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Stories is a creative writing blog that publishes new short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction and essays by new and unpublished writers.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

Garage Sale by Carol Lemley

Elizabeth folded a plaid shirt, size eight–the same shirt she’d folded three times already. Her neighbor, Lara, volunteered to help her in the garage this spring morning for the sale, so Elizabeth let her pile the boy’s clothing and re-write some of the prices she’d written earlier on masking tape and little cardboard signs. She didn’t know what price at all to put on some items. She straightened, tucked, folded every size from infant to eight. She didn’t mind it, but she should sit down because she felt so drained, she only took time today to put on an old house dress that came to her calves. Her stockings were still rolled down to her slippers, and her hair straggled… Continue >>

A Saturday Round of Golf by Michael J. Cunningham

HOLE # 1, PAR 5, 516 YARDS, #3 HANDICAP, NOTE: WATER ON LEFT “Got some crazy pussy last night,” Tom shouted to us. He was standing on the first tee taking practice swings. Larry skidded our cart to a stop near the ball washer. “Your wife went nuts in the sack, Tom?” asked Larry, sitting in the golf cart filling out the names on the scorecard. “I’ve got an idea,” I said. I stepped out of the cart drew my driver out of my bag. “No one can talk bullshit ’til we get to the fourth hole.” “Who made you the boss, Jack Riley?” asked Tom. “Where’s EdBob?” asked Larry. “He’s always late,” I said. “You wouldn’t believe her nipples,”… Continue >>

Family Thanksgiving by Michael J. Cunningham

Often, usually around the holidays, my large, extended family causes me to go to my “Happy Place” (usually, The Bahamas). I can go there any time I want… without moving a muscle. All I do is look to the sky and make myself believe that it is the sky above a beach in the Bahamas. I’m there that quickly. “It would be a gray world without the family,” says my wife, Linda. It’s always the same: My niece, Beth, calls a month before Thanksgiving to invite me, Linda, and our daughter, Shelley, to the Annual Thanksgiving Family Feast. “And, this year, Jimmy is doing the Small Turkey in my back yard. He bought a deep fryer at Big K” Beth… Continue >>

Creases and Folds by Scott Jensen

I was sitting on top of a grassy hill that stood taller than all the other hills, high enough that it nearly touched the depths of the heavens. I looked out over the city of Fairview. A city that wasn’t what people imagined it to be. No skyscrapers, no busied traffic, no flashy suits or crowded sidewalks. It was a small city that rested between the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It was early in the morning. Clouds gathered up behind the mountains at this time and then bled out extraordinary storms in the afternoon. The lightning was the worst, but that was just my opinion, I had a terrible fear of it. I turned each page of my tattered notebook… Continue >>

An excerpt from SLAM! BOOM! CRASH! by Wolf Larsen

Highways, factories, automobiles, noises, people, sirens, traffic lights, smog, smells, crowds, streetcorners, bars, beggars, factoryworkers, crackheads, officeworkers, blacks, whites, hookers, drunks, immigrants, yourmother, and more highrises and more automobiles, and more people and more noises and – And the smell of carbon monoxide everywhere; from the highways, the streets, the intersections – brown, spewing clouds of auto – exhaust engulfing the city. Monstrously multiplying office towers P-U-S-H-I-N-G Up into the sky – these concrete and steel monsters so hideously ugly and monotonous as to make the skin C-R-A-W-L. In ghettos street gangs with guns – pop! pop! pop! tat! tat! tat! blam! blam! blam! – splattered blood upon concrete – And everywhere the silent m-O-a-n-ing of fornification – Yes! –… Continue >>

The Boy in the Road by James Collins

‘You are my sunshine, my only sunshine You make me happy when skies are gray You’ll never know dear, how much I love you Please don’t take my sunshine away’ Jimmie Davis 1940 He lay in the road and squinted up at the sun. The tar surface was hot and soft to the touch, and he liked the smell of it. There were no cars on the road. Only three people in the whole street owned a car, and they were away somewhere, probably at work, he supposed. He closed his eyes, and the world became orange. He thought of his dog, Bonzo, who was orange and white. The dog had a way of trotting at an angle, which the… Continue >>

A Poem For The Lovely Miss Jessica: Whose Passion For Black Rock City Inspired It, And Whose Last Name I Do Not Know by Johnny Eponymous

Have you been to Burning Man? My fears: the scents favored by those who dance for twelve hours straight on the playa to stay warm while listening to the freeze Nightdesert. I don’t shy from Daydesert’s heat, the stinging rash that makes an umbrella penicillin, nor the glowing eyes of men on tricks I could not fathom, but the wafting tinge of mélange should send me to places where I could never open my eyes. I can’t really describe it…it’s like taking ecstasy. I’ve never taken ecstasy, powders that you melt or sniff were my preference in the days when I gave my young mouth to words of stillborn suburban boredom. I knew you meant a feeling that is not… Continue >>

The Man With Gray Hair by Mark Stewart Cassidy

The first day I saw him, others were ignoring him and, perhaps, the rest of the world meant little to him at this point. Certainly this part of the world, a bus stop near a doughnut-and-coffee place, its walls sticky red in the sun, with its pool tables and Pacheco. It was where T.V judges passing sentence inaudibly in the background made sense. In front, trucks roared by and grit lay in little heaps at the side of the road. There was nothing for the eye to rest on, and therefore, few places for the mind to find peace. The man was talking to himself, or perhaps, to someone I couldn’t see. I couldn’t make out the language, perhaps it… Continue >>

.redruM by Martin Bell

Nothing. Darkness. Cold darkness. From the nothingness light congeals like a snake around a speck above my eyes, a foam of light, almost smoke. Then it rushes towards me, carrying brightness and electric pain. Light is everywhere, is everything, taking me as blind as before. It crushes by head with pain, and fills my ears with a scream. My throat roars. I feel my hands on my face, their growing strength pushing on my cheeks, my lips and my teeth. My hands are wet. The light forms meaning, focuses into a street lamp far in the darkness above my head, its yellow harshness raining pain. I feel cold, crashing, total coldness and notice the rest of my body lying before… Continue >>

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