“He’s such a beautiful boy,” they all say.
“How could two people who look like you have such a good-looking kid,” they joke.
“He’s going to break a few girls’ hearts,” they suggest.
“You are so lucky,” they add.
Yes we are. Autistic. He’s going to teach us a lot.
Richard Baigent always wanted to be a freelance writer, but isn’t yet.
The worst kind of haunting is when the ghost isn’t dead.
Last I heard, you were halfway across the world and still breathing. But I still feel you here. Sometimes I can hear you rattling chains. I think I see you floating through my walls. And everything’s out of place.
Erin Appenzeller is by day an English major and by night also an English major. She has never lived in a house without a few ghosts and is full of both bees and stories.
Puddles and poo everywhere.
Mom had no business getting a puppy. Now she’s gone, and the vet says her tiny guardian’s kidneys are packing up.
Princess is only three years old. Did she have some heavenly contract to fulfill? Is she released from responsibility, to fade back into the ether?
Kimberly Parish Davis directs Madville Publishing, and across genres. Her work can be found in various literary journals, both online and off, including The Helix, Flare: The Flagler Review, époque press, Jerry Jazz Musician, and Flar. See more at kpdavis.com.
______to see whether the cancer
has also leapt to his brain,
my husband drives wintery roads,
bringing one of our daughters
to a birthday party. The dog
wags at the door, eager
for his walk, and the plow
leaves another ridge of icy snow
at the end of our driveway.
Jennifer L Freed mostly writes poems, which have appeared in various journals and anthologies. See more at her website, jfreed.weebly.com.
In the years after Luke left, Daisy’s recollections of their relationship fragmented. Like dandelion seeds caught in the breeze, superfluous memories were whisked away, leaving her just a lone stem to examine. His essence. Had he been the person she thought she knew?
She wondered how she’d been so blind.
David Lowis is a fledgling writer from Surrey, England.
Her first tattoos were memorials. Then an image, then a symbol of sobriety. Each enriches her story. She embellishes her canvas with great care; her children are amused but shrug.
She is making a burning bowl of her skin.
One day everything she is will rise into the morning sky.
Melody Leming-Wilson teaches poetry in Portland, Oregon. She is about ready for a new tattoo.
She’s painting white against white. It’s an octopus—I know from illuminated glances, stolen when the desk lamp lights each colorless ridge and layer—but to the passing eye, it’s just an empty frame on the textured wall. She shuts the door against me to add another layer of madness.
Gretchen has an octopus painting on her wall, but she supposes you do, too.
Mrs Kaminski hugs the purple, sequinned cushion she’s just had to buy back from the charity shop. Her interfering bus driver daughter had donated it.
She spots the 52 on its way down North Road.
In the middle of the zebra crossing she lies down, cushion positioned under her head.
Tricia is a high priestess of micro-fiction.
In a hole in the ground,
there lives a child.
immune to the cold.
When spring rains down,
instead of drowning,
of her outgrown coat,
fingers up and up,
toes down, down–
and raises her green head
to smile at the sun.
Casey Laine comes from a long line of talkative women. She works as Fantasy Editor at Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, and publishes an annual anthology of fiction and poetry for her writing group, Writers Assembled. In her spare time, she chases butterflies with her camera. Find her on Facebook, Amazon, and Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores.
The airlock doors clicked.
She squeezed her elbows into her side. With each mile she climbed into the sky, her heart lightened. Her breath slowed, no longer raggedly keeping up with her heartbeat.
Earphones in. No internet, no phone, no screen. She breathed deeply. The only place she found solace.
Melissa Benn is an aspiring kind human who likes to write on planes.