I Confess


By Christine Goodnough

“Mrs Derringer?” Officer Menzies flashed her badge when the woman opened the door. “Guess you know why I’m here.” She’d found starting this way could elicit some interesting reactions.

The old lady gasped. “How did you find out? I’ve been so careful.”

Menzies raised a questioning eyebrow.

“You don’t know what it was like living with that man. He was cruel in every way. I just couldn’t take any more.” Her eyes teared up. “I suppose one of the neighbors suspected …?”

“Mrs Derringer,” Menzies interrupted gently. “I’m here to tell you your driver’s license is expired. Time to renew.”


A Friend Drops By


By Christine Goodnough

I made camp by a wilderness lake to enjoy some solitude. Almost. I did make friends with a curious skunk who found my frypan drippings appealing.

Next evening a motorboat roared in. Three hunters unloaded their gear, made camp, guzzled beer. Finally crawled into their tent to snore.

Later I heard sneezing; the skunk was nosing among the ashes. When he headed for the newcomers’ tent, I whispered. “Wrong way, Moufette.”

His visit incited shouts, then three splashes as our reeking visitors hit the lake.

I fried extra bacon the next night. It’s nice to have friends drop in.

The Finger


By Maura Yzmore

When I met Jenny, she worked as a waitress at the diner where I often ate after my shift.

The day I fell in love with her, she gave me the middle finger—the whole middle finger, with the telltale writer’s callus and both knuckles. It floated alongside chunks of chicken in the creamy soup that she served me.

I was more curious than appalled. “How does one get the whole middle finger chopped off?”

“By flipping off a ninja,” said Jenny, deadpan. At that moment, I knew she was the one.

The settlement I received paid for our honeymoon.

Bio: Maura’s short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fiction Pool, Storyland, Microfiction Monday Magazine, The Dirty Pool, and 50-Word Stories.

Fun with Calculators


By David Cook

Matt Jenkins typed 5318008 into his calculator, turned it upside down, snickered and passed it to Steve Smith. “It says ‘boobies’!” giggled Steve quietly, almost widdling himself with glee.

The two were interrupted by a raised hand. Samantha Barrington was staring in confusion at her book. She always had trouble with algebra. Mr. Jenkins rolled his eyes at Mr Smith and went to help Samantha with her problem. Mr. Smith giggled again, then strolled down the corridor and into his office, pausing only to admire the little plaque on the door that read “Headmaster.”

Terms of Engagement


By Alex Colvin

Guess how much my boyfriend spent on my engagement ring? No, seriously, guess a number. Now guess lower. I don’t care how low a number you picked. The actual figure is lower. I guarantee it.

Guess even lower. Seriously, cut your guess in half. You’ll need to. We are talking about a single-digit amount here. Ready? Okay … $7.49

Yes, really. Seven dollars and forty-nine cents. Canadian. And he was really proud of himself for finding such a great deal. And I said yes for some reason. My mother, through a pained and forced grin, said, “Stainless steel! How practical.”

During the Depression, We Made Do with What We Had


By Graham Robert Scott

The pages of my grandmother’s personal cookbook were yellowed, brittle; any recipe not in her hand, a heavily annotated clipping.

“You aren’t looking through my old recipes again, are you?” she called from the deck.


“Good. Amateur scribbles. Buy a real book. From a TV chef.”

I turned the page. The next recipe, in her hand, called for “1 human head, pickled.” I squinted, tilted, peered. Failed to decipher those words as anything else.

“Could you bring out some tea?” she called. “Green tea in the fridge is fine.”

Such was my haste, I spilled some on the counter.

Uncle Eric’s Burger


By Christine Goodnough

Uncle Eric captivated the children with his alien spaceship story at the family picnic. Especially Andy, who peppered Eric with questions until mom finally shushed him.

While fixing their burgers by the grill, Andy piped up, “Uncle Eric …”

“Hush! You’ve pestered Uncle enough.”

“But Mom …”

Dad frowned. “Not another word until after dinner.” Andy sighed and shrugged.

After they’d eaten Eric said, “Now Andy, what did you want to tell me so badly before?”

“Two flies landed in the ketchup on your burger and you didn’t see when you put the top on. It doesn’t matter now. They’ve … uh … disappeared.”