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last fifteen years, Backhand Stories has published new short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction and essays by new and unpublished writers.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

No Ending by Vera Searles

When the dinger went off, Jerome took the meal from the micro and rushed back into the living room. The Perry Mason rerun was almost over, and Jerome was sure he had the killer nailed. The phone rang but Jerome didn’t answer. He let the machine take the message. “Jerome, this is Amelia. I’m pregnant.” Jerome looked over at his mother. She didn’t say anything. Her old faded housecoat was pulled around her like a shroud. “Who do you think the killer is, Ma?” Jerome asked. Perry was wrapping it up. Jerome slid to the edge of his chair, feeling all excited inside. Perry revealed the killer. “Right, right!” Jerome squealed, pointing at the screen. “I knew it. It was… Continue >>

Paprika by Martin Bell

The scent of paprika drifted to her seat at the table across the restaurant, mingled in with a peppery lemon flavor that reminded her of Indian meals she’d finished with John, when he’d pushed the last scrap of naan around the thick sauce in the balti dish and offered it to her mouth. She’d said no, of course. Shook her head, leant back, giggled. He’d always wanted to give her more – would have given her his last… his last anything, she supposed. Just to make her happy. If she was pushed, if she was honest with herself, that was one of the reasons why she’d done it. He was just too goddamn eager to give of himself, until after… Continue >>

A Life is Worth a Thousand Words by Brian G Ross

He is born in the city; seven pounds, eight ounces. Unemployed, alcoholic father; downtrodden, dependable mother. They name him Tony; Anthony on his birth certificate. He learns to talk at six months; learns to walk three months later. His first word is car. Dad owns a Ford. He drives sober; he drives drunk. It makes no difference to him. Not then. They move to the suburbs when his dad gets a job; move back to the city when he loses it two months later. Pre-school comes along and so does his sister. Helen, they call her. She is cute. Fifth birthday party. Clowns and balloons. Sixth birthday party. More of the same. Long, hot summers; three of them. Friends, lemonade,… Continue >>

Fisting for Julie By W.A Coleman

She never told me her name but she told me lot about Julie. Unlike most of the people that came to us because they had no choice, she did and yet she still came. As for why, well, I really couldn’t tell you why, and at the time I never thought to ask her. Maybe I should’ve. Or maybe it was the obvious. Maybe it was because she looked at me or my guys as a part of her tribe, just another bunch a crazy fuck-ups, like her that just so happened to have some medical training. Maybe she thought she wouldn’t be judged or looked down upon as much as say some south side “white bread” M.D. Who knows.… Continue >>

Flowers For Ruth by Rob

I wake in the middle of the night to find my wife missing from our bed. I slide out from the sheets. Step into my slippers. Walk softly down the stairs. We live alone. The sound of Ruth talking makes the back of my neck tingle. I prod the living room door ajar. There she is. Sitting in her usual armchair. Her back to the door. Chattering away. I wonder who she’s talking to and push the door open wide. Ruth is alone. I walk slowly into the room. Across her field of view. Sink into the sofa and look at Ruth. Deep in conversation with someone only she can see. “Ruth,” I say, calmly. “Ruth, it’s me. What are… Continue >>

The Tomboy by Memphis Saltos

It is the vegetation-engorged green of June, just an hours before the cicadas start up their grating cries. The sun tilts across a girl’s shoulders, making her shadow and the shadows of shrubs around her grow long and wide. She imagines that she has grown taller, into a monstrous shape. The squishiness of the mud beneath her, the heady fragrance of decay in the air, the steady and pleasant hum of the insects — all these things she will remember and miss when she is a woman, but for now she just feels and soaks it into memory. She girl is too skinny, scab-legged and wearing cut-off jean shorts with a Goofy Dog tank top. On her bullet proof feet… Continue >>

The Saxophone Man by Roy L. Pickering Jr

What am I going to say to Ellen? How will she react when I tell her I’ve been fired? I suppose there’s no point in asking myself rhetorical questions. I know exactly what she’s going to say. “Howard, how could you let this happen? How are we going to pay our bills? I’m extremely disappointed in you. You’ve always been such an underachiever. You always settle for second best from yourself. I bet you’ve been daydreaming, or hallucinating, or whatever you want to call it, instead of focusing on your work. Didn’t any of what Dr. Seagram had to say sink in? I suppose not. To think of what I gave up for you. I could be married to Barry… Continue >>

Men In Black by Tony Phillips

Ross Wells always was a bit crazy. Not in the “Woo-hoo!! Road trip to Tijuana!” way, but in the Lithium, child-psychologist way. That was, of course, the reason he was treated the way he was in high school. But when he starts coming to me in dreams, it’s going too far. Even for him. The phone calls had been bad enough. The dream takes place in a diner – all-American. I’m sitting at the counter on one of those blood-red vinyl stools they have. I can’t get comfortable and keep slipping and having to readjust myself, worming my way back up the sleek, sheer plastic. The diner is lit so brightly that its walls seem to be throbbing. The spotty,… Continue >>

At the Window by Martin Bell

The lights caught her first. They made the window glow with elfin colors, warming the foggy glass, spreading soft light out into the cold street, pulling her in, grabbing her attention, widening her eyes. She pulled her face up against the wet glass, her weight pushing down through her straight arms on to the sill as she balanced on the tip of her toes, resting on the edge of her heavy shoes’ rubber soles. The cold and the snow and the ice seemed to disappear as she peered inside. The lights were stars in a display of old toys, wispy glints in the sky above a circus parade getting ready to board a huge rust-dented steam ship. Elephants lead the… Continue >>

The Empty Road by Jeannie Mobley

The highway here goes on and on. Even in the twilight I can see a vast emptiness in all directions, with only this thin ribbon of pavement cutting through to assure the traveler he is tethered to earth. In mid-day, the heat rises off these flats with an intensity that makes you think you’re in Hell’s furnace, and at midnight the Milky Way sweeps so close to the road that you think you’re on Heaven’s doorstep. But right now at twilight, there is just emptiness–an uncertain color in the uncertain light–and the highway slicing through on its way to nowhere I shift down and slip my Jaguar off the pavement, turning down the radio so I can hear the crunch… Continue >>