Bus Runner, by Guy Fletcher

Colin sat bored on the commuter bus. He had a hangover and was not looking forward to 8 hours in a stuffy office.

All of a sudden he spotted a blonde woman start sprinting for the bus as if in the Olympics. it’s amazing how fast people run to save a few minutes, he mused, a sick part of him wishing she would miss it.

Then he recognised her as she sprinted past his window. Their eyes briefly locked. It was his ex-wife. The bus departed without her and memories filled his day of better times … now long in the past.

Paranoia Strikes Deep, by Amy Friedman

“She wants me out.”

“C’mon. You’re being unrealistic.”

“Well, everyone in the department gets fun stuff to do except me.”

“You don’t get work from her?”

“No. I make my own work.”

“Why are you complaining? You’re certainly more than busy enough.”

“Everyone’s stealing my work! I’ll be left with nothing!”

“I find that hard to believe.”

“Don’t. She won’t sit next to me at lunch, won’t meet with me, won’t even talk to me.”

“She sat next to you at lunch today … ”

​“Well, it was either that or sit across, and no way she was going to do that!”

If Only He Could See Me Now, by Johann Lux

On my way to work I recalled Mr. Smith, my High School science teacher, who gave me a failing grade, because I was dating his daughter.

That failing grade kept me from attending MIT. I eventually received my science degrees from three other universities – none of which are MIT.

Now, as a structural engineer, I monitor safety crash tests, in which all makes and models are slammed into concrete walls via a catapult. These doomed vehicles include one very expensive dummy and 4 to 6 cadavers.

Coincidentally, today Mr. Smith’s body is strapped behind the wheel of an SUV.

#PrayforManchester, by Sankar Chatterjee

“#PrayforManchester!” inscribed Sarah in her growing “#Prayfor” list. It already included London, Paris, Nice, Brussels, Mumbai, Jerusalem and many other international cities. A Rhodes Scholar studying at Oxford for a dual Master’s degree in history and economics, Sarah just started writing her history thesis on the rise of modern jihadism. Concurrently, she has been thinking about her economics thesis. The term “Oxfam Eight” documents that the world’s eight richest billionaires now collectively own more wealth than the poorest 25%, equating to 1.8 billion people!

Mourning for the victims, Sarah wondered, “With so much inequality, how could anyone stop jihadism anywhere?”

Who’d Have Thought It? by Fliss Zakaszewska

“Happy First Birthday, Edward!”

“Happy Birthday to you, too, Helen! Yes, a year already!”

Helen smiled and nodded at her boss. A year ago the whole company, from Directors down to admin staff, had laughed at him. “What? Move the I.T. operation out of London?” they’d scoffed. “What a stupid idea!”

She looked around their shiny new offices and smiled again. Vision, guts and determination. Who’d have thought that ‘computer support’ could be run so successfully, so far from London that you’d fall off a cliff if you walked much further? “But he’s done it,” she murmured. “He’s done it.”

The Quiet, by Russell Conover

(Originally posted to LinkedIn.)

Fred was gasping for breath. The alien invasion had stunned him and his friends, and he knew no one was safe.

But where’d the aliens go?

He strode through the dark office, his shoes tapping with every step. He was alone.

He started to think the worst was over, and sighed with relief.

Then the alien pounced.

Roaring, it leapt from the ceiling above and knocked Fred over. He smelled the foul breath, and saw the orange skin and sharp, gleaming teeth.

Desperate, Fred grabbed his keys and stabbed its arm. It wailed, releasing him and retreating.

Safe. For now.

Inside The Mind Of Evil, by Gordon Lawrie

I am surrounded by filth, the unclean, the dregs, the unbelievers. I am surrounded by animals who, if left unculled, will live to breed and spread their dirt and endless wickedness. I am surrounded by perverts, liars and whores.

My duty is to cleanse. My duty is to bleach, to wipe the filthy animal presence from the Earth before it can do even more harm. I have come to disinfect.

I shall not fail. I shall be remembered for my courage, for my commitment to the one true faith, for my devotion to the highest cause.