copyright Sarah Potter
Night of the Living Job Applicant, Jessica thought as the man shuffled in, clutching a scribbled resume. IT guys were scruffy, but not usually abandoned-corpse scruffy.
“Job.” The voice was like dusty silk.
Taking the crumpled resume, Jessica noticed a gap between the shirt and glove. There was no skin, just thick threads running next to white bone.
The eyes were glassy, unfocused. She got the feeling this was less a person than a machine, being controlled from the inside.
Still, they were an equal opportunity employer.
“Any experience in web design?”
The head jerked once. Up. Down. “Oh yes.”
Jeremy stared at the bread, horrorstruck. It was the fifth heart.
Maybe the sixth.
Last week, he’d gone to a fortuneteller and somehow a seven-of-hearts had gotten stuck in the tarot deck. The fortuneteller gamely forged ahead, declaring he would die after seeing seven hearts.
Now he’d seen five—maybe six: that cloud had either been a heart or a camel.
Jeremy finished making his sandwich and left for work. Stepping outside, he heard a screech of metal. He looked up just as the heart from a new erotic cake bakery sign bore down.
It wasn’t a camel, he thought.
Susie said Grandma’s crystal bowl was a chamber pot.
I used it.
Dad jumped to catch her.
He dropped his cigar on the rug.
A neighbor heard the scream.
He called the police.
The rug caught fire.
Mom grabbed the crystal bowl to extinguish it.
Then had second thoughts.
The police came.
They smelled smoke and called the fire department.
A news helicopter saw the commotion.
People mobbed the house.
Someone stole the bowl.
I tackled him.
The bowl survived.
I cleaned it.
Grandma forgave me.
That night, headlines screamed:
WHIZ KID SAVES THE DAY!
A Date with Death
The moon was a milky corpse eye shining over the Lopinot Estate, Trinidad’s most haunted site. Inside, flashlights beams swept back and forth.
“Honey?” There was no answer. She listened. A scream came from out in the jungle. Just an animal. Probably.
Creak. She hid her light. Come on, she thought.
A light appeared in the next room. “Hey, I found the basement!” he said, poking his head out. “It looks like there’s a grave. Let’s go down and sit in the dark.”
“Awesome!” She kissed him hard. “I love you. This is the best anniversary ever.”
I wrote this story for my wife Leah. As of tomorrow we will have been married for sixteen years, and I’m sure one of our anniversaries in the future will be spent exploring a haunted house in the dead of night looking for ghosts.
Teddy Bear Brawl
Teddy bears’ picnic, my ass.
Those pretentious little Paddingtons thought they could leave us out, just because they sit on the bed and we live in the closet.
Baby-doll saw them sneaking out the window. We found them under a tree in the backyard.
“Let us join,” Baby-doll whined.
Somebody, probably I-Couldn’t-Give-A-Care Bear, sneers, “Back off vinyls. Plushies only.”
That’s when the Pooh hit the fan.
I beat the stuffing out of a few, and soon we were all muddy and ripped.
At least we cleaned up with some Windex. Those bloody bears got a trip to the washing machine.
It’s final exam week here at my university and as I sit here and proctor a reading exam, it seemed like a good chance to write some flash fiction. This is dedicated to my sister, whose birthday it is this Friday.
copyright Sandra Crook
“Maybe I should call them.”
“Don’t call. They’ll have a great time home alone. We’re in France. Relax.”
“We should have brought them.”
“It took five years to save enough for us to come. We’d never save enough for all of us. Just go take a shower, get dressed up, and we’ll hit the town.”
She’d scarcely shut the bathroom door when he called internationally.
“Hey Dad,” his eldest said. “The plumber stopped the leak, but it’ll take a week to dry the basement out.”
“Okay. Call the insurance company. And do not tell your mother until we get back.”
I’m extremely late in posting this story, but better late than never. I actually wrote it last week, but I was in Seattle for a conference and didn’t get a chance to post it.
copyright J Hardy Carroll
“You’re a werewolf?” she asks.
“A wereman, actually.”
“So every month you turn into a . . . man?”
“A different kind of man. An accountant actually.” I blush. “Just a frenzy of budgets and data sheets.”
She looks pensive. “That’s cool. You could do contract work, do a month’s work in three days and rent an office on a per-day basis to save money.”
“Okay.” This is getting serious for a first date. “What about you? Your profile said you’re a succubus, right?”
Now she blushes. “Not exactly. I just exploit men’s useful abilities.”
“Oh. So you’re . . .”
She nods. “I’m a practibus.”