For the last fifteen years, Backhand Stories has published new short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction and essays by new and unpublished writers. The blog is currently on an indefinite hiatus, but will continue highlighting the many pieces that have been published over this time. Please read them, enjoy and share!

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 >>

Five Billion Kilometers Closer to Heaven by Joshua Scully

When John Jurrjens finally sat down at the table, his knees felt brittle, and his extremities were numb. During the previous sixteen hours, he had painstakingly replaced the elevator motor, repaired damage done to the elevator shed by a recent ice floe, bored a four foot hole into the surface, and made some repairs to the deteriorating survey equipment. Without a doubt, John was emotionally and physically exhausted when his wife sat a container of broth in front of him. He thought back to the hole he had made and filled on the surface. Two of the drill augers were ruined during the project. When the second one broke in the rigid ice, he had lost his temper, stepped down… Continue >>

Our Favorite and Most Sad Season by Leyna Inburg

That night we drink until we forget the cold. “I can’t feel my feet anymore,” we say while passing the water bottle full of cold, clear gin between our mittens. “I can’t feel my nose anymore.” “I can’t feel my face anymore.” “I can’t feel anything anymore.” From her front stoop the neighborhood is a vague canvas of snow and streetlight. “You want to walk?” I stand up and dust the snow off my pants. “Ok.” We drain the last of the liquor and begin crunching down the driveway. I walk slowly while she barrels ahead into the street. “Leyna!” In the silence of winter, her voice seems cumbersome, especially loud. “Yea?” “Look how beautiful!” I step and sink into… Continue >>

White Walls by Varsha Vijay

The smoke curled out of the cigarette as he lay naked on the bed, muscles curling into each other. Delete. He walked like poetry, the slow grace of his movements rushing through her until all she could do was gasp. Delete. He sat on the porch, cheeks stained with tears, and the slow progression of time was marked only by the call of the birds in the trees. Delete. He walked out the door, as I stopped running and looked at him in the semi-darkness. Delete. He kissed me softly as I sunk into the softness of the bed, feeling it strain as I slowly gave in. When he kissed me, I thought “Capture this”. Take a picture. Run the… Continue >>

Three Years by Katya AaltoTanssija

Things were so very, very different. I was so much more than three years and thirteen days younger. I was a decade younger, perhaps two, neck-deep in a world of money, privilege, international travel and blissful ignorance of so many things. My older brother was invincible, good at everything, impeccable in every way. He was what we all wanted to be, an example forever shining before us. Sometimes I wanted to kick him in the shins, for being so impossible to stack up next to. No matter how hard I trained, how many hours I sunk into my sailing, into anything – he would always come out on top, graceful and un-phased. As if it were all nothing, nothing at… Continue >>

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