Main Story: “The One That Got Away” by Mark Teppo
A haven for raconteurs and fabulists, the Alibi Room was a velvet-lined sanctuary where suggestion and persuasion were the watchwords and truth was such a devalued coin that it couldn’t purchase a condom from the dispenser in the men’s room. Once through the unassuming door and the voluminous coat check where racks of costumes, disguise and false uniforms waited, the patrons redrafted their pasts and invented possible futures. The promise of narrow stools at the mahogany bar, the graceful and discrete staff, the liars grouped around lacquered tables or sprawled on plush brick and the old growth timber was the fantasy. The only reality that mattered was the invented one wrapped in velvet drapery and limned with orange light.
Mark Teppo is the publisher of Resurrection House, an independent genre publishing house. When he’s not making books, he’s writing them. He’s written nearly a dozen novels, ranging across a number of genres, and his latest effort is the non-fiction guide, Jumpstart Your Novel. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with many books and one cat.
Learn more about him at markteppo.com.
Flash Fiction: “The Sorcerer’s Unattainable Garden” by A. Merc Rustad
Wrought iron fences loop around the gardens: six deep, the outer three progressively higher, more elaborate, and with more spikes atop, while the inner three create a mirror effect. Say you make it over all six fences without impaling yourself or falling or getting trapped between iron bars that suddenly constrict or twist or move. Say you avoid the fourth fence, the electric one, or the second one with the poisoned varnish, or the sixth one with a taste for blood.
A. Merc Rustad is a robot in disguise who lives in the Midwest United States. Between college, filmmaking, and playing video games, Merc writes stuff. Their fiction has appeared before in Daily Science Fiction, as well as Flash Fiction Online, Scigentasy, and Ideomancer. You can visit Merc at their website (amercrustad.com) or on Twitter as @Merc_Rustad.
About the Narrators:
Matthew Frederickson is in his mid-30s, living in Memphis, Tennessee, with a rockstar plastic surgeon wife. He reads and writes and runs in his spare time. He loves to brew beer, and he’d love to make that his career. He will soon start the second season of his podcast, Freddy’s Fan Fiction. You can find him on Twitter as @swami.
Cynthia P. Colby is a Canadian voice artist whose career began by winning an international public speaking contest while she was still in high school. She then spent 15 years as a radio news announcer, reaching a national venue. Her voice was so flexible that she began doing commercials at the radio stations and her ability for doing character voices was recognized. Now as a freelance voice artist and script writer, she lends her voice to numerous short stories, books, game characters, training programs, videos, commercials, phone answering services and accessible websites. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.