The Perfect Dish – N.C. Brook

N.C. Brook has been writing since she was young enough to plagiarise Brothers Grimm, and add questionable illustrations to her work. Her tastes are eclectic and range from classic to gothic but always with an emphasis on strong characters and sharp learning curves. She has two stories published in the Anthology, Blue Fountain. She currently lives in Spain, but was born and raised in England and misses fish and chips and afternoon tea the most.
Twitter handle: @NyshaC

The Perfect Dish
By N.C. Brook

Marissa:
Chop, chop, chop. The knife sliced through meat, crunching as it reached the bone. The steel blade reflected a red glow around the dingy shed. His knives were always sharp. Blood speckled his soft hands, a single callous visible where the handle always rubbed his skin. Behind him, the battered sink held remnants of a carcass and he breathed deeply, allowing the methodical movement of cleaver against meat to calm his racing heart.

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Lake Blue Whispers – Lanie Goodell

Lanie Goodell fell into horror. After years of criminal justice and teaching experience, it seems to be a good fit. Though life as the single mom of a teenage boy provides enough real life horror, the fantastical nature of dark fiction seems to be an outlet for all the creative thoughts she has throughout the day. Check her out at http://www.meligoodell.com and http://www.twitter.com/melig321

Lake Blue Whispers
By Lanie Goodell

‘I hate you… hate you… hate you… Hate. HATE. HATE! The words crept over my skin like ants, climbed through my pores, and marched up my arteries and into my brain. I stared at the violently white wall in front of me. I hate you!

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Cockroaches – Graham Irvin

Graham Irvin is a writer from North Carolina. He has an MFA! His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Show Your Skin, Tenderness Lit, Philosophical Idiot, Instant Journal, and Really Serious Lit. Follow him on twitter: @grahamjirvin and Instagram: @trash_gram_

Cockroaches
By Graham Irvin

Ana’s dad lived in Woodbury, New Jersey. Outside Philly. Past Richmond and all the fake rustic water towers. Past the stacked interstate overpasses and giant concrete finger pointing Godward in DC. Past the convertible in Baltimore, whose driver side door was torn off and tied back with baling twine.

Six hours from our North Carolina port town.

Ana’s grandfather was dead and turned to ash and a catholic sermon awaited. Ana said she didn’t really care. She was doing it for her dad.

I was doing it for Ana.

She’s such a good grace. An angelic beam of light.

She fed me strawberries and string cheese on the drive. Told me to open my mouth like a baby bird and poured in some cocktail of spirulina and turmeric and cold brew coffee.

All the nice things you can say about a person you have to say about Ana.

I promise.

I’ll even say them twice.

And louder too.

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The Small Town of Slate – Molly Dunn

The Small Town of Slate
By Molly Dunn

I wake up in a graveyard.

Stars pepper the night sky, the sun has long since tucked itself beneath the horizon and give way to the silvery light of the moon. Its shape is scythe-like, distorted by the thin film of grey smoke choking the air.

Bleary-eyed, I push up into a sitting position, running a hand down the aching protrusions of my spine. The uneven grave dirt has bitten into the soft flesh of my back. Smoke, rot and freshly tilled earth fill my nostrils.

“Mel?”

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The Witch – Peter W. (Moxicus)

Peter’s a great writer. He can be found on Twitter by the name @zen_mox.

The Witch
By Peter W.

Her Mothers Grief

She never learnt what became of her mother. She left willingly, amazed by their armour and black horses. They rode for seven days, out of the Dale, sodden turf left far behind.  She kept the family necklace, but never looked at it.

The Tooth

Always in her black tunic’s breast pocket, the child had been six, she had been fourteen. She had lost the Kris knife she used, fleeing the O’shandalin Inquisitors. But she kept the tooth, held it when she pondered, remembered the fear in his eyes as she gave life to Dagothoth.

The Familiar

A malnourished rat. He roamed the mossy stone of Khare-Khane and brought her news of the stricken families that lived in the shadow of the Empirical Palace, whispered in her ear as she slept in the gloomy attic. He had chosen her.

The Walk to Market

With her tattered black skirt gathered around her knees, the locals fled at the stomp of her boots on the flag stones. She always bought the same things: four potatoes, three carrots and a stick of ginger. She always paid with the exact amount of silver, the wary shop keep never talking to her, always looking at the ground.

Second Sight

When she called them, they came. They would walk through her mind. She would meet them in the old orchard. As the leaves fell, they listened to her commands. Sometimes they demanded payment.

The Hat Pin

As she pull;ed the pin from her greasy hair, it fell around her shoulders. The six inches of polished steel slid easily into his closed eye. She knew exactly where to push, so he wouldn’t scream as he woke. She leaned over him and studied his face as he expired, then inhaled his last breath.

Corruption

As the fat, slow rain drops fell to the ground, they detained her at the city gate. Her green eyes glistened as she went, willingly. In the carriage, one of the militia had kicked her several times. The bruises lasted for weeks, but she never protested. The Captain of The Guard had seen her alone, pulled the Idol of Dagothoth from under her tunic. He grinned as he removed his, slick green metal glowing in the candlelight. She walked home that night.

All For Him

As age did its slow, inevitable deeds to her flesh, she prepared for him. On the night of the winter solstice, she knelt naked before the desecrated shrine. With long cracked nails, she started by removing her eyes and whimpered not. She gave herself to him slowly and in all the centuries the church stood, the locals feared the nightly wailing of a true disciple.

Ayn Rand’s Chainsaw – Seth Augenstein [republished]

Seth Augenstein’s fiction has appeared in Writer’s Digest, The Cracked Eye, The Molotov Cocktail, Kudzu Review, Ginosko, Squalorly, and other places. By day, he writes about crime-solving for Forensic Magazine.

This piece first appeared here on The Molotov Cocktail, a projectile for incendiary flash fiction. They can be found at https://themolotovcocktail.com/ or on Twitter: @MolotovLitZine. Go check them out!

Ayn Rand’s Chainsaw
By Seth Augenstein

My wife acted strangely after the second operation. She ate Big Macs, watched reality TV, and listened to smooth jazz with saxophones that howled like cats. This was disconcerting, coming from the committed vegan, film major, and punk rocker I had once married.

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Jane – Rachel Small

Rachel Small is not a small person and can be found wandering the streets of Ottawa. She spends her time haunting bookstores and serving poorly made lattes to the general public, as well as writing things specifically to distress people. Check out @rahel_taller on Twitter, and also @AtticVoices for more of her antics.

Jane
By Rachel Small

I found a girl
not made of sugar
but rather orange pekoe,
dark and bitter amongst graveyard soil.

She had lain beneath rich blue sky,
like a mirage amongst scattered books and shoes.
She had been left with her neck near vanished,
a pair of pantyhose wrapped around her throat so tight.

I found a girl so dead
she looked not dead,
but rather a mannequin,
stretched out upon a stranger’s grave.

She’s got both a sister and a father
but also a murderer,
and her name circled in a phonebook.
She’s both dead and a victim.

I found a girl
stretched out with dirt beneath her nails,
eyes forced shut and hair knotted
and I thought she were plastic and manufactured.

She’s got a tragedy stamped across her face,
rotting away upon a stranger’s grave.
Her stomach bloats as she begins to vanish,
a slow trail to barebones.

I found a girl so violated
with DNA smeared across her body.
A puzzle and a code,
Strewn about beneath the hot sun.

She’s not my sister nor my daughter,
nor the victim of my hand.
She’s nothing to me but an existence dead.
Her name is Jane and I found her lying there.