Mother wears her sorrow like a wet fur coat. As the days pass, every step she takes weighs her down. Each rancid choice she makes pushes us further apart.
She asks why I stay away from her.
I worry she’ll bequeath the coat to me and I’ll repeat the cycle.
Yong Takahashi won the Chattahoochee Valley Writers National Short Story Contest and the Writer’s Digest’s Write It Your Way Contest. She also was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, and runner up in the Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest and Georgia Writers Association Flash Fiction Contest. Some of her works appear in Cactus Heart, Crab Fat Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Flash Fiction Magazine, Gemini Magazine, Hamilton Stone Review, Meat For Tea, River & South Review, Rusty Nail Magazine, Spilt Infinitive, and Twisted Vines.
A myriad of dots fill the screen. He clicks on one to expand it, then scrolls through as many as he can. In each image he sees only himself. He is the same but subtly different, as each universe is unique.
Somewhere, in at least one, he must be happy.
Tracy Fells lives in West Sussex, England. She has won awards for both fiction and drama. Her short fiction has been widely published in magazines, online, and in anthologies. She is the 2017 Regional Winner (Canada and Europe) for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and has been shortlisted for the Fish, Brighton, and Willesden Herald Prizes. She tweets as @theliterarypig.
An inch worm
rides on the ear
of a calico cat.
on the roof next door.
A can for Ore-ida potato chips
worn as a helmet on a child’s head
passes by on the sidewalk.
An old Retriever
asking permission to be young again.
Marjorie lives in Maine.
First thing out was my suit. Next went my helmet, violently followed by my books.
She’d always had a good arm and a bad temper.
Obviously I’m next, which would be bearable if we were on Earth rather than a spaceship.
Well, at least I won’t hear her screaming anymo—
Joey doesn’t mind travelling through space even if there is a risk that she’ll blow him out of the airlock. You can visit him at joeytoey.com.
The tragic play unfolded in reverse. From the kitchen window mother saw the ragged hole in the ice on the frozen pond. Footprints in the snow backtracked to the door. The little red boots were gone, and toys lay abandoned on the floor. The television droned on, speaking to emptiness.
B.C. Nance is a native of Nashville, Tennessee where he works as a historical archaeologist. In his spare time he writes fiction and poetry and has published several of his short stories.
When the radiation cleared, they were ready.
When they ventured, blinking, out onto the surface, they were overwhelmed, but they were ready.
When they followed the maps, found the seed vault intact, they were ready.
When a fat mouse ran across the littered cement floor – no one was ready.
Sarah Krenicki likes writing short fiction about large things.
“Hey! Stick your head out, Yank. Need some target practice.”
“How ’bout this, Reb?”
“Dang! You got ham?”
“Reckon. Whatchew got?”
“Meetcha middle the creek.”
“Hold your fire! Ham for tobacco!”
“‘Preciate it, Reb. Been dyin’ for a smoke.”
“Yup. How’s Mama?”
“Sends you her love.”
Henry F. Tonn is a semi-retired psychologist who has written a sterling novel entitled “Ascent to Madness, Zelda Fitzgerald’s Gilded Cage” which is is having a great deal of difficulty finding a home in the publishing world.
A good Buddhist
He attends every meditation retreat
Sitting all day with others
But he gets distracted
It’s her exposed knee
Reflecting a glint of sunlight
Off the polished floor
Where shadows creep
Entering just now
A narrow gap
Between two wide floorboards
Matthew lives in Maine.
My name is Ten. I have killed ten people. My lover, my lover’s lover, their child. The Avalon brothers, boom boom boom. Four. Five. Six. Seven almost killed me, but Seven Eight Nine, all in a row. Ten? Just a job. This? Another job.
My name is Eleven.
L.S. Engler writes from outside of Chicago, though she grew up chasing dragons in the woods of Michigan. She is the editor of the World Unknown Review and author of the Slayer Saga, a trilogy about zombies. Her work has appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including the Saturday Evening Post, Phantaxis Magazine, and Pulp Modern.
Mind your Ps and Qs at meals. Say grace, toast the cook, push potatoes and peas onto a fork. Never let your elbows feel the linen cloth. Smile. When Father’s hand brushes Aunt Kitty’s, lingering a moment too long, look at Mother and say, “Pass the butter, please.” Be polite.
Christina Dalcher wrote this story.