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last fifteen years, Backhand Stories has published new short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction and essays by new and unpublished writers.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!

See You With The Sun By Meghan McDonald

I hated my funeral. Everyone was all sad and quiet. Dad was like a statue. Mom was the opposite. She wouldn’t stop moving and there were tissues everywhere. She had on a dress with no sleeves so she couldn’t stick Kleenex up her sleeves like she usually does. And it was hot. I’m dead and even I was sweaty. Sarah didn’t look up the whole time. But that was normal for her. It was either that or her giant brown eyes staring at me all evil-like. That’s the only way she looked at me when I was alive. I kind of deserved it though. I liked to pick on her a lot. One time I threw all her stuffed animals… Continue >>

The U Turn by Chukwudum Okwudarue

“Mommy, look at his big head!” Nothing was held sacred, not even the head of a chief judge on a Sunday morning. The judge was going bald; sprinkles of white salted his temples dotting their way round to the tips where the hair stopped just short of his crown. “I like your head, it’s shiny at the top” the child retorted to the judge’s stare. “It wasn’t always like this.” the judge managed out in between fits of laughter. “Age and wear have taken their share I’m afraid” he said, looking at her mother. The mother smiled sheepishly, too embarrassed to speak. She sought someone who would accompany her to the back of the church and help shoot the girl.… Continue >>

Not Just Professor by Becki Short

She loved to watch him. She loved to get lost in the very few, but deep, aging lines in his forehead, imagining the struggles he has had in his life, and recognizing how beautifully they had shaped a boy into this man that stood before her. She loved hearing his voice, like a French opera to an American audience; they didn’t speak the language, but had hopes for the day when they might understand the meaning of those so elegantly grouped together words, in a tone that confirms its mastery of the language. A tone that humors you as you try to keep up, in a non-degrading way. His lips would quiver in a very secretive manner when he made… Continue >>

Spitting and Crying on a Marriage in Turmoil by Nic Whitaker

It was one of those days in the middle of spring that come along to humble you and remind you that Mother Nature is the ultimate ego; spitting and crying at once, soaking you and freezing you and making you walk with your shoulders up around your ears and the coat you’ve all but forgotten about pulled tightly across your back. One of those bitter half-green half-grey days where ice piled up and fell over chunks of wild onions and yellow wildflowers. There was snow falling inside the frozen rain but it was so outnumbered I couldn’t help but feel sorry for it. The poor weather looked like the invisible riot that takes place between good and bad, and today,… Continue >>

Parking Lot by Margaret Lampe

As I pulled into the parking lot, I cast a frustrated glance at the backseat. If my father had given me due warning, I would never have agreed to bring his dogs to the funeral, but surprise had caught me off guard. Now they were patiently gnawing on my armrests as I scanned the row ahead of me for a parking spot. Letting no good deed go unpunished, the parking lot gods had already filled all the spots in the section closet to the funeral home. I stopped the car and sighed, then slowly lifted my hands off the steering wheel, reveling in the way my skin stuck to the hot leather. It was one of my few pleasures about… Continue >>

Dog Days and Starlit Nights By Angie J. Mayfield

It was love at first sight. He was ambling alongside the road with a McDonald’s French fry box in his mouth, and something about those big sorrowful eyes, copper brown and pleading, tugged at my heart, and the steering wheel, forcing me to pull over and offer him a ride. The scene was straight from a chic flick movie. I called out. He turned. He dropped the box and ran to me, his tongue outstretched, his tail wagging, rushing into my arms and delivering a big, slobbery kiss right on the lips. I was his heroine, his savior, and he gladly jumped into the truck and sat beside me as though we were destined to be together. The stretch of… Continue >>

Dolls Eye by Philip Berry

It’s an old memory. Too old to upset. I pressed the cool skin of her cheek with a plump, immature finger. Then traced the roots of her fixed lashes. I recalled the optimistic flourish of their application, leaning into the mirror, which itself leaned against the bedroom wall. Should I pluck one, from a tented lid? No way, I wouldn’t dare. She’ll wake. Then I peered along near perfect nostrils, rimmed red, and sore, dusted. Why so tired, Mum? I touched the dipped philtrum where she was joined, in the factory – that’s the joke we shared. Joined somewhere, with ideal symmetry. Still silent. I pushed the sheet aside, altered the balance of a limb. It reached out, fish-belly white,… Continue >>

Untitled by Becki Short

She loved to watch him. She loved to get lost in the very few, but deep, aging lines in his forehead, imagining the struggles he has had in his life, and recognizing how beautifully they had shaped a boy into this man that stood before her. She loved hearing his voice like an American audience hearing a French opera; not speaking the language but holding hopes for the day when they might understand the meaning of those so elegantly grouped together words in a tone that confirms mastery of the language. A tone that humors you as you try to keep up. His lips would quiver in a very secretive manner when he made a joke and no one could… Continue >>

A Free Spirit by Sandra Crook

Aunt Ellie had a secret past. As kids, we all instinctively recognised this from the way the family treated her. There were a lot of sidelong looks, lowered voices, and a general air of disapproval whenever her name was mentioned. We all loved her. She was so different from all the other grown-ups, with her wild grey hair caught up in a comb that never quite managed to capture those wayward curls. She wore long floating skirts, and low-cut tops showing acres of chest that crinkled like tissue paper when she folded her arms. In summer she wore sandals, and in winter, soft leather boots with a smelly old shaggy coat she called an ‘afghan’. And she walked around singing… Continue >>

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