In A Good Company, by Sankar Chatterjee

(F.F.F. Website Story)

The President’s flying-chariot landed at high noon in El Dorado, a state where he still owned a private club bearing his name, thus making a mockery of the emolument clause of the Constitution. He immediately proceeded to a victory rally, reminiscent to his hate-filled election rallies. Joanne Silverman, a history major liberal student in the crowd (just to be a witness to the event), received a Twitter message from her friend Sophia Cannon: “Men who held rallies after democratically elected: Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Berdymukhamedov, Kim Jung-On, Trump.” Joanne wanted to be sure herself, thus initiating a Google search.

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You Have One Message, by Johann Lux

(F.F.F. Website Story)

At the zoo with my daughter, we stood at the gorilla pit watching apes in the distance seated like statues embraced by sunlight.

I handed my daughter my cell phone so she could photograph the animals. To my horror the arm of a Silver-back reached up and snatched the phone from my daughter’s hands.

Zoo keepers with rifles arrived. The crowds laughed as the Silver back pressed the phone to its head.

“Give it back!” my daughter shouted and the gorilla handed me my phone.

Back at home, I checked my answering machine: ”Please help; free me” was the only message.

The Story Collector, by Gordon Lawrie

(F.F.F. Website Story)

Although an avid collector, he was incapable of writing anything original of value himself. Instead he spent his days cutting-and-pasting the work of others onto a website he’d created especially for the purpose.

But without the skills to attract readers to his site, the stories lay unread and unloved. They wanted – needed, even – to be admired, but found themselves trapped in their literary prison.

It had to happen eventually. On February 17th, they finally rose together in anger, surging down his throat. Unable to breathe, he half-drowned, half-choked to a horrible death. Ks, Zs and Ws were particularly painful letters.

Missing, Presumed… Missing, by Fliss Zakaszewska

(F.F.F. Website Story)

The list was long. I looked up at the man as he pushed his peaked cap back. I shook my head.

“No, that’s not all that’s missing.” I glanced at the paper in my hand. “Toaster, microwave and the antique dining set my grandmother left me. That’s just the start of it.”

He sighed. “I’ll go back and check the other pantechnicon.”

Posh name for ‘lorry’, that.

I surveyed the boxes surrounding me.

“I swear I’m never moving house again,” I muttered as I started to unpack.

Ghosting, by Keely O’Shaughnessy

(F.F.F. Website Story)

Mia only came back for a final sweep of the flat; she and Mark had already loaded a myriad of cardboard boxes into her granddad’s transit, but something about the emptiness made her pause.

Surveying their old room, she hovered on the threshold. Scrifitto marks littered the carpet like an early Mondrian painting. Four individual divots mapped out the placement of the bedposts. The T.V. stand was now a patch of compressed fibers.

Before leaving, Mia worked the nap of the carpet with her foot, brushing it one way and then the other, erasing the story told by negative space.

Heredity, by Victoria Bird

(F.F.F. Website Story)

I see you. I’m not just saying that. In the set of her jaw, the wayward curl of her hair and the furrow of her dark brows. It’s been years since you were with us. The half-wink of your eye. Your wrist bending back in on itself, narrowed with atrophy. Your fingers straightened, splayed with palsy. The childish joy of your crooked smile. You used to lick butter and tread on our toys at Christmas. I don’t know when – just when – we lost you. I never will. But she will know of you. I promise you that.

Happy Valentine, by Gordon Lawrie

(F.F.F. Website Story)

What you’re looking at there is a nice pink rose lying on that book, a rose especially for you. Like any old-style rose, it’s full of prickly thorns, but despite the temptation, I didn’t put poison on any of them.

No, it’s an old rose, so please feel free to take the rose up and smell its perfume. What will then happen is that the book – that innocent old book that’s underneath it – will shut suddenly. It’ll close suddenly enough to set off a detonator, which in turn will detonate an explosive charge, small but strong enough.

Happy Valentine …