Backhand Stories is a creative writing blog that publishes new short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction and essays by new and unpublished writers. Submit your own short story!

Spiders by Anna Potts

The spiders died that night. I saw them in my dreams – a tangle of black spreading across the hills, punctuated by jointed legs, flexing slowly in the heat. I found them in the bath tub, legs given way under the weight of their bodies. I moved to turn the tap on, rid myself of this nightmare, but as my hand touched the metal a spasm of pain shot through my arm. They seemed to disintegrate in front of me, a child’s scribble done in reverse as layer after layer of the messy black lines were removed. My eyes flickered open to the alarm clock shining 04:48 in angular red numerals. I moved quietly across the hallway and touched open… Continue >>

Let Me Be There By Amber Wey

Watching you grow, and going through the changes in your life. That’s how I know; I always wanna be there. Whenever you feel you need a friend to lean on, here I am Whenever you call, you know I’ll be there Olivia Newton John ‘Let Me Be There’ I was in a deep comfortable sleep when I woke up to loud pounding coming from upstairs. My heart pounded in perfect symmetry with each step coming closer and closer to my room. The last few steps stomping down the stairs where like an eternity, time became still, my thoughts became numb, and everything was in slow motion. As my mother turned the door knob to my room, I slowly glanced at… Continue >>

The Thing About Naps by Cassander L. Smith

What I always forget about long naps is that when I wake up, I feel disoriented, heavy, impatient, groggy, mean, and sick. I yawn, stretch my arms into a Village People “Y,” and I feel tired, except I just slept three hours. When I’m like that, the photo of me on the T.V. stand, the one where I’m wearing the oversized Florida sweatshirt, makes me look like an elephant. Or I hang up the phone on Jay because he’s singing into the receiver. I am impatient and heavy and groggy, mean, sick. Today, I hate that I napped at all like I hate having taken that photograph of me swallowed up in faded blue and orange cotton. I should have… Continue >>

Retreat by Oonah V Joslin

The retreat was high in the hills and hundreds of years away. Here they rose with the Sun and slept with its setting, under low eaves, on rows of futons head to toe, occasionally visited by field mice. They took tea, chanted mantras, shared the daily tasks with few words and drank from cold springs of water and wisdom. Clarity filled the air. Bai thought that if any place could do her good, this would. But after many days her heart was still heavy and her belly light. The elderly priest, Hui noticed her absence from the morning meditation and crept from the hall silently to seek her. His deep saffron robes caught the rising Sun and turned his skin… Continue >>

Matters of the Heart by Avis Hickman-Gibb

“I walked her down the aisle today – happiest day of my life so far. It doesn’t seem so long ago that she was climbing up onto my knee to make a nest with her special blanket, ready for a bedtime story. “Time flies – doesn’t it? You blink and twenty years have passed, like that. Just look at her now; she’s a beautiful young woman. “Always was the apple of her Daddy’s eye. “I said to my wife when we found out the news – I’ll do anything to be able to see her married. Well, you do – don’t you? “And it’s been worth it. Oh yes! All the operations, and the tugging around; the waiting to hear… Continue >>

The Child Bride by Adam Moorad

The banquet room was dark and crowded. The walls stood dim and abyssal, wrapped in waves of glossy fabric cascading across the rippled periphery, ocean blue and glacial, like the walls of ice box covered in cold satin, glazed in indigo. Maggie, noticing that her reception was enjoyable for all in attendance, and having just arrived from the ceremony, made herself look in the direction of Paul, who since the service had been sitting in the corner of the clubhouse’s dining room at a table draped in power blue tablecloth. He was talking to a girl with blonde hair, her breast welled-up tight and cleaved taut above a push-up bra, like twin canned hams, catching the errant attentions of several… Continue >>

On the Way Down by Gabriel L. Nathan

Sometimes the name they give you is all wrong. My paternal grandmother’s name was Nava, which, in Hebrew, translates to “beautiful.” In the biblical Song of Songs, it says, “Thou art beautiful [nava], O my love, as Tirzah, beautiful [nava] as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.” By the time I met my Nava, she wasn’t quite beautiful, or terrible. She was essentially a shriveled up little raisin in a modest, tweed skirt and thirty-five-year-old glasses. She was certainly sweet and cute, and raisiny, but I’m not sure she was beautiful. I suppose at one time she was—her husband certainly thought so anyway. One day my father and I were talking about names, for some reason, children’s names; what… Continue >>

The Britney Bubble by Thomas Sullivan

When your personal income for the year is $542, with $500 of that total coming from a tax write-off for donating a car to charity, you obviously have time to consider the world around you. You read a lot and start to notice patterns emerging in the culture you inhabit. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can wear you down. It may be better just to focus on yourself – as Warren Zevon sang shortly before his death “It’s the land of the brave and the home of the free…the less you know the better off you’ll be.” The cover of the magazine staring back at me is completely filled with a photo of Britney Spears face. The… Continue >>

Vacations Spent Searching by Matt Landau

It was reasonably late in my life that I discovered there was a name for my fear of crowded places. And more specifically, the term agoraphobia, upon stumbling over it recently in my Spanish-English dictionary, gave validity to what my family had always considered a silly and embarrassingly illogical concern. Agoraphobia- Fear of crowded, public places like markets (or in my case, beaches). I was fortunate enough as a child to entertain wild and dreamy ideas when it came to planning holiday vacations. When asked where this year’s Christmas break should be spent with my brother and parents, I’d regularly contemplate the most recent grand prize Bob Barker had given away on The Price Is Right. “How about a relaxing… Continue >>

Content continues after advertisement