More Short Stories

In the Details by Lucy Arnold
Isaac Haim sits in this chair at this table in this bar every night. He has done this for so long that even when the chair is unoccupied it seems to sigh under his weight and the table blooms with his fingerprints. He will speak if he is spoken to, which isn’t often. He drinks, at a dedicated, unhurried pace, anything that is put in front of him. Mostly he just sits. But if you buy him a scotch (and sometimes if you don’t) he’ll turn and face you. He’ll take your hand (don’t be frightened). And he’ll tell you the story of the time he met the Devil. 
Innocence by Fiona Kyle
          For me, innocence smells like cigarettes and perfume. When I look back, Helen and I were never so innocent as when we sat smoking on top of the old railway tunnel, thinking we knew it all but in fact knowing nothing. I can see us so clearly, our legs dangling off the edge, swinging back and forth as we casually passed the cigarette between us.
          Although it was what happened afterwards that changed everything, when I think back to that day, it is this moment in time that I see; two girls smoking on a railway tunnel.
The object was located with ultrasound scanning deep beneath the site of the new mall, before construction began. Dozens of such artificial items were discovered to be down there, as before most new builds on what little reusable land still remained.
 
The chief archaeologist, a young woman sent up by the national authorities, brought in an outsourced team to analyse all of it then unearth and remove everything of potential value to the depth required by law. Anything deeper than that, the agreed stratum limit of the digital era, belonged to future historians with more time and better technology.
All the Time in the World by John Lake
Moving On by Colin Fenwick
     The view beyond the confines of the bay window was still as banal as ever, thought the man, tall and thin, his eyes pressing themselves past the icy glass out into a world icier still. With a casualness bordering upon the sly, the man grinned to himself, an endeavour of expression that might almost have been a sweet nothing at all were it not for the light in his dark almond eyes that begged to differ. Yes, this part of the world was truly an abhorrence, but that, as a fact, was quite academic now. Soon enough, he’d be away from it altogether, free to settle down somewhere new to make his mark. Someplace comforting. Someplace warm and unconditionally welcoming. Somewhere he’d actually want to stay this time.
I only had 58 followers or friends or whatever the fuck y call ’em. I was angry, still am, if truth be told - she’ll never get that time back. Yet now, there’s no-one really left for me to be angry at… cunts. 
Now, I channel it against whichever sicko corporation is in the news and use it as a way of ignoring my shame, but I need the money, sort of. Now, I just feel like some disgraceful grief-porn star but we all exploit and get exploited, just give it comfier names that’s all. I reckon it’s part of the human condition. Well, that’s my excuse and it doesn’t matter, fuck all matters. That’s not true, the people I love matter. She matters.
The Death of a Corporation by Mick McCann
The Forest and the Cove by Sarah McMahon
 
The electric tram came to a shuddering halt forcing all the passengers within to slide forward on the polished wooden seats. It appeared I was the only person disembarking at this stop and I hurried toward the end of the carriage, slid back the door and clattered down the steps and onto the 'platform'. In truth there was no such platform as the line simply ran through an area of hardened earth which lay before my destination. The tram, lurching back into life, disappeared from my view as it continued on its journey.
 
Gathering my senses, I breathed in, tasting the green tones of the dense wood that lay to either side of the tram track. Such a deep quiet had taken hold since the vehicle had trundled out of sight. I stepped into the cover of trees.
 
                   Folks Want Answers by Kevin Keely
 
Folks want answers. Sometimes folks want the right answer. Sometimes they even want the wrong answer. Most times they don’t care if it's right or wrong, so long as they got other folks to blame. And that’s where we come in, the Crime Incorporation Apparatchiks. It's our job to investigate the big stuff, put all the facts together and demystify the conclusion. That's what most folks want—keeps them functioning properly.
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