Short Stories

Martisha Montemayor

The Bystander Effect

The bystander effect refers to the phenomenon in which the greater the number of people present; the less likely people are to help a person in distress. When an emergency occurs, observers are more likely to act if there are few or no other witnesses. Being part of a large crowd makes it, so no single

person must take responsibility for an action or inaction. (Understanding the bystander effect,

My grandma, Guadalupe Canales, was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, my father was away in prison her keeper. I didn’t know she was sick. I never asked if she needed anything, I figured she had all her kids you know. I am a victim of the bystander effect...

Emilie Bilman

The Gun

Trigger-blind, the loner targeted

his peers, and kept on shooting


by impulse, those he disowned,

children of a primal original


imprinted sin. Their spilled blood

expiated his pent-up old guilt


until, he, emaciated and blood-eyed,

shot himself with his guilt-eating gun.


“The Gun” was published in “The Linnet’s Wings,

The Peer Gynt issue” in May 2016.

Enoch had planned everything. He had even warned them when they interviewed him after his graduation from college. He told them how Enos, his chimp, would have gone trigger-happy if he were bullied as he had been in secondary school.


Enos, his chimp, had been confined to a pressurized room where his temperature and heartbeat were controlled. He was conditioned to survive extreme conditions.

Sheree la Puma

Blighted Son

March 6, 1995 - A Beautiful Life

Last week I was a rock at the bottom of my swimming pool, challenging/taunting life to step on me. The blue, chemical laden, water sloshed and swirled, encircling my body. Katie and Quinn giggled at the surface, splashing each other with renewed exuberance. I watched their

little toes wiggle. Max, our yellow lab, howled from the deck. He was deathly afraid of water, some aberration in the breed, poor thing. He had two different colored eyes, gray and green and a big black tongue that drifted in/out of his mouth like a sail devoid of wind. A honeybee danced, buzzed near his head and he’d occasionally snap at it.


Six different varieties of roses carpeted the hill: Belle Rouge, Old Fashioned, Grandiflora, Hybrid Tea, Miniature, and Standard. I’d planted them a year ago, and they were now in full bloom, sweet, fragrant, lush. It was spring in L.A. The air was warm but not uncomfortable.


Everything seemed healthy.

Ronald Walker

When I Was Very Young

Ya know- when I was a very young man, curiosity was my name- I wanted to know what made things work the way they did, and in my mind, the only way to find out was put my hands on it. And take it apart ...makes sense, right?

Dad had this story of a fire truck- the old metal two seat job with pedals for two...

He had spent the better part of 3 hours putting it together --assembly was required-- and he used various tools to put the many parts in their place...

Now I remember little of this- but apparently I was handy with a screwdriver at a very young age- for that’s all I needed to bring this beautiful piece of American engineering back to its original dis-assembled state.

Of course, Dad seemed furious with me, and never did let me live it down- but he would smile when he told the story.

Demon Air

there is no need to run away , you've tried this once before-the demons fighting over souls that hide behind the door-a twisted mind is all that i have with me anymore, and as your soul is blackening-grind memories in the floor...your eyes are cold and black again- but i won't let you see


the dragonfly has bled the last of sunlight from the day- into the shadowed wilderness where fairies like to play...elves on stools and flies on bars disturb the rest away- nobody but the roses bleeding- nothing more to say...going faster in the darkness gears begin to grind

Part 1

Years ago (many) I done a lot of hitch hiking, and still occasionally get the itchy feet- as my sisters called it-- I say this, sane people will do the craziest things, crazy people will make the smartest decisions, smart people will have the least common sense, Christian people will try to bully you, regurgitating verse until you really want to give them a glimpse of the devil in you, nicest people say the meanest things- mean people, well, we are mean. 

I have had my thumb stuck out for days, nobody picks me up, but at night the serious traveler will give you a ride so they have someone to keep them awake. 

Anna Taborska

Little Pig

Adam waited nervously in the International Arrivals hall of Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 1. Born and bred in London, Adam had never thought of himself as the type of guy who would import a wife from Poland. His parents had made sure that he’d learnt Polish from an early age; while his English friends had played football or watched Swap Shop on Saturday mornings,

Adam had been dragged kicking and screaming to Polish classes in Ealing. But it had all paid off in the end when he went to Poland one summer and met Krystyna. Since that time, the smart, pretty brunette had relocated to London and moved in with Adam. They were engaged to be married, and it seemed to Adam that all the members of his fiancé’s family had already visited London and stayed with them – all, that is, except Krystyna’s grandmother, and that was who Adam was now waiting for. Krystyna had not been able to get the day off work, and Adam was now anxiously eyeing every elderly woman who came through the arrival gate, in the hope that one of them would match the tattered photograph that Krystyna had given him.


Eventually a little old lady came out alone.

© 2019 Tapestry, Annual TAMUK Women & Gender Studies Journal

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