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last fifteen years, Backhand Stories has published new short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction and essays by new and unpublished writers.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

Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

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 >>

Deadly Nightshade by Owen Knowles

“Right mum, we’re off,” said Dylan. “You be careful now. Have you got lunch and all you need?” asked his mum. “Of course we’ve got everything. I’m not five, I’m almost eleven!” replied Dylan. “I know you are but there are still things you need to careful of. There are snakes, giant wasps, eels, water scorpions; even some of the plants are deadly. Whatever you do don’t eat anything. You could die if you do. Watch out for ‘Deadly Nightshade’, there’s enough poison in one of them to kill 500 mice!” she explained. “But we’re not MICE!” exclaimed Dylan. “We know Auntie Joy, and we will be careful. We’ll be back for seven. Don’t worry. We’re not going too far”… Continue >>

An Obligation in Kalamazoo by Piper Davenport

“Where are you headed, sir?” That’s what the train conductor said to the man. He turned and looked away. The day was turning into night, but still there was just enough daylight that he could see his reflection in the spit-shined windowpane. With his hair combed back, with a slight part down the middle, he asked himself, Will she like my undulating nose and small mouth? He wore his best trousers, with a bow tie and button-down cotton shirt and moccasin shoes that he had ordered through Woolworth’s. “Kalamazoo, Michigan.” He turned and faced the conductor, who nodded his navy-blue cap in his direction, and turned to take tickets from the rest of the passengers, most of them men, most… Continue >>

Five Minute Escapade by Fiona K

Shall I share with you my deepest, darkest secrets or unburden to you my most daring confession, reveal a shockingly gruesome personal transgression? Never mind, I don’t have time. Constrained by the New York rhythm of life, waltzing between pillar and pillar of social obligations, hiding from Miss B what Mister A must under no circumstances find out until next Wednesday, the most I can offer you, dear reader, in for three – no, make that five – five whole minutes snatched from the jaws of my daily routine. It feels deliciously like a midnight tryst (does it not?), all the more furtive by its innocuous midday incubation. And now, with this comparative eternity stretching before us, my whispering narrative… Continue >>

How God Works by Arthur Shuey

Start at early summer dawn on the Georgia coast, behind the Sea Islands, and drive toward Memphis. Take secondary roads and look around as you pass through towns that seem to vary in time placement, back and forth over the past six decades, depending on how close to real cities they are and whether the developers have gotten to them yet. Go into the hill country that threatens to throw the sticky, red clay embankments beside the road over your car and keep you there forever, stuck in 1966 under a crude, peeling billboard beckoning you to the salvation from inoculation and integration promised by an equally crude and peeling church that is an exclamation mark for the gray, gray… Continue >>

Vengeance by Dylan Jones

It’s dusk. Outside, I can see the sky burning a deep red above the wasteland. The slit they call a window is a good six feet above the cool stone beneath my feet. I’d be able to look straight out of it if I weren’t restricted by the chains. I’m sitting four feet away by an old steel bed, just thinking, watching the day’s light ebbing away. I wonder for a moment if I’ve made a mistake, that maybe it’s going to take longer than I have. The walls are three feet deep, judging by the window ledge. The door is solid iron, bolted from the outside, and there are long rusty chains binding both my legs to a bracket… Continue >>

She’s A Modern Woman, Now by Nick Ostdick

And she was. She was a modern woman, and you’re not sure how you felt about it. She didn’t come over anymore, early in the morning, her hair pulled back tightly in a ponytail on the back of her head, ready to play whatever silly games you and the rest of gang concocted. No, she didn’t even cross Kimball Street anymore, going through her backyard and out onto Haden Avenue when leaving the neighborhood. You would wave to her, sometimes, when she would be getting the mail or helping her mom in the garden, and she wouldn’t wave back. Her face would drop to the ground pretending not to see you, or she would hide behind her mom or even… Continue >>

Summer’s Lease by James Collins

The smell of frying bacon was coming from the kitchen, but Sam stayed where he was. He glanced at his face in the mirror over the fireplace as if seeing it for the first time. Then he looked at the rest of the room, over his reflection’s shoulder; the two old armchairs, the long dining table and the sideboard, upon which rested the big mahogany wireless. Sam liked everything about that wireless. He liked its solid chunkiness, the big wooden dials and the window with its red needle, which lit up when you turned the set on. He thought of the programmes he listened to in the evening, sometimes with Keith, sometimes with all the family. There was ‘Dick Barton,… Continue >>