Fire

In a Perfect World

By Edele Winnie

“Are you Mrs. Dununzio?” The doctor asked. At lease she assumed he was a doctor. He was wearing scrubs, had a pulled down mouth mask around his throat and a smear of blood that was just disappearing from his white coated chest.

Carol Dununzio nodded. “How is she?”

The doctor shook his head sadly.

“She’s not dead then?” Carol had to be certain.

“No.” The doctor said, frowning. “She lived. She’s going to be fine. I’m sorry.”

Carol Dununzio tried to swallow the lump in her throat. Her daughter still lived. Jessica, aged eleven, had survived. What was she going to do now?

A moment later another doctor wheeled Jessica out in a wheelchair. The young girl looked dazed, and the brown hair on the side of her head was matted with dried blood. The doctor tipped the chair and Jessica slid out and landed at her mother’s feet.

The doctors walked away, commenting on how awful the sunny weather currently was.

Carol grabbed Jessica by the arms and hauled her to her feet. The girl wobbled, but her legs held and so Mrs. Dununzio tugged her towards the emergency room doors.

The family car was easy to spot, for it was the least damaged in the lot. It was a fiery red and only the passenger side had been crashed in. The car in the spot next to it had been in so many accidents that it was now a patchwork of different colours as replacement parts had been added. One door was light blue, the next black, the roof was orange and there were other colours and some rust too. The car on the other side had been in a head on and all that remained of the windshield was jagged glass.

Mrs. Dununzio pushed Jessica into the back seat where the dead cocker spaniel was.   They’d found it by the side of the road about a week ago. It was long dead though and there were barely any insects in it anymore. Jessica was still bleeding lightly from her head wound. She lay down on the ripped seats in the back and wrapped her arms around the dead dog. (more…)

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Marked for Death

By Edele Winne

Coco was a small yappy black and white Shi-tzu dog with a talent for sniffing out those about to die. She had proven it eight times on dead end Mercy Street where mostly seniors lived, by camping out on the front porches of those about to expire.

As you can imagine the Mercy street residents were uncomfortable around little Coco.  Coco’s mistress, 89 year old Annabelle Coumbs, pshawed the whole business and refused to discuss it.  But everyone else did.  As the older residents passed away with Coco standing guard new younger people moved into the freshly vacant houses.  Mercy Street became an interesting mix of older and newer, seasoned and fresh, those about to die and those with long lives still ahead.

Muriel Robert was thirty one.  Because she was thirty one, she did not think about her health.  She considered herself unremarkable: short and thin with bobbed mousey brown hair.  She had smoked for six years in her teens but that was years ago.  At first she was pleased to find the charming Coco camped out on her porch, and then perturbed as she remembered the death vigil stories.  She petted Coco, who was most appreciative, and then went back into the house determined to ignore the death watch.

Maybe the dog just stopped here for a rest?  Maybe it was chasing a squirrel?  Muriel chewed at her nails.  It’s nonsense.  Coincidence.  Coco wanders everywhere and people only notice when someone passes away.  Besides, I’m thirty one!

            Muriel gave the dog a worried look and a pat on the head as she left for her evening shift at the hospital.  As a nurse she was no stranger to people dying, she’d hardened herself to it.   But now everything was different- she was looking at the possibility of her own death.  Was it going to be a car accident?  A sudden heart attack?  A crazed shooter at the hospitable or maybe even an earthquake?  She was too busy thinking such things and didn’t stop at the red light.  A dark blue pickup smashed into her passenger side and started her car spinning up onto the sidewalk. (more…)

Candle in the Park

By Edele Winnie

It was just before Easter and she was walking down the street on one of her usual walks, trying to burn off that terrible energy that tormented her . It kept her awake, it made her smash things and sometimes behave inappropriately.

There was nothing special about the Catholic Church, it was just another one of them. She would have called it middle aged, if she’d thought about it, for it wasn’t a hundred years old and who builds churches now?

It was the sign outside that had cut her eye. All day confession, it said. For the Easter holiday. All day confession. She could not resist.

It smelled like a church- a little musty, a little like people, kind of candlely. There was a sign that said ‘confessions’ and a pointing arrow.

There was no one waiting.   The curtain to the confessional was open. She stepped inside, knelt down, closed the curtain. She had no idea what she was going to say. She waited, for she heard no sound from the other side of the wooden screen.   And then, a door, someone shuffling, someone sitting themselves down.   Did priests kneel or sit while doing their confession thing? (more…)

The Uninvited Guest

By Joey Jules

Stephen stood at the entrance with his hand on the door nob. He was growing tired of the conversation. I told you, you have the wrong place.” he said for the second time to the man standing on his front porch.

I know what I saw, and this is the right place! The man exclaimed. “You have my wife and she is in there, so let me in or I will go through you if I have to!”

Stephen frowned. “Listen sir, I don’t know you or your wife. She is not here. You need to leave right now!”

The man’s eyes narrowed. “I will see her again, and believe me, you and me are not through with each other!” The man turned around, stepped off the porch in a huff and stormed away.

Stephen sighed. He watched the man walk down his gravel driveway until he was out of sight,  and shut the front door,  engaging the lock with a click. The last light of the day was shone through the cabin window. He went and sat on the sofa and lit himself a cigarette, inhaling deeply and savoring the sensation of nicotine running through his veins. (more…)

The Dale of Five Worlds (Part 4)

By Christian Laforet

Robi-Jo squeezed her eyes tight. A scream escaped her lips as her toes plunged through the surface. A chill instantly passed through her body. She wondered briefly why a chill, but her brain insisted that the lava was so hot, that it felt cold. It made sense, she guessed. It wasn’t until she swallowed a mouthful of salty liquid that she started to think that she was not being burnt alive in molten rock. She opened her eyes, and although it stung, she saw that she was submerged in water. Pushing with her legs, she swam upwards.

She found Felicia and Sam already bobbing on the surface. “What the crap?” she yelled to get their attention.

Sam surveyed the endless ocean which stretched across the horizon before looking back at Robi. “I teleported us to Teardrop, the water earth.”

“Oh gee, you teleported us? I hadn’t noticed.” Robi-Jo waved her arms around. “Maybe—and this is just a thought—in the future you could not wait until we’re about to die a horrible death before doing so!”

Felicia nodded. “Yeah, it’s kinda jerky. The whole, making us think we’re gonna die thing.”

Sam frowned. “I’m sorry, would you have rather me leave you in the hands of that narcissistic psychopath?”

“Well, she has a point there.” Felicia shrugged.

Robi-Jo was already fuming, but the smirk that Sam shot her way, sent her over the edge.

“I’ve had enough of you!” She grabbed a hold of Sam and pushed her under the water.

“Whoa!” Felicia tried to wade away, but was somehow pulled into the mix. (more…)