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last fifteen years, Backhand Stories has published new short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction and essays by new and unpublished writers.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

Diamond Rain by Basil Rosa

At a diamond in South Oxford, what we called Chaffee Field, even though it lacked an official name, I watched my mother at bat in a lady’s softball game. She was in her forties, and I’d never seen her play any sport. She worked full-time, raised six children, and had not, until that year, ever had enough time for distractions beyond church, and PTA. She hit a double that reached the fence, and it struck me as odd to see her breathing so hard as she thundered to second base and stood there, ribcage heaving up and down, hands on her hips, struggling to enjoy cheers from the bench and bleachers. No one it seemed had ever cheered for my… Continue >>

The Judgment of Venus and David by Natalie McNabb

His whisper — “This is strange.” — is so ardent that I believe him, and hers — “Yes.” — is the same. “We just grew apart.” — Cliché, but the only explanation available to him — She nods. — or her. Neither, though, realizes their error. Their exchange proves otherwise. But for their intimacy, they could never let each other go as if nothing — “It’s the only way I can…” — and yet everything — “…be happy?” — depended upon it. Their last sentence falls like a butterfly fading on wind, fluttering once more before it falls and fractures, its pieces tumbling across the earth, finding their own ends. Amidst what would otherwise be tragedy, the couple exudes the… Continue >>

Sent by Lily Fox

I read the email through five times before I clicked send. I found myself checking for grammar just to be sure I sounded the superior party. Petty, but true. Should I end with ‘sincerely’, a nasty little spike to the addressee’s heart? Oh, yes, I’m SO sincere in spitting on your twisted little face. I hate you. YOURS SINCERELY… Perhaps not. I should at least try for politeness, for civility, right? I don’t know what last shred of manners held me back. Social convention, maybe. I don’t believe in that normally. Two women, one man, the old story. And I won. I was low enough to send my victory, farewell missive by email, not even in person. I didn’t care,… Continue >>

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 >>