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Edition 14: Chasing the Storm by S. G. Larner

flag Ausralia

Chelsea chases storms, frequent visitors to the Queensland coast. It’s not just a photograph she is after; she chases the past and a mistake that can’t be undone. But maybe, if she’s close enough, she can try… SY

“There’s a big one forming up near Rollingstone. You coming?” Paul’s voice distorts as I hold the phone away and glance at my boss. He boxes a pizza, tosses it onto the warmer and faces me, one eyebrow raised expectantly.

“Please, Billy?” I turn the puppy-dog eyes on and pout. “Paul says it’s big.”

Billy rolls his eyes. “It’s always big, Chelsea. Who am I to stand in the way of glory? I’m sure we’ll manage.” He flicks a tea towel at my hip. “Go on, bugger off.”

“You’re the best boss in the world,” I say with a grin as I hang up my apron.

“Just make sure you share the photos on Facebook!” he yells as I hurry for the door. Just before I leave the pizzeria I hear him explain to a puzzled customer, “She’s a storm-chaser. Bloody crazy, but she gets good photos!”


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Edition 14: Bones by Michelle Jager

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Mervyn travels along the deserted pathways of life, always looking for an opportunity. On the desert highway, he meets his match and finds that the past is never truly buried. SY

may God have mercy on your soul

It is written on the urinal wall amongst the piss and graffiti in a clear blue print. Written directly next to it is: Bobs a ball licker. And below: for a gud time call Big Titz Sally. A smudged number follows.

Mervyn grins, shakes, and zips up his jeans.

He washes his hands, lathering up with the small dirty-white nub of soap left on the edge of the sink. At least there is soap. Toilets at these outback service stations are lucky to have working taps, let alone soap.

Mervyn wipes his hands on his trousers, checks his reflection in the grimy mirror, fixes his hair and steps out into the blinding sunlight.

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Edition 10: Drunks by Michael C Schutz-Ryan

flag USNeil is the most beautiful man in the room, but his past pursues him. Rob ought to watch out for himself. A creepy tale about your past coming back to haunt you. SY

When I first met Neil, he was drinking Heineken at Jim’s party. Well dressed and very drunk gay men stood around a veritable garden of potted plants; they watched each other watching each other and tried to appear disinterested.

A small crowd of three or four gathered around Neil. I didn’t know him then, but wanted to, so I drifted over.

Neil’s eyes were glassy and bright and returned my (light-hearted) stare far more often than he peered into any others’ eyes. He had black hair twisted and tangled like one of those lucky trolls that were popular years before. Beer in hand, he leaned his lithe body forward, one knee on the cushions. He was ten years younger than anyone there.

He was telling a story; his voice surprised me—it was too gravelly to come out of that face. I’d come in late, and caught only the punchline: “So I took down the sign!” His laughter made the room smile.

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Edition 10: The Visiphorical Art by Michelle Ann King

flag UKThere is much that is not plain to the naked eye and Marcy is someone who can see past the every day into the shadows of the past. A clever and emotive short addressing the gritty underside of life we all suspect is there. SY

There are remnants of lives all over the house, drying out and growing mould like abandoned plates of half-consumed meals. They lie in wait under the surface of reality like landmines, like unexploded bombs. Waiting for the unwary, the ones who don’t watch their step, to explode them back into the world. 

But Marcy isn’t one of the unwary, the clueless. She’s careful, she’s a bomb-disposal expert. She picks her way through the booby-traps of memories and the tripping hazards of lost opportunities with skill and delicate flair. She’s intangible, untouchable, an interloper in the territory of the dead. A ghost among ghosts. 

The image pleases her. Ghosts have power, after all, even if they don’t know it. 
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Edition 11: Finders Keepers by John W. Dennehy

flag USA simple snowshoeing trip leads Jack and his daughter Keelin to a payload of money. How has it lain so long undisturbed in the wilderness? Best leave mysterious money caches. Unfortunately, human greed is such a grasping need. SY

The woods were quiet as Jack and his ten-year-old daughter trudged down the trail. A blanket of fresh snow draped over the forest, cleaving to bare branches and evergreens. Lost in contemplation of the woodland, their peaceful sojourn seemingly left behind adversity from the outside world.

While unloading their snowshoes from his aging Volvo wagon, little Keelin had hesitated about heading off into the shaded woods. Jack encouraged her to forge ahead. And as they busied themselves fastening the snowshoes to their boots, she appeared content about the venture.

Jack could only hear the sound of their snowshoes crimping the trail and an occasional swishing of Keelin’s snow pants as they plodded forward. Keelin quietly plugged along beside him, up and down steep hills, and around bends flanked by bubbling brooks and old stone walls.

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Edition 11: Flagman by Jim Lee

flag USIt is a hard task to live up to all that is asked of us, our names and our parents’ expectations. Casimir is worn down with world-weariness because of it. He’s hearing a voice, calling on him to be more. As the flagman signals, will Casimir continue to obey? SY

Casimir Pulaski Williams felt no particular relief as his dusty compact shuddered its way along the four-lane. Another day was finished. It had been no worse than most. Meaning only that he had felt useless, trapped and bored.


More of the same.

Another thread in the small gray fabric of his life.

Once, Casimir told himself, he had been proud.

Proud of his mother. Of her steady, uncomplaining nature. Of her perseverance. And of her determination to make their lives secure. Even, at some point, proud of the name she’d given him.

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