• At Baen: "By the Book" by Charles E. Gannon. Science Fiction.
The ship's youngest rating, Brian Lewis, sighed so heavily that the inside of his faceplate fogged for a moment. “So, that's it, Skipper. We're locked out.”
• Now Posted: Bourbon Penn #7: Speculative Fiction.
"The Ant Singer" by Benjamin ParzybokFlash Fiction
"Though as he approached, he sighed resignedly about the state of those letters, faded with age as they were. Alex put his cup of coffee on the ground and rattled the key in the tired and stubborn lock on his door, and the lock reminded him of his locksmith."
"Electric Prayer Wheel" by James Freetly
"I was smacking Annabelle's jelly flip-flop against the wooden handrail, loosening the caked-on dirt. I began muttering the words to "Spirit in the Sky" as the sunshine drew beads of sweat out of my exposed belly."
"The Barrel" by Holly Day
"For as long as he could remember, the boy thought the old wooden barrel was some sort of pet. Three times a day, his father would take a jumbled plate of scraps out to the back yard and leave it right at the opening of the barrel."
"Your Fairy Is Serenity Elfsong" by Samantha Henderson
"I ignore her, pulling the denim jacket tighter over my shoulders and walking faster. The icy water seeps into my sneakers. It's been snowing since dawn, the first snow of the year, and grey clots fall from the grey ash sky. No one else is stupid enough to be on the streets, not without boots and winter coats. The last thing I want to do is to talk to a fairy."
"Consumer Testing" by John Greenwood
"Already I have muddled it all. Like my mother's before me, my brain is sluggish, and protracted thought hastens torpor. My father always told me to begin at the beginning, though it did him no good. Still, the enumeration of the jars of olives tires me, and I cannot bring myself to consider any other place to begin."
"Caretaker" by Will Kaufman
"She cares for the world's cemetery: this land covered in soft grass, made gray by the ranks of headstones, each bearing the beady lens of a motion detector and a dark but waiting screen. Somewhere, there is a wall. Somewhere, beyond the rolling hills and endless graves, she knows there is a wall."
"Jawbreaker" by Sean Doolittle
"Listen, all due respect," Randy said, which was what people like Randy Horn always said before saying something disrespectful. "You had a good run, but it's over."
- At Beware the Hairy Mango: "Concord and Lacey" by Matthew Sanborn Smith. Audio.
- At 365 Tomorrows: "Old-Time Memory" by Kiel Finger. Science Fiction.
• At Drabblecast: "The Man Who Drew Cats" by Michael Marshall Smith. Fantasy. Horror.
"Old Tom was a very tall man. He was so tall he didn’t even have a nickname for it. Ned Black, who was at least a head shorter, had been ‘Tower Block’ since the sixth grade, and Jack, the owner of the Hog’s Head Bar, had a sign up over the door saying ‘Mind Your Head, Ned’. But Tom was just Tom. It was like he was so tall it didn’t bear mentioning even for a joke: be a bit like ragging someone for breathing…"
• At Pseudopod: "Charlie Harmer’s Day Off" by Brendan Detzner. Horror.
"A ghost is a dead person with a job. When you’re alive, you split your time. You work, you sleep. When you’re dead, the line gets blurrier. You switch between one and the other quickly, or do both at once. You lose track of time a lot."
- Audio at Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine: "Shadow People" by Rex Burns.
- Audio at CraftLit: "Jane Eyre, chapters 37 & 38" by Charlotte Brontë.
- Audio at Every Photo Tells: "Obscurities – Part 04" by by Mick Bordet.
- Audio at LibriVox: "Stories from Virgil" by Alfred John Church. Mythology.
- Fiction at Online Pulps: "An Invitation to Bullets" by William Benton Johnston (1938) and "Will for a Kill" by Emil Petaja. 1946. Pulp Noir.