Roland Allnach

multi-award winning author of the strange and surreal


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 Read the Stories

  Well, the one of the ideas of this site is to present my stories, so here they are.  Sit back, maybe with a spot of tea, read on, and enjoy.

  To all the editors who have allowed me to appear in their publications, I thank you.



Remember, these stories and much more can be enjoyed in my short fiction volume, Prism.



  My current published short stories:

  Below you'll find teasers and links to read the stories. All stories are available for reading in full, and all but two will allow you to stay on this site.

  And, don't forget, if these stories tickle your curiosity, please do drop by the 'Behind the Stories' page to read more about how I crafted a particular piece.


  "After the Empire"
     The soldier, he sits on the rough, dry turf of a hill overlooking a city.  It is not any city, it is the city of his youth, the city whose sky he opened his eyes to with his first breath.  But that was some years ago, when the city, like his newborn days, bustled with vibrant life.  Now, thought, it had...changed, yes, changed was the word he settled on as he stared at the now ghostly ruins beneath the settling light of a gray, chilly day...

  "After the Empire" appeared in the Summer 2008 issue of The Armchair Aesthete.  The Armchair Aesthete has, as of December 2010, closed publication.  You can read "After the Empire" here (part of this site)...



      Behold my life: it is not the white walls that imprison me.
       He who writes this, he lives in fear.  He can feel it when he breathes, he can feel it when he eats, he can even feel it when he occasionally sleeps, although the fear hinders any full respite of consciousness.  The fear, it crawls over his skin, presses into his pores; sometimes he thinks it is tingling in his ears, like some little unseen insects crawling inside his head to drive him insane.  But for all its illusions and delusions, there is one thing that has always remained, and that is the fear...

  "11" appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of Allegory, where it is kept in PDF archive.  Check out Allegory here.  Or, you can read "11" here (part of this site)...




       The critic, he hovered through the sprawling neon night like a dragonfly over a moonlit pond, unseen except for the shimmers he obscured with his outline.   It was his way, to move in such a fashion, to be in the midst of the desperate and disparate energy of that place and yet remain untouched by it, the insulation of his apathy the most treasured and most despised aspect of his personality.  Yet the critic was well respected...

  "Icon" appeared in the Winter 2009 issue of Midnight Times.  Unfortunately, Midnight Times has since ceased operation. As a result, I have added "Icon" to this site: read "Icon" here.




        The bedroom is dark; still in the quiet recesses of night.  Shadows blend into mutual expanses of impenetrable black depths- except by the bed, where there is the soft, faint light of a clock.  The numbers glow on the bed's disheveled landscape, muted red figures staggering across crumpled white sheets.  But they are not so randomly crumpled, for there is the shape of a small body huddled beneath, completely covered.  There is one opening, like a tunnel into a cave, which leads under the sheets and where the red glow illuminates the single wide, staring eye of a boy...

  The editorial staff at The Storyteller was kind enough to nominate "Creep" for the Pushcart Anthology, but alas, "Creep" didn't make final selection for the anthology.  The story appeared in The Storyteller in the Spring 2009 issue.  I now have the full story as part of this site.  You can read "Creep" here (you will stay on this site).




       "Dreaming again?"
       His eyes slid open to the ceiling over his head.  It was white; for some reason he remembered having recently painted it, but it seemed a dull gray now.  The sound of rain came to his ears.  In the trace of its patter he realized his lips were moving, that his voice was mumbling an incoherent train of thoughts.  The moment he became aware of his mumbling, however, it stopped.
       His head rolled on the pillow to look to his side.
       A woman sat in the big, dark leather chair by his window, her face pale in the rainy morning.  "Dreaming
  again?" she repeated...

  "Return" appeared in Lullwater Review, in the Fall 2009 issue.  Lullwater Review has a website; you can find it here

  To read "Return", click here (you will stay on this site).



  "Flowers for Colleen"

       It was the first Saturday morning of the month, and Darryl went to get flowers for Colleen, as was his routine.  He stood in the florist shop, waiting behind a rather impatient man, while the young woman behind the counter prepared the man's bouquet.  The customer stood there, his impatience evident in the nervous tap of his foot and his repeated sighs of frustration, as the woman held her smile and tried to calm him with harmless small talk.  She was a perky little creature, adorable with the little sprigs of baby's breath tucked in the loose bun of her brown hair.  Her large eyes held a welcome innocence for the world's intentions...

  "Flowers for Colleen" appeared in the April 2010 issue of Absent Willow Review.  I'm sad to say that Absent Willow Review closed its doors in September 2011.  They've published many great stories, which are still  archived on their site along with my story.  In the meantime, though, I have the story here on this site.

   Read "Flowers for Colleen" here.




       Dawn came with the cold stark light of winter, a low slice of weak yellow color under the heavy gray sky.  The countryside beneath was shrouded in the muted brown of its hibernation, secluded from the fantasy of spring and its long awaited thaw, but it held the rumor of its potential, of sweet fragrant flowers, of tall sturdy trees with shady canopies for refuge from a hot sun, of rolling green fields and a soft warm breeze.  But that was all far off, and perhaps would never be again, and those good memories lost in time...

  "Memento" is part of the 2010 issue of Reed Magazine.  The Reed Magazine website has since been revamped, and "Memento" still has a home there, but I now have it here as well.

  Read "Memento" here (you will stay on this site).
  If you want to check out the existing archives of Reed Magazine, their website is here (this will forward you to the home page of Reed Magazine).




     "You know, I did this, back in the army," Eldin said with a chuckle as he rested against the side of the elevator.  "Uncle Sam said that where my abilities was best utilized.  Now who he to judge me?  I guess seein' where they put me, they was sayin' I got no abilities."  He shook his head.  "So what about you?  Why you wheelin' stiffies in the deep dark night?"
The man standing across from Eldin shrugged.  "I don't know," he said quietly, a confused look passing over him, "but I'm here now..."

  "Shift/Change" is part of the July/August 2010 issue of Aphelion.  Read "Shift/Change" (this will forward you to the site of Aphelion).  I also included "Shift/Change" in my second book, Oddities & Entitites.



  "The Great Hunter"

     A soft rain fell from a featureless gray sky.  It was one of those days, aimless and shapeless, that washed away any interest in the world beyond one's eyes.
      Maybe it was a bit of a grandiose thought, a pompous thought, but it rang true in the mind of the boy that toyed with the thought...

  "The Great Hunter" is part of the September 2010 issue of Foliate Oak Literary Journal. 
Read "The Great Hunter" here (you will stay on this site).




     It was late, and freezing rain fell through the darkness, glistening before a pair of headlights. The world seemed like a crystalline dream, an ice coated fantasy that rolled past William's car.  He drove up a narrow mountain road, hands clenched on the steering wheel as he prayed his balding tires would hold traction.  The sky was an impenetrable black, so deceiving for the veil of clouds that hid so much above.  He began to tremble, his eyes darting to the folder on the seat next to him.  Despite his better judgment, he pushed a little harder on the gas pedal, the anxiety to reach his destination overwhelming him...

  Read "Apogee" here (you will stay on this site).
  "Apogee" was part of the Fall 2010 issue of Rose & Thorn Journal, which you can check out right here (this will forward you to the Facebook page for Rose & Thorn Journal).



  "The City of Never"

     THE CITY, by nature, is an amalgam of the natural and the man-made.  Such a statement, obvious as it is, is not to be dismissed as pedestrian in nature, as it holds the pretense of so-called 'urban' design, that is, the creation of a human dwelling among that which is already created, Nature.  One is not to preclude the other, for each is created in its own wisdom, and must find peace together in the tired eternity of shifting balances so casually referred to as yin and yang.  For it must be remembered, remembered at all times and at all costs during development, that nothing can or does exist in a vacuum; all things exist with at least a taste of their complimentary opposite.

  "The City of Never" is part of the October 2011 issue of Aphelion webzine, and reappeared in February 2012 as one of Aphelion's 'Best of 2011'.  Read "The City of Never" here (this will forward you to the site of Aphelion).  OR, you can read it right here on this site.



  "Conquest's End"

    Where to begin, now that the end of ends has come, that the march of ten years, ten years of blood fury and cold metal and razing fire, has come to the doorstep of that very place that has been sworn by wrathful parties not to be won or lost without sorrowful penalty, penalty to pale even all that has already passed with so much grief and lament?


  "Conquest's End" has been serialized in Bewildering Stories, starting with their issue #477 in May 2012.  It was also selected by the editorial staff of Bewildering Stories as an Editor's Choice for the Spring Quarter, and then was further graced with a 'Mariner Award' Best of 2012, also from Bewildering Stories.
  Read "Conquest's End" here (this will forward you to the site of Bewildering Stories).
  OR, you can read it right here on this site.



  "Turn the Wheel"

  "Is this thing recordin'?  I've been savin' up to tell this for a long while, so now that i got myself up to it, I only want to take one round at it.  Anyway, here it is.
  "It was a day that started like any other, back then.  It was Summer time up in the hills where we lived, and I'd spend my time ridin' my dirt bike in the woods.  I miss those times, ridin' alone with the wind on my arms, some mud on my goggles, my ears ringin' with the popcorn-whine of the bike's two-cycle engine.  Usually those times was good times, bein' out on my own with nobody yellin' at me, but the particular day of this tellin' it wasn't so good. . ."

  "Turn the Wheel" is part of the 'Garden Nettles' 2012 issue of Midwest Literary Magazine. Midwest will be offering a print copy of the issue as well, for us old-fashioned people who like to hold print in our hands.
  OR, you can read it right here on this site.




  In the beginning, the Deity pondered.

  It was not like the random thought of a man, but in some ways it was indeed like that of a man, in such a way that a man could understand the Deity.  For It was the Deity, and It was boundless, and in the beginning, It was a curious thing, for It knew not of Itself.  It was more like a man who first falls asleep and begins to dream, for though he dreams and the dream exists within itself, it is nevertheless master of the vessel in which it unknowingly resides - and yet it knows not how that vessel functions, and what laws it must obey.  So it was with the Deity. . .

  "Beheld" is one of the August fiction posts published at Raphael's Village, an interesting forum for a wide variety of fiction and poetry.  There's also an opportunity for readers to post comments about individual pieces, which is a nice feature.
  You can read "Beheld" right here on this site.





  Carly leaned on his desk, pinching the bridge of his nose as he squeezed his eyes shut. He hated this, the squirming, the hot flush in his chest and cheeks, the flutter in his stomach; he was a horrible liar. He knew it, and he could feel that ironic truth whenever the lies, big or small, pressed out between his lips. The phone, fortunately, made it a little easier.

  "Carl? Are you still there?"

  He forced himself to swallow. "Yes, yes, I'm still here. Distracted, that's all." 

  "Wayward" found its way to the online journal /ONE/, an interesting journal that features within each issue a single piece of fiction, a single piece of poetry, and a single piece of non-fiction.  That's a competitive space selection, so I was very happy to find a place with their editors.
  To read "Wayward", click here to read it at /ONE/ (this will take you to /ONE/'s website).




  It was a week after Martha walked out that Gary realized he wasn’t going to see her again.  He had mixed feelings about the way things turned out, but he knew it was for the better.  He lived a cramped life, and there was little space to accommodate anything new into his reality.  It was a tenuous thread of reason, but it was the only thing he possessed to remind him he was in fact alive and not just a dream within himself.

  "Soulmates" is the tale of a shut-in who learns that feeding his inner self is more involved, and far more revealing, than he could possibly imagine.  This little trip into the surreal came about as publication call from my book publisher, All Things That Matter Press, for Kindle shorts suitable for the Halloween season.  I'm happy to say this strange story met the call, and I have to say it's one of my bizarre tales.  Be prepared...
  To read "Soulmates", visit the Amazon Kindle short page for this story (this will take you to Amazon).



All original content copyright by Roland Allnach.  Content may be linked and/or quoted, but not reproduced without permission.