Saturday, 8 December 2018

December 2018. Issue 21.

Curl up someplace warm, try to keep the cold from your bones; check the locks, check behind the sofa (just to be sure). That chill’s not just winter at the door, it’s the sixteen tiny ghost stories right here, waiting to haunt you. Welcome them in... Welcome to issue 21.

Ghost stories strike a chord, there’s something about ghastly visions and voices from beyond that thrill us as much as they chill us. We love that shiver, in the safety of our own cosy homes. Ghost stories can run a whole rainbow of emotions though. We’ve got revenge and retribution, naturally, the dead who won’t, who can’t, let go. Then there are those aching for what they’ve lost: heartache, reflections and memory, echoes of lives and loves gone before. There’s fear and freedom, guilt and obsession.

There’s murder, of course there’s murder; nothing like an unnatural death to spawn an unquiet spirit. There’s a deep yearning, from both sides; from the dead for the simple things of life, or for life itself; from the living for what has been taken from them. There are soldiers and sailors. There’s a duke, a highwayman, tech support and... a pigeon.

What our authors have all achieved, whether their story be spooky or scary or heart-wrenching, is something that will haunt you, something that will linger even after the words are no longer before you. The stories, in their own ways, echo, they create their own ghosts, wandering through the walls of your mind.





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

Alternatively, if you want issue 21 to forever haunt your digital devices, to read later when you have no signal (horror of horrors), when you're hiding behind the sofa or under the covers, there's a .pdf available for free right here (right click and save).


by Levi Krain

Every morning, he looks for her in the bathroom mirror. Dimly seen, her luxuriant hair frames an ivory grin.

At noon, his office phone rings. It's only whispers, barely audible except for the sweet tone of her soft voice.

In the evening, she stares out the kitchen window, shoulders trembling, and stands in the shadows of the living room, eyes round, mouth set firmly.

At night, he curls up, eager for morning's glimpse. Tries to keep his eyes off the wet form by the bed. Tries to ignore her bulging eyes, grey skin, the seawater leaking from her slack mouth.

Author bio: Levi Krain rose from a clear, cold northern lake and enveloped a small American city. Since then, he has moved on to bigger and better things and now resides in the heart of New England where he spins tales and refuses to drink the water from the well.

Twitter: @LeviKrain.

Whispers is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Shannon Bell

I run my fingers through the dust that has settled on these forgotten things, in this darkened room.

My soul is dry. Guilt spins memories like cobwebs in my mind. I remember their pain, their screams and their fear. I recall their torture, their blood, the taste of their deaths.

If only I had known their misery would fester within me, rupture inside me.

They see me, these shadows, these ghosts, these remnants of lives I slowly tore apart. They part the air and step through.

Lonely hearts. Broken minds. Emptiness. This damage cannot be fixed.

I await their vengeance.

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.

Retribution is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Serena Jayne

You inhabit every inch of the memory-infused home you begged our husband to buy.

I see you in our daughter. In ice-blue eyes. A stubborn tilt of chin. The way she smiles through tears after failing to conceive and deciding to adopt. Her inability to call me mom.

I hoped now she’d understand how, although she came from your womb, I love her as my own.

New toddler in tow, she cradles your ashes. “Elaine, meet your grandma.”

I’m gutted.

The name on her lips, your name, marks the child yours alone.

You died, but I’m the one who’s gone.

Author bio: Serena Jayne received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, and is a member of Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She’s worked as a research scientist, a fish stick slinger, a chat wrangler, and a race horse narc. When she isn’t trolling art museums for works that move her, she enjoys writing in multiple fiction genres. While her first love is all things paranormal, the mundane world provides plenty of story ideas.

My social media links are as follows:
Twitter: @SJ_Writer
Instagram: @jayneserenawriter

Stepmother is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Sandra Davies

I leave my husband’s bed. Know the boards which creak, not to make hinges squeak. Leave the room.

Cold feet on damp stones, wet sand.

To the beach where Paul awaits me. Wraps me round inside his heavy greatcoat, rough grey wool across my throat, smell of earth and smoke. 

I shiver. Mud to blood to thunder, shouts of men.

Paul murmurs a warning, “He is coming, he is coming.”

Paul is no longer there.

My husband wraps me in a blanket. Tells me, “Paul is dead. I held him as he died. And promised him I’d care for you.”

Author bio: Sandra Davies eased herself from printmaking to writing when the wardrobe got full. Current passion is directed towards a series of novels best be described as love triangles with murder. Drabbles are practised weekly at The Prediction, links to which can be found via sandra­

Spurned is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Joachim Heijndermans

I wish I could be home, play the cello once more. Not in this trench, with Fritz poised to fire from the other side of No Man's Land. I would play. Oh, how I would play to my heart’s content.

Men hurry past, uniforms slick with mud. Young Tommies, readying for the push, faces full of guts and fear. I reach out to stop them before they plunge into the maw of the war. No avail. Oblivious, they walk right through me. I sigh without breath. My shadowgasp.

How I wish I could be home, play the cello once more.

Author bio: My name is Joachim Heijndermans. I am a writer and artist from the Netherlands. My work can be found at, as well as on Instagram at joaheijndermans_art and @jheijndermans on twitter.

Shadowgasp is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Holly Karlsson

She slashes the rusted bayonet left, right, a wild flailing in the dark. She can hear her own breath, panting, hitching. Something is splattering against the walls with every swing of the broken steel. She’s yet to realize it’s her own blood, flying away from gashed palms.

He’s laughing again, a delirious undulation of elation and rage, and the sound skitters across the back of her shoulders, her naked neck.

“Please, Will.” She slashes again, sobs as she spins, meeting nothing.

He giggles wildly, soul caught along the bayonet’s edge, mirroring her as she moves.

She clings to the blade.

Author bio: Holly Karlsson is a storyteller and fervent mountain roamer. Her flash fiction can be found online at

Caught is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Graeme King

Listen up and I’ll tell you what I saw:

Two men lying boot heel to boot heel by the side of the road.

The town’s only road.

If you wanted to visit Chapel Knox, and some damned fools, like these two, did, you used the same stretch of sun-scorched mud coming as you did leaving.

If you left, that is.

They helped each other up, smacked the dust from their bloodstained clothes, left their bodies behind and went in search of the woman who’d put an end to their cruel, felonious lives with two upward slashes of her bone-handled dagger.

Author bio: Twitter: @koebnig

Revenge is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by David Lewis Pogson

‘Christmas break. C18th Inn. Hampstead Heath. Highwayman tour.’

No computing for him, no cooking for her.

Sam woke suddenly, dehydrated. Snow-reflected moonlight filtered through the curtains. A glow from the bar beckoned.

The Landlord sat in a panelled booth. A tankard, chewing-tobacco and knife lay on the table before him.

“Help thissen.”  In his guide costume and still in character.

Sam sat opposite with his J2O.

“Great performance today. Exaggerated for the punters? That Highwaymen, murder, gallows at the crossroads stuff?”

“Maybe so…” left hand unwinding the scarf revealing the rope-burn around his neck… “Maybe not…” knife in his right.

Author bio: David Lewis Pogson lives in North Lancashire, England. His writing has been published in a variety of media. He is fiction writer for ACES ‘The Terrier’ magazine.  Winner of the Cumbria Local History Federation Prize for 'The Ulverston Bank Clock' later published as a book, the Freerange Theatre Company's Playframe Short Story and Flash Fiction competitions. 
Twitter @davidlpogson

Highwayman is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Marie Anderson

The ageing beauty glares at the mirror. She opens a drawer. Removes the gun left behind by her man.

The mirror chuckles. “Guess he’s cooking with fresher meat.”

She points the gun.

The mirror jeers, “Age has tiered your peers into faraway condos where the living’s assisted, or nursing homes where the living’s resisted. Until Death spears all you old worms into caskets or urns.”


Shards of glass splinter from the aging beauty trapped in the mirror.

The beauty studies the shattered corpse. She shivers, smiles, then lets her memory-eyes surrender to the ghosts of her glorious, glorious youth.

Author bio: Marie Anderson is a Chicago area writer. She's had 40 stories appear in various publications, including LampLight, Gathering Storm, Woman's World, Brain Child, St. Anthony Messenger, and most recently, Every Day Fiction. In her daily life, she strives for tidiness, timeliness, and simplicity.

Reflection is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Andy Myers

The Duke maintains a stony expression, despite his secret terror.

“Surely you can hear it, Daddy,” says his daughter. “Where was it recorded, Beecham?”

“Library, ma’am. After the promotional film. A microphone was left on all night.”

They listen; a static hiss, then a sudden exhalation – a faint, pained murmur.

“What does she say?”

“Rubbish,” he insists.

“Ssh. It sounds like – He burned my bones. How odd.”

After they’ve gone, he listens again. A familiar voice, one he’s heard every night since he strangled her.

Her cold breath whispers in his ear again.

“Good try, darling,” he says, pressing delete.

Author bio: I am a UK based writer who has had a number of short stories published in various publications. My YA Science Fiction Novel ‘The Ides’ is currently available through my website

Hush is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Laila Amado

“You’ve reached Technical Support – virus, hacking, or possession?”

“Well, the browser freezes and there’s this music and the sound of static. It closes the files I’m working on and changes them, adds letters.”

 “I can see an intrusion, but the trace... disappears. What do the letters say?”

The laptop’s on my bed, the eye of its webcam flashing. I go through the affected files and jot down the letters, keep searching. When I’m finished, my eyes are burning. The words on the paper quiver: “They are coming for you, Rabbit. Run.”

Only my brother called me Rabbit. My dead brother.

Author bio: Laila Amado is a migrating researcher currently adjusting to life somewhere in Southern Europe. Writing flash fiction makes her happy. You can meet her @onbonbon7

Digital is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Serena Jayne

Curser was the perfect name for the blasted thing. Its blinking burrowed into Hannah’s head, invading her dreams, and stealing every spare second.

It beat like a heart. Something alive. Something undead.

Into a fugue state she’d slide, losing time as well as smidgens of her sanity. The curser drew her in, becoming a gateway for the novel from hell to drag her in. Leach-like, the document drained her energy and spirit. She’d add words to the page, delete some, add more. The never-ending hamster wheel of revision.

“Bestseller,” the ghost in the machine whispered.

Hannah believed its pretty lie.

Author bio: Serena Jayne received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, and is a member of Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She’s worked as a research scientist, a fish stick slinger, a chat wrangler, and a race horse narc. When she isn’t trolling art museums for works that move her, she enjoys writing in multiple fiction genres. While her first love is all things paranormal, the mundane world provides plenty of story ideas.

My social media links are as follows:
Twitter: @SJ_Writer
Instagram: @jayneserenawriter

Curser is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Douglas Jensen

“Take up your feathers; leave your bones behind.”

That was what my mother used to sing. When I first picked myself up off the roadside, the thunder of the tram already fading, I didn't know words like 'feather' and 'bone'. Those I plucked from the skull of a naturalist I found crawling the grounds of the museum. My voice I took from the Earl of Arundel who lies coiled around the feet of his own statue – even in death, human beings cling to the earth. But I remember my mother's song and I know the truth; that everything is sky.

Author bio: Douglas Jensen is originally from Fife in Scotland and currently lives in Sheffield. He writes short stories and poems, and his story 'When Last We Spoke' was highly commended in the TSS Flash 400 Autumn competition. He has also written and drawn a number of self-published comics and zines. He can be found on twitter @thatdougjensen

Pigeon is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Dennis Mombauer

One more time, Nishan returned without catch.

The lagoon had changed with the sluice gate. Fish decayed on the sand, the white shrimp were gone, the shallows turned dark and treacherous.

Fog drifted as Nishan rowed back. He heard a voice both alien and familiar. It sang of deep, salt-strong waters, of a village with a blue temple. It sang of green fields and swarms of children running through them. It sang of tangled forests swaying in the breeze.

The fog cleared, and Nishan steered his boat toward the village. In the surrounding lagoon, dead fish floated on the waters.

Author bio: Dennis Mombauer currently lives in Colombo as a freelance writer of fiction, textual experiments, reviews, & essays on climate change & education. Co-publisher of "Die Novelle – Magazine for Experimentalism". Publications in various small- to medium-sized magazines & anthologies. German novel publication "Das Maskenhandwerk" (The Mask Trade).
Homepage: | Facebook:

Lagoon is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by Voima Oy

A stone spoke to me on the beach, round and warm in my hand. It turned into a figure of sea breeze and mist.

I was a sailor, he said. Now I'm a ghost of a man. But once I knew a girl in Lisbon, brown eyes and short bobbed hair. What I wouldn't give to hold her again. I wanted our kisses to last forever. But that was years ago!

He touched me, and I could feel the salt on my face. I remembered the bright water in the sun, as my heart rose and fell with the waves.

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, 101 Fiction, Unbroken Journal, Vignette Review, Molotov Cocktail – Flash Worlds, Burning House Press, and The Cabinet of Heed.

Follow her on Twitter, too— @voimaoy and #vss365.

Salt is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.


by John Xero

Greg woke to a touch on his shoulder, a voice in his ear.

“Something’s scratching at the window.”

Gentle illumination bloomed, responding to his movement. The clock showed his two hours’ sleep.

“Elliot,” he groaned. “No.”

“Please, Greg. Something’s outside, trying to get in.”

Greg hauled himself up, his brain dragging, still catching up on two weeks of long shifts and short sleeps. He went to the porthole, stared out into deep space, saw only the silent shine of distant stars.

“Nothing, always nothing.”

Reflections shifted in the porthole. Greg turned, but the bed, the room, was empty, always empty.

Author bio: John Xero thinks all stories are the ghosts of things that have gone before; it’s the author’s job and skill to breathe new life into these echoes of old tales.
Old stories: (and maybe some new stories, one day...)
Disembodied voices:

Outside is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.

December 2018. Issue 21. Postscript.

The after that comes before, the ghost of the future, this postscript marks the end of issue 21. Unless today is Saturday 8th December, 2018, in which case rejoice! For today is the day the ghosts rise, today is the day this issue comes to (un)life, so keep coming back through the day and there will be more and more tiny ghost stories to send shivers down your spine, to bring a little of the winter chill into your cosy home.

But if that date is behind you (try not to look over your shoulder, who knows what might be lurking there), then the issue is truly done, but have no fear! Stick right here, keep reading, there are twenty issues to read before this one (twenty!). Ghosts are the last of this year's cycle of mythical creatures, following unicorns, fairies and werethings. And even before we became a quarterly 'zine we were regularly publishing tiny stories. 101 Fiction has been publishing one hundred word stories for nearly 8 years as I write this, so there are plenty back there, just waiting for you to discover them.

Hopefully you've enjoyed your visit (and the ghosts haven't scared you away from coming back next issue). Thank you for reading.

And always, always, always, thank you to everyone that helps make our tiny 'zine a little bigger. Thank you to everyone who pushes us out there, in tweets and retweets and blogs. And thank you doubly, of course, to our contributors, who breathe life and imagination and craft into their words and worlds; it's a pleasure and a privilege to work with you.

If you want to be a part of this, if you want a run at a 100 word story (it's fun!), then keep an eye out here on or our twitter, @101fiction, for the next theme and submission period announcement.

Keep writing.

Keep reading.

Have fun.

-John Xero

Sunday, 7 October 2018

December Issue Open for Submissions.

Now closed for submissions.

From now until Sunday 11th November we are open for submissions!

This year we've been on a mythical cycle, with unicorn, fairy and werething themes so far. We're at the darker end of the year now and the chill is stalking close behind us, a shiver up the spine, an icy breath on our necks... and to round out the cycle our new theme is: Ghosts.

It could be the flickering spirits caught in an eternal dance at the heart of a new power station. The pale figure passing through the walls of a deep space listening post, a man inexplicably dressed in the uniform of a World War I U-boat captain. The spectres that haunt a lifeless planet of glittering ice, assumed to be a trick of the light until a young boy discovers the vast catacombs beneath. The Victorian detective, forever haunted by the one man whose murder he failed to solve. The old king, his tattered soul caught forever on the witch assassin's blade. Or the guardian spirit of the elephant graveyard, poachers' bullets passing through her ethereal body while her tusks tear into reality and flesh alike.

A traditional ghost story is absolutely fine, if it gives us those deep deep chills, or darker horror, but we publish a spectrum of genres and we'd love to see something with a sci-fi, fantasy or even crime edge too (which isn't to say it couldn't fall into several of those categories).

This will be our December issue so feel free to add some sort of winter or even Christmas flavour, but that is in no way essential. The key thing is to wow us with the writing, to surprise, scare or entertain us with the story.

The usual broad rules apply - the story must be exactly one hundred words long, the title exactly one word. The title cannot be Ghost or any variation thereof. Full guidelines and submissions details are here.



Have fun!

Sunday, 2 September 2018

September 2018. Issue 20.

Welcome to the werewolf issue. More accurately, werewolves and other werethings, so it seems appropriate that half the stories are werewolf and the other half are, well, other. With nineteen tiny stories it’s our biggest issue yet. Welcome to issue 20.

Something about the were-theme struck a chord and we had more submissions than we’ve ever had before, bringing a breadth of voices and creativity to the issue. Sure we’ve got your werewolf stories, with some great twists in the tail, but what about that other? The werecats and the werebear. The weremoth. The werexxxxxx (I can’t spoil that one!). The creatures too terrible to name. And one that isn’t even a living thing... or is it?

There’s violence in here, naturally; fear and frenzy, blood and gore, corpses and dismemberment. And who’s to say if that violence comes from the wolf or the human. But there is life too, a first kiss, first dates, a proposal, werewolf wives, werepups.

The moon waxes large throughout the issue, only appropriate as the year stalks onwards and darkness claims a greater tithe from each successive day. Shapeshifting in fiction is used as a way to explore different aspects of human nature, often darker ones, and we think all of the stories here, in one way or another, do the exactly that.





Keep scrolling on for the tiny werestories, or bring up the whole issue here.

Or, if your hands are paws or flippers or wings right now, then you can download issue 20 as a .pdf and save it for later, when you have fingers more suited for scrolling. Right click and save right here.


by Eirik Gumeny

We don’t always understand the truth. About the world, about ourselves.

Even when it’s staring us in the face.

Or spattered against our office walls.

Parts of a trio of undergrads everywhere around me, staining into the shelves, sliding off the armchair. Under my fingernails.

I was horrified, of course.

Then guilt. Then panic. Then...

A quote, from Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood: “Every man should be allowed one day and a hatchet just to ease his heart.”

I doubt this is what she meant.

The desk, guttered with claw marks. Full moon on the calendar.

Not a hatchet...

But it’ll do.

Author bio: Eirik Gumeny is the author of the Exponential Apocalypse series. He's previously written for Monkeybicycle, Cracked, and The New York Times' Modern Love column, among others. He lives in New Mexico and twitters @egumeny.

Hatchet is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Susan Moffat

Trees, mud, branches. A howl. Sprinting paws, panting. Hurried breaths, pounding chest. A growl. Heavy paws, gnashing teeth, warm blood. Disembodied screams. A gunshot. Darkness.

Anna awoke wrapped in blood-stained bindings. Monitors beeped, tracing her heart rate. Her heavy hands peeled back the bandage. Three deep scratches scored her arm. Groaning, she stared out of the window, and the moon stared back, full and round. Her heart beat beeped faster.

Flesh itching, hairs ripped through skin. Scream stretching to howl as a snout shattered out through her skull. Nurse bursting in. Anna pouncing. Sharp claws, flashing teeth, warm blood. Screams.

Author bio: Susi J Smith has been writing for over ten years and enjoys writing short stories and flash fiction. She is also a member of a local writing group. Susi has previously been published in, Zeroflash, and McStorrytellers. For more information, follow her on Twitter: @susi_moff or check out her Facebook page:

Tag is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by John Xero

Tree branches tore like claws into Lillian’s flesh as the storm roared around her. She fled with arms across her face, protection from the frenzied wind-whipped forest. Darkness overwhelmed her mind, deeper than the overcast night. Blind panic shifted from a phrase to visceral manifestation.

Boughs creaked and tree limbs cracked and she could not tell what was storm and what was Brian. What had been Brian, before moonlight sliced through clouds and soft skin exuded sleek black fur, slender flesh warped and bulked, and sweet handsome features distended into slavering jaws and hateful beady eyes. Before Brian became bear.

Author bio: Once in a while, when the moon is high and the inspiration bright, John Xero becomes a writer; by glow of screen and patter of keyboard, he creates. One day he will work out how to make the transformation permanent.
Muttering: @xeroverse

Raging is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Errol struggles as his fellow townsmen drag him into the woods, chain him to the Sacrifice Tree. In the torchlight, their faces are sorrowful yet relieved. They've been spared. This time.

Older than dragons, darker of soul than the Devil, the creatures arrive with a great thrashing of their monstrous wings. Errol kneels before their dreadful beauty, weeps for mercy. But their beaks slash, their talons shred, until all that's left of Errol is his scream.

In their silent town, in their empty beds, the men wait, guilt fading. After all, they had no choice.

Their women must be fed.

Author bio: Madeline Mora-Summonte is a writer, a reader, 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.

Bound is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Carolyn Ward

Swathes of bluebottles fizzed on the drying blood like an undulating black curtain. Max walked past the empty shop and paused, his nostrils twitching as the heat of the meat hit him like a drug. Not again! He looked around, checking nobody could see, and shoved through the locked door with the strength in his bulging, stretching muscles. Inside was even hotter than the sun-scorched street, and the smell was eye-watering. Max took several deep breaths and fell hard onto all fours, howling and clawing at the bloated corpse. Chunk by rancid chunk the meat went down, flies and all.

Author bio: Carolyn Ward is a writer from Wolverhampton, UK. She lives for horror and even a smidge of gore.

For more follow @Viking_Ma

Corpsewolf is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Matthew Schickele

Kasia followed the bloody tire track along the dark street and through the splintered door of the library.

Werewolves, werecats, werebirds – they took many forms and her spiked club had ended them all. But a Werewheel... well. Could it die? A wheel was not even alive, or so she had thought. And if they could take inanimate forms now...

Kasia shuddered as she traced the Werewheel's snaking path through the bookshelves. Suddenly her hunter’s ears piqued: a quiet rustling, like wind through dry leaves.

Her breath froze in fear. The books – all around her the books were shifting, closing in.

Author bio: Matthew Schickele is a Queens-based writer of music and words: chamber music, songs, speculative fiction, opera, and electronic music. @Squidocto

Wheel is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by J. H. Malone

Little Franz awoke. Outside, an icy moon hung pregnant over leafless winter trees.

The boy whimpered, then pressed his hands over his rosebud mouth.

Must not call attention.

Lie still. Don't leave this bed.

The tall clock in the sitting room measured the night with its long swinging arm.

Against his will, the boy sat, then stood. Cold oak flooring sent a chill up his legs. Into his vitals.

Reluctant, he advanced down the hall, groping in the dark.

A sound entered his straining ears.

The skritching.

In his father's bedroom, Hermann Kafka crouched on the rug, cockroach once more.

Author bio: J. H. Malone recently returned from Dar es Salaam after spending three years there writing copy for refugee aid NGOs.

Ungeziefer is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Voima Oy

The girl with the moth eyebrows, they call me. Yes, my eyebrows are like furry caterpillars, like dark moths on my forehead.

I was always a nocturnal creature. I love the neon and streetlights. I love the moon in the mulberry tree, the garden in the moonlight, the fragrance of the moonflowers, their upturned faces.

By day, I wear silk and wool. Am I a girl dreaming she's a moth, or a moth dreaming she's a girl? The nights are getting longer, now, and the moon is a light in the window. I fly through the holes in my sweaters.

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, 101 Fiction, Unbroken Journal, Vignette Review, Molotov Cocktail – Flash Worlds, Burning House Press, and The Cabinet of Heed.

Follow her on Twitter, too— @voimaoy and #vss365.

Luna is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Grove Koger

Handsome brute, she thought, and he heard the faint words, saw them shimmering across her face. Smelled them. He passed his hand across his rough cheek, knew she’d notice. He was like that.

The evening had gone well. The food was good without being fussy, their waiter unobtrusive, the murmur of voices around them soothing. The moonlight spilling into the courtyard outside was a perfect touch. Should they share another bottle? Probably. He picked up the wine list, smiled at her, knowing she’d smile back. Yes.

But what, he wondered as he thought ahead, will she make of my tail?

Author bio: I’m the author of When the Going Was Good: A Guide to the 99 Best Narratives of Travel, Exploration, and Adventure, and Assistant Editor of Laguna Beach Art Patron Magazine, Palm Springs Art Patron Magazine, and Deus Loci: The Lawrence Durrell Journal. I blog at

Date is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by John Xero

“I’ve never used Tinder before.”

“Me neither,” she lied.

“My sister convinced me. Silly. Happy I did, though.” He smiled at her, awkward.

She smiled back. “I know what you mean.”

She did know. He was happy they’d met. It was wonderful, because she was beautiful and his love life was saved.


She brought him back to her den, bade the cubs at the window hide and wait with a single yellow-eyed glare. In the hallway she kissed him, tasted him, felt her jaw shifting in anticipation, felt a sharpness at her breast.

“Silver.” He smiled at her, dangerous.

Author bio: John Xero wonders how age-old myths would take to the modern world and its rapid, occasionally monstrous, shifts in form. It seems sometimes the changes happen as often as the phases of the moon...
Notepads: beside the desk
Twitter: @xeroverse
Next thing: coming soon (probably)

Tinderwolf is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Cassondra Windwalker

Moonlight dripped from his open hand hanging over the edge of the bed. She padded closer. His heavy breathing, born of the words and whiskey that had carried him past midnight for months, reassured her he would remember these hours as naught but a dream. She stretched before the open window, revelling in the exquisite agony that transformed her feline form into human. If the other cats discovered her curse, they would pity and revile her. She curled against his belly, pulled his arms close, and smiled. Better to be the poet’s pet for one night than run free forever.

Author bio: Cassondra Windwalker has lived under the guise of many transformations, but she always returns to her true state of poet under the full moon. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and art books, and two of her novels were released this year. You can find her at and at She writes full time from the coast of Alaska where she resides with an assassin, a ghost, and a very patient dog.

Sonata is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Ann Roberts

He stayed on his knees, hope reflecting in his azure eyes. Her hands fidgeted, wringing a pinch of her skirt on her lap. She looked over his shoulder. But his earnest gaze kept drawing her in, engrossing her in the sincerity of his intentions. She looked down at her quivering hands and his steady ones waiting for her. How could things be so full of joy inside a reality of misfortune? Her voice shook. “Are you sure?”

“Until the day you use the silver bullet to stop me, I’ll love you.”

“I’ll marry you and pray that day never comes.”

Author bio: This is A.E. Roberts' first attempt at flash fiction and found the challenge exciting and enjoyable. Roberts is interested in writing in every genre and style at least once and is now a fanatic for flash fiction. Thank you for reading!

Encagement is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Renée Bennett

The psychologist says, “Let’s talk about feelings.”

Feelings? Like grass beneath my feet? Breath in my body and moonlight in my eyes?

Crunch of bone. Salty tang of blood.

“The changes you’ve undergone – they must be traumatic.”

Traumatic? Yes. But to build you must clear first. When you grow, you become more than you were.

“About the death of your husband. What you did...”

I smile. I can do that now... smile. “In Anglo-Saxon, ‘were’ means ‘man’. ‘Wif’, woman.” I bare new fangs. “I cleared away the old. I am the new.”

Outside my cell, he frowns. Inside, I smile.

Author bio: Renée Bennett is an author and editor living in Calgary, Canada. When asked, ‘What do you write?’ she replies, ‘Anything I please.’ This is why her bibliography includes Arthuriana, jazzpunk, and zombie erotica, among other genres. Her most recent work has appeared in the ENIGMA FRONT anthologies; she’s nominated for an Aurora Award for ENIGMA FRONT: The Monster Within. Look for her in ENIGMA FRONT: Onward, and BY THE LIGHT OF CAMELOT, both available August, 2018.

Wifwolf is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by M. Yzmore

I didn’t leave when my family called me an abomination, then sent me to conversion camp because I liked women.

I left after a gang of my brother’s friends had descended upon me, yet my family shrugged, hoping I had been cured.

Then I met my werewolf wife. She knew all about being an abomination.

When she says she needs space, I don’t mind.

Because the moon was full when my brother’s friends died gruesome deaths.

Because my werewolf wife birthed six werepups, who became six babies, whom I love more than life… Whom no one will ever call abominations.

Author bio: Maura Yzmore writes short-form literary and speculative fiction, as well as humour. Some of her darker fare has appeared in Trembling with Fear, Occulum, and The Sirens Call. 
Find out more at or on Twitter @MauraYzmore.

Abomination is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Michael S. Manley

Lying in front of the basement TV, fuzzy UHF broadcast painting us in flickering black-and-white, we watched Lon Chaney, Jr.'s meaty face transform into the perfectly-coiffed monster's and I felt ready to howl. That lousy makeup must've taken hours, Brenda said. Then she ditched me to soak in the afternoon sun on our neighbour's motorcycle saddle. When the family curse finally took hold, I didn't just lie still and quiet while hair sprouted, bones stretched, language evaporated. Wolf didn't feel like I'd imagined. I vaulted backyard fences and chased rabbits through hedges under the full moon. Life finally made sense.

Author bio: Michael S. Manley lives in Chicago, where he works as a software engineer. His writing has appeared in Gettysburg Review, Columbia, The Long Story, Sycamore Review, Gingerbread House and Three Guys One Book. He maintains an online presence at

Suburban is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Wm. Brett Hill

Night descended leisurely, but Jack felt little of its languid nature as his skin crawled and rippled. He hated being trapped in the city, locked in his apartment as the change overtook him. He hated being surrounded by people who would never understand.

As his teeth grew long and the hair filled in on his face he remembered that fateful night long ago and the attack that brought him to this sorry state. He glared into the shining moon as he grunted and gave in, falling to the floor. Massive, powerful, absurd... Jack the werewalrus flopped around the living room.

Author bio: Wm. Brett Hill lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where he spends time with his wife and daughter, works in IT, and writes stories. His short fiction has appeared in Firewords, Flash Fiction Magazine, and numerous others.

Odobenine is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Roppotucha Greenberg

Mostly human, he patters about the classroom like a stink bomb, prickling his ears. Nobody cares about the cat smell; all eyes are on me. He tells them my private stuff, and they laugh. He’s never violent, just gives me an occasional scratch or drops nasties in my bag.

I get home dizzy from misery and boredom; he’s the first thing I see, now fully cat, sitting on a dumpster. He stares at me, and it’s like being dipped in garbage.

My aunt adores him. As I root in the fridge, she scolds me for spilling his saucer of milk.

Author bio: Roppotucha Greenberg writes speculative fiction.
Micro-fiction: @Roppotucha

Fluffy is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Kaitlyn Anderson

Tyler and Perry thought it would be romantic to sneak out after curfew and paddle to the middle of Tannin Lake. All the kids in their class did it. Tyler was distracted by soft lips, giggling and panting through his first kiss. He didn’t notice the way Perry’s smooth hands elongated, becoming something webbed, something wrong. By the time the canoe tipped it was too late.

“Perry,” Tyler yelled, treading water with minimal effort. His freestyle led their team to victory three years running, after all.

But Perry didn’t answer, circling his prey, preparing to drag the other boy under.

Author bio: I have been published in The Oregonian and studied Psychology and Creative Writing at Oregon State University. My degree has helped me to create believable characters and explore the effects of mental health in fantastical situations. When not busy working on my writing, I like to explore Oregon with my husband, try to keep up with a psychotic Burmese kitten and overweight orange tabby, put sweaters on said cats and laugh maniacally, and stalk Ryan Reynolds on Twitter.  Speaking of Twitter, you can find me there at Kaitlyn Andersen @ewokswithme.

Tannins is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.


by Dylan Cary

When her ship passed beyond the Moon, she changed.

It felt like a migraine at first, except with purpose. Then it moved from her mind to her head itself, like invisible fingers crawling along her brow, her nose, her cheeks, her lips, her jaw. Tearing them open, breaking to build, muscle and sinew and bone.

A terrified breath expanded her chest, ribs, and spine. Strips of skin and hunks of flesh slopped off her body, a cry for help lowered into a warbling howl. But no soul heard it.

The moonlight had kept her human; the darkness brought the wolf.

Author bio: Dylan Cary is an emerging young author living on the tail end of Southern California, amid cacti and palm fronds. She enjoys writing SFF and romance with a twist. Follow her on her continuing writerly pursuits @dylcarywrites on Twitter.

Moonlight is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.

September 2018. Issue 20. Postscript.

The moon has set; that warm glow on the horizon is night's end; time for all good monsters to go to bed. You have reached the end of issue 20, our dances with werewolves (and other werethings) have drawn to a close. Unless...! Unless today is Sunday 2nd September 2018, in which case you're in for a treat, because issue 20 is going live all through the day. Keep heading back this way for more and more tiny stories, nineteen in total, our biggest issue yet.

But if today is the future and you have read issue 20, if you have devoured our werecreatures and still hunger for more, then stick with 101 Fiction and we'll do our best to sate the insatiable beast. Before this we had our all flavours of fairy issue, and 2018 kicked off with unicorns. Read on through the seventeen previous issues, and even that only takes you back to the moment moonlight struck and 101 Fiction shifted into its current form. Before issue 1 you will find even more tasty morsels to get your teeth into.

We hope you've enjoyed your visit, we hope you'll visit again. Thank you for reading.

And thank you to everyone who helps promote us, everyone who tweets and retweets and gives us a shout out - everyone who shines a little moonlight our way and helps us grow that little bit bigger. But the biggest thank you, as ever, is reserved for our contributors, for everyone who takes the time to write something for us, it's always a pleasure putting an issue together, and it could never happen without you and your imaginations.

If you want to be a part of this tiny special place with big dreams then keep an eye out for our next submissions period. It's announced here on and we always shout about it over on twitter.

Keep writing.

Keep reading.

Have fun.

-John Xero

Sunday, 15 July 2018

September Issue Open for Submissions.

Now closed for submissions.

From now until Sunday 12th August we are open for submissions.

We're past the solstice and as the sun begins to wain the shadows lengthen, a little more darkness creeps in every day. It may be summer now but autumn approacheth and autumn is a season for change. In keeping with this and the mythical beings cycle we're on this year (unicorns and faeries so far), the theme for our September issue is: Werewolves and other were-things.

Perhaps moonlight slants in through a morgue window and the body on the slab, the silver bullets removed in autopsy, twitches, convulses, shifts to something between wolf and man, and growls. It could be a scientist studying lycanthropy, ridiculed by his peers, out of funding, infecting himself in desperation. Or maybe the victims of the Whitechapel murders have organs expertly removed, but with wounds that show more similarities to claw than scalpel. Perhaps the injections for a new beauty treatment must be kept away from moonlight. Or an experimental warp drive punches an ark through space, but when they arrive the human passengers cannot find the animals they brought with them, until the the second sun rises and something twists inside them. A witch might take in a black cat on a moonlit night, only to find when the moon sets a young prince asleep on her kitchen floor.

Maybe the moon brings on the shift, or stress, anger, arousal, or some more unusual trigger. Maybe the transformation is completely to animal shape, or into some anthropomorphic horror in between. Think of change, think of the darker side of human nature represented in animal form.

While we wouldn't normally hold you back in any way, for this theme the one creative restriction we insist upon is that one half of the were-thing is human. Other than that, go wild...

There are, of course, the usual editorial restrictions. The story must be exactly one hundred words and the title only one word. The title cannot be Werewolf or Were[insert animal here] or any variation thereof. Full guidelines and submissions details are here.

We're primarily looking for science fiction, fantasy, horror or surreal but great writing always wins out, regardless of genre. Surprise us, delight us, entertain us.

Imagine. Create. Have fun!

Sunday, 3 June 2018

June 2018. Issue 19.

Welcome to issue 19, an issue of fey things and faeries, fairies and fair folk. The first issue of this cycle was unicorns, and this time we’ve delved further into folklore and legend, into those tricksy and mischievous fey, in all their forms, from the tiny to the tall. We’ve tried to capture the intangible, define the indefinable, and unveil things only ever seen at the periphery of vision

We have fairies in jars, in chains, in pieces. Fey on the run, on a plate, hiding behind the tea cups. And then there are those leading humans astray, whisking them away, toying with them; the mischief, the threats and the straight up violence. To some the wee ones are pests, a nuisance, a curiosity, barely more than another insect for the collector’s net.

Think you can trust your eyes? Check again, in the slippery shadows, between the stalks and stems of the garden, amongst the music and lights of the fairground...

People have always looked for ways to explain the unexplainable, or at least that which they do not yet understand. Hence gods, to explain the weather, the harvest, the grand movements of the earth and sky. And fairies (and their ilk), to explain the little things: the keys that aren’t where we left them; the shift in a child’s mood; milk gone sour. Nowadays science explains these things, or perhaps that’s just a modern way to explain away the gods and fair folk that we still don’t understand.

We think you should make your own mind up, but you should always be open for at least a little wonder in the world.





Keep scrolling down for the tiny fairy tales, or click here to bring up issue 19 in its entirety.

Or maybe you want a copy to keep for later, for the bus or the bath or with breakfast, and you can have one, a teeny tiny free .pdf, downloadable (right click and save) right here.


by Colin D. Smith

“Come with me,” the young girl said
Sitting cross-legged on the bed,
Her hand extended to the child
Who yawned and stretched, then blinked and smiled.
“Come with you? I like it here;
“My pillow’s soft, and my parents near.”
“I have a place,” the girl enticed,
“Where nights are long and dreams are nice,
“Where no-one will disturb your sleep.
“Come with me; this place will keep.”
The child thought hard, then rose to stand,
And with a nod she took her hand.
The young girl laughed, then sang a song,
And with a blink, the two were gone.

Author bio: I am a writer of flash fiction, short stories, and novels living in Eastern North Carolina.

Kidnap is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Liz Tuckwell

As entranced by the bright lights and swirling rides of the fairground as her twin daughters, gradually, she notices every fairground worker is tall, slender, with watchful dark eyes and pointed ears. They ride on the carousel. All the garish, painted horses have horns.

‘Free candyfloss.’

The girls receive a pink fluffy cone each.

‘No, let me pay.’

‘Something for nothing.’

Sharply, she tells her twins to return their gift. They step back, take a disobedient mouthful.

And vanish. As do the people. As does the fairground.

Two mouldy apples, one bite out of each, lie on the desolate ground.

Author bio: Liz Tuckwell is a British science fiction and fantasy writer, living in London. Her short fantasy story, The Mysterious Mr. Fox, will be included in the forthcoming BFS anthology Emerging Horizons, showcasing new writers, to be published in 2018 and another fantasy story will be published in the anthology, Magic CSI, due out in the next few months.

Fairground is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Duke Trott

I will never forget the impossible exhaustion in his eyes, or his cries, which alerted us to his presence at the wood’s edge.

“Please end the dance,” he sobbed, “let me rest, let me die.”

I thought I heard a child giggle, as we dragged the raving man into the doctor’s home, but his screams drowned it out.

“You’re all fools!” he shouted hoarsely, grabbing our lapels, trying to make us understand, seemingly unconcerned by the ragged remains of his feet, which left long red stains across the floor.

“These clothes…” said the doctor, “they remind me of my grandfather’s…”

Author bio: Duke Trott is a writing currently living in Michigan, His work has recently appeared in Occulum and Bad Pony. When he’s not writing poetry, he’s usually reading comics, or researching tips for improving homemade bread.

Hexenring is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Margaret McGoverne

Perry hurried back from the supermarket. They were excavating ground for new houses and digging was hungry work. The lads were waiting.

She perched astride a bulldozed tree. Slim, brown leggings, camouflage jacket.


As she spoke he forgot the lads, his job, his own name. He forgot his why, his wherefore.

“I’m Fay.”

She toyed with his hair, knotting his man bun. Her emerald gaze pinioned him.

“Brought me something?”

He surrendered the bag.

“Bread and milk!” she breathed, and he laughed; his offering pleased her.

Clasping her hand, he followed her through uprooted hawthorns, onwards, followed her forevermore.

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

Enchanted is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Samantha O’Brien

The moment had finally arrived, I was so excited! A hush crept across the hazy room as we awaited the main course. So far I was not sure the hype was deserved. The servers removed the covers and a loud applause rang out as the surprise was revealed at each table. Small humanoid creatures flitted against gilded bars, tears rolled down their cheeks and terror was in their almond eyes. I retched, horrified, as my companions reached forth and took up the now shrieking creatures, eating them alive. Next thing, I was looking at the stars, initiation failed, forever barred.

Author bio: Born in Liverpool forty plus years ago and now living in Dublin. I would happily live in a library. I love reading to the local school children and helping to foster a love of reading and storytelling.

Dinner is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by John Xero

“The other collection.”

Confusion furrowed Ian’s brow. He indicated the open draw with a sweep of his manicured hand. “This is the collection.”

It was magnificent. Butterflies from five continents shimmering in the bright, precise lighting. They could have been in motion, but for the pins driven through them, the regimented display like no cloud of flutter-bys had ever flown.

The viscount was unimpressed, a sword suddenly in his gloved hand.

Ian was pinned to the wall.

A hidden switch and another draw opened. Of iridescent wings and tiny limbs. Faeries at rest, but for the pins, driven through them.

Author bio: There’s always an ‘other collection,’ you just have to know how to blag/ bully/ buy your way in. John Xero has a few collections available for public perusal...
Even a few floating around from way back when, like HddnTrcks
And the ‘other collection’? Well...

Pinned is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Simon Lee-Price

My wife Donna is unrivalled as a children’s illustrator. Male fairies are her speciality. Her brush captures their shy beauty, the lightness of their wings, the magical gleam in their eyes. Even the fabled fairy spirit, so gentle and free, finds expression in her paintings. Her models are freshly gathered from a secret place deep in the woods. Seated at her easel, she asks me to fetch the finest specimen from the crowded fairy cage. The little man is quite helpless and trembles for his life. He stands before her, head bowed, wings clipped, his pretty legs restrained in irons.

Author bio: Simon Lee-Price lives and writes in the UK. His strange fiction has appeared in The Breakroom Stories, Five:2:One, Torrid Literature Journal and Sirens Call. Follow him on Twitter @SimonLeePrice.

Fidelity is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Stella Turner

He’d always coveted a faerie and this one was special. Delicate and lithe with a soft blue aura. He kept her in a bell jar and watched as she battled vainly to escape. Sometimes she’d crumple in a heap, her wings soggy with emotion. He wondered what special powers she possessed and one day she told him of being trapped between heaven and hell, promising him riches if he let her go. But he was tired of fairy tales and next morning he swapped her for a Leprechaun – crocks of gold, rainbows and Irish whisky being more to his taste.

Author bio: I'm Stella Turner and 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

Choices is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Sandy Hiortdahl

The twins huddle behind my husband’s teacup, snickering so that their dark curls bounce when he drops a teabag into it and asks, “Have you moved my spoon again?”

I have not. Indeed, I’ve never touched his grandmother’s teaspoon. The twins in whom he does not believe hide it. Today, I see the younger one glance left and I spy the spoon beneath my husband’s Motortrend. “There,” I say.

He grins and retrieves it. The fairies dart right, disappearing behind the toaster, though not quite quickly enough this time. “Did you see something?”

“Nothing,” I say.

“Huh,” he says, “Okay.”

Author bio: Sandy Hiortdahl lives in a small brick house in East Tennessee. She's been published in Thema and Metonym, among others. Her website is

Brunch is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Allen Ashley

“I don’t believe in them, they’re not real.” Betty continued exploring the bright yellow flowers.

“Well, I’ve seen them, I’m certain,” Agatha responded. “You have to know where to look. And when.”

“Sounds like a silly bedtime story to me. We ought to have grown out of that by now.”

“My mother says we should be scientific about it,” Agatha countered. “We don’t see them because they experience time differently to us. I can’t remember whether she said it was faster or slower. Quite an interesting explanation, though.”

Betty fluttered her tiny wings, alighted the petals. “Believe in humans? Nah!”

Author bio: Allen Ashley is a committee member for the British Fantasy Society. He works as a creative writing tutor with five groups currently running, including the advanced science fiction / fantasy group Clockhouse London Writers. He appeared in “101 Fiction: Heroes and Monsters” with “Entwining”.

Existentialism is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Mary Casey

The trap is set with my favourite socks. White, with shamrocks. The washer next to me is filling. My timing must be perfect.

I observe one sock floating in the air above the rest, held in place by a being the size of a hornet, with fluff for hair and long teeth, like the teeth of a comb.

The fairy pulls it apart, thread by thread, and swallows.

Not caring if my hand is shredded, I reach out and grab the thief. I slam open the washer, throw him in, and grin as the sock fairy suffers the spin cycle.

Author bio: Mary Casey lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she writes prose and poetry in between chasing socks.

Thief is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Lyric Hyde

“That it?”

“Yes, up there.”

The pixies swarmed the old box, their tails illuminating the ramshackle houses they had built.

“Normally I wouldn’t call an exterminator, but they keep attacking my cats. I even tried offerings,” Aria fretted. “Can you handle it?”

“Course I can handle it,” Gunther grumbled. “It’s my job.”

The exterminator crept up to the box. The tiny creatures froze, studying him. A couple hissed, baring rows of sharp teeth.

“You don’t want to breathe this,” Gunther called down to Aria. He pulled down his mask and held the nozzle up to the pixie nest. “Goodnight, bugs.”

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 has started a website called, but she can also be found at various websites, including Wattpad, Get Underlined, Prose, and Young Writer's Society under the name Animarret-Writing.

Infestation is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Shannon Bell

Gavin watched, disbelieving, as a flower uprooted itself, ran to him, and spat a sickly-smelling liquid over him. His skin itched, and hundreds of small pustules appeared, a tiny foetal form curled within each one.

A voice tinkled in the air. "Protect the host.”

Golden mist enveloped him.

He wasn't sure how long he lay there, paralysed. Days? Months? Time moves differently in their world.

The pustules all erupted together, the air filling with fledgling fairies.

A voice tinkled in the air. "Consume the host."

"Oh fuck," he whispered, as hundreds of heads turned towards him, their teeth-filled mouths gaping.

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.

Spawn is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Marie McKay

I stuffed the fairy's tongue into a locker at school. Left it there among the rows of other dark holes plugged shut with scaled-down doors. When I stand back and take them all in, they remind me of a mortuary wall.

It's not over. My secret has a grudge and a knuckle in its voice.

I pass it on my way to class. It’s grown lips and learnt to punch:

“Shitface. You can't keep me here. You know it, right!'”

Winded, I scuttle down the corridor.

Soon it will be more than mouth. And for the wand it will come.

Author bio: I live in Scotland. I have stories published in various places online including, 100 word story, Bending Genres and Easy Street. I also have stories published in The Infernal Clock anthology series.

Secret is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Holly Karlsson

My mama left me three things – a temper, hotter than a supernova, a Tedaskerian saw-blade that can mince bone, and a small, rowan-wood pendant, shaped like a peach pit.

Mama believed in grit and faeries, and I was wise enough never to call bullshit on the latter. Forgive me, Mama, for ever doubting.

Today I woke up beneath a warm corpse. A mythical creature is squatting on Aelin’s back, and peering into my face.

My blade passes through its side, like a hand through smoke.

The fairy laughs, and stabs a finger into my eye. “Should’ve tried iron, little human.”

Author bio: Holly Karlsson is a storyteller and fervent mountain roamer. Her flash fiction can be found online at

Eyesore is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by John Xero

“What is that noise?” Kindra growled.

Rika looked at the tiger, astonished. “You hear it?”

 “Who couldn’t?” Kindra thrashed his tail.

Dust drifted, glittering, from the ceiling of the cave with each resounding knock.

“I’ve heard it my whole life,” Rika whispered, “but now is the moment. Now.”

“You’re talking nonsense. The armies of man and their gunpowder roars have broken into the mounds of your kin. We must flee.”

“Go, Kindra. Any debt you owe me is paid. But this sound was pounding in my mind before mankind first tamed wild fire. Destiny or death, it must be answered.”

Author bio: John Xero has been set adrift, and seeks a new destiny. If it must be tigers and stars and wonder, then so be it, he will cope, somehow.
Places he should update more often: @xeroverse

Knocking is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Daniel Thron

Waiting for the gas to take effect, I regard the patient’s acorn head: beneath his knobby cupule lies a placid, smooth-cheeked face, like a kid in a knit cap on a snowy day. The image sticks with me, and even after we have the go-ahead from the anaesthesiologist, I still I can’t help but hesitate. I know his eyes won’t move, his mouth won’t go slack; they are only an improbable arrangement of spots that induce pareidolia. As I make the first incision along the base of his thorax, I still feel him looking up at me, guileless and content.

Author bio: Daniel Thron is a writer and filmmaker living in Los Angeles.  He largely pays the bills with visual effects, and his work can be seen in movies such as David Fincher's 'Zodiac' and 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,' as well as 'Blade Runner 2049' and 'Avengers: Infinity War.'

Elsewhere is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.


by Renée Bennett

The shadows slide; you turn your head. Jewels in darkness, a crown upon a brow...

So? You turn away.

He’s there again in morning mist, white curling along flank and cloak... You stare a little longer, but he chose her. You chose here. That matters.

Tears on your face. That matters, too.

Gold and silver afternoon dazzles in a parking lot. Limned in light, the steed, the rider, the hand reaching for yours. “Come.” Off the steed, on one knee. “Come home. We – I – regret. Can I be forgiven?”

You say, “Can I?”

Smiles. Fingers touch.

The steed carries two.

Author bio: Renée Bennett is an author and editor living in Calgary, Canada. When asked, ‘What do you write?’ she replies, ‘Anything I please.’ This is why her bibliography includes Arthuriana, jazzpunk, and zombie erotica, among other genres. Her most recent work has appeared in the ENIGMA FRONT series of anthologies. Look for her in BY THE LIGHT OF CAMELOT, available July, 2018, from Edge Publishing.

Expatria is part of 101 Fiction issue 19.

June 2018. Issue 19. Postscript.

The end. It's never really the end though, is it? Especially if you're here on Sunday 3rd June, 2018. If that day is today, then today is the very day this issue is happening, with tiny stories and big mischief flying in on shimmering wings through the hours. Keep checking back for more stories.

It's not even the end if this is a later date and you've read everything issue 19 has to offer. The beauty of an issue 19 is that there are 18 issues before it. 4 full theme cycles, a Halloween special and the first issue of this cycle - March's unicorn issue. And we're not even done there! Before we went quarterly we published stories every week, often two or more, for over two years. Just keep scrolling back, they're all there. Can you hear them, like distant music, tempting you in? But like a fairy mound, you might wander in for an hour, and wander out again to find years passed in the real world.

The end is also where we say thank you. Thank you for visiting, and reading. Thank you to everyone who blogs, tweets and retweets; everyone who passes on the word; everyone who gives our tiny stories tiny wings of their own. As always, the biggest thank you of all goes to the contributors, our authors make this place happen and we are forever grateful to them.

If you want to join in, to be a part of our world of tiny wonders, then keep an eye on 101 Fiction or on our twitter for our next theme and submissions period. We'll try to shout about it when it happens too.

Until then...

Keep writing.

Keep reading.

Have fun.

-John Xero.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

June issue open for submissions.

Now CLOSED for submissions.

From now until Sunday 13th May we are open for submissions.

This year's theme cycle is another round of mythical creatures. We've already had unicorns, and now we're going to the strange soft places between here and there, between dreams and the place they call IRL, more specifically to the folk that live there. The new theme is: fairies.

Fairy (or faerie or fair folk or fey), little folk or no, covers a broad spectrum of folklore, myth, and legend. And we're happy to hear of them all, as long as they identifiably fit the spectrum, through form or act.

Your story could be the gardener, breaking through the topsoil into a network of tunnels, and the tiny winged folk that swarm him, knives of flint slashing. The woman who follows strange music and finds an odd folk feasting and dancing; who joins the revelry and leaves the next day, to find her friends all long gone and her daughter grown old, great spires of steel and glass where she remembers only town houses. Perhaps the cyborcops of Futurciti bust a drugs lab where the workers are distilling an addictive pearly powder from song and lost children. Or as the king holds his firstborn in his arms, slender figures gather in the shadows to remind him of the pact he once swore, that kept him on the throne, and the price he must pay, as they offer one of their own in exchange.

We're primarily looking for fantasy, horror and science fiction, with a little surreal and crime thrown in for good measure, but ultimately we'll accept the best fiction we see, regardless of genre. If it excites and ensorcels us, it's in.

The story must be exactly 100 words long, with a one word title. The title cannot be fairy, or any variation thereof. Please check out the full guidelines and submissions information here.

Imagine. Create. Have fun!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

March 2018. Issue 18.

Issue 18, the first issue with 18 stories, the first issue of 2018. Welcome. And what wonders do we have for you this snowy March? Why, we have unicorns. Magical mystical creatures, pure of heart and soul, bright lights trotting through the shadowy fields of myth, right? Well... we’ve always liked to do things a little differently round here.

Oh sure, one or two of our unicorns are heroes and inspirations, of sorts. And some of our unicorns are victims too – after all, who could pass up that much magic bound in one being; just think what you could do with all that power. But plenty of our unicorns are not so meek, the moonlit horn you wouldn’t want to meet in the middle of the lonely night; these unicorns are thieves and murderers, parasites and monsters. And then there are the unicorns that aren’t even unicorns at all.

Unicorns have seen a recent resurgence in popular culture, for both children and adults. There’s a lot of sparkle and rainbows and innocent delight, and we wouldn’t want to deny any of that, but hopefully we’ve added a little something, in our own way. A little friction, a little seasoning and spice to heighten the flavour, a little shadow and contrast to make the brightness pop.

Join us on our strange journey through permutations of unicorn.





Keep scrolling down for the teeny tiny tales, or click here to bring up the whole issue.

But wait! Maybe you want to download the issue in a handy .pdf format for later perusal and digesting, over breakfast, a lunch break, or accompanying a midnight snack. And you can! Right click and save right here.


by Lucy Underhill

A stuffed unicorn head, with a wooden heart impaled upon its horn, hung outside our family apothecary.

My great-grandmother sat black shawl-wrapped in a shadowy corner of the shop, amongst gleaming bottles of curling herbs. “Your great-grandfather was a fearless explorer who searched the Hidden Isles for rare and powerful plants. On a mountain top one dawn, he was startled by a wild, goat-eyed unicorn. He shot his musket, but the horned beast’s dying desire was his death.”

“And his pierced heart hangs on the sign outside?”

She wiped a tear from her lashes. “No, my dear. That is mine.”

Author bio: Lucy Underhill lives in London with her partner and a chug named Dolly.

Courage is part of 101 Fiction issue 18.


by Amy Triplett

I'm so sorry we hurt you, I say. You are our family, I say. You are precious and beautiful and deserve every good thing, I say. I wince as I stroke your muzzle and try not to see him mending the broken chains that bind your flanks and withers.

Your horn was bright with furious triumph and stained red, but with my loving words I can see that light fade as you calm.

We were so lucky to find a unicorn in the wild. Our lives – and our relationship – have never been better. Your magic keeps us whole and unbroken.

Author bio: Amy is a writer, a coder, a jewellery maker, and a science fiction/ fantasy enthusiast.

Tethered is part of 101 Fiction issue 18.


by Shannon Bell

“Eat it.”

“I can’t. The guilt is too great.”

“A unicorn heart bestows eternity, but you must eat it while it’s beating.”

Tears leaked from my eyes. I bit into the flesh. Blood dribbled down my chin and the heart beat softly against my lips. “Where is the horn?”

“The horn is my payment.”

 Magic surged through me, healing what was broken and diseased and granting eternal life. I looked at the ruined forehead, the sightless eyes, the gaping hole in the chest. I cradled my face in my bloody hands. “It’s a horse,” I whispered. “It’s only a horse.”

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.

Sacrifice is part of 101 Fiction issue 18.


by John Xero

Jeremy stared at his father’s blood, spreading across the kitchen floor. It pooled around his socks, soaking into the thick cotton and touching his feet with unfamiliar warmth and intimacy.

One of the puncture wounds sputtered, as if running dry, then slurped and continued to flow.

“Samuel?” The child whimpered with a voice tiny as he was, in a kitchen a million times bigger than it used to be.

“Yes, Jeremy?” The unicorn nuzzled his friend’s face.

“You saved me.”

“Yes, Jeremy.”

But Samuel knew the real world was never so simple. The police did not believe in imaginary friends.

Author bio: John Xero believes that imagination is a powerful thing, a true friend will always be there for you, and reality is what you make it. Now he just needs to put that into practice and make an awesome reality...


Imaginary is part of 101 Fiction issue 18.


by Nathan Alling Long

There were many rumours about Mr. E, that the E stood for Eccentric, or Erratic, or Erotic. No one knew. But here Jacob sat in Mr. E’s dining room, sipping tea from a plain white mug, talking about philosophy. Everything seemed quite normal.


Jacob couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right, though the lamp gave off a warm glow against the soft white walls, and the mug felt magical in his hands.

He didn’t know that it was made of a unicorn horn, the walls were painted in mermaid milk, and the lamp shade made from unspeakable skin.

Author bio: Nathan’s collection of fifty flash fiction, The Origin of Doubt, was just released from Press 53. His unpublished collection, Two Stories, Some Tales, and a Yarn, was a finalist for the Hudson Book Manuscript Prize and a semifinalist for the Iowa Fiction Award.  For more information, other stories, or essays, please visit

E is part of 101 Fiction issue 18.


by Susannah Jordan

Missing Person Report:
Virgil Winterbottom was last seen outside the Danville Piggly Wiggly at approximately 3 a.m. on April 9th, brandishing a pair of hoof trimmers. He is described as “average in every way” by his mother, with brown hair and an unfinished tribal tattoo on his right buttock. He was in full camouflage, with mismatched hunting boots, and drove off in a white Ford Pinto with a horn stuck to the hood. Friends say he was headed to Northern Michigan to hunt unicorns. Anyone with information should contact local police. Piggly Wiggly is offering free counselling to those affected.

Author bio: Susannah Jordan earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Queens University of Charlotte. Her flash fiction and poetry have appeared in Rathalla Review, The Mystic Blue Review, Cold Coffee Stand, Daphne Magazine, Twisted Sister, 50-Word Stories, Tiny Text, and Apocrypha and Abstractions. Her artwork and photography have appeared in formercactus, Gravel, The Tishman Review, Oxford Magazine, Cold Creek Review, Figroot Press, Riggwelter Press, Cotton Xenomorph, and Calamus Journal. She has work forthcoming in Orson’s Review.

Virgil is part of 101 Fiction issue 18.


by Renée Bennett


Tanisha puts her foot down, her fists up. Cindy from first grade runs, weeping. Tanisha gets detention. She spends it playing with the shadows on the wall – sweep of neck, curve of tail.


Tanisha teaches Robert that No is N-O, not M-A-Y-B-E. He spreads cellphone and whisper innuendo. Tanisha walks proud even in the teeth of scorn. Eyes bright, head high, heels sharp and sure at graduation.


Engines respond: forty million horsepower. Tanisha sticks the foam horn on her helmet; co-pilot Colin lifts a brow. “My mother’s little joke.”

“Not so little,” he says. She grins.


Author bio: Renée Bennett is an author and editor living in Calgary, Canada. When asked, ‘What do you write?’ she replies, ‘Anything I please.’ This is why her bibliography includes Arthuriana, jazzpunk, and zombie erotica, among other genres. Her most recent work has appeared in the ENIGMA FRONT series of anthologies. Look for her in BY THE LIGHT OF CAMELOT, available July, 2018, from Edge Publishing.

Tanisha is part of 101 Fiction issue 18.


by R.S. Bohn

Grinna Grumpmutt lifted a boot caked in iridescent muck.

She hated unicorn brains. Only thing worse was unicorn entrails after a recent meal. Dragonflies, hamsters, swallowed whole and writhing feebly, half digested, in that rainbow of guts.

The only orc in Parasite Removal meant she got the 'corns. Typically, a couple a year.

There'd been twelve this month already.

Vacation beckoned in fourteen hours – a swampy slice of heaven in Louisiana.

Her walkie screeched, "Got another one! Library!"

Grinna snarled. She had no time for a damned plague of the things.

Wiping her badge, she mounted her scooter.

Countdown on.

Author bio: R.S. Bohn officially has no comment on allegations that Stephen Cosgrove based his 1978 book, "Misty Morgan," the story of a princess and her unicorn, on her. She can definitively say, however, that Scholastic book fairs at her school were, without a doubt, the best days of the school year.

Scourge is part of 101 Fiction issue 18.


by Joseph Davidson

When they came, they only wanted two of each species. It became clear that we weren’t the equine masterpieces they were going to choose.

Their data was faulty, so when the broodmare and I managed to embed horn-like shards of farm rubble into our skulls they thought they had found the last of our kind. We traded grisly incineration for permanent headaches.

Ours was the grandest cage of them all. A place of honour. I traded with one of the bipeds for a steady supply of pink glitter.

If their data said our shit sparkled, then it damn well would.

Author bio: Joseph is a student from Boise, Idaho working towards a degree in Creative Writing with an emphasis on fiction. He likes weird stories, hanging out with dogs, and believing in unicorns. You can find him on Twitter @thew0ck.

Imposters is part of 101 Fiction issue 18.


by Benjamin Niespodziany

I trampled back to the weekend market with my bag: my ill-purchased scam. Like fool's gold. Like knotted clown shoes. I approached the store surrounded by pomegranate trees and shouted a bath of potato wine at the owner's face, demanding my money back. “I should've known this is not a unicorn horn, this is not magic! This is just narwhal! Cheap, plentiful narwhal!” Mid ramble, I looked over and saw a timid family of narwhals selling the clerk handfuls of their own sawed-off horns, tearfully saying how unicorn commissions are the only way to afford diapers for their little ones.

Author bio: Benjamin Niespodziany is a librarian at the University of Chicago who runs a multimedia art blog known as neonpajamas. He self-released a chapbook of poems in December known as Dress Code Aquarium and has had work published in The Occulum, formercactus, tenderness, yea, Water Soup Press, and

Twitter/IG/Facebook/SoundCloud: @neonpajamas

Commission is part of 101 Fiction issue 18.