Archive | Fiction

01 October 2018 ~ 0 Comments

DP FICTION #44A: “Pumpkin and Glass” by Sean R. Robinson

I sit on the park bench and try to forget the cold. This was easier in springtime, when there was more day light and it wasn’t as cold. I forgot my jacket this morning and as the city lights turn on one by one, the temperature drops. I miss my coat, with its thick-padded elbows.

But I cannot go home.

I do not know where home is.

I am dancing a dance that begins each morning, and ends when the clock strikes midnight. By then, he will be asleep and whatever is broken will be broken and I will not watch my Prince Charming shatter anything else that I loved. 

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17 September 2018 ~ 6 Comments

DP FICTION #43B: “The Fisher in the Yellow Afternoon” by Michael Anthony Ashley

You feel an explosion and wake up face down on a rocky patch of dirt. A spurt of blood fills your mouth with iron and salt, and you push to your knees, gagging, but all that drools off of your lips is soil and leaves and a few bitter-tasting pine needles. You breathe and spit, but the blood taste is gone. It never was. You exhale relief as the panic fades with the dream.

You raise your face to a clear yellow sky and chilly air, the white sound of water rushing over you with a comfortable, misty breeze. It’s the smell of the park when the elk are bugling and camping means nights in flannel over canned spaghetti, and no problem with the cold because it makes the heat of the fire so incredibly perfect.

And you hear an enormous voice. “Is that a memory?”

You end your moment with the sky and lurch to your feet, backing away from the rocks and slick bracken along the river bank, which you realize is very close. And straddling the river with its hind-claws—its left fore-claw gripping the soil on the far bank and its right fore-claw stirring down in the white rush—is the bear.

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03 September 2018 ~ 3 Comments

DP FICTION #43A: “Glass in Frozen Time” by M.K. Hutchins

I freeze time. The frothing soap suds in the sink become glaciers. Dust motes hang in the air like stars. And I move.

I catch Sadie’s plate of mac n’ cheese before it splatters to the floor. While I’m there, I wipe down the table, fix Sadie’s pigtails, then — what the heck — I run downstairs and start a load of laundry.

Then I’m at the kitchen sink, water streaming, motes spinning, and Sadie’s three-year-old voice bubbling merrily on. “— I so happy to go to my Nana’s house!”

“Me too, sweet pea.” 

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15 August 2018 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #42B: “The Vegan Apocalypse: 50 Years Later” by Benjamin A. Friedman

Dear valued McFleshy’s patrons, 

On this, the solemn 50th anniversary of the Vegan Apocalypse, we’d like to thank you — our loyal Consumers-of-the-McFlesh™ — for relying on McFleshy’s (and only on McFleshy’s) for all your dietary needs. As you know, without your loyal patronage our tremendous planet would have surely long since fallen prey (yet again) to the Vegans. Instead, thanks to your fortitude — we’re still here. And thanks to us (and the delicious McFlesh™) — you are too!

For it is only together by consuming at least three juicy Fleshies™ a day, that we can be certain to avoid the fate of our Beloved Billion™ — keeping the Earth safe for all our children…and all our children’s children – etc. 

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01 August 2018 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #42A: “Medium Matters” by R.K. Duncan

Medium Matters is an occasional series exclusively on TheQuill.com. You can support Marissa and all our creators by donating on our Patron page.

Dear Medium Matters, 

I think something supernatural, like a curse, or a hex, or an evil eye, is wrong with my house, or with me, or with my Scotty, Baxter. He’s been acting strange lately. He’s always been quiet, especially for a little dog, but these last few weeks he’s been barking all the time. He wakes me up two or three times every night, barking and growling. He snaps, not at guests or the mailman or anything, just at blank walls and empty rooms. He’s a good dog. Yesterday, he was staring at the wall and growling and then he jumped into it and tried to bite it so hard he left a dent in the drywall.

It’s not just Baxter though. I’ve been feeling anxious lately, and I swear it’s not just in my head. Little things are getting moved around, like my makeup. I always keep it very organized, but I’ve found everything thrown around like a teenager’s room three times in the last two weeks. Other little things in my bedroom get moved around too. 

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16 July 2018 ~ 5 Comments

DP FICTION #41B: “Jesus and Dave” by Jennifer Lee Rossman

It had been just over a year since the second coming of Jesus and, like most atheists, I couldn’t say it had been a particularly good year for me.

Sure, the Lord’s first bit of business had included clearing up some of the more vague parts of the Bible, including some mistranslations and things his father had, in his words, “gotten wrong.” That put an end to a lot of bigotry.  The lack of world hunger and the new commandments about littering were incredible, of course, more positive change than I’d hoped to see in my lifetime.

But it’s just… having proof that my entire belief system (or lack thereof) was absolutely backwards, and having every holier-than-thou relative constantly sending passive-aggressive emails filled with selfies of them and His Holiness…

My fellow non-believers converted, and one even became a priest. I think I’m one of the few who refused to do so.

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06 July 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Dead Reckoning is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2011, the eleventh in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris (which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood).  The previous books are all reviewed here earlier on the Diabolical Plots feed.

Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s (the bar where she works).  Before Sookie gets to the bottom of that, she finds out that her vampire boyfriend Eric is plotting to kill the king of his vampire district, and she is drawn into the plot.  She has also been chafing at the blood-bond between her and Eric that makes a telepathic feedback loop between the two of them.

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02 July 2018 ~ 1 Comment

DP FICTION #41A: “Crimson Hour” by Jesse Sprague

on’t think. Don’t feel. Concentrate on the work. Berend sliced under the unicorn’s scarlet hide. He worked swiftly to skin the beast while the pelt remained a vivid red. For a short time at dawn and dusk, a unicorn glowed red, and only during those few minutes could a blade pierce the animal’s hide. Normally, animals came to his butcher shop gutted, but with a unicorn that wasn’t impossible. 

As he pulled the pelt back, he pondered the cuts that would come next. He’d have to remove the heart first—for the Hero.

Lined up on the stone table beside the unicorn, an array of tools waited. For now, the bone knife was all the job required. Berend’s hand paused under the unicorn’s jaw. The village shaman had already removed the horn, leaving a jagged circle of white bone. Around this circle and coating the muzzle was a thick splatter of human blood.

The blood of my only son.

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15 June 2018 ~ 3 Comments

DP FICTION #40B: “Withholding Judgment Day” by Ryan Dull

5:00 AM GMT

Brother Franco Corsini always woke up early when the world was ending. Some Elegian monks could roll out of bed twenty minutes before Christ returned and perform their duties without a hitch, but Brother Franco needed a long morning to get into the right mindset. He lay in the pre-dawn light with his blanket pulled to his chin and prayed for humanity in expanding concentric circles – first himself, then his monastery, then the city of Milan, the nation of Italy, the people of the world, the dead, the unborn, and all Creation. Through the wall of his cell, Brother Franco could hear his neighbor already rejoicing at the top of his lungs. But his neighbor expected Christ to return before 6:00 AM, and so of course he was yelling. Brother Franco belonged to the 2:00 to 3:00 PM GMT slot, which he shared with Brothers Dimitri Abdulov and Hernan Esteban, both of whom were currently sound asleep in the Elegians’ second monastery in central Colombia. Brother Franco had nine long hours left. He knew, but did not yet expect, in an immediate, physical way, that the world would end. For a novice, this might have been cause for alarm. But Brother Franco had been expecting the end for years now, and he trusted that he would get there, even if it took all morning. 

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01 June 2018 ~ 16 Comments

DP FICTION #40A: “Tank!” by John Wiswell

The tank hates revolving doors. They’re paralyzed watching the doors whoosh by, trying to imagine anyone getting into the convention center through these things. The curb crumbles beneath the tank’s treads, and commuters honk for them to get their back-end out of the road. Two tweens sneak around the tank’s chassis, carrying a rack of brightly colored cosplay wigs, and slip into one of the revolving glass chambers.

“Be brave,” the tank tells themself.

The tank nudges their barrel inside, getting barely halfway in before the door clanks against their barrel. Instinctively they try to back up, rending steel frames and shattering glass everywhere.

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