Wednesday, 10 December 2014

December 2014. Issue 6.

Welcome to Issue 6.

Welcome to the world in black and white.

But it’s not that simple. It never is.

We have a fantastic issue for you. A little more subdued, perhaps, than previous ones, but no less remarkable for that. Never one to bow to boundaries, we drift outside our own a little, with an array of stories that are not so easy to classify in terms of genre, not so easy to stick into one of the four boxes 101 Fiction has ascribed itself.

And that’s no bad thing.

There’s a strangeness that runs through the whole issue. One step outside of reality. Just close enough to almost pass as our world, to almost be our world...

In this issue you’ll find angels, nuns, and gods. Criminals, detectives, vagrants and victims. Wedding and divorce. Even the odd splash of colour amongst the black and white.

Read. Absorb. Enjoy.


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Keep scrolling for the stories, or bring up the whole issue here.

Want to take 101 Fiction home with you? To bed with you? Anywhere you want? Issue 6 is available to download as a .pdf, for free, here.


'Aumakua

by R.S. Bohn

Bare feet clinging to black rock, Fritzi wonders if any god will come to her rescue after she leaves the island.

Watching the girl on the basalt shelf saying goodbye amidst salt spray, one of them smiles.

"Not goodbye, little troublemaker." Reaching into the sea, it seizes a wriggling white fish. With a kiss, it is set free again – and goes streaking across the ocean.

A hundred island gods will breathe a sigh of relief when Fritzi steps onto that plane, but this one will close its eyes, and open them again as a white fish speeding towards new land.



Author bio: R.S. Bohn has no family gods to keep her out of trouble, so if any wish to volunteer, she promises lots of tea and windmill cookies.

'Aumakua is part of 101 Fiction issue 6.



Exile

by Sylvia Heike

Eliel looked over his shoulder into a dirty mirror. A single white feather nestled half-buried in the black plumage of his wing. He pinned the feather between his fingertips and pulled.

It hurt, but the pain was nothing compared to the memories it brought. Was this how it felt to be mortal? To ache for things he couldn’t have, yet to be mocked by them so he could never forget?

There was no way to age gracefully. Not for him. Eliel swore he would pluck out every damned white feather as they appeared. Where was he going to fly, anyway?



Author bio: Sylvia Heike lives and writes in Finland. Her favourite colour is white, and she loves snow. These two things may be related.
Website: http://www.sylviaheike.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sylviaheike

Exile is part of 101 Fiction issue 6.



Redundancy

by Kymm Coveney

“No one else was working,” said the Virgin. She recrossed her legs, bobbling the row of day-glo-orange plastic chairs.

“No,” said the cleaning lady, slapping her mop under the Virgin’s seat, nearly wetting the holy heel. Crossing herself.

“And the nun,” she continued, but was interrupted by the mechanical voice calling Number Fifty-Two. Blinking red dots. The nun, who was cross-stitching two seats down from the Virgin, held her needle up to the light, trying to thread it. The Virgin wished she could ignore the message, I shall fear no evil, falling in canvas folds on Sister Mary Xavier’s lap.



Author bio: Ex-pat from Boston living in Barcelona, raising polyglot kids and fooling with written languages.

www.betterlies.blogspot.com
@KymmInBarcelona
http://kymminbarcelona.tumblr.com/

Redundancy is part of 101 Fiction issue 6.


Colours

by Alan Dennis Harris

Melanie put down the colouring book and wandered out of her room, leaving crayons scattered across the floor. As soon as she left, the crayons started arguing. They didn’t like each other. The black hated the white and the white sought to distance themselves from the black, the beige, the brown and the blue. Green showed distrust for orange; the feeling was mutual. Red and yellow preferred to stay to themselves.

The family Labrador walked into the room, hungry and undiscerning.

And it came to pass that the crayons finally reconciled in the backyard, in soft piles like melted rainbows.



Author bio: Alan D. Harris writes short stories, plays, and poetry based primarily upon the life-stories of friends, family and total strangers. Harris is the 2011 recipient of the Stephen H. Tudor Scholarship in Creative Writing and the 2014 John Clare Poetry Prize winner from Wayne State University. In addition he is the father of seven, grandfather of six, and 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee.

Colours is part of 101 Fiction issue 6.


Wedding

by Deidre Dykes

He polished the gold cufflinks on the pockets of his rich black tux coat for the eighth time, his hands shaking. He had never thought he would be so lucky as to end up here. Ah, but what a wedding it would be! Dinner and dancing and kisses by candlelight. An intimate reception with his closest friends. Perhaps his family would never understand but that didn’t really matter to him any longer. She walked down the aisle, the roses she held a striking crimson against her alabaster skin. He all but beamed, so happy he'd raised her from her grave.



Author bio: Deidre Delpino Dykes is a writer by trade and probably has a bird on her head. She lives in the Washington DC area with her husband and several parrots. She tweets regularly with the handle @gowordbird.

Wedding is part of 101 Fiction issue 6.



Divorce

by W. M. Lewis

My head hurts. I stand, wobbling, in the too white kitchen. The lights are bright. Glare off the pots is dazzling; they hang from the ceiling like bats and catch sunbeams as if they were insects. Divorce papers printed on fine parchment lie on the bench, next to a jubilant soup recipe. I pretend to ignore the papers, which like slobbering dogs desperately seek attention. The recipe screams “Ginger in its kibbled form!” like a huckster. I place the recipe, ingredients and divorce papers in a blender. I hit Start. My black heart whirls, suddenly as light as the room.



Author bio: I'm an Australian poet and writer. My poetry has appeared in Alliterati Magazine, Best Australian Poems 2011, Cordite Poetry Review, Eclecticism, Multiverses, PoV Magazine, Railroad Poetry Project, street cake magazine, The Night Light and Tincture Journal. You can find me and my writing on Twitter at @mindintoword and at my blog, whatevertheysing.

Divorce is part of 101 Fiction issue 6.



Beginning

by Sylvia Heike

In the beginning, there was a man with dark rich soil in his pockets. The soil carried within itself the seed of everything that he wished to grow. Every person, every organism, and every planet was buried in that waking darkness.

But things didn’t grow well in the dark. He reached into his pockets and spread the soil around him, and then he lit up the sun and the stars and let there be light.

Some things bloomed and others withered, yet he still tends to every fold of the universe, never leaving anything for too long without some light.



Author bio: Sylvia Heike lives and writes in Finland. Her favourite colour is white, and she loves snow. These two things may be related.
Website: http://www.sylviaheike.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sylviaheike

Beginning is part of 101 Fiction issue 6.


Pulse

by John Xero

Brian sank into black.

Pain thrummed in white bursts: throbbing flashes of light writ bright across his consciousness.

And between, black claimed him. Swallowed and suffocated him.

While white cracks splintered outwards, sharp shining knives of searing pain.

And black devoured him. Consumed him utterly, until he thought he could not rise again.

Until he was dragged upwards, torn out into white agony.

And down again, deeper into endless black.

Surfacing in hurt and white and light and a face he ought to know. And words.

“Dad. Please. Wake up. Please.”

Black drew him down.

White blossomed.

Black loomed.

White



Author bio: John Xero wonders where all the time has gone. He used to have so much. Almost his entire working life has been spent amongst books, and one day he will finish writing his own.
He has a twitter (@xeroverse) and a blog (xeroverse.com), and he really should use them.

Pulse is part of 101 Fiction issue 6.



Celebrity

by W. M. Lewis

With pet paparazzi in tow he joins the long queue at the Godalming Club, they’re both high on something white and newly minted, him hidden by a thin disguise of shaven head and wee moustache, the photographer draped in her usual camera sleaze — an experiment this, really — feet shuffling, waiting in an everyday way, him craving what he doesn’t usually endure — time and people passing — and when they reach the front the ‘entry consultant’ says nothing but shakes a massive and sublime black head in precise samurai movements and raises an explicit meaty hand which utters No Entry, surprising everyone.



Author bio: I'm an Australian poet and writer. My poetry has appeared in Alliterati Magazine, Best Australian Poems 2011, Cordite Poetry Review, Eclecticism, Multiverses, PoV Magazine, Railroad Poetry Project, street cake magazine, The Night Light and Tincture Journal. You can find me and my writing on Twitter at @mindintoword and at my blog, whatevertheysing.

Celebrity is partof101 Fiction issue 6.


Confession

by Robin Jennings

The light is blinding. Blinding white. But it warms my face and relaxes me. I hear his voice like an echo and it snaps me back to reality. I can see the outline of his face – the black lines of his frown mostly. Handsome, but not as soothing as the light.

We’ve been at this for hours, me and him. He keeps asking the same question, but we’re getting nowhere. I’m getting bored.

“You’re really going to do this?” he asks.

I nod. There’s nothing left to offer him. He knows it, but he asks again.

“Where is her body?”



Author Bio: Robin Jennings is horror enthusiast based in the open fields of Northern New Jersey. Having previously optioned a full length screenplay called “Shudder”, she’s now focusing her creative efforts on short fiction.

Confession is part of 101 Fiction issue 6.


Noir

by Matthew Konkel

With black eyes, the man called The Psychologist stared over wire frames. He wanted to hire me.

“I’m no private detective,” I said. I was a struggling writer barely keeping his margins straight, fearful of the blank white stare of the empty page.

“Yes you are,” he said with calm assurance. “We’re all detectives wading through life’s mysteries, discovering the “ohs” and “ahs” to the hows and whys.”

He had a point. But I wouldn’t play his game.

“You’re already playing,” he said.

I balked. Then he told me the job.

“I want you to uncover who writes your story.”



Author bio: Matthew is a teaching-artist, playwright and independent filmmaker. His latest film is titled Neptune (www.lasthouseproductions.com). His fiction and poetry can be found or is upcoming at the Newer York, Paragraph Planet, Postcard Shorts, Linguistic Erosion, The Eunoia Review, Danse Macabre, Sein and Werden, Theme of Absence, Primal Urge and Streetcake Magazine. His plays have been produced nationally and internationally by theatre companies including Edmonds Driftwood Players, Pink Banana Theatre, Cupcake Lady Productions and Screaming Media Gi60. His short play Walk, Don’t Walk is published by Pennster Media. www.matthewkonkel.com

Noir is part of 101 Fiction issue 6.


Winter

by John Xero

Hugh felt the rumble of the subway train thundering below him. Light cascaded up through the grills, illuminating the slow clouds of steam drifting from the warm tunnels.

Snow fell softly, white flakes bringing the cold of the black night sky down with them. It settled across the city, shying only from the gratings, retreating from the heat.

Hugh lay on his back, watching the gentle winter descend. Another train rattled below and for a moment he could pretend his shivers were just the quaking of the ground.

He wondered if he would sleep. He wondered if he would wake.



Author bio: John Xero wonders where all the time has gone. He used to have so much. Almost his entire working life has been spent amongst books, and one day he will finish writing his own.
He has a twitter (@xeroverse) and a blog (xeroverse.com), and he really should use them.

Winter is part of 101 Fiction issue 6.

December 2014. Issue 6. Postscript.

When is the end not the end?

When it's the 101 Fiction postscript!

If you're here on December 10th 2014 then issue 6 will be going live throughout the day, with a new story every hour.

If it's not December 10th then you have reached the end of issue 6.

But do go on! There are issues 5 down to 1. And beyond that, stories that wandered alone, before 101 Fiction became a quarterly tribe.

I hope you've enjoyed our black and white issue, and I hope you'll come back for more. Look out on twitter for news of the next issue and submissions.

Thank you.

Keep reading. Keep writing. Have fun.

-John Xero

Saturday, 25 October 2014

December Issue Open for Submissions

** 101 Fiction is now closed for submissions. Thank you. **


I'm late. I'm late. I'm late!

Mea culpa. I got it fixed in my head that the next issue was January. It is, of course, December.

And so the doors have opened, late, but open they are. You have until the 24th November to get your stories in. It would be mean to make it sooner.

The second year of 101 Fiction is all about colours, and the December issue theme is: black and white.

But that's two colours, you say or, perhaps, none at all. And yet, it is still the theme. Your stories must feature those colours, they must be exactly one hundred words long, and they must have a title of only one word.

The title cannot be 'black' or 'white.'

You do not have to name both colours, but they must be obviously present. It could be a black bear stalking through the snow. A red slick spreading across the black and white flagstones of a farmhouse kitchen. The white pinpoints of stars drowning in the infinite nothing of space. The whites of a stalker's eyes emerging from the night. A chess set whose board is chequered day and night, whose pieces are ordinary citizens, moved by hidden masters. An arrow fletched with black feathers, buried in the eye of a white-scaled dragon. A silhouette advancing up the whitewashed stairwell. A white space suit, smeared black with soot, or alien blood...

By all means play with themes of stark contrast, of binary moralities. Give your story a noir atmosphere. But the colours themselves must be present too.

We are a genre magazine. Be it a broad spectrum of genres, and not always strictly adhered to. The most important thing is that the story has something special about it, it makes us sit up and pay attention, it grips us and makes us go back for another read... and another.

Full details and guidelines for submissions can be found on our submissions page.

Have fun, keep writing, be awesome.

Monday, 1 September 2014

September 2014. Issue 5.

Welcome to Issue 5.

Welcome to the blue room. A vast and infinite sky where your wildest dreams fly free. A crushing claustrophobic ocean in whose depths swim all your fears.

We enter the second year of the quarterly 101 Fiction with fifteen stories tuned to a theme of blue and spread across a suitably broad spectrum of genres. Each one a tiny hundred word seed that swells and bursts and blossoms inside your headspace, blooming blue behind your eyes.

Do you remember copper sulphate crystals in science lessons? Starting with a tiny shard and immersing it in the cool blue where it grew into something bigger, something special. That’s what a good drabble is, a tiny notion that sinks into your thoughts and softly expands into something bigger, something special. Something extraordinary.

Inside issue 5 you will find blue eyes, blue teeth, blue blood. Desire and obsession. Disaster and heartbreak. Murder and magic. Science and fantasy. Wordplay and wonder. Fifteen blue-based worlds to slowly unfurl through your thoughts.

Read. Absorb. Enjoy.


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Keep scrolling for the stories, or bring up the whole issue here.

You can download issue four in its entirety as a .pdf as well, to take with you wherever you go and read whenever you please. Find that here. (right click and 'save link as')


Dyed

by Glen Donaldson

Jenny Stain's courtship with the colour blue had begun early.

Triggered by an inconceivably rare reaction to a bluebottle jellyfish sting at age six, now, nearly two decades on, her colour immersion infatuation was near complete.  Hair, skin, even tongue – all dyed blue.  Converting her body's own waste products to pale azure with a daily oral dose of food colouring tablets had perfectly consummated the affair.

Yet love and devotion can be unfairly blind. One too many dye pills had brought on a sudden, and in Jenny's case, tragic condition – permanent colour blindness.

Out of the blue, love had soured.



Author bio: Glen Donaldson is a Brisbane schoolteacher who embraces the ridiculous when he thinks no one is looking. He holds firmly to the view he is not cynical, just experienced.

Dyed is part of 101 Fiction issue 5.