Write Your Epitaph by Laird Long

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It’s never too late to catch a dream.

The judge was banging down hard on his gavel, but the angry hammering was lost in the babble of furious voices—shouting, swearing, screaming, howling. Someone stole a purse, busted into a store, scored some drugs, turned some tricks, fell down drunk—who knew? Who cared? The scum of the earth came here for their five minutes of assembly-line justice: step forward, plead your case, get sentenced. Next! Keep it moving! Too many criminals, too little justice. The gavel would bang all night long. And the next night, and the next night.… Read the rest

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Old Friends by Frank Byrns

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There’s nothing quite like a friend dropping in unexpectedly.

The boys looked a lot different since the last time I saw them. They should have; it’d been almost ten years. Reed was twelve now, sandy-haired, the first hint of his old man’s barrel chest beginning to show. Leo, eleven months younger, Irish twins, tall and rangy, his mother’s son in every way.

They took turns pushing each other on the swing set, then got a little more ballsy, jumping off of the swing at the top of its arc, crash-landing on their knees, laughing, doing it again.… Read the rest

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The Farm by Kevin R. Doyle

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Sometimes a place takes on a life—or a death—of its own.

From the distance, the farm looked almost invisible. Just a slightly uneven line of lighter tan against the earth tones of the mountains. Only as I approached it, my rental car bumping and lurching over the rough ground, did the details become apparent, and then I began to feel kind of jumpy. I’d decided earlier to keep as positive a frame of mind as I could, but as I got closer that resolve began to melt away.

Up close, the place looked just about as desolate and Godforsaken as I’d expected.… Read the rest

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Alten Kameraden by Ed Ahern

All’s fair in love and war.

The water-splattered store window in front of Walter Peake held richly tooled leather desk sets and overweight filigreed pens, the kind given as retirement gifts but rarely used. The reflected image of the rain blown cobblestones behind him was empty. The sodden wind measured a few degrees above zero Celsius. His legs, hands and head were already soaked and every gust of wind drove wet chill through the wool to skin.

He’d arrived well within the meeting procedure of five minutes before and after the arranged time. A two hour train ride, an U-Bahn ride, a short walk, another U-Bahn hop and a 10 minute walk.… Read the rest

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Stars & Stripes by Jed Power

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Sometimes with a shakedown you get more bang for your buck than expected.

I’d been lucky for a change; I’d opened my little fireworks shop just at the right time—about three weeks after New Hampshire legalized the things. I was right in on the ground floor. Perfect location too—within spitting distance of the beach and right smack dab on Route 1A. All the crazy Massachusetts kids and the vacationers (who couldn’t even buy a sparkler in their own state) had to pass right by my place to get to party city—Hampton Beach.

And man, was it a sweet operation at first.… Read the rest

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Miscellany by Eryk Pruitt

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Not much ever happens in those little out of the way stores. Except when it does.

There’s a filling station just south of Durham, North Carolina, that raised a ruckus a while back because the owner refused to take down a Confederate flag he’d hoisted above the building. Imagine how folks from miles around flocked to see what would happen when the National Guard came out to tell him to take it down. How for years and years after, old timers would bend your ear with the details of the Klan, the protests.… Read the rest

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The Least of These by BV Lawson

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“Diplomacy is to do and say / the nastiest thing in the nicest way.”—Isaac Goldberg

She was a single mother from a micro-town in southwest Virginia who’d never had a single lucky break until she landed a job as secretary at the French Embassy in D.C. At least, she believed it was her lucky break. That was Leanne Coonts’s greatest mistake.

Now, her little daughter was an orphan and Leanne’s body was lying in a morgue awaiting an autopsy, while the Embassy staff remained tight-lipped, waving their diplomatic passports in the faces of police.… Read the rest

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How Green Was My Valet by John H. Dromey

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It’s the familiar things you never notice that sometimes matter most.

Although perhaps not young enough or tall enough to become a top model, and decidedly not svelte enough to squeeze her ample charms into the impossibly-small confines of size zero haute couture gowns, the smartly-dressed woman nonetheless moved with the feline grace and confidence of a runway model. She appeared to treat the sidewalk as though it were an unending extension of a Parisian catwalk lined on both sides by shutter-happy fashion photographers.

Her accessories, at least, were the real thing. Her designer purse in particular was a real eye-catcher.… Read the rest

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Volume IV Anthology Now Available

vol iv cover sm

The latest Plan B anthology is now available for purchase in epub, mobi and pdf formats.

All the stories in this, the fourth collection of tales from Plan B Magazine, touch on what happens when people put their will above that of others. Sometimes it’s amusing, other times heartbreaking, but it no matter what, someone’s day won’t be going according to plan.

These stories will appear on the Plan B website later on this year, but you can read them now for only $2.99.… Read the rest

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Slice by Tom Barlow

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Golf sometimes spoils more than just a good walk.

He was seated on the floor, snoring softly, outside my office door when I arrived that morning. He had no appointment.

The man appeared to have at least a decade on me, mid-50’s, built like a stump with a saturnine face and hair that had no intention of obeying a comb. The tuxedo he wore had a mustard stain on the lapel, his bow tie listed to the left, and his pants were wrinkled.

Having been up until 3 a.m. myself bleeding money at a poker table in the local casino, I wasn’t in the mood for uninvited company.… Read the rest

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