The Customer is King, by Charles Boorman

It was an ordinary day at the supermarket. Customers came and went. Piped music played. Suddenly, the cashier burst into the manager’s office. “Quick! There’s a lady making a terrible scene!” she yelled. The manager dropped his men’s magazine and rushed out.

“Tee’s the name, madam. I’m the manager – how can I help?” he panted.

The customer stared at him and answered: “I bought this packet of frozen vegetables and there’s half a rat inside!”

“How aw-awful!” stammered Mr. Tee. “However can we make up for this error?”

“Giving me the other half would be a start!” replied the customer.

If Only He’d Told Her, by Adrian Slonaker

If only he’d told her to do so, she’d have left her lighthouse, packed her multicoloured rucksack, and come to him. She’d have given him her hand and warmed him with her lips. Her ears would’ve been ready for him to unleash his most vulnerable secrets and most cumbersome confessions. She would have counseled him as a comrade, embraced him as a friend, and adored him as a lover. But he didn’t tell her, so she cut his groin out of every picture of him she could find and acquired the first of many cats.

Does Feeling Beautiful Really Matter? by Angela Taylor

She walks with dignity and pride. Yet she is humble and majestic.

Many onlookers marvel at her beauty as she is mesmerizing to the eyes.

So many women try to emulate a woman of grace and fail. Their perception of her enigma eludes them. They do not understand the inner gift she beholds.

Is it her hair, eyes, or flawless complexion. What is it that captivates innocent bystanders, both men and women, to watch her in amazement?

Did she study ballet, dance, or cultural arts? How does she quietly command the attention of all around her? She enthralls all by her undeniable presence.

Outside the Box, by Krystyna Fedosejevs

Annie is missing. “Not in her room,” Mom said. “Can’t find her outdoor shoes,” noted Dad. “Maybe she fell into a humongous puddle,” quipped younger brother. Older brother was silent. Two guinea pigs madly threaded wheels. Crows lined the backyard fence squawking at the house. “Bet she’s at a friend’s,” said Dad. “Maybe a monster snatched her,” younger brother grinned. “That’s enough, young man,” asserted Mom. “We need to think OUTSIDE the box,” Dad stated. “Maybe someone put her INSIDE a box,” giggled younger brother. “Hush!” yelled Mom. Older brother emerged: “Annie’s in my bedroom closet with an imaginary friend.”

In the Kitchen, by Zane Castillo

Arturo watched his mother in the kitchen. She chopped the onions and put them in the frying pan with the sausages. She moved to the pan where the yellow rice cooked and stirred it.

Her head was beaded with sweat but she didn’t even seem to notice it. She opened the oven door where the scent of a cherry pie drifted to Arturo’s nostrils. His mouth began to water, to which he sat down at the table.

His mother glanced at him with a frown then shooed him out. Arturo made a disappointed face then slowly retreated from the kitchen.

At Noon on a Hill Overlooking Well Town, by Adam Smith

Two men sat atop a hill outside of Well Town.
“Don’t use binoculars,” whispered Vic.
Vic interrupted. “Reflection.”
James raised a hand to his brow, shielding his eyes from the sun. “I see two guards.”
“They’ll double the guard tonight, but I know a secret way.”
“You’ve been here before?”
Vic nodded. “See that burned out church near the fence?”
“My work.”
“You burned a church?”
“I needed a diversion.”
“Yeah, but, it’s holy!”
“It’s a box made of wood,” spat Vic.
“But, what about, you know. Hell?”
Vic pointed into the wasteland. “We’re already in Hell, kid.”

The Last Chapter, by Damon Garn

How does the last chapter get torn off a paperback? I mean, exactly the last chapter?

Would the heroine get her guy? Of course she would – that’s how fantasy works.

Would the bad guy get his due? I’m sure he does – there’s no sequel.

But I want to read it. I want to experience the closure. Feel the joy of the characters as their dreams are fulfilled.

I stared at the empty space that should have been the end of the novel for nearly an entire glass of wine.

Then I opened my laptop and wrote that final chapter myself.