First Story: “Compartments” by Zoran Živković
I ran as fast as my legs would carry me.
The carriage had just pulled away from the buffer at the end of the track. Even though it was still moving slowly, had I been carrying any luggage, particularly anything heavy, I wouldn’t have made it. Luckily, all I was holding was my coat and hat.
I didn’t know how to get onto a moving carriage. Was I first supposed to jump onto the step on the platform of the last car and then grab hold of the handrail, or the other way around? Who knows what I would have done if the back door hadn’t opened just as I caught up to the car. The conductor came out onto the platform.
“Give me your hand!” he shouted.
Zoran Živković was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, in 1948. In 1973 he graduated from the Department of General Literature with the theory of literature, Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade; he received his master’s degree in 1979 and his doctorate in 1982 from the same school. In 2007, Živković was made a professor in the Faculty of Philology at his alma mater, the University of Belgrade, where he now teaches Creative Writing. The author of twenty books of fiction and eight books of nonfiction, Živković continues to push the boundaries of the strange and surreal. His writing belongs to the middle European fantastika tradition, and shares much in common with such masters as Mikhail Bulgakov, Franz Kafka and Stanislaw Lem. Find out more at http://www.zoranzivkovic.com/
Second story: “In the Nightmare Garden” by Shenoa Carroll-Bradd
The neighbor kids called Lucida Cole a witch, partially because she lived in a creaky old house, but mostly because she had a garden of nightmares. It wasn’t really her fault. The garden had come with the house; she’d just kept it up.
The breeze carried soft weeping, but she pretended not to hear it at first. Lucida looked up between the branches of the nearest tree and plucked a fruit, squeezing it to test for ripeness. She bit in and felt one of her bottom teeth wiggle. Lucida carefully chewed the tart bite and swallowed, then spat out the tooth and ran a finger along the rest of her teeth, testing for stability. They all seemed sturdy. She tossed the unripe fruit aside and it rolled out of sight beneath a “naked in public” shrub. The tooth she’d spat out slowly melted away as the nightmare’s astringent taste left her tongue.
Shenoa Carroll-Bradd lives in Southern California with her awesome brother and dancing dog. Her short stories have appeared online and in over two dozen anthologies, and she’s also launched an ebook serial of Victorian occult mysteries featuring her amateur detectives Fidgett and Klein. When not writing, she enjoys crocheting, reading, and bingeing on Netflix ’til her eyes bleed. For more information, visit her homepage at www.sbcbfiction.net. Her Kickstarter project is at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/982539034/lightning-lord-and-the-duplex-of-death.
About the Narrators:
Anthony Babington is a voice in the internet’s head. he looks almost, but not quite, exactly how you expect him to. He currently resides in Houston, Texas, but hastens to add that it was not his idea. He can be found on Google Plus
Cheryl Phipps was born in Canada and presently resides there, but has also lived in Jamaica and Maryland. By the time she was 16, she had moved 15 times! She used story telling as a way to fit in whenever she was the “new kid” in town. Cheryl obtained her Honours BA in Sociology at the University of Western Ontario. She spent many years teaching call centre representatives customer service and communication skills. She wrote a book that won second place in an international literary contest. Cheryl has always loved words, grammar, reading, acting and writing. All of these things came together for Cheryl in the form of voice over work, which she loves! You can learn more at www.CherylPhipps.ca