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Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Prose 127

Issue 127 of Fiction brings you great beginnings.  Our fellow soldier in ink, King Wenclas, hosted a contest for the best beginning to a story.  The top picks are here for your journey, each under 200 words.

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The Diadem

Anthony Jones

It was just like every other day in the land, full of darkness and evil. The evil king sat at his throne, thinking of what to do to the citizens next that would give him pleasure. At that time, a man dressed in black garments ran into the great hall. He didn’t waste any time.

“It’s been found!” he yelled. The king’s eyes grew wide. It was the very thing he had hoped to never hear. He stood up quickly and looked all around. He shook his head in fear. He thought he had hidden the diadem well. Such a good hiding spot, that even he had a hard time remembering where it was.

“Who has found it?” the king asked. “How much time do we have?” It had been long told that he who found the lost diadem would have the power to overtake the king. He would have the power to rid the land of evil and become the most powerful man ever lived. He knew it was only a matter of time.

“A boy,”

“A boy?” the king asked. Laughter filled the great hall. He sat back down and seemed to relax. There, he continued to laugh.

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Glas

Pablo D’Stair

I’d almost forgotten I wanted to keep an eye out for this certain customer after having seen him at a restaurant with his wife and kids two weeks prior—he walked into the store and I nodded hello before I’d even looked up. It was him, certainly the man from the restaurant. He lingered around the new release wall, then slyly ducked through the curtained partition into the adult section.

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Prose 126

Prose issue 126 brings you into the mind of those who live in a different world than the rest of us. Kick back and let Janice Soderling and Kim Bond take you to another place.


Planning For the Future

Janice Soderling

Waiting in the telephone queue to the call center, he had this idea for Plan B if Plan A didn’t work. He could teach a dog to do tricks—play dead, roll over, count to ten, or was counting something only horses did? He could hire the mutt out to producers of movies and TV shows.

Problem was, he didn’t have a dog.

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Prose 125

Prose issue 125 brings you one great story with a character we’ve all known.  Kick up your feet and let Mr. Potter take you his journey to the office and back; because the office is just another form of life.

Meeting Adjourned

Matt Potter

Once a month I fuck the boss. It’s not part of my job description. We have a meeting in her office, after thirty minutes she opens the door to what appears to be a storeroom but is actually a well-appointed fuck chamber, and we adjourn.

She likes being fucked on her back mostly: she enjoys watching me do all the grunt work. I grind and groan, looking into her chemically-peeled face as she grips my arse, the fingers of her wrinkling hands edging towards my tightened hole – the storeroom is soundproofed, the door to her office triple-locked, though no one would dare enter without her permission anyway – and not much is said beyond “Deeper” and “Harder” and “Faster”, all by her.

I don’t believe she has a similar relationship with any of my work colleagues. And if she does, I don’t care much either.

And if work colleagues heard of my ‘relationship’ with her, no one would believe it. I think she sees her conquest of me as a triumph of her supreme sexuality, her female carnality, or if nothing else, her economic power.

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Prose 124

Welcome to Issue 124 and a new year of Fiction.  From Fantasy to Fabulous to Final good-byes, fiction grabs our soul and turns it inside out.  Kick up your feet and let Adrienne Bard, Christina Cole, and Brian Tucker renew your soul with their words.

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Confessions of a Narcoleptic

Adrienne Bard

I don’t know when it started. For as long as I can remember I have been falling asleep almost constantly. I start to have a conversation, and I drift off within moments. I go off to work and I’m usually passed out on the lawn before I hear the first, “hi ho”. It’s terribly inconvenient when I sit down at night to eat dinner and I can only get in a few bites before I’m facedown in my spaghetti. I promise I’m not just lazy.

Grumpy hates it and tells everyone that I am faking to get out of going to work. He says when I sleep at night I snore and keep everyone else up. He thinks I have sleep apnea and he’s constantly yelling at me. I feel bad, but I can’t help my snoring. It’s been getting worse. Doc noticed there was a problem when Happy stopped smiling and when Bashful confronted me, saying that it was my fault the birds stopped singing in the morning. It wouldn’t be as bad if I were only sleeping at night. Lately it seems like I’m sleeping more than I’m awake.

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The votes are cast and the stamp is licked.  The best poems and stories on Gloom Cupboard for 2010 have been nominated.  Since 1976, the Pushcart Prize has been awarded to the best “poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot”.

Founded by such famous persons as Buckminster Fuller, Joyce Carol Oates, Ralph Ellison, and Gordon Lish, the Pushcart Prize is awarded annually and the stories published in a book that represents the best of American literature.  The “2011 Pushcart Prize” just came out in November with the best of 2009.  The 2010 nominations that were due December 1 will be judged and the winners published next November in the “2012 Pushcart Prize” book.

So what did we find outstanding?  If you pick up a copy of a Pushcart, you’ll see stiff competition, so we took this process seriously.  We didn’t nominate the people we liked the best or even the most popular stories.  These are pieces that moved us; pieces that said something in a way we hadn’t experienced before; pieces that should be read again. Here they are:

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Prose 123

Issue 123 is our final before the Pushcarts are submitted.  Stay tuned for those nominations.  This issue brings you inside the heads of two people who see the world differently and for a few moments, let you in.  Jason Fisk and Jaimie Eubanks give you a glimpse of life as they see it.


Small Movements

Jaimie Eubanks

The place was called the baby garden.  I went there sometimes, for no real reason.  None of those babies were mine.  I’d never had a baby; I’d never even had a dog.  Still, for a few long months, that was the place I went.  There was no safe place to step, the graves so close together that they looked like poorly laid brick.  The whole place was small, the size of my bedroom as a child, or maybe a kitchen.  Nobody was ever there.  It’s a tragedy to lose a life so young, and I guess if it were my child, I wouldn’t want to see it either.  I’d want to move on.  Have another kid, one that lives.  Take it to soccer games.  Only come to the baby garden on the baby’s birthday, leave a single yellow rose on the grave, and after a few years, don’t even do that.  Just pause for a moment every now and then and remember that it was sad.  If they were my babies I wouldn’t want to remember them.  I felt that way then, and I still do now.

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Prose 122

Prose issue 122 brings you characters living at the edge.  Until you see their darkness, you can’t know a person’s soul.  Kaston Griffin, GC vet Hobie Anthony, and Meg Tuite take you inside that darkness.  Hold tight or you might not come back from these journeys the same.

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Mr. Burton

Kaston Griffin

Henry Burton chucked the whiskey bottle out the farmhouse door as he came in, aimed loosely for the glass bin, and plodded into the kitchen for another.  Briskly, he patted the cigarette smoke from his jacket, snatched a bottle off the cheap end of the rack, and staggered upstairs to check on the baby, who slept with one eye open.

Kaston writes from Seattle, where he writes interactive stories for adults here.

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Unglued

Hobie Anthony

Will said it would cause brain damage. We inspected the bottle and it was true. (more…)

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Prose 121

Prose issue 121 brings you the long and the short of life.  From birth to death, youth is constantly redefined.  Michelle Elvy and James Mills take you on a journey of life: rebirthed.

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Bedtime Story

Michelle Elvy

Let me tell you, child, the story of how your father became your father.

Not the story of how his sperm crashed into my egg, how mad passion made a sweet sticky union that turned two into one and then in a split second became three. That is a good story, too, but this one is better.

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Prose #120

Issue 120 of fabulous fiction brings you head trips.  Are you really who you think you are?  Kick back and let the words of Blake Cooper, Susan Tepper, Michael Solender and Erik Smetana insert rainbows and reverie into your brain.  Double back for another dose of daydreams with this issues Editor’s Pick for Must Read Twice by Blake Cooper.

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The Lonely One

Blake N. Cooper

Kids ask me all the time what it’s like living in this “holy wow” spot, under these “are you serious?” conditions. It isn’t really a secret and I’d appreciate it if you asked your children to stop looking at me with wide-eyed surprise every time they see me. I live alone and, yes, it gets lonely; I steal my food, late at night, from sealed bags you toss in the local alleys or bins you leave on your sidewalks (let it be known: I only steal from families with kids or businesses that specialize in caring for kids).

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Prose #119

Our 119th issue of prose fiction brings you truth.  If you could name yourself, what mask would you wear? If you could close your eyes to the world’s harsh truths, would you?  Just for a little longer?  Writers Richard Cody and Alireza Araghi ask those questions and show you what’s behind that curtain.

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Zoology

Richard Cody

I lost my childhood innocence in July of 1971 – the summer before my eleventh birthday.   I had no idea what innocence was until I lost it. Even if I had been somehow aware, I never would have guessed that such a thing could happen at the zoo.

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