Third-Way Fiction

Connor Philips gives us a story about chess and female psychology today, NPL readers. You can learn a lot if you’re Studious.


He moves his king pawn one place ahead, I move my king pawn two. His queen diagonal to the edge, I use what foresight he taught me, I don’t want to stack my pawns so I push my rook pawn to face his queen. He can take it if he wants to relinquish his queen and I can free my pawn. His King bishop out four places– he didn’t fall for the trap. I want his queen! King knight forward two left one, “Your queen’s under attack,” I say smugly, either he will back off or lose his queen.


The Chess Game (1555) by Sofonisba Anguissola.

Excerpt from Stanley L.

Third-Way Fiction

Good morning, readers! Today we feature an excerpt from Stanley L. by Australian author Dominic Ward– this beautiful gangster story has one of the best laid hooks that we’ve seen at NPL. Enjoy!


Stanley rolled over at the interruption of the call. He’d spent some time on the shop floor deciding on this bed and he was very comfortable. But the phone persisted. A few further moments later he acceded that it just wasn’t going to quit. It just seemed, right then and there, that it was going to be one of those days. The sun was in the bedroom now anyway. He sighed, an admission that he was now entirely awake and that sleep had fled, at least until the world went dark again. He reached over his side of the bed and took up the handset from where it sat on the floor.

– Stanley, we need to chat.

That voice – Willy’s; a younger man and technically his subordinate.

A Lack of Leisure

Third-Way Fiction

NPL readers, we have a really devious, darkly funny one for your today. J.E.G. of Britain’s Hand Job Zine gives us Lack of Leisure, a short with a perfectly executed twist!



The balcony corridor ran above the mass of smooth wooden floor that made up the sports hall. I strolled slowly across the balcony as the sports hall lit up by my side, one by one as I passed underneath, each light being triggered by my presence. This was probably the highlight of the work day and the most exciting thing that happened. The run down old leisure centre was now hardly used, the new one down the street with is crystal swimming pool and talking gym had machines that shouted at you to work harder. It was always going to make this one incomparable. Who’d want to go to a school that doubled up as a leisure centre at night, when even the school was a shithole, filled with the children that they didn’t want their own to meet? The lights were the only new feature for around 25 years. They still had to close if there was a heavy downpour; the school had promised to fix the roof but never got around to it or never had the money… one of the two. They never told me too much.

The Roomba Variants

Third-Way Fiction

Howdy, NPL’ers! Wacky robot fiction from Dave Petraglia! Loading… The Roomba Variants.


Goomba travels the dance floors of Italian weddings, accepting gift checks through a slot on top. Notes the guest’s name and the number of zeroes in the amount. Then, somebody could either have a good time or get their ankle broke. It could happen. I’m just sayin’.

Assumeba keeps people from jumping to conclusions. Deployed in courthouses, it blocks the exits of jury boxes if the sworn have reached verdicts prematurely. Has special rubber wheels to help grip the slippery slope of illogical reasoning. Ejects copies of the judge’s revised instructions to the jury, when needed, from a slot on top.

Starstruck On Tuesday

Third-Way Fiction

Today’s the day readers: Super Bowl Sunday. We’re reaching out to everyone whose team didn’t make it this year with a story that will take you inside the head of a would-be Hollywood heartthrob. Is our protagonist mad, or has he adapted to the madness around him? Treat yourself with a light visit to Crazytown through this story by author Lloyd Poast! Starstruck On Tuesday.


Remember the name Brandon Quinn. You’ll be seeing it very soon at a theatre near you. And no, I’m not psychic. I’m an actor, or should I say a major star on the horizon. I’m that rare combination of talent plus charisma that equals superstardom.

I’ve heard some describe me as brash, or dare I say cocky, but even I can hardly believe the whirlwind that has been the last few months. Leaving my small hometown for the media staccato of New York has allowed me to showcase my considerable talent in important, albeit small, roles on both Broadway and television. Film is the next logical step and my ultimate destiny.


Thank you CDennis Stock/ Magnum Image.


Third-Way Fiction

A ghost story today, readers. Not a scary ghost story, but a story of reflection and resolution by author Edward Ahern— enjoy Aftertaste!


It began with the toilet seat. It was down. Roger never left the toilet seat down– it had been one of the sore points with Joyce before she divorced him. He squinted early morning eyes and propped the seat back up.

His cell phone beeped as he slid a razor down his cheeks. Roger glanced at the heading –a message from Joyce’s sister. He finished shaving, wiped his face, and looked at the text, a broadcast to about twenty people. Joyce was dead. He called the sister without putting the phone back down.

Yellow Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair, In The Morning

Third-Way Fiction

Good Morning!

Today we’re going to shake y’all out of your post-turkey stupor with a story by author and filmmaker Pablo D’Stair!

yellow is the color of my true love’s hair, in the morning is the slightly creepy tale of a guy who likes laundry…

I’d often thought about it, but it wasn’t until one day that I did it—Callie, a woman in the apartment building, I’d always time it to do the laundry the same time as her, had noticed she was pretty much on a schedule about things like that and taking out the trash and things, and so I’d think about it and one day she had her first load going and had just left the basket of the second load, went out into the parking lot, into her car to get something so I poked around, took a pair of the panties, a pair that didn’t seem well worn but not so specific or new looking she’d definitely notice it missing.

Howard’s Story

Third-Way Fiction

Howdy, New Pop Lit readers!

Today’s story is one of extra-terrestrial craziness and teenage love, brought to you by Southern storyteller and Memphian Laura Haddock.

Howard Slappy decided to write his story before the world ended. There was an asteroid hurtling toward Earth, after all.

“I am Howard Slappy.”

Good start.

Image-thank-you to and Soko.

Anywhere But Here

Third-Way Fiction

Today: A story that you can get your chattering teeth into, NPL’ers. Rey Harris brings you an eerie tale of an Eden which isn’t– check out Anywhere But Here!

Snow – always falling upon this wasteland of things that once were, but would never be again. The sky stays a consistent gray throughout the day until the pitch black nightfall swallows it whole. Sometimes one can spot the sky in a swirl of hues – red and orange mixed with the gray, or silver and white mixed with the black, giving hope that somewhere out there a sun and a moon still exist. In reality, these colors just blend together to make the color of hopelessness and the presence of this nuclear winter never fails to disappoint.

The city of New Haven now lies in ruins…

Horror House

Third-Way Fiction

BOO! It’s time for Halloween Fun at NPL!

Today we’ve channeled a spirit from the realms beyond… Ghost Writer! Catch his wacky tale of horror in our Featured Stories section: Horror House.

“You want us to set up a haunted house?” Simon asked his live-in girlfriend, Darla.

“Sure. Why not?” she asked.

Darla affected a late-model goth look. Dyed-black hair. Black t-shirt with cut-off sleeves showing her voluminous tattoos. Black jeans and boots.

The tattoos were of striking colors. Purple and red.