Honeymoon Sweet by Craig Faustus Buck

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For a sweet house, right on Santa Monica Beach, it was unbelievably easy to break into. Mickey found a window he could open with a putty knife, so the double-locked doors were a joke. And Lana disabled the alarm within the forty-five-second grace period before it would have triggered. They were in and no one knew. What a great way to kick off the honeymoon.

Mickey couldn’t imagine hijacking anything else that could have brought them any closer to heaven. Lana had told him she’d always dreamed of a house on the beach and he’d delivered: salt air, pounding surf, white sand, five-million dollar love nest whose owner was en route to Europe.Read the rest

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Zero Sum Game by Doug J. Black

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He’d do anything for her. No, really. Anything.

Barstow was my paradise.

Not something you hear very often about a Mojave town with triple the violent crime of the average U.S. city.

Barstow, the idiot offspring of the gold rush and the continental railroad, is surrounded by registered sex offenders living in plywood shacks and one of the Wal-Mart greeters is a leathery two-dollar whore named Bamby.

Slanders aside, my knack for forgery and Sally’s uncanny expertise in growing the finest strains of bud, left alone and barely noticed out there in San Bernardino County, made this my own empire nestled within Desert Town, U.S.A.… Read the rest

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Submissions Closing Jan 26

We’ve received so many fantastic stories already that we’ll be closing to submissions for Volume V on January 26 at 11:59 pm PST. We hope to respond to all submissions within a couple of week of closing.… Read the rest

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The World’s Best Coffee by C. D. Reimer

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One half-caf demitasse skim vanilla crime latte, please.

The coffee shop overflowed with people drinking coffee and eating pastries when Mark walked through the doors to step in front of the pastry display case, where the separate lines for paying and picking up orders at the opposite ends of the counter mingled together. Looking at the pastries with undecided interest, he listened to the new orders being given by the customers and the finished orders being shouted out by one of the Goth girls with multiple nose and ear-piercings.

The world’s best coffee is a simple affair.… Read the rest

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Afterwards by Jeff Poole

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They say you can’t go home again, but you can’t get away again, either.

After the divorce Fred Buckley used some of his frequent flyer miles to leave it all behind. It had been an acrimonious affair. He traveled a lot for his job, so he’d piled up enough mileage to travel anywhere on the planet he wanted to go, round trip. He chose the Croatian coast because it was June. That’s when the weather was just turning nice and the Italian tourists hadn’t overrun the place yet. Two days after the divorce was final Fred landed in Dubrovnik, rented a car and took the coastal highway to the Peljesac Peninsula and on to the town of Orebic where he caught the ferry to Korcula.… Read the rest

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