m still staring at her and I can almost convince myself that I caught her smile at me. Maybe if I’d had a woman like this at home I wouldn’t be here.

Looks like I’m going to miss my flight. The cops are checking everyone’s face. I know they’ve got my photo somewhere.

“You’re beautiful.” I yell out to the woman. I just thought she should know. She doesn’t care, at least she doesn’t let on. She smiles.

Her trip is about to get a little more interesting. Now this will be remembered as the time she got hit on by the fugitive right before a swarm of cops nabbed him and dragged him out of her life forever.

In a way this is better than a shoot out or car chase. At least this way one beautiful woman will never forget me.

Ryan Priest lives in Hollywood California where he writes prose and screenplays while perpetually between dead end jobs and lay offs. To see more of his work or get news on his first feature film “The Scam” go to

No responses yet

The Pathetic Tale of the Girl Who Became a Vampire by Andrew J. Stone

Dec 02 2011 Published by under Stories

When the girl who became a vampire discovered her transformation, she did not become evil. Nor did she use her transformation for any undead purpose. She’d lament up and down the coiling halls of Dracula’s dungeon, waiting for night to fall. She’d stab herself with self-control and fill herself with vegan. Then, armed with dysphoria, she’d dive into vespertine shadows and neglect the passing silhouettes. When she saw three young men breathing heavily in an alley, she turned off temptation and walked the other way. They might have seen a ghost swimming through twilight, panting like a lightless star.

Later, the girl who became a vampire was eaten by the werewolf.

Andrew J. Stone sleeps with one eye open. This is a lie. Recent work has appeared at Danse Macabre, The Camel Saloon Gallery, and Short, Fast, and Deadly, among other places. An ekphrastic chap is also in the works. He’ll transmute you at:

No responses yet