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Issue 2: October 2009

Greetings and welcome to Issue Two of 10Flash.

10Flash is a quarterly on-line magazine dedicated to genre flash fiction — science fiction, fantasy, horror and suspense.

Each issue will offer up ten flash fiction stories written around a common theme. Each story in this issue, for example, will feature two people, one of them wounded, on the run following a botched bank robbery.

The stories were written by established and emerging authors in the flash fiction market and they were free to interpret the theme in any manner — and in any of the genres — they choose. Most of them are tales of suspense, but the bunch is leavened with a bit of science fiction, a pinch of fantasy, a touch of horror and one screwball caper comedy.

For those of you who are devotees of flash fiction and frequent the various online sites, you should recognize the names of the authors you are about to read.

D. J. Barber. Alexander Burns. Laura Eno. Jude-Marie Green. Oonah V. Joslin. John Jasper Owens. Stephen D. Rogers. Tanya L. Schofield. Robert Swartwood. Angel Zapata.

And there’s a bit of lagniappe again this issue, an eleventh story — Tin Star Town — from Gay Degani, one of my favorite writers and the editor of Flash Fiction Chronicles, a must-read site for anyone interested in writing flash..

All eleven are swell stories. Read. Enjoy. Leave a comment, if you will.

And now, have at them.

K. C.

Brother’s Keeper

fantasy by Tanya L. Schofield

“Nick!”

Nick tore his eyes away from the sight of the wounded bank patrons splayed screaming on the floor in puddles and streaks of blood. He focused through the leaves of the fake plant they had made him hide behind, his gaze settling on his brother’s hand outstretched towards him.

Jeremy wore a silver ring with a black square on it on his thumb and there was a scar on his knuckle from when he had punched out Anthony in the fifth grade even though Anthony was older and taller and stronger than him.

“Nick!” Jeremy finally grabbed Nick’s hand, spurring him into motion, and the two of them fled.

[Read the complete story]

Deep Within the Heart of Thieves

horror by Angel Zapata

Something was after them. Calvin had his arm around Kenny’s shoulder and was doing his best to stay conscious.

Kenny couldn’t believe it. The bank teller had somehow reached over the counter and sunk her fingernails through Calvin’s leather jacket and into his chest.

“I knew it was too good to be true,” Calvin huffed and tasted blood. “What was that?”

Kenny twitched. “Don’t know. Don’t care. We ain’t stopping for nothing or nobody.”

[Read the complete story]

Heist Outré

science fiction by Laura Eno

“How bad are you hurt?” They waited, crouched behind some metallic thing that Eddie called a ‘dumpster’. The smell made Tom want to puke.

“My arm feels like it’s on fire. I think the bullet’s still in there too.”

“Bullet? As in ‘metal projectile’? Geez, Eddie. You said we couldn’t get hurt. That’s the only reason why I took this hare-brained trip with you. Why’d you think that robbing a bank would be fun in the first place?”

[Read the complete story]

Lucky Shot

suspense by D.J. Barber

All Jared ever talked about was an even break, a small stake to set himself up, a–how do you say?–a fresh start. So Maury thought up the scheme and Jared listened night-after-night at Maury’s attempt to talk him into action.

Maury had been out of active employment for some months and spent his time loitering downtown. He began a daily routine of a scone and a cuppa at a small coffee shop-cum-café.

One rainy Monday morning, Maury noticed a large parcel van pull in front of the First Fiduciary Bank and Trust, just across from where he nursed his refill of coffee, scone long gone.

[Read the complete story]

Slim and Benny-Be-Damned Take It On The Lam

horror by Jude-Marie Green

So here’s Slim squirting bright arterial blood and laughing every step of the way.

“Did you see the looks on their faces? Didn’t know zombies could be surprised!”

“Shut up,” Benny-Be-Damned snarled.

He wrapped his arm around Slim’s waist and carried him along, more concerned about what might be following them than about the scarlet trail dripping down the bricks into the alley grease.

[Read the complete story]

Stragglers

suspense by Alexander Burns

Gracie clawed at the Model A’s door, but her hands wouldn’t hold still long enough to get a grip.

“Goddammit, Gracie,” Russell growled. “Move it!” Sirens closed on the bank, only a block away.

Gracie took a deep breath, clenched and unclenched her fists, and finally got the door open. Russell squeezed past her and collapsed into the passenger seat. She tried to ignore the pool of blood he’d left on the sidewalk.

[Read the complete story]

The Long Way to Austin

suspense by John Jasper Owens

I never knew why Jake kept me around.

For laughs, maybe, or because I’m smarter than most in Swain County. I’m not much to look at, but Jake had that part covered for both of us. Could he wear clothes? Silk shirts with pearl buttons, creased jeans, gold buckles, they’d call me all kind of names if I tried to pull that stuff off. But no one messed with Jake.

[Read the complete story]

The Professional Job

crime caper by Oonah V. Joslin

A field somewhere in Little Piddlingtonshire

“Can’t you go any faster?”

“Inadvisable I’d say. Better to act nonchalant. Anyway, I’m bleeding, Barry. I stepped on glass.”

“Well, I’m sorry but you’re not going to be the one at the receiving end though, are you, Brent? You should have looked where you were going.”

“You should try in this get-up!

[Read the complete story]

Tin Star Town

horror by Gay Degani

Donnie came out of the town park restroom and handed Zach a tangled hairpiece, then tucked his own ponytail into a cowboy hat.

“Seeing that don’t make me feel better,” he said. “I ain’t ready to die for no bank job.”

Zach peered at the high-desert landscape, the sun burning down in waves. Beyond the willows, up a scrubby knoll, he saw what Donnie saw. A cemetery, headstones scattered like broken teeth among the weeds.

He frowned. “No one’s gonna die.”

[Read the complete story]

Two of a Kind

suspense by Robert Swartwood

Their driver had been spooked by the gunfire, so by the time they made it out of the bank, Eddie shot in the arm, blood soaking his shirt, the stolen Mazda that was to be their getaway car was long gone.

“Fuck!” Eddie shouted.

Alan wasn’t sure what Eddie was cursing at, his gunshot wound or the fact that their driver had bolted.

[Read the complete story]

Up and Over

suspense by Stephen D. Rogers

The chain link fence at the end of the alley was six-feet high but the milk crate was still there.

I’d cleared the fence before; I’d clear it again. All I had to do was plant my foot on the milk crate, straighten my leg and I would be up and over. Mike would toss me the money, be on his way over the fence and we would be out of here.

[Read the complete story]

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