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Stories is a creative writing blog that publishes new short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction and essays by new and unpublished writers.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

For Sale: Dorothy’s Shoes By Natascha Tallowin

She arrived on the eve of the carnival, weaving her way amongst the crowds of flushed faces. She hovered for the briefest of moments, casting a dark curious eye across the cacophony of sugar coated confectionary, before stopping slowly to pin a small hand-penned notice to the trunk of the grand copper birch that stood, naked of its leaves in the centre of the small town. For Sale One pair of shoes, heel trodden, curled up and wrinkled like owners face. Condition of shoes put down to weight of expectation and over use. Any price accepted, and can deliver. However near, however far away. The writing was looped and faded grey, as though it had been written some time ago,… Continue >>

American Society by Joseph Christiana

“Harry Johnson. Harry Wang. Just Wang. You know, wang. The little soldier. Willie. Captain Winkie, One eyed monster. Of course, Cock. That’s obvious, but he gives me the—whuddayuh call it, the genealogy of it. Says, ‘Roosters is known for getting up in the morning.’ Wink wink, he does, like I’m in on some big fucking secret with him. What else? Morning Wood, that’s another one. Summer Sausage. The wild bologna pony. The head that thinks for me. My little pony.” “Never heard a that one.” “Yeah, well. There you go. Guy’s a dick thesaurus.” Scalisi fumbled through his suit pocket and came up with a small notebook. He downed the rest of his now watery scotch on rocks, signaled the… Continue >>

The Night Bus by Erin Lawless

He normally got the N155 to Elephant back home, but on that night his feet were hurting more than usual, the drizzle lying hoary on his hair, turning him to grey. The N333 is sat in the bay as he approaches, indicators flashing and doors closing as it goes to pull away. Rory hammers with the side of his fist on the damp red flank of the bus and, luckily, the driver pauses to let him on. It is the older style of bus; the fabric on the seats is orange, shot through with geometrical shapes in a mustard yellow. The paint on the hold bar flecks off in his palm as he grabs the pole to steady himself as… Continue >>

Rite of Passage by Avis Hickman

I’d got the call at about six-thirty the previous evening; Sunday – during “Songs of Praise”. Not that I was watching it. “How quickly can you get down to London tonight?” “Tonight? I can’t get there tonight; the last train has gone.” “Ok, tomorrow, then?” “Err… maybe just after lunchtime?” “Ok, the job’s yours. Get there as soon as you can.” And that was it. My first job out of Uni. Mum ran around like a maniac that evening: washing, drying, ironing, packing. A blizzard of activity, looking after her chick. Early next morning, Dad took me to the train station and put me and my case onto the London train, and then I hustled him off, afraid he’d get… Continue >>

The Visitor by James A Ford

“My home,” she said, indicating the contents of the plywood shack with a delicate sweep of her hand. “It’s nice,” I lied, knowing she knew it wasn’t but not wanting to give offense. “Sit,” she said, pointing to an ancient sofa with springs poking through the dirty brown fabric. I sat avoiding the sharp metal springs and the worst of the dirt. I acted as if I were sitting in a mansion, my smile as ever disarming. “How long?”I asked. She flashed a smile and corrected an errant strand of dark brown hair. “Not long enough,” She answered, ” I’m sure you’ve heard that before.” “Many times,” I agreed. We sat for a moment in silence. Then she looked up.… Continue >>

Useless Drama by Kristine Guadagno

I hit end on my phone and think of what I should to do next. On the one hand, I should feel devastated and begin pour my eyes out. I should collapse on my bed and not move for the rest of the night. That would be nice, but it doesn’t sound right for me. I should calmly walk back to the room and announce that he won’t be able to come, despite his best efforts, and I probably won’t go anymore. I can already hear what they would all say. “Sweetie, you already paid for the ticket. You should go, it’ll be fun.” “Come on, you have to go.” I don’t know how much fun it’ll actually be though… Continue >>

What She Gave Up by Jake Wickenhofer

He takes his pencil and sketches a few rough lines on the paper. The swift motion of his hand makes black streaks across the white. He brushes the hair from his eyes and bites his lower lip. From over his shoulder, I watch this master at work. My brother is an artist. With a pencil and paper, he can portray the most beautiful of God’s creation. Sometimes I will come home from school to find him painting a landscape of beautiful mountains underneath a purple sky. On other nights, I will find a canvas with his composition of a powerful hurricane passing over the innocent mother earth. Today, the etchings on his paper begin to come together in the shape… Continue >>

Build a Memory. Build a Bear. by Bryan Currie

There’s a copper-toned Queen in New York Harbor who, until recently, happily greeted visitors to the shores of our promised land. She now sits on Ellis Island politely checking green cards and work visas, reminding the huddled masses to wipe their feet on the way in, worried they might stay too long. One of my roommates, Eimear, arrived in America three weeks ago from Ireland. She didn’t arrive by boat and has yet to visit Lady Liberty. In fact, Eimear isn’t even planning to say long, but would like to work while she’s here. In order to work in the United Sates, however, non-citizens need three things: 1. Valid identification 2. Work visa 3. United States social security number Even… Continue >>

The I of the Storm by Randy Kohl

The blizzard commenced in earnest sometime between the appetizer and desert. My wife and I emerged into a snow-globe world where the flakes came down in clots as large as rabbit tails. The fresh snow erased the imperfections in a still-transforming area of the south Loop, painting the cracked sidewalks and vacant lots with a coat of temporary innocence. We leaned together in a human teepee for support, Jill because she was wearing high-heel boots and was five months pregnant and me because of the bottle of wine. Jill had wet her lips with the Zinfandel to toast our anniversary and I had felt compelled to finish the remaining four and a half glasses before the check. The result was… Continue >>

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