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Short Story

Venomous Repentance

To anyone who has ever been sexually abused... you are not alone. You are not your wounds and I pray that you heal as best that you can.

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…invited you to come take a seat with me on this branch and for some reason you felt the need to push me. You shoved me and I know you believe that by doing so you released whatever demons that lay inside of you. Perhaps you thought that the words that came out of your mouth would somehow dissolve your actions into the night…

By Taylor Amber Rose

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The Berry Pickers

A piece from my third novel, The Berry Pickers

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…wakes up early, squinting at sunlight raging through grimy windows and ripped white curtains, yellowed from years bathed in cigarette smoke.

The room was cold. The sticky sweat of summer faded too quickly to this frigid morning.

He reached down to the floor, found yesterday’s shirt, still buttoned halfway down, and pulled it on over his head. Reaching in the pocket he found his Lucky Strikes and his Zippo lighter.

Hacking and coughing, standing and stepping on an upturned beer bottle cap, cutting the bottom of his foot, he swears. From…

By William Lobb

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Inka's Curse Part 10: Home

…get me started on what’s become of the forest. She just wants the forest for herself.”

“You’re wrong about her. Queen Ellen is a genuine hero. She’s our savior. Things have never been as peaceful as they are now.”

Herman isn’t as bad as I thought. He’s intriguing and so is Lilo. I need to pay them a visit after I return from my daunting journey.

I don’t have time for this, though. I’ll have to interrupt their endless back and forth argument. “Excuse me,” I said grimly. “I really have to go…

By Cristina Collazo

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The Room

…room was empty. He sat by the wall staring at its blank surface. The white, unadorned, uncovered slab of drywall before him was easier to deal with then the emptiness behind and inside of him. He sighed, knowing he'd have to face it, all of it. The hollow shell of what his life once was. Still he sat, cross-legged not sure as to why. The wall wasn't going to change, the furniture wasn't going to be placed back. He was alone, he always felt alone, but it seemed worse now. There was no escape from the…

By Wil R. P. McCarthy

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Sacrificial Atonement (Book 3 in the Ville Rose trilogy)

This is the opening chapter in Book 3 in the Ville Rose trilogy:

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Chateau Eugénie, Albas, France, 22 November 2036

“She is now fully dilated. It’s time to leave the bath,” said the mid-wife, whose name was Jessica.

“Come on Jules, you gotta get out of this bleedin’ bath unless you wanna give birth to a blinkin’ tadpole!” Tracy said and signalled to Didier to take her sister’s other arm. They lifted Juliette from the water and onto her feet. He scooped her warm wet body into his arms.

Juliette wanted a natural, water-birth for her baby. She chose to have the child…

By Gillie Bowen

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Inka's Curse Part 9: Mixed Opinion

…armor’s got on an impressive curse on it. It can make you invincible to almost anything, but it will also drain your life force. It’s not just magically, but the material is something completely different than anything I have ever seen.”

“Can you get rid of it?” I hope I’ve finally found someone that can actually help me out.

“No kid. You’ll need to go to the kingdom for that. Queen Ellen might be able to get rid of it.”

My forehead puckered. “My lifeforce. What exactly does that mean?”

“Your life is endangered. The longer you wear that thing the…

By Cristina Collazo

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Soccer Moms Do It With Style

A girls night out, interrupted

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…will never forget the look on his face as my husband, Ted, stared at me from the other side of a smudged plate of plexiglass. It was a mix of comical bewilderment and admiration. I wiped the tears from my mascara smeared eyes, picked up the phone, and started at the beginning.

It was Soccer Club Night. No, I didn’t play soccer, I was part of a group of women who fit the “Soccer Mom” profile to a tee. Dedicated mothers, members of the PTA, and tenaciously driven to raise the perfect family. We…

By Tracey Koehler

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Incitatus

The first chapter of "Incitatus", a novella set in the world of upcoming hard sci-fi tabletop roleplaying game, Project Aphelion. On board of “Incitatus”, a prison ship for convicts deemed a nuisance enough to be imprisoned for a whole twenty-year-trip, multiple factions find themselves tied in the fight for an incredibly valuable… for lack of a better word, thing.

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…ship slid through the void, dark except for an occasional flash of manoeuvre thrusters correcting its course. Its main engine was cold, having done its job many weeks ago – double rows of rocket exhausts idle. The rocket formed the core of the ship, with the crew quarters set on protruding columns forming an axis on which the bulbous hull rotated slowly. Overall the ship resembled a giant, pale mushroom with a conical…

By Jakub Wisz

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Universal Woman

A Parable on Suffering

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…strolled around his garden in the cool of morning. Hearing a beautiful songbird nearby, he reached for her, and she lovingly responded. He caught and caged her.

Over time, she grew weary in her cage, using her lovely voice only to shriek about her circumstances. He mocked her weight gain and spent excessive amounts of time with other songbirds, instead of her. Not having the strength to bear another moment of mental torture, she fell to the bottom of the cage, begging for death to set her…

By L L Cartin

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