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Title:Every Day Fiction
Description:Every Day Fiction is a magazine that specializes in bringing you fine fiction in bite-size doses. Every day, we publish a new short story of 1000 words or fewer that can be read during your lunch hour, on transit, or even over breakfast.
Keywords:Fiction, Flash Fiction, stories,Fantasy,Horror,HumourSatire,Inspirational,Literary,MysterySuspense,Other,Romance,Science Fiction,Stories,Surreal,
Every Day Fiction
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Submit a story
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Every Day Poets
BELLA #8217;S BIRTHDAY • by Robert O #8217;Shea
I asked for a baby planet for my eighth birthday. Dan Wandering got a baby planet for his birthday. He’s not allowed to have it in his bedroom but you can go see it in the big laboratory at the top of his house.
His Daddy1 has to be there though when we want to look at it. You can’t touch it! It’s the size of a big head and it’s in a box that looks like glass. Except it’s not a glass box because Dan’s Daddy1 said it’s made of something that begins with ‘P’. There’s a microscope thingy that’s above the box. When you look through the microscope thingy you can see all the little countries. If you turn a button then you can see closer and watch the little people running around with no clothes. Sometimes you can see them getting chased by those big things from the zoo. Sometimes you see big things eat a little person. But you can’t see close enough to see guts or lots of blood.
I went home and told my Mammies about it. Mammy1 was boiling a fruit frog for dinner.
“Dan’s Daddies brought him a planet.”
Mammy1 made that annoyed noise. Her third eye glowed with anger-lust.
“Dan’s Daddies have a lot more money. You aren’t getting a planet.”
Mammy2 smiled at me with sad eyes. I hate that. Cause she still takes Mammy1’s side.
When my birthday happened on the Clerksday, I’d hoped that Mammy1 had changed her mind. A baby planet, I prayed, I want a baby planet .
The start and middle bit of my birthday were really good. Everyone was there! Maz S! Jane G! Even TomKat came! Dan Wandering ate too much spider cake and some legs were sticking out of his mouth. I called him ‘fat and greedy’. Mammy1 got the rainbow robot to sing. Pink stars flew out of the birthday box. After all the small presents then Mammy1 took the big one out. I hoped that she changed her mind… But she hadn’t… It wasn’t a baby planet. It was something stupid. It looked like us but with two arms and a smaller head and no third eye.
“What is it?” I asked Mammy1.
“It’s a human being. It’s our ancestor. It’s what we used to look like before the Combining. It can’t fly and it can’t separate but you can feed it and talk to it. You can make it clean your room and carry your bags. You just need to make sure you give it one of these every day so it behaves itself.”
Mammy1 handed me a tablet injector.
“That’s not as good as baby planet,” Dan Wandering whispered into my ear.
“Who wants an old-fashioned human that can’t even make his thoughts turn into solids? What’s the point in that?” he said.
I hate Dan Wandering.
I’ve got it in my room now. I’ve only had it a week and I’m fed up with it. If you don’t inject it in time then it gets rebellious. It tries to run away. And it talked lots. I cut the tongue out and now it looks at me with stupid wet eyes. All sniffling. It looks at me from the corner of my room.
I look back at it.
I hate the crybaby eyes. I hate that this was what we used to be like before the Combining. It’s stupid and silly and it’s not a Baby Planet. I think I’ll cut its eyes out now #8230; Next year I want a better birthday present.
Robert O #8217;Shea is a Dubliner living in New Zealand. His stories have been published in Ireland (New Irish Writing), England (First Edition Magazine) and New Zealand (Her Magazine). Robert has worked as an editor for legal publishers and literary journals. He was part of the editing and project team for New Zealand bestseller, The Six Pack in 2008. He works as Resource Developer and Editor for Retail Institute (ITO) in Wellington. He is working on a collection of short stories. His story #8220;Cut Throat #8221; was shortlisted for Hennessy X O Literary Awards (2009).
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Posted on March 29, 2011 in Fantasy, Stories
THE PRINCESS AND THE BULLFROG #8226; by Vincent D. O #8217;Connor
Once upon a time in a world long gone, there lived a large green bullfrog at the edge of a pond that rose in the midst of a temperate broadleaf and mixed forest. Day after day he would fill the night with multicroak, quasiharmonic advertisement calls.
One summer’s eve a plain, chinless princess baked medium-well in a spray-on tan decided to take a walk in the bullfrog’s forest. When she came to the edge of the cool, swampy pond, she sat down to rest awhile and sigh.
While lazily gliding around the pond, the bullfrog came upon the princess, whose sighs were now the loudest noise in the forest. Unable to ignore them, he called out, “Why are you sighing, dear princess?”
“I am not sighing. I’m just breathing hard because I’m disappointed and sad.”
#8220;Fine. What has made you so disappointed and sad that you are breathing hard, dear princess?”
“Life,” she replied.
“Yes. Life.”
“Could you be more specific?”
The princess thought for a moment. “All of life.”
Confused by the lack of specificity but game to help, the bullfrog said, “Lift me from the water and kiss me, and I shall turn into a handsome prince, marry you, and we shall rule my kingdom together and live happily ever after. #8221;
#8220;Nay, large, green bullfrog, #8221; replied the princess, wrinkling her nose, #8220;for I already have a kingdom. I have brave generals to lead armies into battle. I dispense high, middle and low justice. I have loyal subjects that produce goods and services for internal consumption and export. I need no prince, handsome or otherwise. What else do you have to offer? #8221;
#8220;Lift me from the water and kiss me, #8221; said the bullfrog, #8220;and I will give you a fortune in precious metals and jewels so that you shall never want for anything as long as you live. #8221;
#8220;Nay, large, green bullfrog, #8221; replied the princess, wrinkling her forehead. #8220;I have wise economic advisors who help me maintain a balanced budget with good economic growth and sensible interest rates. Your great riches would devalue our currency, create soaring inflation and cripple our exchange rates. What else do you have to offer? #8221;
#8220;Lift me from the water and kiss me, #8221; said the bullfrog, #8220;and you shall have charm and beauty beyond compare. #8221;
#8220;Nay, large, green bullfrog, #8221; replied the princess, wrinkling a leaf she had been fondling. #8220;It is true that I am plain and have no chin, but charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting. What’s important are a person’s intellectual, emotional, and spiritual qualities. #8221;
The bullfrog, now thoroughly frustrated, asked, #8220;Then what is it that you wish? #8221;
The princess responded, #8220;I want to be happy,” gently lifted the bullfrog and kissed him.
#8220;I have offered you love, riches, and beauty, and you have rejected them all. Yet you desire to be granted happiness from kissing a bullfrog?”
“Good luck with that,” laughed the bullfrog. ”This isn #8217;t a fairy tale, you know. #8221; And with that he leaped from the hands of the princess and was never seen again.
Vincent D. O #8217;Connor is a computer geek and writer. He has written technical manuals and articles, and his poetry has appeared in Talking Stick 19, Studio One, Main Channel Voices, Satori, and SP Quill Quarterly Magazine, among others. He also has a play, Nearly Departed, published by Players Press, Inc.
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Posted on March 28, 2011 in Fantasy, Humour/Satire, Stories
COLD FEET • by Paige Sinkler
Cold, cold! My feet go up and down in the bath water. Ellie’s way back, whining. Mummy doesn’t hear. Jump around a bit. “Cold!” I say. She does not hear. She throws a little white stick in the bin. Mum is sharp today. Quick blurry face.
“No!” Ellie has the blue sponge. “My sponge!” I shout. “MY!!” I try to shout it from her. She holds it over me. But I am wrigglier, and she hates water on her face, whereas I am a boy. I swish to Ellie’s end, splashing, her knee screams, she pushes me. I splash as big as I can, up to her head. Her bobbing, loud, red-mouth head.
Mummy pulls the stick back out. Squints at its blue tip. Throws it back in.
I didn’t make Mummy happy. I try to wee, I said “It coming!” but she did not squat with a story. Whoosh into the bath! It did come, then, but mummy didn’t see. No star.
I find my ducks. Ellie singing. I like this one. “I like this one,” I tell her, but she doesn’t hear. “Row, row, row your boat…” Ellie is loud, Ellie laughs when she sings. She will sing for me, sing for everyone. Sing when no one is listening and when it is cold. Her whole body sings too, which makes me laugh, especially her hands. Mummy not laughing. Daddy calling from the hall.
Shark coming! My ducks now in the icy sea. They go up and down. They dive. Dive under the water. I can’t keep them down. They come up. Where is little duck?
Daddy’s head comes in. Hello, Daddy! I am going to say. He throws in my nappy, my jams, mummy does not look up. I do not say Hello, Daddy.
“So?” he says. Mum looks. Ellie stops. Dad looking at Mum. I grab baby duck. “Oh, great. Great!” Dad hits the door hard. Sharp mum hits it back, shut. She looks at us, makes that noise in her throat like when I go all jelly legs. She kneels loud onto the floor, reaches in and grabs my arm. Ow! Wash wash. Pokes me everywhere with the flannel, rubbing hard, fast, angry.
I sing with Ellie. She rubs my back with the blue sponge. I do not grab. She is funny. We try to sing loudest each other. Her face red. “Gently down the streeeeeam…” Ellie washes the tiles with the blue sponge.
“No Ellie!” I shout. Blue sponge is for peoples. I go for it. She squeals.
“No, Jamie! Don’t snatch! Mummyyyy!” Not good.
“James, stop that,” Mummy says, my arm twists. Flannel jamming under my arm. Ellie should not have that sponge.
“Stop!” Almost got it.
“STOP IT RIGHT NOW!” She jumps me, I slip, I cry. Dad’s head pokes in, he pushes the door, hits mum’s knee, she slips, she pushes door on him. Ellie splash water over side of the bath. “Ellie, cut that out now!” Dad’s words bigger than mum’s. It’s shouting again. Tummy buzzing.
“I’m dealing with this!” Mummy pushes the door hard.
“Yeah, I can see that. Why not throw in another baby #8212; or maybe two?” Daddy cross. What baby? The twins are in bed, I kiss them good night.
There is not enough room. Daddy steps on mummy. Work shoes black in bathroom. “It didn’t happen by itself, you know!” she cuts. He goes, hard.
Toothbrushes come. Mine smells. And it’s not mine. I wash it in the water, mummy shouts. Her hair wobbly. I love her hair. I say “I love your hair.” Can’t catch it today. Can’t smell it.
“What didn’t happen, mummy?” asks Ellie.
The toothbrush jabs, hurts. I thrash, splash Ellie, mummy, get this stick go out my mouth.
“Whose baby, mum?” Ellie brushes. She has better hands. She can do it, I try but I am not let do it. I am slow. I can’t see my teeth. Ellie googles her eyes over her brush. I look at my toothbrush. Mummy gives up. I’m good at not brushing my teeth.
“Nothing, sweetheart, don’t worry.” Mummy is never looking up. Her hands are fast. Whose towel? Mummy gets up, bent. “Ellie, up.”
“Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily…” Ellie swims around me down the tub. Her hair has got wet. Oh, now the comb will make her hair cry and I won’t hear the story.
Mummy stops, eyes closed, towel. Then turns on fast. “Up!” she barks, reaches down pulls Ellie out. Wriggles and cries. “My ears, ow!!” Mummy rubs towel hard up and down Ellie’s head, tosses her nightie at her. “Go get dressed.” Mummy wipes her face with her arm.
“What happened, mum?” Ellie crying. Red eyes. Her tub side is clean. Blue sponge. I start my end. Shiny taps, mummy likes shiny taps.
“Now!” says mummy, scrambling up opens door, bumps into Daddy. Daddy takes Ellie. She cries louder on his shoulder. “What happened to the baby, Daddy?” They all push out door. My ducks dive.
I wait. Clean tub. I put sponge back. Pull plug. I put up the chain for mummy. It falls. I put it up again, it falls. The big sea slurps, pulling my ducks. I try to save them, I pull them from the slurp. I can’t. Too many. I say good-bye ducks. “Lie-fiss butt-er dream…” I sing. Bath cold on my feet.
Mummy comes. Picks me up all squeezed in towel. Tired face. Wet. Mummy cuddle. Warm, warm. My face in her hair. “I love your hair, mummy,” I tell. I kiss her hair. “I love you too, baby,” She says. Not smiling, but soft. She dries little duck with towel and gives me. “Daddy cuddle,” she says. Her face is wet. We go.
Paige Sinkler is a writer and photographer living in Guildford, England. After 20 years of writing for others, she is now studying for an MA in Creative Writing. She grew up in America, but has lived in England half her life, making it a challenge to write convincingly about either country. She blogs on #8216;writing #8217; for Litro magazine, and has poems forthcoming in Obsessed with Pipework. Her other obsession can be sampled at
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Posted on March 27, 2011 in Literary, Stories
I bought the bus pass in Manhattan at the Port Authority just as soon as Security unlocked the gates at 6am. One rolling duffle filled with my clothes, one backpack with my necessaries, some money tucked away. Sixty days to figure out my direction.
The bus stopped every two hours in a city that much further west. I developed a routine, getting off the bus to stretch my legs, back on before the new passengers could snake my seat out from under me. After a while I decided that the passengers weren #8217;t as interesting as the odors. Every time someone new got on the bus, the air would stir and odors change place: out with toilet stench, in with body odor.
He got on the Greyhound in Kalamazoo.
He smelled good, of hayseed, not sweat. Without a word, he chose the place next to me despite an abundance of empty benches. I pressed my body against the seat arm, sitting half in the aisle. He slid past me and sat next to the window. Though the seats reclined he did not put the seat back; he did not use the foot rest.
#8220;Where are you headed? #8221; I said.
He mumbled an incomprehensible reply.
My eyes drifted to his feet. Broken-out tennies, black socks, pipe-leg jeans rolled up a bit at the ankle. I inventoried his wardrobe: belt, leather buckle, red plaid shirt that would be a bit warm for the weather but perfect for the chilly bus. His face was crosshatched with white scars, worse on the left side than the right, traveling from above his hairline to below his shirt collar. He watched me examine him.
I frowned. #8220;Do I know you? #8221; I said. #8220;You look very familiar. #8221;
#8220;You ever read GQ? #8221;
#8220;Sure, all the time. Oh! You look just like. . . #8221;
He cut me off. #8220;I used to be him, but now I #8217;m me. Where are you headed? #8221;
I smiled narrowly. #8220;Didn #8217;t you see the destination banner in front? This bus is going to America. #8221;
The bus pulled out of the station and we were both quiet for a while. I stared past him at the Michigan forest. Dark green trees, dark black asphalt, dark blue sky. Dark because of the tinted window.
He broke the silence.
#8220;Have you done anything with your life yet? #8221;
#8220;I #8217;ve done plenty. You don #8217;t know me, #8221; I said.
#8220;I know enough. You smile, you #8217;re soft. You #8217;ve never tugged on Superman #8217;s cape. #8221;
#8220;And you? Just because a weasel attacked your face while you slept in some nasty alley doesn #8217;t mean you #8217;ve done anything worth while. #8221;
#8220;Weasel? I suppose. #8221; He snorted a harsh caw, exposing good teeth. #8220;You #8217;re right about the alley but I was wide awake. #8221; He turned away from me.
We both watched more Michigan countryside fly past the bus windows.
A man pressed by me on the way to the toilet. He apologized when he jiggled my arm. His over-applied aftershave clashed badly with the toilet disinfectant.
My seatmate tapped my arm.
#8220;Don #8217;t you want to know what happened to me? #8221;
#8220;Of course I do, #8221; I said. #8220;I didn #8217;t bring a book. #8221;
#8220;Sure you did, #8221; he said. #8220;Probably Catcher In The Rye, which you put down every time you read a page. #8221;
#8220;What you don #8217;t know about me would fill a library, #8221; I said. #8220;And it #8217;s Ulysses. #8221;
#8220;Here #8217;s what I do know, #8221; he said. #8220;You #8217;re nice. You #8217;d never challenge a bad guy even if he hurt you. You #8217;d run away from him. You, I bet you laughed when the kids in high school made fun of you. #8221;
I frowned. #8220;No, not really, #8221; I said. #8220;Just because I have an Irish face doesn #8217;t mean I #8217;m a push over. I think you #8217;re talking about yourself. #8221;
#8220;Yeah, #8221; he said. #8220;Maybe. #8221;
#8220;Not everyone has a quest in their life, #8221; I said. #8220;Some people just live. Day to day and all that. #8221;
#8220;But not me, #8221; he said. #8220;And not you, either. #8221;
#8220;What happened? #8221; I asked finally.
#8220;About what you thought, #8221; he said. #8220;A weasel caught me out back of a pool hall and did some plastic surgery to my face. Took my money. #8221; He paused. A world of memory rippled across his face. #8220;I #8217;m gonna get my money back, #8221; he said.
The bus groaned to a stop. The driver announced that we #8217;d arrived in Chicago.
He got up, stretched to retrieve his bag from the overhead stow.
I dredged up a goodbye. #8220;I hope you find your money. #8221;
#8220;Thanks, #8221; he said. #8220;Just remember, you won #8217;t find America until you find yourself. #8221;
#8220;I #8217;m not lost, #8221; I quipped. My eyes dampened, though, and I blinked.
He smiled, and maybe shook his head, and shuffled off the Greyhound.
Bus travel is all about waiting. In Denver I had four hours to kill before the next connection west. A scruffy homeless guy loaded the newest daily paper into the box. I gave him a dollar. I read the front page, scanned the international news and the national blips, the editorial articles, and half the society pages before I realized I was looking for him. He wasn #8217;t there, of course.
I laughed and dropped the paper. Even though the night hadn #8217;t lifted and the bad part of downtown beyond the station doors was still dark and a little scary, I went outside.
Jude-Marie Green writes in California, USA.
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Posted on March 26, 2011 in Literary, Stories
GENESIS #8226; by JR Hume
#8220;You won #8217;t be a monster. #8221;
I wanted to laugh, but didn #8217;t have the air. #8220;I #8217;m already a monster. Look at me. #8221;
CJ stepped away from the window and shrugged. #8220;You won #8217;t need a walker or oxygen generator after the procedure. You #8217;ll be a man again. #8221;
#8220;Right. A fusion-powered metal and plastic man with a block of cheese for a brain. Vidcam eyes, electronic ears, no sense of smell, and no #8212; no external evidence of manhood. #8221; I sank back in the chair, breathing hard.
#8220;That #8217;s not what makes you a man, Vic. #8221; CJ walked back to his desk and sat down.
#8220;Maybe not, but it #8217;s a powerful reminder. What about my humanity? The technicians will carve my brain like a Thanksgiving turkey, liquefy the pieces, and spray them into a silicon lattice. How much of me will be left? #8221;
#8220;The procedure is nothing like that. The scanning device will map areas of your organic brain down to the molecular level. That map is used to configure the android quasi-brain. #8221; He moved papers on his desk aimlessly. #8220;You know all this. The essential parts of the man known as Victor Dailey will reside in a new brain in a new body. That man will still be Victor Dailey. #8221;
I lifted one hand. A blue-veined, porcelain-pale, shrunken hand. #8220;This is what I #8217;m reduced to, my friend. Yet I can still feel the leather and wood of this chair. I can smell the fire burning in the other room. Outside, I felt snowflakes melting on my face and hands. #8221;
“There is some loss in sensory input,” admitted CJ. “Vision and hearing are very good. The other senses #8212; get better all the time. The initial quality of your experience will depend on the state of technology when #8212; ”
#8220;When I die. #8221;
#8220;You don #8217;t have to wait for that. #8221;
#8220;Spare me the sales pitch.  I know the transfer process is best done prior to the damage that can be inflicted during clinical death. #8221;
#8220;It #8217;s practical immortality. #8221; He folded his hands and looked away. #8220;My plans are made. When the time comes, I #8217;ll willingly become a droid. I wanted #8212; that is, I expected to have my best friend around #8212; in the next life. #8221;
#8220;Immortality? I wonder. Twenty percent of all new droids die within the first few months. A like amount die within five years. #8221;
#8220;Some fail to adjust to the transfer. Some cannot adapt over the long term. #8221; CJ touched his desk calendar. #8220;You will be dead within the year. I will die, in all probability, in ten to fifteen years. Then what? #8221;
#8220;Then we find out if there really is a God, I suppose. #8221; I met his gaze. #8220;Droids don #8217;t get that chance #8212; unless they #8216;fail to adapt #8217;. #8221;
Mentioning the possible existence of a Creator was probably a mistake. CJ had been antagonistic toward religion ever since we were in grade school.
#8220;So you #8217;ve decided not to make the transfer? To die and cease? There is no life after #8212; no life after death. #8221; His eyes glittered in the evening light.
I gripped the rail of my walker and studied the back of my hand. The skin was translucent. Cords and veins stood out. I felt and looked frail. Claws of ice stroked the tethers of my soul.
My voice cracked, grew hoarse. #8220;No. I didn #8217;t #8212; ” CJ waited silently.
#8220;I will make #8212; or attempt to make #8212; the transition to android. My mind #8212; deciding took a long time. I spoke with droids. Fifty or sixty, I suppose. #8221; I fell silent, thinking of those fruitless discussions with men and women endeavoring to make new lives from within the confines of metallic bodies.
#8220;You don #8217;t know how glad I am to hear that. #8221; CJ stood up and began pacing. #8220;Barring accidents, we have forever ahead of us. #8221;
#8220;We do. #8221;
#8220;Human beings with no constraints on their lives. Can you imagine it? #8221;
#8220;I can. But we will not be human. #8221;
He stopped in front of the window and stared at me. #8220;Of course we will. What makes you think #8212; why do you say that? #8221;
#8220;Android brains do not have and likely never will have the billions of cross-connections of human brains. Droid brains are designed to use more of what they have, so we will be intelligent, capable of extensive learning, suitable for any reasonable task. But we will no longer know the flash of intuitive understanding, the insights granted by a slower, superior mind. #8221;
CJ laughed aloud, but his mirth did not reach his eyes. #8220;You speak as if we will be humanity #8217;s stupid brother. #8221;
I stood up and worked my way across the room to stand with him.
#8220;We won #8217;t be brother to anyone but our fellow droids. This melding of organic mind and metal body heralds the creation of a new race. A younger race, stronger in some ways, but duller in promise. The men creating androids are like gods, playing with unimaginable consequences. #8221;
#8220;You #8217;re wrong. Androids are humanity #8217;s next step, not a separate creation. Men are not gods. There are no gods. #8221;
I touched the window. Windblown snowflakes melted on the glass, sliding down the pane in icy streaks. The surface under my hand felt cool and dry, like a coffin handle. Fear gripped my heart. I turned away #8212; away from the memory of snow melting on my tongue, the taste of hot chocolate on a winter day, the touch of a woman #8217;s hand on my skin.
CJ stared out at the darkening sky. #8220;We will live and never die. #8221;
JR Hume is an old Montana farm boy who writes science fiction, a little fantasy, some weird detective tales, an occasional poem, and oddball stories of no particular genre.
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Posted on March 25, 2011 in Science Fiction, Stories
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