I bought my ticket, prepared to travel
To fair Verona, for one night only
My guide met me, in doublet and tights
And together we followed the cobbled road
That led to a window, with balcony high
Where a maiden sighed and wondered why
Her lover had brought a rival
Joan Skura writes from Toronto, Canada, where she lives with her husband, Ron, and their finicky feline, Lola.
“Would you like another?” she asked, her devilish eyes sparkling mischievously. A sickening smile was plastered on her face. A couple of broken hearts dripped in the palm of her hand.
She watched him slowly sip away his last heart beat, slowly tapping her blood red nails against her glass.
Allesha E. wrote this story.
Recalling the smiles of my youth
I see the greenery, opulence, white pillars, and cars
As fires, fragileness, and feigned freedom
Mistaken for a world of bliss
Now I flip through fertile flames
Molded tablecloths, fancy watches, and fired clay;
The only keepsakes
That outlasted God’s dark test of time
Annie Lyall Slaughter wrote this story.
An afternoon ritual: park bench, birdseed.
Wistful glances at spirited youngsters and peacock-proud parents swapping milestone stories, recipes, gossip.
She used to bring her kids here to zipline, chase ducks, and pick pungent, sticky-stemmed dandelion posies.
Her life carried in her satchel, she disappears into twilight to join other Invisibles.
Melanie Cranenburgh wrote this story.
To see the silence across a clouded sky and suddenly a crack, thunder like a whip.
Then a drenching rain. The heavens are lit – bright flashes like fire. The silence
back again. Weight upon my shoulders dropped fast – the gift of forgiveness.
Silence cracks my memory – fear like a whip.
Michael Mogel wrote this story.
That summer the churches stopped selling religion.
You had to know a guy who knew a guy.
I was living by the ocean with a sea captain’s daughter.
He brought home boxes of the stuff.
We shared holy communion. We wept through miracles.
Her and me. Us and the sea.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
Squatting, thighs slightly burning, perched on your toes, hands in front of your shoulders, you place your head on the ground. Knees digging into your triceps, you tentatively lift one foot, then the other. Your left knee slips, so you try again, then again, until, one year later, you arrive.
Jess is a former scientist who maintains computational model code for current scientists. She occasionally gets the urge to write something other than lines of Python or Fortran.
Tongue-tied, trusting, and alone. The word she could change was alone.
Four tours in Iraq. Desert sand drove his thirst for wet kisses and the Texas two-step.
He took her hand. The music began. She believed in love at first sight.
Just like the other women who quenched his thirst.
Kavanaugh’s poetry, prose, and photographs have appeared in Wising Up Press, The Lindenwood Review, The Persimmon Tree, When Women Waken, Light-Journal, and others. Kavanaugh enjoys driving the scenic route between St. Pete, Florida, and the Off Campus Writers Workshop (OCWW) in Winnetka, Illinois, not far from home. When not writing, Kavanaugh fills the time by pondering slices of life or the surf on a beach. See more at kavanaughwrites.com or twitter.com/off_themap.
Every week it was a new cause. Something to fight for, believe in. Karen was always looking for a shiny new bandwagon to hop aboard.
She was at a rally when her husband packed up and headed out for greener pastures.
Turns out he needed something to believe in, too.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana. She spends her days crafting short stories, epigrams, poetry, and the occasional song.
An ancient sepia-tone photograph:
She stood motionless on the jetty, her back to the camera, staring at Liberty’s statue and a hazy Manhattan skyline. Middle-aged, in bundled clothing, her right palm to her face, in awe and bewilderment of all she beheld.
Exhausted, alone, and hopeful in a new world.
Michael Borne is a professional architect and an amateur watercolor artist.