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7

The Lady Who Wouldn’t Stay Dead

You don’t hear that many stories about what it’s like to be dead. That’s probably because dead people tend not to write that much. So, why am I writing about dying? Simple, twenty years ago I died, yes really, I did. And I don't mean dead for a few seconds. No, I was dead for a little longer than one would like. I would love to say I died whilst saving a drowning child or perhaps running...Read On

5

The Idle Ritch

It's funny how a name can take you back, revive forgotten memories, put you in touch with a simpler, more secure time. It normally happens unexpectedly as well, puts you off your guard. Take this morning. I'm coming down the stairs ready to head off to the office, the recent rumours of redundancies bouncing around my head. I walk into the kitchen and my wife is sitting at the table, over a...Read On

9

The Clock

It was haunted. It had to be. How else could it be doing what it was doing, stealing her soul bit by bit? Evil. Sadistic. It was incessant and invasive, convincing her that the world outside was not what it seemed. Pitting her against herself, that was its strategy. Whatever it was that lived inside that clock. She wasn’t even sure where it came from. Was it there all along; when she’d...Read On

7
JamesPBear
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JamesPBear

The Bearable Lightness of Being

Series: The Bear and The Girl

Bear and Girl start to get to know each other, with some surprises along the way.

When Bear returned from getting his lunch and marking the boundaries of his territory, Girl was again asleep in the rocking chair. One hand was trailing down the side, her head lolled against a shoulder, and she was drooling slightly. He stopped to look at her, and again shook his head. “Poor kid.” He gently picked her up and carried her into the great room of the cabin. She stirred,...Read On

13

Monarchs

I don’t know when I lost her. She held on as long as she could. I was aloof. Careless. I loved her. I just never showed her how much. Now I can’t. She has flown away forever. I saw caterpillars. She saw butterflies....Read On

6

Skin

Why does the color of my skin matter to anyone? It's just a pigment, nothing more. The color of my skin hurts me although it never should. I should never have to wish that I was never in the skin that I'm in.   Why does DNA have to separate us from one another?   Why does it pull us apart when it doesn't even matter. Can't we live without some more important than the others? Can't we see...Read On

8

Darkness Holds

My soul knows what darkness holds. Politicians, bureaucrats, and gutter rats. Playing lotto with our future. I detest both ends of the mouth. But tonight,  I hear a virgin's cry. From a window of broken sky. Rising from her restful sleep. Holding her hand to her chest, of torn down statues, of Olympia and Mars. Watching the flag burning in the name of insanity. Playing into the devil's hand....Read On

7
JamesPBear
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JamesPBear

The Bear and the Girl

Series: The Bear and The Girl

What happens when a injured woman meets a talking polar bear?

The Bear yawned and stretched, then walked out into the sunlight. He thought it was about time to patrol his territory, marking it out, and making sure other carnivores weren’t taking liberties. That Mama brown bear seemed particularly to like trying to nudge her boundaries over onto his, but he guessed that was because she had two littlies to worry about now. So, Bear started ambling...Read On

17
Recommended Read

Winter Convalescence

The events that would end in the major’s death began to unfold long before Christmas Eve. This I know only retrospectively: until the moment the major was shot, none of us could have predicted it. One thing you learn during wartime – more than at any other period, perhaps – is that while you may sense an imminent threat, or shiver with foreboding, it is only afterwards the connections...Read On

7

Winter's Lament

I am strength and beauty personified.

You gave me away without a thought of how my life could turn out. You gave me away to strangers who chewed me up and spat me out. You couldn't afford to keep me with you, do you know the price I  paid  for that? I was just the runt of your litter, tiny, helpless, unwanted.   It doesn't matter if you loved me now or then, it's too late for any apologies. You are dead to me, all of you,...Read On

7

The Stone Circle

It was that time of year again, conference time. Once a year, about now, my husband’s company takes all the top managers away on what he calls ‘a little jolly.’ Basically, they book a nice hotel somewhere in the countryside and have a few presentations about the direction the company will be taking in the coming year. It’s actually quite nice as the hotels are always the best and the wives...Read On

15

On The Edge

"Tell me to stop, and I will," he breathed, praying she wouldn't. C’mon, just kiss me.

Jack Walker had to die. The two men in the faded blue sedan didn't know why. They don't care. They followed orders – and that meant they waited in front of his house. Ten minutes later, he came out into bright morning sunshine, hurrying down the front steps. A battered black leather jacket slung over his broad shoulders and an oversized duffel bag in one hand. Like he was in a rush. Maybe...Read On

18
Editor's Pick

Pine

Can we ever escape our dreams?

“Boy oh boy, it’s a hot one,” my wife exclaimed as she gave the sweating pitcher one last swirl before pouring each of us a glass. Exhausted and relieved, I sipped my iced tea while slowly rocking in the hammock of our screened porch. I savored my reward while my dog and I watched the movers close the back of their truck before driving away. Knuckles then curled up beneath me and fell asleep....Read On

18

Memories

Make the most of very moment...

I was flicking through sites on my phone while enjoying my morning coffee when I read an advertisement for a writing competition. To be eligible you were required to write a story of between one and five thousand words about a situation where you survived or had beaten the odds. I thought I love to write; I could do this! I finished my coffee and went back inside and headed to my home office...Read On

17
Recommended Read

A Survivor's Tail

Little dog big heart

Hi, folks. My name is Bruiser. I'm a little dachshund. I weigh in at five pounds soaking wet. I'm two years old. I'm adorable and playful. But enough about me. This story is about my human Mommy and Daddy. I was just sitting there eavesdropping under the coffee table as my humans had a conversation about my human Mommy and her doctor's appointment yesterday. Her doctor wanted her to go see...Read On

20
Recommended Read

When the Cicada Sings

Love brings forth life.

July’s midsummer heat stuck. It stuck to the blades of grass. It stuck to Sumire’s beige romper. It stuck to everything and anything like a sweltering bog. Sweat drenched her underarms as she set up her easel and foldable chair. Even at her elevated vantage point, the muggy draft painted her body with its salty sheen. Wiping her brow, she gazed over the stacked rows of terraced rice...Read On

4

Finding Pride on Oxford Street

Eden. The word doesn’t need adornment, it just evokes the image of paradise. Except, it doesn’t in my case. Though not by any means hell, my Eden wasn’t the paradise you should find yourself praying for. For you see, my Eden was, and maybe always will be, my community; a coastal Australian town, about five hundred kilometres, though at times it felt more like five hundred years, away...Read On

11

The Village Fair

It was that time of year again, midsummer. One of the highlights of the year for me is our little village fair. We always seem to get the weather as well. I think once in the last ten years we had rain. It was only a little shower though and was soon gone. In the middle of the village green, they set up a marquee. People from the village bring along their flowers to show. The best flowers get...Read On

17
JamesPBear
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JamesPBear

Unbeaten!

Chrissy was beaten, but never defeated.

This is not my story, it’s Chrissy’s story, and you’ll understand why she’s not telling it in a while. And it’s a true story, though I’ve changed the names and places for obvious reasons. The beginning of the end happened when my wife and I drove, frantically, along NY-68 south from Canton in upstate New York, near the Canadian border, looking for Chrissy. We actually drove right past her,...Read On

22
Editor's Pick

The Girl With More Than One Name

Sometimes you need to get lost in order to be found.

Charlotte Hale hated that she had to gather wild berries. It wasn’t that gathering wild berries was hard. It was that gathering them was not hard and at sixteen, she felt like it was demeaning. Her eight-year-old stepbrother, Albert, was perfectly capable of the task. So she could not, for the life of her, understand why she had to be the one to gather stupid frickin’ wild berries. “I...Read On

20
Recommended Read

Us Survivors

A survivor of the streets takes a walk on a steamy, sleepless night

Tina felt the bedsheet peel away from her skin as she sat up. She was covered in a sheen of sweat from head to toe. Her hair was damp and matted. Even at midnight with all the windows open and no clothing but panties, Tina could not seem to beat the heat. It was making sleep more and more difficult all the time. For days, the city had been caught in a heatwave. The temperature had...Read On

22
Editor's Pick

Monster

What makes a monster?

My grandmother tried to kill me in my crib when I was two months old. She’s dead now. Did I kill her? I don’t know. It’s not a simple question, and there are no simple answers. All I remember is being covered in blood, her blood, as I lay in my crib. # I never met my father. He was a passing fancy, my mother told me. Someone to keep her loneliness at bay. I never met him, but I’ve seen...Read On

19
Editor's Pick

Hand In My Pocket

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

March 1995 — Kenya A Fateful Decision I’d been in Africa for nine weeks; two very eventful months. In that relatively short time, I’d already undergone a multitude of emotions, enjoying some incredible highlights and experiencing a range of unfortunate escapades. I’d started in Kenya, flying out to Nairobi on a one-way ticket with a vague plan, a guidebook, and not much else. It wasn’t...Read On

19
Recommended Read

Broken Banns

His simple question rocked her; hurt bubbling to the surface and etching itself on her face. Paul was alarmed he had spoilt their growing rapport. “I’m sorry, Sara. I didn’t mean to pry. Let’s talk about something else.” “No. It’s not your fault,” Sara replied, her smile watery, “It’s been a few months since my break-up, but I guess I am still a bit raw.” “I know what you mean by...Read On

25
Recommended Read

I'm Still Alive

My time should have been up long ago, but I'm still here...I'm Still Alive

The impact was sudden and fierce. But the fear didn’t set in until I saw the vehicle that rear-ended me rolling toward me. “I’m not ready to die,” I prayed out loud. Then I closed my eyes and let faith wash over me. When I opened my eyes again, the silver SUV was inches from my door. Miraculously, it was standing on its side instead of on top of me. I released the breath I didn’t know I...Read On

2

The Cat

Series: Diary of a Fabulous Dreamer

The Cat The longer I’m in limbo, the more the music takes over… You know the moment you put the needle on the record.  When you get the lead-in, the snap, crackle and bop of anticipation.  It always gets me.  Every time.  The second just before the tune kicks in.  You’ve got to feel it.   Take this morning’s offering.  Going by the name of The Cat, courtesy of the legend that was...Read On

3

The Sisterhood, Part 1 - Defeat

Series: The Sisterhood

And so it begins...

In the beginning was Chaos. And Chaos detested organisation and structure. He was roguish and full of mischief. Whenever order and logic looked likely to prevail, he would chuckle, wave his divine hand and delight in thwarting such impudence. Exasperated, the other gods sighed. How would the mortals below ever be able to prove themselves with such troublesome interference? It was...Read On

10

The Lords Tavern

London, 1642. In the docks of Tilbury, East London, stood The Lords Tavern. With a name like that you could be forgiven for thinking it was a friendly place. Far from it, this was about the most unfriendly establishment as was possible to find. Filled with the dregs of life, men who would gladly slit your throat as soon as look at you. No place for a gentleman, or any man with a...Read On

26
Recommended Read

Over The Top

To my amazement, I didn't die!

“Goodnight, Miss. Go safely, now.”   I closed the door behind me, leaving the warm fireplace and friendly chatter behind, and stepped out into the cool night air. It had been a wonderful evening. I had only moved into the village the week before, exactly six months after my divorce had been finalised. This had been my first visit to the Shipwreck Hotel, and the locals couldn't have...Read On

3

The Long Road Home. Chapter 33.

“I know you!” she hissed. “You killed the Metzlers! Where is my Father?"

Katarina didn't sleep at all. After being arrested the previous day, she had been thrown into a cell in the basement of the Gestapo headquarters on Prinz Albrecht Strasse. The only food she was given was a bowl of thin soup and a small chunk of stale, grey bread. Throughout the night, she had endured the sounds of sporadic violence. Horrific screams of terror and pain echoed around the cellar....Read On