It protects me while I sleep.
From the eight-legged reptile under my bed.
From the violent poltergeist in my kitchen.
From the woman in white with midnight hair down to her feet, who waits among the banana trees in my garden.
It protects me, the strange being in my wardrobe.
AJ Joseph occasionally writes at Words from Sonobe.
I wake up to greet my old friend, Anxiety.
How will I battle his belittlement and negativity today?
“Distressing but not dangerous,” I tell myself, “strive to be average.
Do the things you fear to do and wear the mask of security.
Endorse for every effort, then keep moving forward.”
Margie Nairn wrote this story based on the tools taught by Recovery International.
“I’ve eaten your plums,” he sneered.
A fruit fight ensued. Mangoes, a hail of cherries, a ballistic Crenshaw melon.
After, we lay prone, exhausted and covered in juice, near the icebox.
A non-participant plucked the last plum off the kitchen counter.
It was delicious and sweet and cold, he reported.
Erin Gilmore is an artist and editor living in Los Angeles.
Editor: The title refers to this classic poem.
The story of the week for July 8 to 12 is…
After the Water by Evan McMurry
Sugar is the enemy. Fat is poison. Mantras like these run on a loop inside my foggy mind.
Staring down the overflowing plate, my heart thunders against my ribcage at the thought of eating blacklisted snacks.
Grimacing, I take a bite of the Hershey bar. Recovery is a slow process.
Lauren is an undergraduate student studying Creative Writing at Emerson College.
He had experienced moments of pure joy mixed with frustration, and he’d sung all the songs of satisfaction. He had discovered that discipline was love in its purest form. He had witnessed breathtaking sunsets and star-filled heavens on a clear night. But he would never learn to whistle a Symphony.
Jim Freeze is seventy-three years old, retired, and widowed. He was happily married for fifty-four years and has two grown sons. He began writing in early 2012 to have something to do. His short stories have been featured in many publications including Brilliant Flash Fiction, Calliope Magazine, The Original Writer, and Literally Stories.
Those who could run, ran.
Those who could hide, hid.
The rest of us hunkered down to fight, fists squeezing chair legs, staplers, keyboards, wastebaskets, anything we could find.
As the loud popping sound drew closer, we exhaled slowly and did our best to prepare for what was to come.
Ran Walker is the award-winning author of seventeen books. He teaches creative writing in Virginia.
The man used to chastise the dog for drinking from scummy puddles beside the road.
That extra-hard leash-yank was what returned to him after the water was gone, when he and the dog both lapped at rare graces of liquid, the man’s knees muddied.
Eventually, the dog had to go.
Evan McMurry’s fiction has been published in more than one dozen journals, including Post Road, Euphony, Arcturus, Oddville Press, Lotus-Eater Magazine, Palaver, Mulberry Fork Review, and more. His story “Nothing Kinky” won the New Millennium Fiction Prize, and his story “Nixon in Heaven” won Exposition Review’s Flash Fiction contest. “The Fall of Rabbi Gold” was selected as a finalist for the Al-Simāk Award for Fiction from the Chicago Review of Books.
Minuscule irritants in nasal passage of the cosmos, we insist on festering and aggravating, even destroying the dust particle on which we blew in.
While some continue solipsistic hedonism, others try to repair the sins done by action and prayer.
Watery-eyed, The Maker sneezes.
“Gesundheit!” an archangel declares.
Irish writer Perry McDaid lives in Derry under the brooding brows of Donegal hills which he occasionally hikes in search of druidic inspiration. He even finds it on occasion.
The gorgeous brunette needed a room. I was looking for something more. She wasn’t. A shame, that.
The window sign is coming down again. My new flatmate is a dazzling redhead.
Here’s hoping we both have better luck this time and she need never know what I am capable of.
Christine Nedahl is a retired teacher from the Rhondda Valley, South Wales, now living with her husband in Arboleas in the Almanzora Valley, Spain. She enjoys writing about anything and everything, but flash fiction and poetry are currently favourites. She has been published in a number of anthologies and is a member of Writers Abroad.