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last fifteen years, Backhand Stories has published new short stories, flash fiction, non-fiction and essays by new and unpublished writers.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

The Hotel Window by Piper Davenport

I. His hands touched her breasts but they weren’t really there. See, she believed that the human touch could evaporate without reason and beyond the possibilities of eternity. But, when she told this to others, they refused to look at the marks on her breasts. But didn’t want you want to touch her? Didn’t you want to see inside her head and wonder how God made naked bodies that hide behind foggy windows? And believed that if she had pushed herself hard enough, she might have floated away to Neverland and never had to do anything imagined. II. His eyes made her cry but they didn’t speak at all. See, she believed that if we could make words from not… Continue >>

I Saw My Mother Holding a Baby Corpse by Jason D. Hill

I watched my mother, once, holding a corpse the size of a honey baked ham. Late evening. Corner of our old street. From my seat on a cloud I recognized its form; watched its tissues dissolve like blood sausage on her just-manicured nails; the spoils of its bloody clots lingering over her lacquered loveliness. Eyes dry. Cheeks sucked in, she buffed her nails, turned on heels that hurt the pavement as the ignoble puddle sizzled, frothed, burped and then congealed into her story. This, of course, is a dream. But most of my ghost stories, which are often nightmares, occur inside my head. I’ve never been afraid of the real ghosts because they are shy and scurry away as soon… Continue >>

Chamber of Echoes by David Schembri

With his head bowed, and the pit of his stomach boiling with unrest, Hector stood within the gloom of his master’s chamber. “It is done,” Graymar’s voice echoed. “You have rid the world of the savage who killed your precious Alice. Now, it is time for other matters.” Graymar held out a small piece of parchment, hoping it would attract his servants eyes – it didn’t, they were still fixed on the floor and far from the present. “Hector? Please, this is of the utmost importance. The name on the parchment is of a local villager who has been in debt to me for far too long, and I-” “It is not over, master,” Hector said through the thicket of… Continue >>

Untitled by Tyson Perry

My legs feel heavy and I want to go home. My ass is numb, and I want to go home. Alcohol and nicotine pulsing through my brain, and I want to go home. I wonder if anyone’s ever overdosed on nicotine. It seems unlikely but not impossible. I’ve been sitting on this curb for 3 hours, trying to sober up, and I want to go home. People still shuffling in and out of the house from where I’d just come, still trying to reach the mystical plateau. That tiny cliff at that top of the giant hill that is just enough but not too much. Everyone chasing the light while hanging out in the dark. Everyone on the same fabled… Continue >>

Up the Garden Path by Avis Hickman-Gibb

Janice wasn’t ready; and she’d been sure she would be. So far, she’d stuck precisely to her plan. “Make a plan, have a countdown list to check-off. Work through it steadily. You’ll do it Janice, I’m sure. I have faith in you.” Her therapist had told her that last visit. And now: Oh, God! Why is it always like this? Panic… sweaty palms. Look! Just look at my hands. Shaking like a leaf, they are… oh Christ! I’m going to be sick, I can feel it. Breathe in… one… two… three… and out…one… two… three. Wait…one… two… three. Ok, Ok, I can do this. Who can do this? I CAN. YES, I CAN. The sunny spring morning beckoned to her.… Continue >>

Jamaica Preacher Man by Jason D Hill

It is 1975. I’m sitting with my father in the sofa-like front seat of his father’s car which he’s borrowed to take me for a ride. Just the two of us. It’s a red car of some make; a 1960-something Vauxhall. I’m ten years old. My father smells of coconut oil. He always smells good—fresh, earthy and natural. We’ve just come from a long drive where he told me to just be who I want to be. “You were cut out to be a writer and a poet. Don’t get sidetracked into thinking you have to be a lawyer or any of that nonsense,” he says. He’s been on this mission to save my poetic soul. His mother has been… Continue >>

The Last Birdsong by Graham Murray

Weeks afterwards, she thought about something he had told her one day. He’d said that his mother was convinced that he could charm the birds out of the trees. She knew this was just a silly expression. And yet . . .Perhaps his mother had recognized something in him that no one else had. Her three-year old daughter had been tired all day and now lay sleeping on the sofa with her new Barbie backpack clutched tightly in her hand. On the day she received it, he had taken a photograph of her wearing it, almost as large as she was. Her first backpack.They had laughed at the image of her attending her first day of school not too many… Continue >>

The Understudy By Kelley Eberhardt

No one congratulates the understudy; the role given to the individual who could not make the cut for the lead. Just right for the part, but not as right, not as good, as the chosen actor. An acceptable backup; but not ‘the one’. Sure, while their name is printed in fancy font on the play bill it is only under the bold clear print; the main character’s name. Overlooked, overworked, over-committed; the understudy is no place to be. Being with you, is being the understudy; the girl behind the scenes. I am the lines, I play the part, I dance the dance, and I feel the feel. I give to the production as much heart as the main character, but… Continue >>

Visitation by Jennifer Walmsley

When the preachers came, they embraced you. When they entered your home, they smiled pious smiles. Then they said in reverent tones, ‘Let us pray for your forgiveness.’ But you were unable to tell them that it was your husband who had sinned. When you knelt, their fingers gripped your shoulders and their unified voices mingled with your whispered prayer for his return and they left, gratified with their godliness and you, watching their black coats recede, tied a noose around your neck and left your baby crying.

The Man-Playing Guitar and the Guitar-Playing Man by Simon Thalmann

A guitar who had learned to play the man decided he wanted to form a band. He gathered up his courage and called a guitar-playing man and asked him if he would be interested in joining him. — Hmm, said the guitar-playing man. So you’re a man playing guitar? — No, said the man-playing guitar. A man-playing guitar. It’s hyphenated. — Oh I see, said the guitar-playing man. So you’re a guitar then? — Yes, said the man-playing guitar. — If you don’t mind my asking, said the guitar-playing man, what brand of guitar are you? — To be honest, I’m not entirely sure, answered the man-playing guitar. — Hmm, said the guitar-playing man. Why don’t you look at your… Continue >>