The third issue of The Stone – our special mystery/crime issue – is now available for download at Amazon.com through the Kindle app!
Here’s a preview:
My medic jacket had lost most of its initial warmth once dampened by the constant snow, yet I still tightened it desperately around me, my only safe haven from the frozen field. The snow illuminated the world before me, creating a blank canvas out of the barren field, spoiled only by the occasional dead tree. Under different circumstances, it may have been beautiful. – from “Dolls of Ice” by Delun Attwooll
I lived at Siding Number Two, a spur line off the Southern Pacific railroad that carried oil into Bakersfield. Our little town changed her name to Taft in 1910, the year I was born. My daddy used to tell me that the town was forced to change its name, because I had arrived in it. Since I was never sure that he was telling the truth, I called it by its original name, Siding Number Two. No matter how you dressed her for the dance, this town had an asphalt tar underbelly that no amount of commerce could wash off. She partnered with men so corrupt that folks were too frightened to talk about it. Fueled by greed and intimidation, there were two things that kept this town alive, oil and rail. Born to the west desert plains of the fertile valley, she was set down smack in the middle of two oil leases, the Midway Sunset and Buena Vista. A product of the transient oil boom, she attracted the hardiest and most desperate of souls. Nobody planned to stay here long much less die in this town, and I was no different. – from “Siding Number Two” by Mary Redmond
The next morning, Benjamin examined the spider web and found the lifeless lightning bug wrapped tightly in a cocoon in the spider’s feasting section that also featured a smattering of other tiny gnats and houseflies. The tiny rear end bulb responsible for last night’s light show was detached from the rest of the body and lay on the floor underneath the web in a smoldering of dirt and dust. The spider, of course, was nowhere to be seen, leaving behind its macabre display for the boy’s fevered imagination to run wild with monstrous images of the arachnid’s size and power. Benjamin hated that feeling of knowing that spiders were always around him, hiding everywhere, always within a few feet, sometimes just a few inches from him, often undetected, waiting for that moment to come crawling over his face while he slept, the tiny ones creeping into his ears and nostrils, the big ones nesting in his hair. This feeling often left him petrified at night. — from “Night of the Spider” by D. H. Schleicher
So go ahead and roll back The Stone to uncover great stories in the digital age. Continue reading