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last fifteen years, Backhand Stories has published new short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction and essays by new and unpublished writers.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

Like Fire On a House by Daniel Townsend

The reason my father’s eyebrows were singed that morning, he told me, was because he and a friend had rescued a man from a burning building the night before. He’d said it so calmly it took me a moment to hear it. He’d saved a man’s life. What did this mean for me? Suddenly, my empty breakfast bowl became filled with wonder. The day unravelled before me like a sacred scroll. All who saw me would become blinded by my second-hand glory. I wondered if the lucky ones might even touch the hem of my hand-me-down garment and be healed… My father had saved a man’s life. Sunlight crowned his head with gold as Dad recounted the night’s events in… Continue >>

The Forest by Gal Nachshon

I stand alone in a forest of people. When a tree falls nobody hears it, for the foliage is in Connecticut, or Central Park, and I wake up in Brooklyn. I take the train to work, look at my cubical wall and the photographs from the vacation I took last summer, or my feet in the orange tennis shoes I was wearing that day against the dirty pavement of Broadway and the filth and the flat black-holed, dilapidated, chewing gum stuck to the earth seems like the universe beneath my toes and I’m about to fall, a permanent feeling pinned to my cubical wall. There is no work but the office is loud, I look around and see a coworker… Continue >>

Frustration by Francesca Curley

I tried to explain, but I couldn’t. You looked at me. A train careered through the cerebral station. The words, who until that point had been waiting patiently in line, were too close to the edge. Sucked into the air stream and crushed unceremoniously beneath the grinding, metallic wheels. Damn. I tried to explain, but I couldn’t. You spoke to me. I grasped at your words, snatching them from the balmy air, desperately trying to take them and assemble them for my own, personal use. But in the confusion they slipped through my fingers. Gone. Shit. I tried to explain, but I couldn’t. You touched my hand. Hazy, shimmering shoals of adjectives swam into my consciousness. Excitedly, I caught one… Continue >>

Cracked Shell by Sean Gallagher

The man took a slow drag on his cigarette. The ember winked life-red against the warm evening backdrop. He exhaled, thinking about what he had just heard, what she had just told him, breathing out in time with his thoughts. The smoke floated up towards the dim porch light. “So you’re not coming back.” Flat voice. The woman shook her head. He glanced down at the floor and rubbed the back of his head with a calloused hand. The small glass table was the only witness to their conversation, the deck devoid of other furniture. He grunted softly and continued. “Well, okay.” “Okay?” She shifted her weight from one leg to the other. “Yes, okay.” She turned to leave, aged… Continue >>

and this whole time. by Lindsey M. Brummerhop

there’s something so focused about the sound of a piano key. structured, but melodic. accurate yet soothing, somehow. “well, what kind of things make you feel better, Alice?” she looks up for a moment, pondering this honestly. “semi colons and the word simultaneously.” aliteration. “Aliteration, Alice?” absolutely. it doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as it did a month ago. “what?” everything. the ache has died down considerably. i only remember you a couple hundred times a day, instead of a few thousand. and blinking isn’t nearly as difficult as it was last week. i can take that moment now, sometimes, to breathe instead of rescanning that image of you two for any. possible. clue. of untruth. but yes, the pianos.… Continue >>

6/69: The Stonewall by Earl Carrender

Stephen (A Typical Night) You can dance at the Stonewall. Not like at the Candlelight. Or Keller’s. Or Mona’s. There’s the Snakepit but the name says it all. I dance at the Stonewall. Liquor watered down. Boys dressed up. Tequilla Mockingbird, onstage looking regal. Sweet William at the door looking out. And me on the dance floor. Denim-clad, keys to the left. Dancing around like some jewelry box ballerina. Diamonds at her feet. Tequilla Mockingbird (A Typical Raid) The lights come on so they don’t catch you kissing. Sweet William gives the signal and everything stops. Too late to change so you go along. Heels clicking. I never cry. It messes up my mascara. I sing. It really pisses them… Continue >>

Wednesday by Heather Minette

Charlie’s here, talking about his story, about “how life’s an endless pit of chaotic bullshit, but every now and then it all makes sense, like there’s some kind of cosmic order, and that’s what makes life worth living, you know?” and Simon’s telling him, “it’s a substantial idea, but it’s already been done, man. It’s already been done.” It’s Wednesday so Joe and Chelsea are here – playing the same songs– she’s high on his guitar and he’s drunk on her voice and soon their composition will be careless and sloppy and they’ll leave as lovers and whoever is scheduled next, probably me, will be too plastered to perform, so the juke box will play Tom Waits. And there’s Alice,… Continue >>

Do the Bus Stop By Anthony J. Langford

The bus stop is her stage. Her school associates, the audience. Any passers-by get a free showing. 7.55 a.m. It’s her time. Standing on the lip of the gutter, she pouts, she spouts, gibberish, about herself, what else is there, but she knows it doesn’t matter what she says, as long as they look. And they do. Her friends divided. The Green-Eyed Camp. And the Wannabe like her Popular Camp. But it’s the boys who bestow her with the most power. While the geeks don’t have the courage to peek, and those with no chance give her no glance, the majority stare at her perfect legs and the way in which she swivels, as she helps her skirt to rise… Continue >>

The Urn by Holly Day

“You don’t want to see the body,” said the man with the dirty shirt. “I don’t know how long she was in there before we called the police.” “You don’t want the last picture you have of your mom being that thing in there,” added his girlfriend, shoving her hands in her pockets, suddenly embarrassed. “I mean, I wish I hadn’t seen her like that, and I didn’t even know her.” “Thank you for all your help,” said Lee. She did not want the couple to keep talking. Every word that came out of their mouths seemed destined to lay the entire physical tableau of her mother’s suicide out for her. She did not want to know any more than… Continue >>

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