Tag Archives: Marc D. Regan

Microfiction Monday – 30th Edition


Artwork: “City Garden” by Kyle Hemmings


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Provocation
by Sarah Vernetti

She could barely see her neighbor’s yard. She had to open the blinds all the way and stand just so: over to the right side of the window, hugging the wall while looking sideways. But the view felt unavoidable. She wanted to spend more time in her own backyard, checking on the cacti, pruning the lantana, watching hummingbirds flit in and out of the spires of autumn sage. But her job, her role, had become inseparable from herself, and so she stood each morning, pressing her chest against the textured drywall. Waiting patiently, reporting to no one.

Aftermath
by Michael Jagunic

He laid his forehead against the backseat window and undid his bow tie. Beside him, she cradled the smashed up layer cake in her lap like a dead baby.
“We can fix this,” she whimpered, trying to convince herself. “We can still fix this.”
He feared the same thing that she did: that life was crumbly, that some things cannot be fixed. So he reached for her arm and gave it a squeeze. “I know.”
The cabbie, a real professional, suffered their boozy nonsense in silence.

The Tallboy
by Chad Greene

Doubt that anyone on the streetcar clattering across the steel bridge noticed us at the edge of the river, let alone the circle of empty Pabst cans we had arranged around the base of the white cross. I had loved him the most; that’s why I left the tallboy. It towered over the 12-ouncers everyone else had left.

A Song Before Dying
by C.C. Russell

The twang of another guitar through another bridge bringing us back again to the familiar chorus. Someone says “Didn’t we just leave this party?” as a joke, but it falls flat. Outside, over the music, we can hear them scratching their way through the trees. We can hear them coming; closer every second. No one thinks to reach over and turn off the stereo. No one thinks of anything that could save us.

Ubiquitous
by Marc D. Regan

That ubiquitous moon lights dark heavens and reflects now as it did then: the burning hole in me; my corrupted innocence and the lengths to which the word love could be stretched. When my back was no longer able to bear that shameful weight, I shed bloodied sheets and a childhood of midnight lies. But after five years, I still cannot outrun that moon.

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Microfiction Monday – Twenty-first Edition


Special thanks to Jessica Standifird for her editorial assistance. This week’s artwork is by Marc D. Regan.


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Free at Last
by Marc D. Regan

Newman heard it again, the steady slap-slap-slapping footfalls that only stopped when his did. That bloodthirsty kid. Down sidewalks, corridors, inside Newman’s flat, this desperate young stalker followed—for years. The kid was forever eighteen, unkempt, angry. Newman had aged from thirty to forty.
“No,” Newman screamed. “It’s over!”
Hunting knife seized, he dashed outside. Footsteps echoed. Newman spun, blade slashing, gouging eyes, ears. Newman collapsed, blind and deaf. Alone. Hot blood pulsed onto the pavement. The kid was gone. At last.
Newman saw himself thirty again, stomping on the brakes too late as the kid crossed the street.

Girl’s Best Friend
by Eric Robert Nolan

I’ve been trying to kill that damn dog for over a week. It’s loyal to a fault. It digs.
It’s a mutt. A dumb one. Mid-sized, with mottled brown and white fur. Nothing to distinguish it except for an unusually vacant expression.
And it digs.
Fiona used to call it “Skipper.”
I was questioned in the disappearance of my eight-year-old daughter, but never really suspected in it.
It brought me Fiona’s femur yesterday, panting and wide-eyed. Right to the back door. My hammer missed its skull by inches.
It returns to that narrow space behind the shed. And it digs.

Discarded but Not Gone
by Peggy Christie 

It had been months since they left her here to die. Did they think it would be that easy? The ceiling crumbled and drywall dust coated her porcelain face. Her glass eyes, unaffected by the swirling debris of the collapsing home, could see the bulldozer as it crawled toward the main support beam. When the entire structure finally fell, bringing two stories of mortar, brick, glass, and metal down on top of her, the doll body would shatter, and she would be free.

The Bleeding
by Edward Vaughn

My sweet Jezebelle begins to cry as I lay her in the center of the pentagram. She knows what is happening, I think. From my underwear drawer I pull the knife I snuck from Grandmother’s kitchen. I kneel before my baby. She lay on her back, helpless. I cut her. I cut myself. The wood inside the pentagram drinks our blood. A crack in the air like thunder and I see him in the shadows. The horn-headed man. “Jezebelle,” I say. She stops crying and smiles. “Daddy’s home.”

Cliche
by Jessica Standifird

“Bloody handprints are so cliché, you got anything better than that?” Tess smirked at the sticky handprint on her sheet.
There was a groan from the attic.
“Really?” she sighed, “You gonna’ rattle some chains, now, too?”
A chill shook her body. From the gelatinous mess pooled on the bed between her legs a child’s voice reached up, “No, Mommy, but you could have been less predictable, yourself.”
Her husband lifted her gently, whispered in her ear, “Come on, hon. I’m taking you to the hospital.”

Microfiction Monday – Nineteenth Edition


Microfiction Monday Magazine is proud to bring you the first set of micros in our month-long horror series. We are still actively seeking more horror submissions and artwork as well. Just click the submissions tab above to send your work our way.

Special thanks to Jessica Standifird for her editorial assistance.


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The Trail
by Jessica Shoemaker

Amongst the granite cliffs and redwoods, she was a tiny speck leaving tiny footprints on a path beside the river.
After three days, she was happy to spot another pair of prints. They sat and spoke of sunsets, stars, and solitude. She shared cashews. He offered her some tea.
While she gathered her gear, he pushed on ahead. She copied his gait along the trail, leaving tiny shoe prints inside of his until his tracks abruptly stopped. The feeling of being steeped in lead rapidly spread. Unable to move. Unable to scream. She watched him step slowly from the trees.

Pet
by Richard Jennis

The metal monster breathed poison. Slept in refuse, contended paws curling rhythmically, dagger-claws scraping the hard metal floor.
“It’s time, boy,” said the sad little man, nudging his favorite abomination lovingly and gesturing to the open door. The little metal man had himself been a hunter long ago, but grew disheartened from years of being eluded and dodged. His blade hand was slow, rusty like the underside of an old, cheap car. He was weak.
Now the metal monster did his bidding, dragged in rats and cats and street orphans. Lay panting excitedly, waiting for its loving master’s praise.

What Waits in the Shadows
by Joyce Frank

The candle burns low. The claw of the living dead scrapes the bowl, scooping a fun-sized Reese’s cup. Still they come, dragging their crosses and hatchets, adjusting their Hogwarts gowns.
Mom’s off for more candy.
“Leave the bowl and take the trash out back.”
In the amber fog of the floodlight, a shadow groans behind the dumpster, but Bobby won’t be frightened by a schoolmate.
“You don’t scare me Max,” he blusters, rushing the shadow. A wall of matted fur rears up on thick, muddy stumps. He inhales the fetid breath of a garbage-eating grizzly.

Winchester
by Tyler Jones

When I fall asleep the walls of the house shift and change. When I wake up the rooms are different sizes. Framed pictures from the hallway now hang in the attic. The windows have all disappeared. Doors open up to other rooms but never lead outside. I’ve spent days wandering through this maze. Sometimes I can’t find a bed and I fall asleep on the floor. I hear the sound of an approaching storm. One hand on the wall, scraping my toes on the floor. I feel so weak each step leaves me exhausted. I still can’t find the kitchen.

A Thumping in the Night
by Marc D. Regan

Honey. Please get up. I need you. It’s too hard. Alone.
She stares at the ceiling. Two weeks. Catatonia, they say. Though you hate leaving her, when your baby’s been stolen, action is required. But you’re home.
And what’s banging?
You go to the basement door, hear a steady thumping. The dryer?
Baffled, cellar bulb burnt out, a flashlight finds the dryer. What’s in there, a basketball? Body tingling, you yank. A wretched stench gags you. No dryer light. Flashlight illuminating, you scream—because the sight is unimaginable, this horribly annihilated baby son.
And your wife stands behind you.

Microfiction Monday – Seventeenth Edition


Special thanks to Jessica Standifird for her editorial assistance. This week’s artwork is by Marc D. Regan.


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Robbie
by Richard Jennis

Robbie’s mind is a labyrinth where rabbits come to play, until cobras devour those rabbits in their glistening venom mouths. Somewhere in the labyrinth is Rachel Ellison’s bra from the time they got frisky while studying chemistry. Beyond that, in the most hidden and cavernous realm, is a small copy of “The Great Gatsby.” One day, Dr. Babylon tried to gain entry, and his life was never the same. Had he gone further, he would have met Rachel Ellison herself, and everything would have been illuminated. Unfortunately, he was scared off by the flickering symbols dancing on the serpentine walls.

Revenge
by Nathan Hystad

I press my back against the cold, brick wall. The spirit hovers in front of me, her face inches from mine. I can see the anguish in her eyes as she stretches her ethereal hands towards my neck. I know I was wrong to come here again. Through it all, she still loves me. I can see it in her eyes as she chokes me; her wispy white hands clamp around my throat. I’m too far gone to care; I only want to be with her again. As all breath leaves my lungs I croak out two last words. “I’m sorry.”

The Sudden Obliteration of Things
by Marc D. Regan 

Things were going well. Interpret things as you choose. For me things represented my band, my relationship. I was finally happy. Things, of course, stood as irrefutable evidence that butt-ugly truth wielded the hatpin to burst my bubble. The call came early, I was asleep: They’d ODed. Kevin—best friend, band guitarist, and fix when life had me jonesing—and Annie—Bonnie to my Clyde, were both dead… but together? Now-exposed lies copulated frantically in my mind; the shared drugs, sex. Dead were concrete walls in a shrinking cell—on Pluto! Suddenly alone, I shivered, cried. Suddenly, things were obliterated.

Attention
by Tina Tocco

“Oh, you just pay him no mind, now, honeybun.” Momma leaned over the fence into the new neighbor. “Boy’s just lookin’ for attention.”
She dragged on her Pall Mall, and the man coughed, like little Shirlee with her asthma. I guess that’s why Momma didn’t hear me, see me pointing to the pool’s still surface, as she slid one finger down her own buttons.

Trash in the Garden
by Dakota Taylor

Her skin is cold, the stars faded from her eyes. Burnt lips, and scarred knees. Too young to sing the blues, did you know that money beats freedom? The Hollywood Dream. Drunks howl at the moon, grunting and sweaty. Lean, mean, and seventeen. The city is a neon forest. The camera is rolling, the mattress is vile. Leave the lights on when you leave.

Microfiction Monday – Fourteenth Edition


Special thanks to Jessica Standifird for her editorial assistance. This week’s artwork is by Pat Bouchie.


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Kone
by Sylvia Petter

Kone sits in his top-floor office, sipping a double Bourbon. He closes his eyes and sees a young boy squatting in the school ground, drawing a circle in the dust with a whittled stick. The bell peals and the boy stands up, tucks the stick into the belt of his grey uniform shorts and goes back to class. Kone leans deep into his leather armchair. The boy in the dust had imaginary whiskers that would twitch whenever things were amiss. Kone runs the back of his hand over a close-shaven cheek, empties his glass and sighs.

27 Signs You Are in an Existential Crisis
by Howie Good

The process involves clinging to fragments floating around – a woman taking off her shirt, an ugly mood, an eye – and tying them together. Yet nothing is ever resolved, nothing adds up, nothing goes anywhere. Just yesterday, I woke up to rain gusting against the window. There were other bad omens, all the things that make me, me, the sense of having quotation marks around them. I looked in the mirror and saw that my eyebrows were gray. I saw that I was sixty-two, almost sixty-three. I have a box full of photographs I have taken of clouds to prove it.

Unsatisfactory
by Gabby Dexter

“I don’t understand your story,” he said, thumbing through the papers.
“You don’t?” she said.
“The character is in pain. Real, physical pain. She’s ill. Every day she wakes in agony, and all she can do is wait for the next day and hope it will be different so that maybe she can live. But it never is.” She could detect the sneer in his voice. “Your story has no structure, no shape, no meaning. There’s no ending – no conclusion of any kind. It’s not satisfactory.”
“No.” She reached for her cane and lowered her eyes. “No, it’s not.”

Smoke Screen
by Marc D. Regan 

Outside, his spine pressed to the clapboard siding, he exhaled smoke. Delightful smoke. In his head Peter, Paul and Mary sang of Jackie Paper’s dragon, Puff. His lips and fingertips buzzed, and he loved it. Sort of. After many failed attempts, he’d finally done it: quit. Until tonight, in his childhood backyard, he had. Three nicotine-free months—over. He glanced right, left. As if on the sly, his girlfriend, the reformed cigarette smoker, had tailed him to say: “But your mom’s smoking. Lung cancer. Honey. No.” But after enduring his mother’s funeral today, all those dour faces, he deserved it.

Orderly
by Erica Plouffe Lazure

I try not to take them anymore. But I always give in. The kids in the ward: their bald scalps haloing bright smiles, sagging jonnies. Rows of them, making wishes, clutching tiny effigies of themselves, fingers tracing hand-stitched smiles, affixing Band-Aids to cloth limbs, whispering secrets. Some sport pigtailed wigs, dwarfing ball caps that fool no one. When it’s time to trundle one down the hall, we pretend the gurney’s a roller coaster or choo-choo train or rocket ship. A bicycle. An airplane destined for Disney—anything, even for a moment, to pull us out of this terrible adventure.

Microfiction Monday – Twelfth Edition


Special thanks to Jessica Standifird for her editorial assistance. This week’s artwork is by Marc D. Regan.


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Reset
by Rose Blackthorn

“I don’t know why we have to…present our son to him,” Charley muttered. “It’s creepy!”
“He’s my great-grandfather; he’s very old,” Moira replied. “This is the first son born to his line. It’s a big deal.”
Charley sighed.
Cian MacRaith sat propped up in bed. He’d waited so long for this day, and he was running out of time.
“Great-grandfather,” Moira went to him, taking one parchment-dry hand. “Meet your great-great-grandson.”
“He’s healthy?” Cian asked hoarsely.
“Perfect!” Moira beamed.
Babe and old man locked gazes. When the old man collapsed, no one noticed the cold satisfaction in the child’s eyes.

The Clockmaker
by Nathan Hystad

The clockmaker squints through his looking glass. His ultimate work is almost done, and he revels in the intricate beauty of the cogs and wheels. With a final twist of his tiny screwdriver, the back plate is in place. He cranks the lever and sets the mahogany piece down. Its hands start ticking slowly, backwards. A smile spreads on his face as the hands move faster. Soon his hair is less grey and his back straighter. It keeps moving backwards and he laughs. His wife comes in the room; tears stream down her face. He smiles. “We have forever.”

Conduit
by Sarah Vernetti 

She had wrapped it carefully in bubble wrap, placed it in a box, and made sure to label it “Fragile! Not for moving truck.” As she glanced back at the old apartment for the last time, it was the only object she held besides her fringe-covered purse and a can of root beer. Ready to prove her trustworthiness, she walked down the stairs to the car, being sure to watch every step. After all, breaking the box’s contents could alter the state of the universe. Just then, a child raced up the stairs, brushing her elbow as he went by.

Paris
by Mike Zamzow

“Damn, there you are! How the hell you doin’?”
I didn’t answer. I didn’t know him. I didn’t know a single one of the two million odd Parisians. I didn’t know anyone for five thousand miles.
“Hey, man, where you from?”
“American.”
“Hell, man, I’m from Chicago.” He spoke with a thick North African accent. “We cool. We cool. Come, man. Let’s go!”
I shrugged, put out the end of my cigarette and followed the man down the street.
“Wanna drink? My friend, we all hangin’ out tonight.”
“Got beer?”
“Hell yeah.” I shrugged. I could use a drink.

The Taste of Ivory
by Peter Cherches

I don’t remember what I said, but I remember her chasing me around the apartment with the big white bar in her hand, that crazed look in her eyes. I remember her catching me, grabbing me by the hair, trying to pry my jaws open, her long red nails scratching my face. I remember that the bar was too big for my little mouth, and I remember her turning it forty-five degrees so the corner could at least graze my tongue and make me gag. I remember the taste of Ivory soap.

Microfiction Monday – Fifth Edition


Special Thanks to Jessica Standifird for her editorial assistance. This week’s artwork is by Marc D. Regan.


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Gabriel, Oh, Gabriel
by Jonathan Oak

 She lay on the insertion room table. Her DNA screening had gone well. The GBRL came alive, unfolding as it approached her, wings of light illuminating the workspace between her legs, its arm extending a gently curved duck-billed facilitator. It hummed like Sunday mornings; early, sleepy dawns when her mother moved like a half remembered song, making pancakes, listening to sermons. Then the miracle of modern science happened, the immaculately conceived child, not born of lust, or desire, but in the clean, comforting atmosphere of purpose. They were making the world a better place, one unblemished child at a time.

Without A Song
by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri

The boy chases after the Chevrolet, rain falling from graying clouds. If he’s fast enough, he can stop Mother before she leaves him at Deerfield Academy. He doesn’t know anyone. Back home, he was Piano Boy, writing compositions about autumn and lonely kingdoms. It was hardly a compliment, but he knew where he fit. He remembers Mother smiling when he wrote his first composition. Rocking him to sleep after nightmares about dung-beetles. Dung-beetles who chased Mother across their favorite ice-skating rink.
The boy stumbles, the car fading into a pebble-sized speck. He cries into flickering shadows in the rainy, wind-swept street.

Every Time I Look
by James Croal Jackson

You sat alone in bed as the others filtered out. You did not inch away when I got close. You said “hey” so quietly I imagined it. Your head was on my shoulder like in a dream. I said, “I’m drunk.” You were, too. I felt the roughness of your jeans. Your fuzzy sweater clung to my arm. Your hairs brustled my cheek. I said, “I like you.” A chill inflicted the room when you told me I should have saved it for another time. From bed I watched the rest of the party dissipate into vast, empty space.

Venus
by Edward Palumbo

She was my Venus, and she had four limbs, although it was rumored that she was missing a toe. I never found out. “Make love to me in the dark” she would say, “and don’t look at my feet.” She painted in reds and umbers, odd, as she was a musician. “Someday I will be the greatest pianist in all Russia,” she promised, “if I ever get out of Milwaukee.” They came for her one spring evening. She called for my help, but I had a face full of shaving gel. Perhaps this is better.

Fear
by Marc D. Regan

Max decided a backdoor might be necessary. Like a dog door. Just in case. Because things don’t always work out. Divorce was huge in those days. The prospect of being left alone terrified him. Thus, without her knowledge, he devised a plan. A series of steps. He could go here or there. He would stash money. Just in case. Because people kept secrets. Media corrupted morals, bred fear. Friends modeled new possibilities. His wife had changed. She radiated independence. He needed a plan. Just in case. When he looked up from his scheming, she was grinning. Which meant what?