Bedtime Story

"Careful, honey, it's loaded," he said, re-entering the


Her back rested against the headboard. "This for your


"No. Too chancy. I'm hiring a professional."

"How about me?"

He smirked. "Cute. But who'd be dumb enough to hire a lady hit man?"

She wet her lips, sighting along the barrel. "Your wife."

~Jeffrey Whitmore

There's No Place Like It

The President was rushed to the Arizona desert to greet

the arrival of the city-size alien spacecraft.

"Peace," said the President.

"Thank you," said the very human-looking alien leader.

"We've been on a million-year universal tour. We're excited about returning


"Please, visit. Then, good journey."

"No, you misunderstand," said the alien. "We are home."

~Dean Christianson

Death and Denouement

"Pretty grisly, eh, Jacques?"

"Sickening. Any angles?"

"Well, a pattern does seem to be emerging, lieutenant.

Yesterday, homicide found a copy of Death of a Salesman

at the murder site; today, some nut goes and

whacks this Fuller Brush guy."

"Great. A literary serial killer. Find any books?"

"Yes...The French Lieutenant's Woman, sir."

~Joe Hubbell

Mephistopheles, Whisky,

and the Wretched Soul

Mephistopheles stopped at the crossroads and tipped

his flask o' whisky. A banker strolled by.

"Ten bucks for your soul."

"Try a million and a private jet."

"Look, pal. Avarice, extortion, wickedness, and infidelity-

10 bucks is a steal for your wretched soul. The Reaper won't be so kind."

"Thirteen. No less."


Both grinned.

~Sean Christopher Weir

The Honeymooners

The newlywed spider nervously walked back to the honeymoon web.

Last night was fun, but this morning he noticed the red dot on her abdomen.

That afternoon, he said nothing while they drank medfly cocktails.

She put an arm around him.

"You're awful quiet. What's eating you?"

The last things he saw were flashing mandibles.

~Christy Tillman


Reginald Cooke had buried three wives before he married Cecile Northwood.

"Tragic accidents," he told her.

"How sad," replied Cecile. "Were they...wealthy?"

"And beautiful," said Reginald.

They honeymooned in the Alps.

Later, Cecile told her new husband, "You know, darling, my first husband died

in a tragic mountaineering accident."

"How sad," replied Justin Marlow.

~Mark Cohen

English 1A

"Use a dash between coordinate elements containing commas."

My laser beam crackled out a response. One down.

"Subordinating clauses equal dangling participles."

I whirl and fire.

"I before eeeeeeeeeeeeee-"

Two less mutant English teachers.

More coming. Can't let them succeed. Teaching wrong us. Must them stop I.

Modifiers misplaced. Metaphors mixing.

Over it's. Win they.

~Rod Pound

First Step

It's been three days since I've had a drink. Recently I learned about support


There's one for just about everything these days. I checked around and found a


Last night was the first time I had the nerve to stand up and say,

"Hello. I'm Sandy, and I'm a vampire."

Maybe there's hope.

~Tim Scott

The Bus Station

"One ticket to Hell please."

"I'm sorry, all departures going south are booked up."

"Anything else leaving tonight?"

"We have one bus heading in the opposite direction."

"Any seats available?"


"Very long ride?"

"No, not really, but you might want to take a good book along.

I've heard it's a mighty lonely trip."

~Andrew E. Hunt

Oh, God

Set 'em up in this garden, see?

Told 'em, "Just don't eat the fruit."

Shoulda known. KA-BOOM! I kick 'em out.

But I'm a forgivin' kinda guy. Sheesh. Whadda sucker.

WHOOSH! I flood the place. Forty days, plus or


Dumb me. I save a couple.

What's their book say? Revelations? I gotta find a match.

~Rod Pound

Art Vs. Commerce

The artist stood back to view the geometric precision of his latest creation.

"Beautiful," he murmured, "but will it sell?"

No time to examine the philosophic implications. Customers, buzzing with


already hovered near the piece. He wrapped up a deal quickly.

"This is business," the spider said with a vicious smile. "It ain't art."

~Ron Bast

Moments Before the End

"You didn't!"

"I did."




"She knew."


"About me."

"But what?"


"An alien!"


"What now?"

"Now you."

"Oh, no!"

"Oh, yes."

"But why?"

"Because you know."

"But I won't

"Too late."


"Far too late."





"Phase One has been completed."

"Excellent. Proceed with the invasion."


~Charles West

Out of the Fog

Lyn clutched her purse as footsteps approached along the fog-shrouded lane.

Emily, a fellow prostitute, emerged.

"Any business?" asked Lyn.

Emily shrugged. "Some. And you?"

"Not yet, tonight."

"'Tis slow because of the Ripper," Emily sighed. "Seems everyone's afraid of


"Actually, the full name's Jacquelyn," Lyn said, pulling the knife from her purse.

~Curt D. Homan

That Settles That

Tom was a handsome, fun-loving young man, albeit a bit drunk when he got

into the argument with Sam, his roommate of just two months.

"You can't. You cannot write a short story in just 55 words, you idiot!"

Sam shot him dead on the spot.

"Oh, yes you can," Sam said, smiling.

~Terry L. Tilton