We met at a bar, had a few drinks—maybe more than a few. Her place was closer. Seconds after we fell through the door, our clothes were off. We started on the couch, moved to her bedroom.
After, we held each other.
“How would you feel about Round Two?” she asked.
I told her I liked that idea.
“Just let me slip into something more comfortable.” She turned her naked back to me, moved her hair to reveal a shiny silver zipper running from her shoulders to the small of her back.
“Here, just help me with this zipper.”
Author’s Note: Every writer has to try a story about picking someone up at a bar This is mine.
As he put the finishing touches on the time machine, Professor Windsor Crabtree saw a flash of light and heard the sound of a cork being ejected from a bottle of champagne. In the corner of his lab stood another, older Professor Windsor Crabtree.
He looked around, disoriented. Then his eyes focused on the machine. He ran toward it. It was not until the other Crabtree was fairly upon the machine, that Crabtree noticed the ball peen hammer.
Down it came on the delicate control panel.
Just before his future self disappeared, Crabtree heard him mutter, “How many more times…?”
Author’s Note: Time travel stories often deal with characters going back in time to try to fix past mistakes. But what if the mistake that needed fixing was building the time machine in the first place?
While cleaning out the basement in my house, I find a tiny door, set into the far back wall. The door is a perfect replica of the one that is set into the front of my house.
I open it. Inside is a copy of my living room, exact in every detail. It is while contemplating this odd occurrence that I see him.
Another me. A tiny me.
I dash up the basement steps and throw myself face-down on the couch, terrified.
I feel the breeze on my neck.
I look up to see the eye that fills my doorway.
Author’s Note: Discovering all the weird nooks and crannies of a new apartment or house is one of the few non-miserable aspects of the moving process. Usually you don’t discover hidden passageways or portals to alternate dimensions, but it never hurts to look. This piece started life as a much longer story that never quite worked. It works much better now, I think.
He sat in front of his typewriter, rolled a fresh white sheet of paper into the platen, placed his fingers delicately over home row—and despaired.
All his life he’d dreamed of becoming a writer, and he’d finally worked up the courage to go for it. He bought books on the subject, attended seminars, studied the markets until he knew them inside and out. He pored over magazine submission procedure.
Now he was ready to begin. But there was a problem:
The books said to write what you know.
The magazine guidelines said no vampire stories.
So which was it?
Author’s Note: “Write what you know” is probably the most famous piece of writing advice of all time. But what if what you know isn’t what people are interested in? I read a lot of horror fiction, and it occurred to me that so many outlets for horror stories don’t want to see vampires or zombies or serial killers. So I thought, how would those guys write what they know and still manage to get published?