Wednesday, July 27, 2011


By dani harris

The first incident occurred when she was eight years old. She got head lice at school. Her hair fell below her waist and the school nurse told her mother it would be best to shave her head as the infestation was so severe. Even months afterward, Marie had nightmares of the lice squirming around on her scalp. She never let her hair get longer than a pixie cut the rest of her life.

When she was ten years old, her family went camping at Yosemite National Park. In less than an hour, Marie stepped into a red ant hill. The ants were swarming over her entire body ~ even her face ~ before her father could wash all of them off. It turned out that Marie was highly allergic to the ants and had to be rushed to the hospital.

Marie was almost fourteen when the small mid-western town she lived in suffered an infestation of grasshoppers. She was walking into the house when a grasshopper jumped into her eye. Not only did it scratch the cornea, her eye became infected. She had to wear a patch over her left eye the entire first month of high school.

A bee sting at her high school graduation picnic caused Marie's face to swell. Since her tongue and throat were also swelling, another trip to the hospital was in order. But not before the entire senior class had seen her disfigurement. The school mailed Marie her diploma.

Marie had a double dorm room to herself throughout college. The university was concerned about being sued for negligence if a roommate were to become ill from inhaling the fumes from the insecticide that Marie was constantly spraying. The janitor added weatherstripping around her door so that the fumes wouldn't escape into the hallway. Some said that living four years in a room full of bug spray caused brain damage.

At the age of 27, Marie was living a comfortable if uneventful life. Despite the insecticide fumes, she was intelligent and healthy. She set up a consulting business from her twenty-first floor apartment. The closest anyone ever came to her were delivery people ~ Federal Express, groceries, pizza, Chinese or Thai Food. You couldn't really count video calls since those were just two-dimensional images. Marie had her clients make electronic funds transfers directly to her bank and she did everything online. She didn't have a boyfriend {or any friends} and certainly did not want a pet. She had not seen so much as a fly the entire time she had lived there.

The newspaper article said that the venomous spider must have been in the soil of the rare orchid sent to the woman in the apartment above. It got into the ventilation system and came down on its thread through the vent above Marie's bed.

Copyright ©2011 dani harris. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form, including electronic, without the author’s express permission.


If you like this story, check out dani’s other stories, published on this site: Camellia, guardian angel {sorta} and haboob {another creepy tail}.



dani {not a boy} began writing poetry in January 2010, opened her blog my heart's love songs in February 2010 and is now venturing into prose, though terrified. It seems her terror manifests itself in much of the prose, becoming a short tale with an element of horror or fantasy. Despite her blog's title, Dani does not write only haiku. Her sensual poetry is never too explicit whatever the length.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


By MorningAJ

Prison life really suited Jimmy the Wig because of his habit. Jimmy’s nickname didn’t come from any lack of hair; he had such a thick thatch of black locks that many people thought it was a rug, but no. He got his name from being a natural earwig. He couldn’t stop himself eavesdropping conversations. He was compelled to do it, just like that disease, that obsessive compulsive thing, you know, OCD. So being in prison was just right for him, surrounded by people with nothing better to do than discuss old exploits and plan new jobs for when they got out, and Jimmy became what they call institutionalised. He was happiest behind bars.

His only troubles came from the other side of his compulsion: he felt driven to pass on whatever he overheard. If he thought he was imparting a particularly exciting piece of news he would gesticulate a lot, so it left no-one in any doubt what he was doing. At first it ruffled a few feathers when he chose to reveal something to the hotter heads in clink, but an understanding Governor solved that by putting him in a cell with Clothears Jones: deaf in one ear and didn’t listen with the other. Wig could say anything he liked and Clothears would nod and hum and har occasionally to make Wig think he was paying attention. That went on for years and life looked settled.

Wig had a number of jobs around the prison. They’d tried him on library duty but it made him edgy because no-one was allowed to talk in there, so they swapped him to cleaning the chapel. He loved that because he often overheard juicy confessions about dirty thoughts. So one day when he was polishing the brasswork and Phil Skillett came in to talk to the Padre he thought he was in for a treat. He was; just not the kind of treat he was expecting. Phil’s nickname was ‘Fillet’ and it wasn’t just a play on his name; he was renowned for his knife skills and I don’t mean he was a good cook! Anyhow, him and the Reverend disappeared behind the curtain and Wig could hear the prayer bit as he dusted his way closer to the booth. He was comfortably in place when he heard Fillet admit he was the one who had shanked one of the screws two weeks ago.

Well that was too much for Wig. He dropped his cloth and dashed out to find someone to listen. Give the boy his due, he went looking for Clothears, but as bad luck would have it the cell was empty. Wig turned back just in time to come face to face with a chatty screw and he couldn’t stop himself from telling. He was still talking and waving his arms around when Fillet came back from chapel and saw him. Of course he realised straight away what was going on and Wig’s days were numbered.

They found Jimmy dead in his cell two days later and everyone assumed that Fillet had got to him somehow, even though he had been questioned almost non-stop since the secret was revealed. At the inquest, though, the sawbones reckoned there wasn’t a mark on him and there was no hint of poison. The coroner had no option but to call it natural causes, though I know he was wrong. I know what it should have said on the death certificate. To protect him from Fillet’s attentions the screws had Wig put in solitary confinement. I reckon he died of boredom.

Copyright ©2011 MorningAJ. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form, including electronic, without the author’s express permission.


This story was originally published on the Jobbing Writer site on July 12, 2011.


If you like this story, check out these other Morning AJ stories, published on this site: Disguise, Falling star, Helen's dilemma and Jetsam.



MorningAJ is a professional (science PR) writer/rebel who fends off the
restrictions of her paid-for work by creating short stories, poems and
microfiction in her spare time. She’s even managed a novel, thanks to
NaNoWriMo, and is currently working on her second.
She also paints watercolours.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

**A review of Richard Cody's Darker Corners was published on the Reading site

I just posted a review of Richard Cody's horror anthology, Darker Corners, on the Reading & Writing By Pub Light site.

Last week, one of Richard's stories, Lisa, was published on this site.

**One of my stories, Periwinkle: Desire's Bloom, was published on the Every Night Erotica site

The third (and probably final) story in my loosely linked Periwinkle trilogy, Periwinkle: Desire's Bloom, was published on the Every Night Erotica site yesterday.

This story is more plot-heavy, odder than its monster-themed predecessors. It's also the least of the three stories, but I did the best I could with it, so I'm okay with that: we creative types can't nail perfection every time we sit down to create (though we should always try, of course)! =)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


By Richard Cody

I came home from work to a dark and quiet house, the front door standing sinister and slightly ajar. With a curious and creeping sense of déjà vu, I entered. Inside, shadows crept over the walls.

“Lisa. . .” my voice echoed through quiet rooms. “Lisa, are you here?”

She moved slow and furtive from swirling shadows, nothing but a vague shape in the murk before my eyes. I groped blindly for the light switch, nervous apprehension thickening my fingers as I fumbled and felt and finally flicked it on, bathing the room in electric light. Shadows fled like roaches into corners and there was Lisa.

She stood silent and still before me, pale blue eyes staring at some vacancy in the middle distance, slender arms hanging limp at her sides. It was then I saw the knife clenched tightly in the curled fist of her right hand, a smooth expanse of silver blade reflecting white light with flashing brilliance. She held it firm and deliberate, knuckles white with the pressure of her grip. I noticed the small scar on the back of her delicate hand, white and jagged even against the ghostly pale of her flesh. In a vivid flash I remembered the previous summer at the lake when she’d cut herself on a broken bottle.

“Lisa,” I ventured cautiously, “give me the knife.”

She remained still, painfully quiet.

“Lisa,” I began again, “give me the knife.”

She moved toward me slow and shambling, her feet dragging over the floor. Then she stopped.

“Lisa,” I commanded, “give me the knife.”

An anxious moment passed, the two of us standing there, waiting. Finally she moved forward . . and gave me the knife.

Copyright ©2011 Richard Cody. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form, including electronic, without the author’s express permission.


If you like this story, check out Richard’s other story, published on this site: Alice



Richard Cody is a native Californian and a writer of poetry and fiction. His work has appeared in many print and virtual publications, most recently Red Fez, Eclectic Flash and a handful of stones. Look for his books, The Jewel in the Moment, This is Not My Heart and Darker Corners at Amazon and his Lulu page.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


By Anna

Alex was certain that there was a recessive nerd gene in his parents ancestry, and that he was the unfortunate soul in which the two alleles had paired and produced what he saw in the mirror - pure nerd! He eyed himself with disdain, sticky out ears, goofy teeth, acne and that damned kinky hair permanently charged with static.

He didn't mind having a wonderful mind, but minded very much the way he looked. No wonder he was the butt of jokes and his life was pure misery. That bastard Wilson was the worst - with his athletic good looks, his entourage of hangers on and his constant supply of girlfriends. Bastard!

Wilson had nominated Alex his gofer years ago and Alex had accepted his role as he hadn't the strength of character to resist. His life was sheer hell. The latest prank had seen Wilson dose his drink with methyline blue "Here gofer - a Blue Hawaiian for you!" Alex had drunk it readily hoping at last that he might have been accepted as one of the boys.

Next day had seen Wilson and his cronies follow him into the *bog and crease themselves laughing as blue-green pee gushed forth leaving Alex mortified. Second visit - it seemed like the whole school followed him and the chants, the crushing chants of "Alex! Alex! Mouldy phallus!" reduced him to tears. He had wished the earth to swallow him up.

It was that very afternoon in Greek and the discussion of the death of Socrates that an idea began to germinate in his mind.

That night he received the expected call from Wilson and the order for pizzas. Wilson and his cronies partied nearly every night in his brothers' penthouse; Alex, the manservant for the drunken, stoned bastards.

He already had the pizzas and had doctored them with conium - the little florets vaguely resembling broccoli and added more cheese and seasoning to mask the taste. Upon Wilson's call he had reheated and reboxed them.

They greeted him with derision and snatched the boxes off him. He sat and waited until the ascending paralysis played its game. They found it funny as they fell and were ecstatic about the 'good trip' - and then panic set in. As they fought for breath, one or two of them attempted to phone 999 and with great glee, Alex prevented them.

When they were all dead, Alex picked from his pocket the fat cigar he had bought at the kiosk outside and went out to the roof garden. The cigar made him cough and splutter - but he didn't care.

He flung the cigar stub over the parapet and watched it fall... and then he followed it.

The exhilaration he felt from the adrenaline rush was amazing and he was certain that if he attempted to fly - he could. He didn't want to - he wanted to splat another damn Wilson as he hit terra firma. He knew he would - because the world was full of them.

Copyright ©2011 Anna. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form, including electronic, without the author’s express permission.


This story was originally published on the puzzelicious plus site on May 19, 2011.


If you like this story, check out Anna’s other stories, published on this site: Compulsion, Industry and Simkins.



I'm a mother, friend, nurse, wife and lover! I think I have always been 'creative' drawing, painting, writing stories and poetry from an early age. I am moronically happy as I don't see the point in being miserable and find life - 99% of the time - wonderful.