Sunday, 3 December 2017

December 2017. Issue 17.

Welcome to issue 17. Seventeen slick little stories. And here be monsters, heroes too, for balance, but can you tell which is which, the valiant from the vicious, before it is all too late...?

Heroes and monsters are the dichotomy at the centre of so many stories, the partnered thump-thump heartbeat that drives the hot blood of a burning narrative. What use a hero without a monster? What more compelling a monster than one conflicted, at war with itself, part hero despite its dark soul?

Not only do the seventeen stories in this issue make it the biggest issue yet, they explore the theme to its fullest. From new takes on classic heroes and mythical monsters to role reversals – heroes with hideous hidden sides, and seeming monsters with chivalrous souls. Tales from the monster’s point of view, or from the hero’s point of view, seeing himself as anything but.

Not everything here is as it seems, and your journey through this issue should surprise, tantalise and terrorise you in equal measures. Champions are corrupt, forests are out to get you, doctors have sinister agendas and you might not even trust yourself, but maybe the monster under the bed will save you yet.

In all the best stories we see parts of ourselves, in the heroes and the monsters, it’s what makes them so compelling. We all have a little of both inside us, it’s part of being human, it is the eternal internal conflict, and I think we’ve managed to capture some of that here.





Keep scrolling down for the stories (or bring up whole the issue here).

Or you can download it all as a handy electronic magazine in .pdf format, perfect for reading later, for the bus, the plane, a lunch break, or under the covers when it's past your bedtime... Download that here.


by Shannon Bell

He looks me up and down. “There’s beauty in dirt.”

I don’t know what to say.

His finger pokes painfully into my flesh. “There’s space for others in here.”

I never know what to say.

This self-proclaimed hero who promised to rescue me is a monster that devours me. He draws from people. Enters them. Snatches their bodies. Steals things from deep within.

I am no tranquil ocean. I hum inside. He pockets that heat, slips inside my dreams and stays awhile.

Another piece gone. Each piece taken spreads his stain in my soul. There’s no beauty in what’s broken.

Author bio: Shannon Bell is addicted to words. You will find him madly writing away in the spare time he has available between holding down a full-time job, being part of a dysfunctional family and looking after his attention seeking dog. His stories have been published in Dark Edifice, Short & Twisted, 101 Fiction and strippedlit500. You can follow Shannon on Twitter at @ShannonBell1967.

Soiled is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Dakota Canon

I went to the doctor because the spirit inside me had died.

“I can save you,” he said, his own hero. “We’ll have to cut it out.”

“But how can I live with no spirit?”

“It’s vestigial. Like your appendix. Lots of people lose their spirit. See?”

He opened a cabinet filled with infected, grey lumps. “These are just the ones I’ve removed today, and all the patients went home healthy.”

I thrust my hand inside, touching the dead spirits, and their sorrow filled me like a dream.

“I have known these people,” I said. “They all died long ago.”

Author bio: Dakota Canon is a left-brained professional by day, masquerading as a right-brained artiste by night. She enjoys writing shorts, flash, and poems, and several years ago began assembling her stories into her first novel. An early draft of that novel, The Unmaking of Eden, reached the semi-finals of the AUTHORS Young Adult Novel Contest. She received an Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Annual Short Story Contest and has been long-listed in the Brilliant Flash Fiction competition. You can find her work in Seven Deadly Sins: A YA Anthology WRATH and Speculative 66. Follow her on Twitter @DakotaCanon or on Facebook at

Cure is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Rach Chappers

Broken, I collapsed on the bed and tossed away the can. A decade of pretence lived in fear, years of assaults stripping my strength. Firstly, forgiving for love. Later, coping for the children. Nobody knew – convinced by his expert disguise.

 “Stop,” begged our children as teens. He smashed their faces with his fists and threatened to kill me if they told anyone.

No more. I lit the petrol, numbly willing the spreading flames to free me. I was sorry only to be leaving my children, sent away to safety.

Waking, the headlines restored brutal reality:

‘Hero saves wife from inferno’

Author bio: I'm a teacher from Swansea in South Wales UK and have been writing poems and stories since I learned how to put pen to paper. I've previously had a short story and a poem published in paperback and enjoy writing tales and poems with an unexpected revelation at the end. Find me on Twitter @RChapmanWrites

Trapped is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Michelle Vongkaysone

I wasted my life fighting that beast.
Always elusive, preying on my weary flesh.
Its presence provoked my deepest dread.
All I wanted was to be free from it.
I believed myself a hero, if only to slay it.
I cared not for my meagre sanity.
So long as the monster remained, so would my agony.

Eventually, I confronted it, tearing into its foul form.
Its pain soared through me, as if we were one flesh.
I recoiled then, in shock, only to see its true form.
And all that remained was dread, that which I had foisted upon myself.

Author bio: I've always enjoyed writing for fun, but I'm currently trying to make it into a side-career. At the moment, I have several short stories and the like for purchase on Amazon's Kindle Publishing service. They can be found at the following link:

Conquest is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Allen Ashley

At the labyrinth’s core, I clamp my bare hands around the beast’s neck. It’s his weak point: where bull head joins brawny human chest and shoulders. Still it takes all my strength to squeeze, wrench, hold on for dear life. And as I do, my mind is catapulted through the ether: visions from my past and my future flood in. I shall abandon Ariadne on the beach; my black sails will incite my father to suicide. Deeds that define me. Although I might be cast as hero, I know that the Minotaur and I, Theseus, are joined indissolubly. Both monsters.

Author bio: Allen Ashley is the author or editor of 14 published books. He works as a creative writing tutor in north London, UK. He is the judge for the annual British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition.

Entwining is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by John Xero

Slowly, the crimson veil slips from my eyes. The world is obscured no longer. And yet the red remains: slick on my skin, drenching my clothes, dripping thickly from my hair. My knives are twin rubies catching the light wetly.

People approach, my people, stalking through fields that I have sown with a terrible crop, the earth heaped with corpses.

Their cries reach me.

“Hero,” they cheer. And, “Champion.”

But why, I want to say, and no, can you not see what horror I have wrought?

But I say nothing, and they bear me high, a stained and undeserving idol.

Author bio: John Xero believes in heroes, but he also believes in complicated; he believes the penumbra between hero and monster is vaster than either the light or the shadow. And complicated is interesting.

Red is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Lyric Hyde

He saw the blade drawn back, his blood glistening on its tip. He felt the pain, sharp in his chest, and clutched at his heart. Warm liquid spilled over his fingers. Tears filled his eyes as he fell beneath his opponent. He watched the glint of sunlight caress the heavy armour. He wanted to call for help, but all that escaped was a fear-filled gasp. He closed his eyes, struggled with heavy death-rattle breaths. He heard the delicate clinking of armour as his opponent turned away.

The voice, hidden by the metal helm, whispered with venomous disdain, “It’s over, monster.”

Author bio: Lyric Hyde is a high school student that wishes to go into a writing career, at least as a secondary job. As well as writing, she enjoys learning, music, anime, and a good book. Fairly new to posting her writing, Lyric does not yet have a specific website but can be found at various ones such as Wattpad, Figment, Prose, and Young Writer's Society under the name Animarret-Writing.

Slain is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Chad Plunk

Sir Adalbert heard of the awful flaming dragon threatening the village, causing trembling terror in the women and children, sowing nightmares of starvation from burned crops.

Gleaming in mail, the knight on his charger trotted through the field, hooves crushing cabbages. He reached the ragged villagers and raised his helm.

“I will save you stinking lot,” he said. “It will be a hungry task. Prepare me a suckling pig, cool ale, the least dirty of your daughters.” He laughed at the last, then snorted, staring down the nearest man and his young boy.

Lowering his helm, he sallied bravely forth.

Author bio: Chad Plunk, raised in Cincinnati, spends his days working for a multi-national defense contractor and his nights imagining other worlds. He lives with his dog Abner Fancy,universally believed the more intelligent of the two, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Rescue is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Thomas Diehl

One careful hit and the stone chipped just the right way to make the perfect cleft in the hero's chin. Nothing but perfection for Aeliseia's employers. They said they wanted to be surrounded by the perfect beauty the gods had robbed them of. Why that required a blind sculptor, she did not know. No reason to ask, though. That way she still earned a living.

She heard something slither behind her, then the cluck of a new statue set on the marble floor.

“Another one just came in. Somewhat lanky,” Medusa said.

Those Gorgons sure collected a lot of statues.

Author bio: A predominantly English-language German writer of stories with little to no padding, Thomas Diehl can be found online at

Chiselled is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Joseph S. Pete

Dillinger once robbed this dive bar. That was the legend; that was the lore. Jukebox and dollar PBRs be damned, that was still the most notable thing about the place nearly 80 years later, Mike thought.

How did a bank robber ever capture the public imagination?

Today, no one romanticized robbers. It was just another violent felony. You were another monster they demonized on the 10 o’clock news.

Mike finished his beer, headed to the restroom, wondered if any of these hipster kids had heard of Dillinger as he drew pantyhose over his head, then his .45 from his waistband.

Author bio: Joseph S. Pete is an award-winning journalist, an Iraq War veteran, an Indiana University graduate, a book reviewer, and a frequent guest on his local NPR affiliate. He was named the poet laureate of Chicago BaconFest 2016, a feat that Geoffrey Chaucer chump never accomplished. His work has appeared in Chicago Literati, Dogzplot, shufPoetry, The Roaring Muse, Blue Collar Review, The Five-Two, Lumpen, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Prairie Winds, The Dime Store Review, Pulp Modern, Zero Dark Thirty and elsewhere. He has twice as many first names as the average writer.

Dillinger is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Stella Turner

The eulogy, fit for the hero he was! Saving an old woman from her burning flat, rescuing a family trapped in quicksand. At the graveside, colleagues form the guard of honour he justly deserves. The priest eyes me nervously. He has heard my confession. He knows the hero talked a jumper down from the bridge one night. He knows I’d had enough! Scars etched deep in my brain. Hard to fade. Wooden stake in his heart would be too good. He wouldn’t rise again. My husband was a monster, he knew my weaknesses, but I knew his. Death by fire!

Author bio: My name is Stella Turner and I'm known as @stellakateT on twitter. I have had flash fictions published in anthologies and long-listed several times in the Fish Flash Fiction competition. One day I will write a novel by persuading myself it’s just a series of flashes strung together :)

My blog can be found at

Accelerant is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Gregory Lloyd

All around us, the ship is dying. Everything is on fire. There's maybe one minute of life left for us, but our fight rages. The beast forces me to the iron walkway, crushing me with its sheer size. Its hands are huge serrated claws, seeking my throat as I writhe and struggle. With one shaking hand I manage to find the knife at my belt and I bring it up into that alien face, piercing one of its six eyes. The beast screams. I laugh as the self-destruct clock runs down to zero. The final, shattering explosion eats us both.

Author bio: My name is Gregory Lloyd and I am a writer of science fiction and horror from Ontario, Canada.

Zero is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by John Xero

The moonlit mist whirled in ragged, agitated eddies as Elijah stumbled onwards, a single word tolling through his mind:


A longing. An ache. An imperative.

He walked through a vast, dark ribcage of shattered buildings.


Yellow light lanced from an opening door.

“Elijah! My God, man, you’re alive.”


“It worked, Elijah. We’ve not seen the alien scum in days.”


“Home enough. God, you’re a bloody hero.”

Home enough for the last vestiges of humankind, Elijah remembered.

He remembered the aliens breaking him too, infecting him, and sending him home, a viral monster boiling beneath his skin.

Author bio: John Xero believes few words have as many connotations as ‘home.’ Home is past, present, and future. Home is comfort, pride, and belonging. Home is familiar stories, characters, and friends. Home is family.

Home is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Sarah McPherson

Don’t go near the trees, mother said, but I don’t believe in childish nonsense. I trail my hand across dank moss-spattered trunks, shivering at their spongy wetness. My fingers find a crack in the armour, a knot. A hole. It tugs at me, rough bark tearing skin. The sucking darkness at its heart engulfs me. There is only death here, hollow. They have been waiting. Shadow tendrils fill my eyes, lungs, heart in a sinuous embrace. I am no longer discrete, the others twisting around me; no ending, no beginning. We are the creature that waits in the dark wood.

Author bio: Sarah McPherson lives in Sheffield, UK, and has too many creative hobbies and a problem with procrastination. Her writing has been featured on Paragraph Planet. She tweets sporadically as @summer_moth

Heartwood is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Owoh Ugonna Alexander

In the thick forest came voices stolen from lost birds but bound to men.

They ran through the night to a place where even gods felt naked, the sweat of their bodies becoming water that ran over stones and pebbles.

Their hearts grew, listening to the laughter of waters, yet still they couldn’t fight their fears in the dark, or whisper hallelujahs.

They surrendered their throats, like the spirits of their fathers, to the demons of the forest who arose and fought them to their limits.

When Nicholas slew them at the abyss, the village came, rejoicing for their freedom.

Author bio: Owoh ugonna Alexander is a prolific writer, poet, playwright, he has written so many poems, stories, anthologies, articles, and essays. He is a romantic story teller who believes in nature as a pious and tremendous creation of God. Born in south eastern Nigeria.

Wildness is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Scott Beggs

He crouched on the hill a behemoth. Mud hugged his boots though it hadn’t rained in weeks, and an empty smile anchored his face. With the sun behind him, he was a dark mass on the horizon. An empty, breathing universe.

The glass in his hand caught the light for a moment, creating a star in the abyssal black of his body. Then, he descended on us.

The angry thing. The sullen deity. His attack was fire distilled through glass, burning bright holes in my friends and family, wishing us into oblivion, until his mother called him home for dinner.

Author bio: Scott Beggs writes about movies and culture for Nerdist, Slashfilm, and other fine sites, and his short stories have previously appeared in Mulholland Books' Popcorn Fiction. He lives in California with his wife and two dogs named after enigmatic Tom Robbins characters, and he wants to be Buster Keaton's best friend. Follow him on twitter @scottmbeggs and visit for more.

Glass is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.


by Rachel Wallach

She felt it through the mattress, hot breath like sulphur and wildfire. When darkness wakes, it stirs to life. Jagged claws scratched the wood floor below, and angry exhales nudged the slatted bed frame.

“Just breathe,” she whispered, knowing that by morning this would all be over.

But the burnt smell thickened, while flames cast cautionary shadows in the sliver of light beneath the doorway.

Faulty wiring, they would later say.

A giant hand with sinewy fingers reached up from below. With big eyes and a gentle grip, it scooped her into his arms, safely away from that fiery place.

Author bio: Rachel Wallach is a communications professional, who likes to write. She lives in South Florida.

Aflame is part of 101 Fiction issue 17.

December 2017. Issue 17. Postscript.

All monsters and heroes meet their end some day, and here we meet at the end of our seventeenth issue. That is, unless today is Sunday 3rd December, 2017, in which case there may well still be more stories to happen. You are here on the Day of Spawning, when the birthing sacs burst and the creative juices slough away, freeing the young story-things to crawl up the beaches of your brain, and who can say if they will be monster or hero, who can say, until they are already nestled deep in your synapses?

Please do feel free to comment, chatter, commune with the arcane spirits drifting through the electronic ether.

If today is the future, beyond that cold December day, then this is truly the end. Have you been entertained? Have you been made to smile, to wonder, to think? We hope so. But don't stop here, don't stop now. Keep on sinking down, deeper into 101 Fiction's past issues. Sixteen of them. Deeper still, before we were a quarterly, you'll find plenty of stories from when we published weekly.

And while you're here... thank you.

Thanks for reading. What would storytellers be without someone to listen? Thanks to everyone who tweets, retweets and comments, to all of you who boost our tiny signal wider and wider with every issue. And, always and forever, thank you to our endlessly creative writers, this thing is built of words that fall from your brains.

If you want to join us, keep an eye here, at, or on our twitter for details of the next theme and submissions period.

Keep reading.

Keep writing.

Have fun.

-John Xero.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

December Issue Open for Submissions

Submissions now closed.

From now until November 12th we are open for submissions.

101 Fiction runs on a quarterly cycle of themes and so far this year we've had gods, demons, and angels. So what's left to complete the cycle in the darkest months of the year? The new theme is MONSTERS and HEROES. A little fire to light the blackest night.

Your story can feature one or both. If both, they could be separate beings, or two sides of the same.

Perhaps you'll tell us of the fabled knight who slayed the dragon, then slaughtered her defenceless hatchlings. Or the cyber Minotaur at the centre of a security maze who breaks his programming and reveals the evil corporation's dark plans. Maybe the blood wraith of the murder marsh has blackened her soul only to keep humans from finding the peaceful and defenceless village of sprites concealed deep in the marsh. What of the fallen hero, wielder of the legendary blood sword, who massacred a whole village to feed the sword's curse, so that the weapon might be put to rest for another thousand years?

Remember the themes we've already had this cycle, so no gods, demons or angels, please.

Your story must be 100 words, with a one word title. The title cannot be Monster, or Hero, or any variation thereof. We are a genre magazine: horror, sci fi, fantasy with a little surreal and crime, but ultimately an exciting story, evocative writing and a great use of the theme will win out, regardless of genre.

For a full rundown of the guidelines and how to submit, click here.

Imagine. Create. Have fun!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

September 2017. Issue 16.

Ready the prayer beads, crack open the hymn books and warm up the choir: the angels are coming. Welcome to issue 16, where our authors bring 15 different angles to their tiny angel tales.

There are saviours, rebirths and salvation. Angels rising and falling. There is fire and fury, freedom and tragedy. Angels familiar and strange, conspicuous and covert. There are wings of copper and brass, of stone, of ash. And below the beat of heavy wings thrums a dark bass line... Broken angels, lost angels, shadowy and sinister angels.

There’s an angel for everyone, they say, and in here there’s a story to suit all tastes. Our celestial host cast shadows over many genres, take many tones. Speak in many voices. It’s always a joy to see veteran authors returning for another issue, but 101 Fiction thrives on fresh blood, plenty of it, and it’s great to have so many new names.





Keep scrolling down for the stories or you can bring up the whole issue right here.

Alternatively you can download the whole issue in one handy .pdf multipack for later consumption. Keep for the train, a lunch break, a bedtime read. You can grab that here. (right click and save, you know the drill).


by Lia Burnham

She paints blistering pox upon her skin. Cool drops of lighter fluid scatter across the instep of each foot. Dampened washcloth held aloft, salivating, her eyes widen as the lighter’s metallic rip ignites anointed spots. Toes curled, teeth clenched, she rides agony to climax before releasing the cloth. A nauseating sizzle and the familiar scent of charred flesh wafts into our bedroom. I smile as she wrings every shuddering gasp from her human form. Soon I will awaken engulfed, her tongue licking my swirling ashes off the smoky air like snowflakes, my wings sprouting anew. Then we shall rise again.

Author bio: Lia Burnham is a lawyer working in the Washington, D.C. area. She has recently won contests hosted by Prose and The Angry Hourglass and received an honourable mention in the 43rd New Millennium Award for Flash Fiction.

Vacation is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by C.A.

Kevyn, leather-suited son of the owner, threw a can into the glass-panelled box where Sacha lay. She sat over her heels and dipped a silver-skinned hand inside it.

“Hide me that stump this time.”

She watched him with red-glinting eyes while a coating of black oil travelled up her arm, across the single wing, and over each of the studs gunned into her scalp a year before.

The moon-kissed tint of her bare body now a faint shimmering black, she rose.

He nodded; the chain of Sacha’s collar shot into his palm.

Kevyn yanked the angel forwards and yelled, “Showtime!”

Author bio: C.A. is a native Frenchwoman and a composer of literature. 
She spends her life travelling the world with a suitcase full of books and telling stories to strangers.

Circus is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by John Xero

Angel fixed her makeup. Go big, go glitter. That’s what the punters liked, apparently. Stands out against the darkness. She glittered her cheeks, her belly, her breasts. Could use all the help she could get, standing out against the darkness. As if that wasn’t a lost cause.

Music thumped through the wall: pounding, raunchy. Lose yourself in the music. If you have anything of yourself left to lose.

Sweaty red skin appeared behind her. Delilah, fresh off the stage. The succubus plucked a feather from Angel’s stubby wings, laughing as Angel yelped.

“You’re up, half-breed.” Delilah spat. “Crowd’s hell tonight.”

Author bio: John Xero thinks imagination, like dreams, is just a series of doors. Follow the music, the lights, find the right door, the right key, and step through. Sometimes it’s a trap, more often an adventure.
Fairy lights: @xeroverse
Music: King Demon

Lost is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by Chris Brunette 

Talk was that there was a new dude in town, a young guy with bright eyes. One wonders how it would have played out had his secret remained undiscovered, but it wasn’t long before local gossip had it that he was hiding a pair of wings...

Nobody seems to know what went down that night, the night the angel was seen slipping out, the night he escaped the angry, mocking crowd with a broken wing. But time has passed and at daybreak, so they say, you can see an angel against the sun, struggling home, on a single silver wing.

Author bio: Chris Brunette is a poet and a writer. He lives in Cape Town.

Phaethon is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by Adam Millard

I lie upon a barren field, wings broken, smoke rising languidly from my blood-streaked feathers. As I try to piece together what has happened, I search the lea around me, wondering if anyone saw me fall, hoping no one did.

Pain. Exquisite pain, and I’m feeling it for the first time. Sorrow, too, for my transgressions have caught up with me, and now I must pay the price.

I slowly get to my feet, just as my wings turn to ash and drift away on a warm breeze.

And as I stagger-walk toward the treeline, I fight back the tears.

Author bio: Adam Millard is the author of twenty-six novels, twelve novellas, and more than two hundred short stories, which can be found in various collections, magazines, and anthologies. Probably best known for his post-apocalyptic and comedy-horror fiction, Adam also writes fantasy/horror for children, as well as bizarro fiction for several publishers. His work has recently been translated for the German market.

Forsaken is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by Margaret McGoverne

Ears bleeding, she staggered towards the entrance, a moment earlier thronged with Christmas shoppers. Sirens droned old news: another bombing.

She wept sooty tears, festooned with fine glass like the angel hair her mother was buying as the explosion ripped them apart.

The shop frontage lurched inwards, groaning.

A dark face emerged from the smoke, guiding her to a jagged hole. She scrambled clear as the walls collapsed to a festive peal of alarm bells.

Turning to her saviour, she saw his balaclava dissolve, then his sad smile.

A crumpled note, code words in boyish handwriting, fluttered through the rubble.

Author bio: Margaret McGoverne has recently issued her first novella, The Battle of Watling Street, and is currently working on the sequel, while being distracted by short stories, flash fiction and her blog about all things writing:

Warning is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by Voima Oy

One day a voice spoke to him. Make her an angel. He had never attempted such a thing before, but he made a stone angel for his daughter, Molly. It was clumsy and lumpy, but how she smiled to see it. Soon, the back yard was filled with angels, big granite ones and little marble ones. She could see them from her window. Then came the day their wings unfurled in flight. One by one, they circled, upwards. A miracle, a murmuration of angels! How Molly would have smiled to see it. He wept, and the angels wept with him.

Author bio: Voima Oy lives on the western rim of Chicago, near the expressway and the Blue Line trains. Her writing can be found in the Flashdogs Anthologies and online at Angry Hourglass, Paragraph Planet, 101 Fiction, Unbroken Journal and Vignette Review. 

Follow her on Twitter, too— @voimaoy.

Murmuration is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by Angela Fleenor

When the Central Narrative Agency banned stories involving angels, Layla had no way to tell anyone about her vision. Weeks before, she dreamt of a terrifying silver being with bulging eyes. The being did not speak but emitted a brash cataclysm of noise, and she knew upon waking she was pregnant. It reminded her of a moth she had seen, a silver mask with big black eyes on its wings. She followed it to a bush that bore heavy trumpet blossoms looking down toward the earth. When she touched it she felt the judgment of god, and she was afraid.

Author bio: Angela Fleenor lives in Denver, Colorado (and, yes, she can pass a drug test).  Her name means angel.  Find her at

Trumpet is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by Judy Brownsword

Her soul is a beacon cutting a swathe of light through the starry night. I swoop down and land lightly on the pavement in front of her. The newspapers that cover her rise and fall with her breathing, causing a layer of frost to sparkle in the light of the shop doorway. Her emerald eyes, shining like jewels in her emaciated features, fill with recognition as she takes in the winged vision before her. As she reaches out to me, a patrolling policeman approaches, tries to rouse her. He is too late, I found her first, she belongs to me.

Author bio: Judy Brownsword lives in Stoke on Trent, UK with her husband and several rapidly multiplying pond fish. As her career in medical writing progressed into management roles and away from actual writing, she turned to fiction in her spare time. She has won a number of flash fiction competitions and has had one short story published in The Anthology of Cozy Noir.  When not writing for work or pleasure, Judy spends her time bouncing from one activity to the next, not devoting enough time to any of them.

Release is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by Mike Jackson

Standing on the jetty Peter took out his pocket watch and checked the time yet again. It was most unlike his visitor to be held up. Then, silently gliding out of the cloying mist, emerged the boat he’d been waiting for.

“You’re late my friend,” he said as the boat drew up alongside him, “No problems I hope?”

The Angel of Death replied in a rasping whisper, “Some people never learn. There are still those who would delay my coming.”

He lifted aside a large tarpaulin sheet and added, “Here are today’s quota of souls, process them as you will.”

Author bio: Mike Jackson lives in the UK and enjoys writing short tales, especially Drabbles. Many of his offerings can be found on his blog ‘Stories In Your Pocket’.
Twitter: @mj51day

Late is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by Nathan Alling Long

Security was tight, lines were long, and of course, there was just the one gate, though most people were trying to get in, not out. That made the guards suspicious of Hanza, with his dreadlocks and ragged clothes.

But Hanza remained calm as the guards searched his bags. He smiled as he lifted his arms and took off his shoes. They even pressed their latex-gloved hands through his hair, but found nothing.

Eventually, they let him out the pearly gate. They’d missed that single pin in his hair – a needle in a haystack.

Another thousand angels smuggled out of Heaven.

Author bio: Nathan Alling Long lives in Philadelphia and teaches creative writing at Stockton University. His work appears in various journals, include Tin House, Glimmer Train, Story Quarterly, and Crab Orchard Review. His fifty-story flash collection The Origin of Doubt will be released by Press 53 in Spring 2018. He can be found at

Pin is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by Ed Broom

Hellish day. Home to find everyone glued to their devices. “Dad,” said Laura, “all shall be well. Hashmal is here.”

News24 showed a figure descending onto the faded H of a Jerusalem hotel roof. Headline: Hashmal is here. Footage was shaky, a Cloverfield out-take. Don’t these people ever own a tripod?

He nailed the landing, ten out of ten, and walked to the railings overlooking the city. There, he spread his arms wide giving it the full Rio de Janeiro. Screen switched to an HD close-up. Such a serene face.

“Everyone,” I said, “all shall be well. Hashmal is here.”

Author bio: Ed Broom works in IT but tells his children that he's a lighthouse keeper. He lives in Ipswich and spends most weekends tracking down crinkle-crankle walls.

Hashmal is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by Laila Amado

– I swear the angel was assembled correctly. The box was intact, all the components were operational and I followed the instructions diligently. Took me ages to put together the wings – myriads of tiny copper and brass feathers had to fit in their correct places like puzzle pieces. Drove me crazy.

– No, I don’t know where he got a flaming sword. I sure didn’t give him one.

– Yes, I realise we will have to rebuild the whole thing again and we cannot afford the dinosaurs this time.

– No, sir. No vacation any time soon. Perfectly understood. Personal code – Lilith. Log out.

Author bio: Laila Amado lives in Upstate New York and occasionally writes fiction. You can meet her here: @onbonbon7

Malfunction is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by John Xero

The angel roared, clawing its way up shifting reality gradients. Black soot streaked its feathers, legacy of some fierce inferno, soot so thick and heavy it could have been tar, weighing it down, piling on friction as it hauled itself across the void.

Impossible, colossal, winged. It traversed space in a way that had taken human science centuries to understand, to recognise, let alone utilise. The same way our ships dragged themselves between fiery suns; faster than light and rough as all hell.

When it arrived it was like a new star had birthed, so bright it was, so terrible.

Author bio: John Xero likes to believe all things might exist if we can imagine them, be they angels or faster-than-light travel, or both, why not?
He tweets occasionally: @xeroverse.
He writes (he should write more):
He makes music, of sorts: King Demon

Ascension is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.


by Lyric Hyde

We are not who you think we are.

We are soldiers. We are bringers of death, descending on feathered wings, weapons in hand.

Our wings are not white. They are soaked in the blood of devils.

We are not bound by God. We are bound to our generals, forever their obedient dogs.

We are not the angels you love, not the angels you believe in. We are the hypocrites, the warriors who speak peace as our blades drink blood, who sing of freedom as we enslave the world.

We are marching, and we won’t be stopped. We are the end.

Author bio: Lyric Hyde is a high school student that wishes to go into a writing career, at least as a secondary job. As well as writing, she enjoys learning, music, anime, and a good book. Fairly new to posting her writing, Lyric does not yet have a specific website, but can be found at various ones such as Wattpad, Figment, Prose, and Young Writer's Society under the name Animarret-Writing.

Soldiers is part of 101 Fiction issue 16.

September 2017. Issue 16. Postscript.

It begins! And this is true. But it is not untrue to also declare the end as nigh. Time is subjective, after all.

If today is Sunday September 3rd, 2017 then these are exciting times. Angels are taking to the air, the sky is full of brightness and the streets thrum with the beating of vast wings. Today is the launch of issue 16, our angel-themed issue. Stories will be going live throughout the day and we encourage you to come on back and check them all out as they happen, hour by hour.

We encourage you to comment, or talk to us on twitter too.

If today is not that day, then the issue has already happened and this marks the end... But despair not, good reader! Logic dictates there are 15 more issues before this, and as much is we love the bizarre and the fantastic, logic is, in this case, correct. Keep on going, slip softly down the rabbit hole and delve deeper into 101 Fiction where you will find heroes and villains, darkness and light, tragedy and hope, on our world and others, and all wrapped in awesome little one hundred word bundles.

One last thing before you go. Thank you.

Thank you to our readers, you're why we do this. What's a storyteller with no one to listen? Thank you to our supporters, our signal boosters, retweeters and bloggers, anyone who spreads the word and makes this tiny thing just a little bit bigger each time. And thank you, always and importantly, to our writers; your imagination fuels this fire.

If you want to join us, keep an eye here, at, or on our twitter for details of the next theme and submissions period.

Keep reading.

Keep writing.

Have fun.

-John Xero.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

September Issue Open for Submissions

**Submissions are now closed**

So far this year we've had a 'gods' issue, a 'devils and demons' issue, and now its time to stretch those wings, unsheathe that flaming sword and think heavenly thoughts... The new theme is: angels.

You have until Sunday 6th August to conceive, craft, trim and shine your tiny story.

Make your angel interesting. It could be a grubby cherub working the sentience engines, shovelling the newly arrived souls of the virtuous into the bright pyres that fuel the godmind. Maybe it's an alien race, dubbed angels for their broad wings and bioluminescent skin - bright in daylight, blinding at night - whose dark hearts harbour a bleak and murderous history. Or the last angel walking the bone-strewn deserts of a post-cataclysm Earth, still meting out the justice of his long-dead God. Perhaps it's set on the day human warpships breach the barrier around heaven and bring their endless wars to the doorstep of paradise.

Your angel could be metaphorical, a do-gooder mired in bad times and bad company, or just soured to the altruistic impulse. It could simply have the appearance of an angel. It's up to you, as long as the theme is apparent in the story.

Fallen angels are allowed too (or an angel in the process of falling), as long as they are still distinctly an angel, and not a devil or demon. Devils and demons can be found lurking in the hot shadows of last issue.

Your story must be one hundred words long, with a single word title. The title cannot be 'angel' or any similar variation. We primarily publish genre fiction - sci-fi, horror, fantasy, a little surreal and crime - but ultimately if the writing and the idea are great then we'll accept it.

For all the details on our submissions policies and where to send your story look here.

Imagine. Create. Enjoy!

Sunday, 11 June 2017

June 2017. Issue 15.

Check your warding spells, refresh those summoning circles and be wary of the devil’s forked tongue, for we have unleashed fourteen tales of devilry and demons upon the world.

And what a menagerie of darkness it is. Lucifer himself appears not once, but twice, in very different incarnations. We explore the territory between madness, possession and torment. We have old-fashioned deal brokers and one more modern-minded. There are the bound, and the binding. There’s a little twisted myth, a reinvention of the horror movie psychopath. There are ravens and kings and things beneath the floorboards. And then... a tea party?

Remember, where devils and demons are involved, deception, domination and dirty deals are the games they play, where they make the rules and we mere mortals are but currency to be bet and traded.

Welcome to issue 15.





Keep scrolling down for the tiny terrible tales, or bring up the issue as a whole by clicking here.

You can also download the complete issue as a .pdf and save it for later, for the bus ride into work, or the tube ride home, for a little lunch time escapism or late night thrills, hiding under the covers, the glow of the phone screen the only illumination, a beacon in the darkness beckoning... who knows what?


by Danielle Bordelon

His skin shone with the light of a star as he kneeled before his ruler.

“They will hate you,” the being said gently.

The starlit man nodded, his face impassive.

“You will hurt them.”

Another nod.

“You will offer them something vital, something that I cannot give: the chance, the choice to fight—or fall. Will you do this for me?”

“Yes, my Lord.”

The lord of all things stroked His servant’s face lovingly before plunging His hand into his chest. Twisting shadows snaked around the kneeling man, greedily devouring his sputtering starlight.

“Very well, Lucifer. It’s time to fall.”

Author bio: Danielle Bordelon is a fiction writer currently focusing on flash fiction and short stories. Danielle shares a Dallas apartment with three friends, hundreds of abused books, and an overactive imagination. She has always loved to travel, volunteer, and, of course, write. Her published short stories, flash fiction, and poetry are available on

Faithful is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by Voima Oy

You missed a spot, he says. I say nothing, keep wiping the counter. He's the worst boss ever, a demon, a low-ranking demon fallen from demonic grace. Once, I surprised him in his office; I heard voices, I thought he said come in. There was something on his back, something black with claws, a long red tongue winding around his throat. It's our secret. I won't tell a soul, and he lets me take a day off now and then. Sure, he's jealous of my freedom, but what can he do? He's stuck here, like me, serving time in hell.

Author bio: Voima Oy lives on the western rim of Chicago, near the expressway and the Blue Line trains. Her writing can be found online at Paragraph Planet, Visual Verse, 101 Fiction, Sick Lit and Unbroken Journal.  Follow her on Twitter, too— @voimaoy

Serving is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by John Xero

You hear that scrabbling scuttling clatter of claws below the floorboards? That scritching and scratching in the walls.

You hear that tip-tapping at night... a branch on a window pane... or a sharp finger on the inside, signalling to fiendish friends?

You have an infestation.

Dinky devils in your in-betweens.

Oh, they aren’t going to trick you, or taunt you, or tempt you.

They’re going to listen. To your secrets, your fears, your schemes and your shames. Anything to give them purchase, a lever to crack a sliver of your soul away. A tiny morsel of you, a feast for them.

Author bio: John Xero hungers... he needs a constant buffet of story, characters and imagery to fuel the imagination engine in his skull. Sometimes he wonders if it will ever be sated.

Feast is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by R.S. Bohn

Crabapple soup: what demons are served when they slither through the Dream House portal. Dipping a splintered claw, Fifomene checks for poison. Two grams hemlock. Grinning, he tilts the plastic bowl, pouring hot liquor down his throat.

"My mother's milk was more toxic," he gloats.

She adjusts a slumping Elmo in his chair. "Check the bottom."

A fanged K scrawled in red.

She lifts a finger, where yesterday a doctor had poked her. Smoke billows up.

"Rune-brat! Pint-sized wh—" With a poof, he's gone.

Outside the door, her granny smiles. Demons always were suckers for a witch's tea party.

Author bio: R.S. Bohn lives on one side of a moat and talks to crocodiles. Carries a trident everywhere. Drinks navy-strength rum. Has failed 'Talk Like a Pirate Day' six years running.

Tea is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Helen peers through yellowed curtains as Emma, clutching flowers, skips up the sagging porch. Helen grips her knife.

Everyone says Helen's crazy because she tries to expose the true evil among them.

Emma's smiling face appears at the window. Helen shakes her head.

Emma's blue eyes fill with tears, but they bleed red. She holds up the flowers, now a bouquet of spitting snakes.

Helen trembles, but she won't invite the monster inside.

Emma speaks but her black, forked tongue flicks against the glass, drowns out her words. She sighs, walks away.

Helen watches the snakes slither after their mistress.

Author bio: Madeline Mora-Summonte is a reader, a writer, a beach-comber and a tortoise-owner. She is the author of the flash fiction collections The People We Used To Be and Garden of Lost Souls.

Perception is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by Alison McBain

The woman's vivid eyes caught his attention. Unafraid, unlike Akhito's last girlfriend.

Akihito smiled. He could change that.

The woman approached and asked, "Am I pretty?"

Weird, but okay. "Very."

She pulled down the scarf covering her mouth. A jagged scar split her face. "Am I pretty?" she repeated.

His smile froze. He'd been warned about Kuchisake-onna in this neighbourhood. If he said no, she'd cut him to pieces. "Yes?"

Sharp steel flashed and he screamed as her scissors ripped into his face. His cheeks dripped blood.

"Now you're pretty, too," the demon taunted. "And women will know to beware."

Author bio: Alison McBain is an award-winning author with more than fifty short stories and poems published/forthcoming, including work in Litro, Flash Fiction Online, and FLAPPERHOUSE. When not writing fiction, she is the Book Reviews Editor for the magazine Bewildering Stories.

Twitter: @AlisonMcBain

Pretty is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by Allen Demir

The masked figure stood before Michael. It had killed the others, but now showed no malice. Dropping the blood-drenched hook, it grasped at the steel mask, pulling it off. Before Michael was the rotting visage of that which had pursued him for several horrifying hours. Presented with the mask, Michael hesitantly took it. The figure immediately collapsed to the floor, appearing as though it had been dead for several weeks, at least. A strange compulsion gripped Michael and he slowly put the mask on. He felt... euphoric. He bent down and lifted the hook from the ground, clutching it tightly.

Author bio: Allen Demir graduated from Iowa State University, and currently lives in Denver. His work has appeared in Morpheus Tales and Perihelion Online Science Fiction Magazine.

Masks is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by Shannon Bell

"You will join me."

His graveyard breath washed over me.

"No, I won't."

He grinned. I watched, terrified, as unspeakable things crawled between his teeth.

"I can smell your fear. That's a perfect way to start."

He touched my feet. They thickened into cloven hooves. Then he touched my forehead, and horns pushed through the skin.

"Please, stop." Tears ran down my cheeks.

Lucifer bent down, his forked tongue lapping greedily at them. "Your pain tastes magnificent."

"Oh my god."

A thunderous laugh rumbled through my blood.

"God won't help you. Rise demon, and take your place at my side."

Author bio: Shannon Bell is addicted to words. You will find him madly writing away in the spare time he has available between holding down a full-time job, being part of a dysfunctional family and looking after his attention seeking dog.

Infernal is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by Line Henriksen

She inhales, and the red knit sock on her left hand exhales a writhing chain of smoke.

“That’s a Big Favour,” she says.

“Medium, surely?” he tries.

She and the sock-puppet shake their heads in unison.

“I can do – you know…” He glances quickly at the sock. It looks amused.

“An exorcism? Thanks, we’re good.” She hands the cigarette to the puppet. “What else?”

“Think about it!” He leans across the table. “Your immortal soul!”

“Think about your own.”

He does.

The red knit sock on her left hand inhales, and she exhales a writhing chain of smoke.

“Favour granted.”

Author bio: Line Henriksen lives in the cold, dark depths of Denmark where it rains a lot, except when it drizzles. Her work has appeared in, among others, The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix, Jersey Devil Press and freeze frame fiction. Visit her at or on Twitter: @_linehenriksen_  

Puppet is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by Dustin Blottenberger

Young Ivyr welcomed the ravens, Huginn and Muninn, fed them, talked with them. As he grew, they grew. When Ivyr crested the hill of his life, he learned to fear the birds. They dove at him with fiery eyes and needling beaks, gave him no rest with their screaming. Once old, Ivyr could no longer hear or see them, swung his ax at men and birds like a madman.

Before Ivyr was hanged, Huginn came, hungry for his soul. Once Ivyr swayed beneath the branch, Muninn came, and asked the world that Ivyr not be forgotten, yet none remember him.

Author bio: Dustin Blottenberger is a writer, painter, and printmaker living in the jungles outside of Baltimore, MD. To reach him, please contact your local animal control agency or follow him on Twitter/Tumblr at NeverSayDustin.

Ravens is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by John Xero

“They say he is a demon, sire, and his mark means death. They say no door can stay him, nor weapon harm him.”

Eon considered the red snake coiled beneath the skin of his left palm, like a tattoo, where yesterday there was nothing. “Who say?”

Rutledge blinked. “Sire?”

“Who say this? A simple question.”

“Well. People. Rumours. Gossip.”

“Ah. Those most reliable sources.” Black fire flickered gently in Eon’s palm, burning the snake away. “Leave the castle gates open, the windows unshuttered. Let this trickster come. Let him meet a true demon, before I make him eat his own heart.”

Author bio: John Xero enjoys a challenge but firmly believes fighting demons and assassins should be kept to the page and not indulged in for reals. He writes a little, edits a little, and has recently started making a little music too.

Assassin is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by Alex Salinas 

I woke up and went to the bathroom. I’d been dreading it.

“You look like hell,” my mirror-self said. He looked exactly like me except for his eyes: two jet-black marbles.

“Likewise,” I replied.

We both smiled.

I turned on the faucet and splashed water on my face. Familiar pressure still behind my eyes.

“It’s a tragedy that my only role is to reflect what’s here,” mirror-self said.

“It’s your job. Now shut up,” I commanded.

“Remember, I choose to be here,” he said, smiling.

I wasn’t smiling.

I shut off the lights and left.

“Be seeing you,” he whispered.

Author bio: Alex Z. Salinas lives in San Antonio, Texas. His flash fiction has appeared in Every Day Fiction, escarp, 101 Words, Nanoism, and ZeroFlash.

Mirror is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by Margaret McGoverne


She back arrowed, cursing. This programme was too complex for spreadsheets but her stiff-necked boss insisted. She scrolled through coding.

It was nearly five. If she was late, her childminder charged extra.

It was his fault! Mahindra, the smug IT Manager, flirting with the temps. Since she rebuffed his advances, her job had been hellish.

She wished him dead.


Were these new functions?

And what was this cruel voice in her head, hissing “DO IT!”

She typed EXPUNGE.

Mahindra unbecame. Nobody noticed; he never was.

Clicking save, the macro she had recorded reran: EXPUNGE. LOOP.

Author bio: Margaret McGoverne has recently issued her first novella, The Battle of Watling Street, and is currently working on the sequel, while being distracted by short stories, flash fiction and her blog about all things writing:

Conditional is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.


by R.S. Bohn

Pink eyed, the pigeon stares at me, head cocked. On the fountain edge, gray and black birds coo nervously, but this one is silent.

Next to me, a young woman in mourning dress says, "That one's the Devil. I saw it on the window ledge the day Stephen died."

Before I can tell her that albino pigeons aren't a rarity, that there are bound to be a hundred of them in the city, she darts forward, tossing her black veil over it. It flaps in a panic, as she pummels it with her bare hands.

She leaves, triumphant and bloody-handed.

Author bio: R.S. Bohn lives on one side of a moat and talks to crocodiles. Carries a trident everywhere. Drinks navy-strength rum. Has failed 'Talk Like a Pirate Day' six years running.

Veiled is part of 101 Fiction issue 15.

June 2017. Issue 15. Postscript.

This is were it all began. Or begins. Or ends. It all depends.

If today is Sunday 4th June, 2017, then issue 15, our grand dance of demons and devils, is happening through the day, with new stories going live every hour, on the hour. Join the revels, have a read, go enjoy the sunshine then come back for a little more darkness.

If today is any other day then you've just reached the end of issue 15. But the great thing about that is there are 14 more issues that came before. And even more, before, way back when, back then, before there were numbered issues and stories would appear here every week. There are over six years' worth of tiny tales here at 101 Fiction, literally hundreds of them.

And this right here is also where we thank everyone that plays a part in this. Everyone. Our readers, our supporters, our retweeters, every little mention and message counts. Most importantly, we thank our writers, the contributors on whose imagination this little dream is built. Thank you, one and all.

If you want in on this little big thing, keep an eye on here or our twitter for details of our next theme and submissions period.

Keep reading.

Keep writing.

Have fun.

-John Xero

Sunday, 9 April 2017

June Issue Open for Submissions

Submissions are now closed.

Each year of 101 Fiction has a quarterly theme cycle. This year we started with gods and for our next issue we're going down, deeper, darker. The new theme is DEVILS and DEMONS.

Dim the lights, set the candles, prep the pentagram and crack open that ancient tome called inspiration; recite the incantations inscribed therein and see what dark tales may come forth. After all, what dark deals might a writer make to overcome creative block? What might a devil offer in this jaded modern world, and is it all too easy? Perhaps a soul just isn't worth what it used to be. Maybe future science proves and quantifies the soul, enabling it's trade and commercialisation and giving rise to very human devils... angering those who have been in the business for millennia. Perhaps a hero triumphs over the evil king and shatters his magic sword, unknowingly releasing a far greater threat, the ancient demon trapped within. Or Plutonions try to drive the ancient Britons from their lands, only to discover the stone circles of Albion are gateways for allies from bleak realms whose dark inhabitants are more than a match for flying saucers and ray guns.

Remember, every devil loves a good twist in the tail... that's how they get you.

The story has to be exactly one hundred words long, with a one word title. The title cannot be 'devil' or 'demon'. We are primarily a genre publication: horror, fantasy and science fiction, with a little crime and surreal, but what we really love is a great story and great writing.

For full details and guidelines on how to submit, please check out our submissions page.

Imagine. Create. Enjoy!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

March 2017. Issue 14.

Welcome to issue 14, and twelve tiny tales of gods. Mighty gods and mortal gods; bright gods and awful gods; creators, destroyers and tricksters; wanderers and wonderers.

Gods have always been a part of human life, treading a balance of fear, awe and wonder. Of the beyond and the familiar. They have been saddled with responsibility and blame, granted power, worship and gifts. For every humble worshipper there are two more spitting curses at the uncaring forces above. Gods are powerful dichotomies, paradoxes even, and therein do stories thrive.

Our stories begin in creation and end with, well, an ending. We set foot in ancient ages and modern times (and venture a little further forward, to the future). There are gods grounded in the very world around us; gods walking among us; myths that a hundred words can barely contain; gods both re-imagined and metaphorical.

This is the first issue in our fourth year as a more compact quarterly zine. Each year contains a cycle of themes... so gods are only the beginning.





Keep scrolling down for the stories or you can bring up the whole issue here.

Alternatively the whole issue is available as a handy downloadable .pdf for you to take with you anywhere you go. A handy little book of god stories in your pocket. What an idea. That's here.


by John Xero

The stars were grit between his fingers, grainy, slipping through like sand in a cosmic hourglass. He pressed his hands together, creation and destruction flaring hot and heavy in his palms, and sent another galaxy spinning into the vastness.

If he concentrated, really concentrated, he could focus on details. The nuclear fury of suns; the icy hearts of comets; planets, moons, and sometimes, sometimes, a flickering glimpse of something more.

Some miraculous alchemy of chance and matter.

Something like him, in miniature, but nothing like him at all. Chaotic creations of an ordered system.


Strange company, out of reach.

Author bio: John Xero knows that creation is the most powerful force in the universe, whether that be physical, imaginary, or biological. He knows that he needs to do more creating too, there’s stories inside him that want out.

Creator is part of 101 Fiction issue 14.


by Voima Oy

Once there were gods on the mountains, living above the tree line in the cold air where nothing else survives. I have seen their palaces in the ice. The light so bright it blinded me.

In the sky is set a frozen palace, the moon, where they say a goddess lives. Each night, we watch her changing face.

I know a goddess who lives in volcanoes. Her heart beats beneath the waves. She is Loihi!

I will find her in the new land, where the lava meets the sea. Hear my prayer! Loihi, my love, I sing only to you.

Author bio: Voima Oy lives on the western rim of Chicago, near the expressway and the Blue Line trains. Her writing can be found online at Paragraph Planet, Visual Verse, 101 Fiction, Sick Lit  and Unbroken Journal.  Follow her on Twitter, too— @voimaoy

Loihi is a part of 101 Fiction issue 14.


by Suzanne Verrall

A seaside vacation: dreaming, drifting, bronzing. Late mornings, later nights.

Day one: blue water.

Day two: bluer skies.

On day three you tell me about the diving pontoon you have seen in the bay. Sounds fun, I say, come on then.

The sandbar stretches on forever, makes swimming impossible, makes the water thigh-deep and difficult. I tire quickly. You forge ahead.

When you are far enough I step up and walk upon the waves, following you. So much easier than wading. And as you glance back, I drop down into the water before you see me as I truly am.

Author bio: Suzanne Verrall lives in Adelaide, South Australia. Her flash fiction, essays and poetry appear in Flash Frontier, Flash Fiction Magazine, Archer Magazine, Lip Magazine, Poetry NZ Yearbook and The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts.

Vacation is part of 101 Fiction issue 14.


by Neil James

He'd traversed vast nebulae to reach the planet of blue and green – the final outpost of his faith. His flock needed him; they were destroying themselves through hate and fear. He landed in a flashing cloud of gold, naked as a lamb but for his flowing white beard.

Walking from the desert into the city, he touched every person he met, till two Adams in blue bundled him into a wheeled chariot, his wrists tightly clamped. He repeatedly told them his name, but it only made things worse. Now an Eve in white stood before him, quoting Mental Health legislation.

Author bio: Neil James is a football writer who occasionally pens short stories. He keeps starting novels but lacks the attention span to ever finish one. Twitter: @neil_james1

Visitation is part of 101 Fiction issue 14.


by Kent V. Anderson

I'm a robot.
I often wonder if there might be a robot god, as well as a robot heaven.
And if so, what does robot god do during his off hours?

Does he attend movies in robot heaven?
And when he's at the movies, if a tall robot sits in front of him,
will robot god tell him to move?

And what about, if robot god has to leave his seat to do something during the movie?
When he comes back to his seat,
will they play back the part of the movie that he missed when he was out?

Author bio: Kent V. Anderson writes a variety of short stories, many of them rather whimsical. Kent lives west of Chicago with no cats or dogs, although several have expressed interest.

Muse is part of 101 Fiction issue 14.


by Jack Holt

The doctor is shifting in his seat. “Continue.”

“I’m something else when I’m there,” Claire is saying. “I’m becoming more powerful every day.”

“How often do you visit this… shadow realm?”

Claire is studying him. “Whenever I close my eyes.”

The doctor is making notes. “Of course.”

Clare closes her eyes. Darkness swells in the corners of the room.

“I should close them more often.”

The floor is shaking.

The doctor looks up. He cannot see Claire. He drops his notes. He is standing now. The black is closing in.

A voice is booming. “Soon everyone will close their eyes.”

Author bio: Sometimes Jack writes things. You can read some of them at

Crossover is part of 101 Fiction issue 14.


by Tom O’Brien

‘I would have your finest potion, m’lady. Black as Stygian depths, hot as Hades flame, strong as the Minotaur. Mark ye well though; let not the flame lick to the burn. Rather caress the liquid to ripe aroma, such to convince this God his divinity has returned, however fleetingly, on the first sip. Only you, sorceresses, safe in your enchantments, know I will be drawn back to your siren call. To throw myself, Sisyphean, on your merciless allure.’

‘Tall, Grande or Venti?’

‘Oh, umm; I’ll have a Grande, please.’

‘Two Ninety Nine, sir. Sugar behind you. Have a nice day.’

Author bio: Tom O'Brien is an Irishman living in London. He's been longlisted, shortlisted and placed in numerous competitions and publications around the web. He has a short story appearing in a forthcoming anthology published by Blood & Bourbon.

Potion is part of 101 Fiction issue 14.


by Kecia Sparlin

Sensual bottles filled with liquid gold stood in rows against a mirrored wall. Alone at the bar, Oscar watched himself sipping Scotch on the rocks. Blues crackled from a tin speaker. Conversation murmured at the tables. Illicit smoke stung his eyes, excusing the tear.

Goddess of Love, she had claimed. Oscar snorted. “Got that part right,” he muttered into his drink, then sucked dregs of whiskey from the ice. With a tremor, he tilted the glass toward the bartender. “Hit me again.”

The elixir she sold him had done the trick, made Wanda fall in love. Just not with him.

Author bio: Kecia Sparlin writes and writes. Many of her stories can be found free at her website, Muninn's Memories,

Misled is part of 101 Fiction issue 14.


by Vidisha Phalke

Be careful of the quiet, the demure, the seemingly naïve; the girl with pretty smiles and empty laughter, with rebellion reflecting in her hidden frowns, with true intentions locked away in gentle angles. The immortals may be thought dead, but she hides behind the ribcage.

Pomegranate perfume steals the air from the room. Cloying. A hungry queen squeezes the heart, nurtures the greed. The girl dips ink like eating forbidden fruit, signs her name like a curse, hides behind the façade of innocence and lets the others label her new husband a blackmailer.

The Queen of the Dead still lives.

Author bio: Vidisha Phalke is a full-time writer and part-time high school student. She hopes to help create a more magical world.

Seeds is part of 101 Fiction issue 14.


by LindaAnn Lo Schiavo

The first time he saw Venus, Vulcan loved. Without her as his wife, the god of fire knew his smithy’s flames could never be this intense. Even so, her busy womb is the tomb of marital harmony. Each time he catches Venus nude, another lover riding anvilled hips, lame Vulcan feels fenced in by fate.

The goddess who is love, loved him perhaps no better than all else.

Their partnership seems doomed until she comes bearing news, bearing their son – winged Cupid.

He’ll create lead-tipped arrows, equipping hands too young to have a conscience. Undetected, forger Vulcan tools his revenge.

Author bio: Native New Yorker LindaAnn Lo Schiavo is completing her 2nd documentary film on Texas Guinan [1884-1933] and dodging gun-molls in Shubert Alley and in decommissioned speakeasies.  To revive her spirits, she puts pen to paper.  

Recent credits are Peacock Journal, Measure, Nous, and Metamorphose Magazine, who published her short story on the Greek deity of wisdom – "Adventures with the Goddess Pallas Athena."

Anvil is part of 101 Fiction issue 14.


by Lausdeus Otito Chiegboka

The spirits held a trial, the spirits of our fathers which the priest invokes in consecration, which Anakwudo, chief priest, invokes during incantation. They cursed you to die an ominous death. I do not know why those gods spared me. These things never happen without the knowledge of Chukwu Ukpabi, God of our ancestors, that gave life to our deities, and gave life to Adam to bring forth all of us, descendants.

I mourn that night we explored our fantasies under the Ukwa – Breadfruit – tree, hidden from the moonlight. That night a ripe Ukwa fruit fell, and split your head.

Author bio: Lausdeus Otito Chiegboka is a medical doctor from Nigeria with keen interest in literature. He was born in Nsukka, Nigeria and practises in Warri, Nigeria. He writes poems and prose, and also enjoys dancing and singing. He made the 2016 shortlist of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for the short story, "Exorcism".

My twitter handle is @chieslaus.

Retribution is part of 101 Fiction issue 14.


by John Xero

“What’s it called when you kill a god?”

“Deicide.” Carter frowned. “Unless you mean, like, tearing the god and associated belief structure slash doctrine apart in the minds of his followers, in which case you want iconoclasm. I think.”

“First one.”

“Why?” Carter looked over at his partner, looking down at the man they had just killed. Nothing unusual in that. It was kind of their thing.

Blood pooled across the cracked paving. Blood that was dark and deep. Deeper than it ought to be. Blood with bright specks glittering in the deep dark, like stars.

“Deicide, you say?”


Author bio: Killing gods is a dangerous undertaking. This is not the first god John Xero has killed and he worries who may take notice if he starts making a habit of it...

Deicide is part of 101 Fiction issue 14.

March 2017. Issue 14. Postscript.

Welcome to the end. Or possibly the beginning. Apocalypse... or genesis. And who's to say the two are so far separated?

If today is Sunday 5th March 2017 then you are witness to creation! Issue 14 will be going live throughout the day, with new stories appearing hour by hour.

If today is any day, year, age or aeon beyond that date then you have reached the end of the issue. It's not the end of the world, however (unless it is, in which case, thank you for choosing to end it here, with us), there are more tiny fiction treats beyond these to consume like literary candy. Keep going!

This being issue 14 there were 13 more before it. And there were more drabbles before that, before everything was packaged into a neat little quarterly 'zine.

We hope you've enjoyed everything you've read here, and continue to do so. Thank you for reading.

And thank you to everyone involved, everyone who posts, tweets and retweets.

And the biggest thank you of all to our contributors. To everyone who submits anything, whether they make it into the issue or not.

If you want to have a go, keep an eye here or on our twitter for details of our next theme and submissions period.

Keep reading.

Keep writing.

Keep creating.

-John Xero

Sunday, 8 January 2017

March Issue Open For Submissions.

Now closed for submissions.

Our new theme cycle starts now. We're looking for hundred word stories to fill the first of this year's four quarterly issues, and what better way to start the year than by going big. Real big. Your theme is: gods.

You have until Sunday 5th February to craft, polish and send your tiny tale.

Set your imagination free, run wild, steal creative fire from the gods themselves. It could be a god lost on the mortal plane, trapped by nefarious forces. A desperate goddess, using her dwindling power to protect her last true believer. Maybe a god returns to his abandoned people, only to find they have grown in power themselves and blame him for their terrible ordeals. Or the last god of a scientifically advanced species whose wards no longer have any use for him. A goddess finding the power she granted her priestesses turned back against her. A god's creations, made of its own flesh and being, whose desires and strange passions are affecting their creator's thoughts. A mortal once, become indistinguishable from a god through dark science and biblical retribution. A god who awakes to find in his sleep, in his dreams, he has created life.

It could be a mortal's encounter with an almighty being, a god, or god-like entity.

The story must be exactly one hundred words long, with a one word title. The title cannot be 'god(s)' or 'goddess(es)'. Bear in mind that we are a genre publication, sci-fi, fantasy, horror and surreal (with a little crime now and then), but ultimately, if the story is a great story, we'll publish it.

Semantics perhaps, but for the purposes of this issue - the theme is gods, be they good, evil or mad, but not devils or demons.

For full submissions info check out our submissions page.

Imagine. Create. Enjoy!