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Jason Bougger

Holy Fudgesicles

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Everything was white. And everything was...nothing. As far as my eyes could see, nothing but empty white space surrounded me. It went on forever, but if I tried to focus my eyes off into the distance, it seemed to get brighter.

I closed my eyes, but nothing changed; the bright whiteness remained and I wondered if I had even shut my eyes at all. I opened my eyes, and slowly closed them again, but had the same result. Maybe I had gone blind and was seeing what blind people see…not dark nothingness, but light nothingness. I looked up, hoping to see some kind of sky or ceiling, but the empty space extended over my head as well. I looked down…

“What the hell?”

The fact that there was no ground only momentarily distracted me from the fact that I had no feet. And then I saw that it wasn’t just my feet that were missing.

“Where the hell am I?”

“Don’t worry, it’s not Hell.”

After getting over the initial shock of hearing a familiar voice, I turned toward where the voice had come from. As I turned, it occurred to me that I wasn’t even sure which way I was turning. Or even which way was up or down, or if up and down even existed anymore.

I could see a figure emerging in the distance. Soon, I could see arms, legs, and a head appearing on her. I wondered how she got off having a body when I was stranded there floating bodiless in the middle of nothing.

I also started getting a much clearer understanding of my fate. And I was sure not happy about it.

 

 

 

Joel Jurrens

In The Lake

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“Are you planning on going?” Teri asked.

“I doubt it,” Lyle said. “It doesn’t seem like our kind of party.”

All your body parts? What’s that all about?” Cheryl asked.

“I’ll give you a hint,” Teri said. “They say there are two punch bowls sitting on a table. One filled with condoms and one filled with tubes of lube.”

“That’s disgusting,” Cheryl said.

“If you think that’s disgusting, you should hear about the things going on up there,” Teri said.

“I can’t believe anyone even goes,” Lyle said.

Teri laughed. “Packed house every Friday night.”

Cheryl snorted. “Who would go?”

“Three different groups. First, there’s the Northenders,” Teri said, holding up one finger. “The main reason most of them built houses on the north side of the lake is because of the parties.” She held up a second finger. “Second, there are the tourists.”

“People on vacation actually go there?” Cheryl asked.

Teri nodded. “A husband and wife whose marriage has gotten a little stale. No one around here knows them. They can go out and do a little playing. Spice up their marriage and nobody back home ever knows.”

“I would think it would end a marriage,” Cheryl said.

“It does,” Teri said. “We get more domestic calls on Friday night and early Saturday morning than all the other nights of the week combined.”

“And the third group?” Lyle asked.

“The locals,” Teri said holding up a third finger. “There are some of the locals who have been going up there for

 

 

Mike Polis

Wilding

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“You call this going out in a blaze of glory, Jack?”

“I call this a world of shit.”

“Maybe we’ll kill the ones we fall on.”

“That would be nice.”

“Maybe some will choke on our bones.”

“I’d like that.”

“This is just humiliating.”

“We’re not doing the women much good, are we?”

“Yippee-Ki-Yay, Mother—”

“—Shut the hell up!”

“What are we waiting for, Jack?”

“A sign,” he said, sarcastically.

At that instant, Dirk dropped past them into the sea of wolves.

“Was that a sign?”

“Sure, Burt.”

The sounds of gunshots came from above. “Sounds like Lea’s shooting someone. Glad it’s not me for once… Ready?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

Jack indulged Burt with one final quote. “I can’t swim!”

Burt responded correctly, raucous laughter and all, “Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill ya!”

The enforcers let go, drew their side arms as they pushed off, and shot and killed wolves through the back flip. They landed on and crushed the skulls of two, and then cleared the immediate area of living wolves by changing them into dead ones. As they came and died, Burt and Jack backed their way to the granite wall. With their backs protected, they were shooting wolves and stepping up on the bodies. They rode the crest of the feral wave for a few more moments, but soon they were empty. With only dead firearms to bludgeon with, and large knives for slashing, the numbers overwhelmed them.

They dropped below the surface… caught by the undertow in an ocean of predators.

 

 

Ruth Reynolds

One Step At A Time

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As Emma walked through the doors of the War Office to begin another day at work, a young Australian soldier raised his slouch hat. “Excuse me, Miss, could you please tell me where I would find Mr. Johnson?” Emma was about to direct him towards the receptionist, then on an impulse said, “Come with me. It’s easier to show you than to tell you and won’t take me more than a minute.”

Together they walked down the hallway, up a flight of stairs, each in turn covertly eyeing their companion. He saw a small slim girl, barely five feet tall, with a mass of deep auburn hair, a nose a trifle too large for her face and huge dark eyes.

The Australian could have come from a recruitment poster, with rugged build, blue eyes, blond hair and that outdoors look so many country boys from the colonies had and seemed to retain, even after the rigours of war in France. Each liking what they saw, they exchanged smiles, as, stopping before a closed door, Emma said, “Here we are. I told you it wouldn’t take long. Good luck with whatever you want him for; Mr Johnson can be a bit grumpy, but he really is a very nice man. Now I had best get back to work, or I might bring out some of that ogre in him.”

Grinning, the soldier placed his hat back on his head and then raised it to her in a salute. “Thanks for your trouble. I’ll put in a kind word for you with my uncle,” and his grin becoming even wider, “I promise not to tell him the staff think he just might eat them up.”

“Oh dear, now what have I done?” Distressed, she raised her eyes to his face, “I didn’t dream he was your uncle…you really won’t say anything, will you? I would simply die of embarrassment if I thought he knew.”

“Your secret is safe with me,” he said, “as long as you promise to meet me for a cup of tea after you finish work.”

 

 

 

Coming Next Month

Rainbow in the Snow

Irene Crawford

The Teddy Bear Eye Club

Suzanne Hurley