ONE SPENT SHELL
When a small-town bank robbery goes horribly wrong, Skid’s in for one hell of a night. Completely surrounded with just one hostage–a child–and his partner dead on the lobby floor next to him, what was supposed to be a simple smash and grab is now something far more surreal. Will he ever escape? Can he ever escape? When the past is your prison, it’s only a matter of time before you have to face the warden.
Crime/Horror – 2,200 words
When young Shawn steals a bottle of booze from his old man to impress some neighborhood kids, it sets off a series of events that could very well end in tragedy. As the situation gets worse by the minute, Shawn has to fight off his growing fear and confusion to help his father put a stop to the unraveling consequences of his actions before it all comes crashing down and finally shatters what little remains of his family.
Literary/Crime – 6,650 words
In the middle of the night, a pickup truck backs into the front window of a small town veterinarian office. Out jumps Graham Pechman. With alarm bells blaring and the cops surely en route, out jumps Graham Pechman, a former local who would rather be anywhere else in the world right about now. But how far would you go for your best friend?
Crime/Noir – 5,050 words
In the grand prize winner of Writer’s Digest’s 82nd Annual Writing Competition, Jay and Syl’s usual Sunday ritual is abruptly interrupted by three armed men in masks. What follows will put their crumbling marriage to the ultimate test. Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse, called it “a sparse, gripping short with a fantastic twisting structure.”
Crime/Noir – 2,200 words
Something happened at the community fair. To get to the bottom of what went down, police interview a shaken Gale Bram. In her own words, via police interview transcript, Gale lays out the horrible, haunting details of that fateful day. And, in the process, we may come to understand why Marcy Melfi did what she did to all these innocent people.
Crime/Noir – 3,780 words
Grand prize winner of LitReactor’s Arrest Us! Challenge, “Heart” drags us across salt-laced pavement in the dead of winter as we follow a mysterious woman on her quest to extract a certain valuable item from a hornet’s nest of violence and chaos. But it’s not so much a question of whether she’ll get the job done, as much as a question of whether she can win the heart she really wants.
Crime/Noir – 3,775
When exactly the townsfolk of Babel started acting strange, Reed Groom couldn’t tell for sure. Ornery just runs in the mountain springs, some say. But, in hindsight, it was probably safe to assume the Confusion hit its stride when his mother’s neighbor, frail, shaky Amelia Sever, after fifty-two years of marriage, decided to stab her husband seventeen times with a knitting needle.
Horror – 3,750 words