My debut short story collection, Herniated Roots (Snubnose Press) is now OUT.

OUT NOW.

Table of Contents
Unzipped
Your Enemies Will Devour You
A Bird in the Hand
Released
Herniated Roots
Seeing Red
Gateway
Say Yes to Pleasure
Terrapin Station
Daybreak
Three Mistakes
Descent
The Jenny Store
Tinkering With the Moon
Kiss Off
Dyer

PRAISE:

“Richard Thomas’s stories are filled with a kind of dark magic shot through with danger. These are beautiful roses loaded with thorns. Take hold of them at your own risk and reward—be prepared for the most exquisite, ecstatic kind of pain.”
—Amber Sparks, MAY WE SHED THESE HUMAN BODIES

“Richard Thomas writes from the inglorious depths of human experience. Each sentence, blooming like a bruise, articulates the unspeakable truth of our own disappointment. In Herniated Roots, an aggressive collection of modern fables and cautionary tales, Thomas delivers the kind of prose that leaves you bloody on the inside. This is the kind of book that demands a second reading long before your ribs begin to heal.”
—Daniel Casebeer, PEAR NOIR

“Richard Thomas writes seductively mordant prose. His powerful short stories are noir fables for the twenty-first century—gracefully controlled yet executed with a lethal precision. Precious few writers can provide a vital anatomy of the inner self. Thomas does so masterfully, presenting the darkest slices of the human soul.”
—Darren Richard Carlaw, STEPAWAY MAGAZINE

“Richard Thomas can make his readers feel what he wants them to feel. He distills life into the moments that charge us, and he works them into honest and gripping prose, with visuals that invariably leave a mark.”
—Pela Via, WARMED AND BOUND

“An outstanding short story writer who consistently nails the bull’s-eye.”
—David Cranmer, BEAT TO A PULP

“Herniated Roots by Richard Thomas demonstrates a masterly use of tension. Real page-turning fiction that never resorts to cliché or stereotype.”
—Doug Johnstone, HIT AND RUN

Complete List of Online Stories

This is a Table of Contents for all of my current, LIVE fiction that is available online for FREE. Below are each of the stories, a brief synopsis, and a link to the site that hosts them. They are in reverse chronological order.

What do all of these stories have in common? I tend to write about the darker aspects of life, and am fascinated by what happens when things fall apart, how we handle life when it throws us a curve ball, the dysfunction in everyday life, how we rebel against the rules of society, and what goes on in the middle of the night.

Last Updated: May 9, 2014

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

“Sugar and Spice”
WEEKENDER
SYNOPSIS: A father comes to terms with the fact that his innocent daughter is growing up, and isn’t quite so innocent any more.
SUGAR AND SPICE

“Tinkering With the Moon”
GOREYESQUE
SYNOPSIS: When a little boy misses his father, he’d do anything to reunite with him.
TINKERING WITH THE MOON

“Bury Me Deep”
THE BIG ADIOS
SYNOPSIS: Out in the wild west, there lurk shadows and dark deeds, all done under the blazing sun for God and all to witness.
BURY ME DEEP

“Love Letters”
CEASE, COWS
SYNOPSIS: The things we do for love are often very destructive.
LOVE LETTERS

“Wicker Park Pause
REVOLT DAILY
SYNOPSIS: What exactly is her mother doing at night, the scratch marks at the back door provide a clue.
WICKER PARK PAUSE

“Flowers for Jessica”
MAYDAY MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: How far would you go to bring your loved one back from the dead?
FLOWERS FOR JESSICA

“Vision Quest”
PARABLE PRESS
SYNOPSIS: When a violent car accident takes his family, one man starts having visions.
VISION QUEST

“Divining”
REVOLT DAILY
SYNOPSIS: Sometimes, no matter how much our alarm bells go off, we still pursue somebody that we know is bad for us.
DIVINING

“Fix-It Man”
BLACK HEART MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: When a man falls apart, disconnects from his wife and son, what gesture can he make as he disintegrates?
FIX-IT MAN

“Kiss Off”
PARABLE PRESS
SYNOPSIS: Based on a Violent Femmes song of the same name, a man falls apart in ten fractured moments.
KISS OFF

“Ten Steps”
THE DYING GOOSE
SYNOPSIS: How many steps does it take to turn an innocent soul into a serial killer? For some, it takes ten steps.
TEN STEPS

“Something’s Broken”
FLYWHEEL MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: You fix it if you can, whatever’s broken. Because once somebody else picks the pieces up, once somebody else fixes it—it’s no longer yours.
SOMETHING’S BROKEN

“On a Bent Nail Head”
NOVA PARADE (anthology from Solarcide)
SYNOPSIS: A husband and wife trying to have a baby make a deal—no matter what happens when they die, they will stay together.
ON A BENT NAIL HEAD

“Bringing In the Sheaves”
BEAT THE DUST
SYNOPSIS: Are we born flawed, sinners in our hearts, or does the world just beat us into submission?
BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES 

“Vision Quest”
SURREAL GROTESQUE
SYNOPSIS: When a violent car accident takes his family, one man starts having visions.
VISION QUEST (ISSUU direct)

“Charlotte Sometimes”
ZOUCH
SYNOPSIS: Charlotte needs to escape sometimes.
CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES
[Sixth place winner of the Zouch Lit Bits Fiction contest]

“Dyer”
BEAT TO A PULP
SYNOPSIS: Four perspectives on the same evening, truth and lies mingling in the shadows.
DYER

“Jimmy Five Ways”
PUNCHNEL’S
SYNOPSIS: A wife, a son, a mistress, a partner and a man named Jimmy—five ways.
JIMMY FIVE WAYS
[One of the five winners of the Punchnel's Hard-Boiled Down Noir Fiction contest]

“The Handyman”
CONJECTURAL FIGMENTS
SYNOPSIS: What makes us human and what makes us inhuman?
THE HANDYMAN

“Misty”
MANARCHY
SYNOPSIS: The woman that shows up at my apartment door is not everything that she seems. She is less, and more.
MISTY

“Death Knell”
THUNDERDOME
SYNOPSIS: A companion piece to “Say Yes to Pleasure” which was in the Warmed and Bound anthology, this story shows the opposite side of the coin, the POV of the victim, and how she dealt with the tragedy that descended upon her.
DEATH KNELL

“Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave”
METAZEN
SYNOPSIS: When something tragic happens, do you stay or do you leave? Sometimes you stay for a long time, only to realize that leaving would be less cruel.
TWENTY REASONS TO LEAVE AND ONE TO STAY
[Nominated for a Pushcart Prize.]

“Love Letters”
CANNOLI PIE
EXCERPT: “It started with the paper, tearing it apart into little pieces, pressing it into tiny balls and popping the crumpled words into her mouth.”
LOVE LETTERS

“Seeing Red”
CRIME FACTORY
SYNOPSIS: When you drive around town like the world owes you, sometimes that payment comes home to rest. When you see red, that’s blood my friend.
SEEING RED

“Daybreak”
STEPAWAY MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: Sometimes you walk away from it all. Or maybe you’re walking towards something. Either way, be complete in your transformation.
DAYBREAK

“After She Has Gone”
SHOTGUN HONEY
SYNOPSIS: When she takes it all, and you’re left with nothing but despair, what do you do? Suicide is an option—and as you wander the woods in search of a tomb, the darkness speaks to you the truth.
AFTER SHE HAS GONE

“Ten Steps”
CHIZINE (THE CHIAROSCURO)
SYNOPSIS: How many steps does it take to turn an innocent soul into a serial killer? For some, it takes ten steps.
[TEMPORARY/GONE]

“Victimized”
Amazon and Smashwords (.99 cents)
SYNOPSIS: IIn the near future, Annabelle lives a fractured life, haunted by the shadows of her past, dark moments of abuse and freedom at the hands of her own kin. She has the opportunity to get into a boxing ring and fight her oppressor, to face the man that altered her, to beat him down with all of her rage. This is the way things are now, society given the chance to take on the murderers, the rapists, those that have tainted their lives, hurt their family, destroyed what was innocent and pure. Preparing to go to battle, Belle taps into her true identity, and changes, a warrior entering battle, unwilling to hesitate, ready to kill.
To buy at the Amazon Kindle Store, click here.
To buy at Smashwords, click here (Nook and all other formats).

“Splintered”
PANK
SYNOPSIS: In real life, there are paths to take, sometimes you have a choice, some times you do not. In this adult “choose-your-own” ending adventure it’s up to you whether or not to be parnoid or to trust, to be innocent, or just a fool.
SPLINTERED

“Released”
OUTSIDER WRITERS COLLECTIVE
SYNOPSIS: We often question who we are, and in our minds, we are many people. We are fathers, sons, and brothers, we are friends, lovers and enemies, we are farmers, pastors, and teachers. Sometimes it gets a bit crowded in there.
RELEASED

“Stephen King Ate My Brain”
NEFARIOUS MUSE
SYNOPSIS: I was out east in Bangor, Maine when I ran into the King. No, not Elvis, Stephen King. He offered me a deal, a once in a lifetime deal. So I took it.
STEPHEN KING ATE MY BRAIN

“Everything is Beautiful” – Part Two
TROUBADOUR 21
SYNOPSIS: We continue, stepping off the bus at a small house. Everything is beautiful, normal, except for the dome. People are beaming across the universe, and they don’t always get there.
EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL – Part Two

“Condemned”
CHERRY BLEEDS – JAN/FEB 2010
SYNOPSIS: Two souls continue to seek each other out over time regardless of the tragic outcome of each encounter.
CONDEMNED

“Honor”
COLORED CHALK #10 – Ten Commandments
SYNOPSIS: When you think of honoring thy mother and father I’m sure this isn’t what comes to mind.
HONOR

“Everything is Beautiful” – Part One
TROUBADOUR 21
SYNOPSIS: Revenge is a dish best served cold. At the end of the universe some strange things are happening. In the shadow of a mysterious tower John Harrison tries to figure out a riddle, but he has help.
EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL – Part One

“Interview”
TROUBADOUR 21
SYNOPSIS: Sometimes living in the suburbs you find yourself neglected, bored and in search of a new hobby. When one man discovers that his wife is no longer interested in him, he turns his eye towards the nearby high school. Is he just gardening or is something more sinister happening to the babysitters?
INTERVIEW

“Your Enemies Will Devour You”
THE ODDVILLE PRESS
SYNOPSIS: Based on the seven deadly sins, and more specifically the sins of the father, we see how one man deals with a variety of challenges.
YOUR ENEMIES WILL DEVOUR YOU

“Paying Up”
COLORED CHALK #8 – Broken Clocks
SYNOPSIS: Visiting a strip club a man has a hard time dealing with guilt and the moment. In the end, we see why.
PAYING UP

“A Bird in the Hand”
3:AM MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: You know the old saying – a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Well, that can mean a lot of things, and when his mistress comes knocking, ohw does one man deal with this intrusion?
A BIRD IN THE HAND

“Three Mistakes”
WORD RIOT
SYNOPSIS: Sometimes that’s all it takes, three mistakes to fall from grace, to lose it all, and maybe realize too late, that you had a pretty good life.
THREE MISTAKES

“Maker of Flight”
CHIZINE
WINNER of the 2009 “Enter the World of Filaria” contest
SYNOPSIS: In this contest, we were given the challenge of adding to the vivid and futuristic world that Brent Hayward created. In 1000 words, you were to find a way to insert a short piece of fiction that could stand alone, and also add to the world of Filaria. In Brent’s words:“That was a really nice piece you wrote, and in my head now it’s somehow forever tangled up in Filaria.”
MAKER OF FLIGHT

“Twenty Dollar Bill”
COLORED CHALK #7 – MacGuffins for Hire
SYNOPSIS: I’ve been fascinated by the idea of following something to see where it goes, how it effects those it comes in contact with, such as a kiss, money, a disease, an act of random kindness. A bit of an homage to the movie TWENTY BUCKS, we see where a twenty dollar bill goes when it changes hands.
TWENTY DOLLAR BILL

“Freedom”
NEFARIOUS MUSE
SYNOPSIS: This was a contest and I came in second place. Didn’t have enough resources I guess! :-) What is that line? “Freedom’s just another word for, nothing left to lose.” I think that was Janis wasn’t it?
FREEDOM

“Unzipped”
DOGMATIKA
SYNOPSIS: What happens when you find a girl that lives up to all of your sexual fantasies? Good times, right? Maybe for awhile. In the end, if that’s all there is, what was once a depraved heaven quickly descends into a tortuous hell.
UNZIPPED

“Amazement” -
COLORED CHALK #5 – Sins of the Father
SYNOPSIS: They are often visited on the son.
AMAZEMENT

“Fringe”
COLORED CHALK #4 – Big Brother in My Pocket
SYNOPSIS: It’s only paranoia if it isn’t true.
FRINGE

“Fallible” -
COLORED CHALK #3 – After the Fire
SYNOPSIS: Fire, in the right hands it can do wonders. But in the wrong hands, of an irresponsible and lazy man, sometimes the worst possible thing can happen.
FALLIBLE

“Committed”
COLORED CHALK #2 – Cockroaches Ate the Ending
SYNOPSIS: You don’t always have to wrap a story up in a bow and end it. Sometimes you can lead the audience right up to the edge and walk away. Committed can mean several things – it can mean you are focused on doing something, your chipc are all in, or it can also mean you have been put away due to mental illness. Why not both?
COMMITTED

“Steel-Toed Boots”
COLORED CHALK #1 – Two Guys Enter a Bar, One Leaves
SYNOPSIS: The theme of the debut issue of CC kind of says it all.
STEEL-TOED BOOTS

“Animal Magnetism”
OPIUM MAGAZINE
SYNOPSIS: My first published short story. I don’t often try my hand at bizarro, but this was a fun story to write. So, you have a small penis and want something bigger and better to satisfy your girlfriend with. An elephant dick sounds like the solution? But why stop there?
ANIMAL MAGNETISM