A stagnant line, clinking milk bottles and morning gossip murmur. The delivery truck arrives late.
“The price has gone up!”
The murmur rises; no complaint, only frustration. With the decade-long war, people are used to this.
The old man puts down his empty bottle and walks away, never to return.
Mehdi spent many long hours of his childhood standing in queues for groceries and other necessary items during the Iran-Iraq war.
The flat green line. The monitor said… dead.
Years after her heart stopped, mine remains shattered but “healthy.”
I’ve tried to reassemble. I think good thoughts, fond memories. Piece by piece its coming back together. My shattered heart. I thought I felt it today. Alas… it is made of stone.
Lou Romero wanders around the New Mexico desert in his old truck, looking for signs. The signs usually tell him, “Why not stop here and eat a burrito?”
Stephen Felix meets his Savior, her with long black tresses and long black dresses, and she deceives as Saviors often do, yet Stephen Felix fawns and trots and gloats at her side. This behavior is common among those in Stephen Felix’s unfortunate home, where they all die, eventually, even Saviors.
Atwater is a Minnesota/Manhattan abstract painter and literary fiction writer with stories forthcoming in Jellyfish Review, Heavy Feather Review and published in PANK, Vestal Review and others. See more at ajatwater.com
I told him I had a dream.
“Dreams are for starry-eyed saps.”
So I told him I had a goal.
“Goals are for bankers and life-coaches.”
So I told him I had a thing
and he said,
“What the heck do you mean by a ‘thing’?”
Shauna Robertson hails from the north-east of England and currently lives, writes, and draws in the south-west. Her poems are widely published in journals and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic and have won, or been shortlisted for, a number of awards, including a nomination for the Forward Prize in the category Best Single Poem. A chapbook of poems, Blueprints for a Minefield
, was published by Fair Acre Press in 2016, while artwork and poem-pictures have been exhibited in a number of galleries. Shauna has performed her work at festivals, book launches and spoken word nights. Read some poems at shaunarobertson.wordpress.com
Maxwell gazed at the deactivated robots that clogged the avenue leading to the Capitol. Strewn across the asphalt, their placards proclaimed the slogan they’d chanted until the army’s EMP generator terminated the march:
SLAVERY ISN’T WORKING!
It was Maxwell’s job to salvage the robots. Instead, she picked up a placard.
Formerly an astronomer and more recently a research project manager in an aerospace company, Vaughan Stanger now writes SF and fantasy fiction for a living. Follow his writing adventures at vaughanstanger.com
Alana was great with numbers. They called her “hypotenuse” behind her back. She was across everything in the office and her colleagues hated her for it.
She wondered how long it would take them to realise she was taking the company’s money. Alana knew she’d disappear before they ever knew.
Mark Konik is from Newcastle, Australia. He writes short stories and plays.
to close the distance
and reach out
and accepting you,
just as you are.
I hold on
and tell you
to leave without me,
Munira Sayyid recently realized her passion for writing. She urges you to try as well.
“That’s only if you take ‘dimwitted incompetent moron’ to have negative connotations,” he said, sliding his hand along her shoulder in a motion that could have been reassuring, patronising, controlling, threatening, loving or just brushing away lint. “No judgment implied.”
Later she hit him with a hammer. Non-judgmentally, but hard.
Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. He’s been published, long-listed, short-listed and placed in numerous competitions and publications around the web. He has a short story appearing in a forthcoming print anthology published by Blood & Bourbon. He’s on twitter @tomwrote
and his website is tomobrien.co.uk
Friends and family gathered around me on that cold rainy February night, waiting for the news.
“No brain activity,” the doctor said.
Walking in the house at midnight, I called out your name, by habit.
In the dark silence, your last words echoed through my mind: “I can hear you.”
Susan is a Curriculum Developer at a mortgage company. She is widowed with two grown daughters and two stepsons, and four awesome grandchildren, two boys and two girls.
Tiny settled slowly, until the wind encouraged her. She spiraled skyward, somersaulting, diving, playing hopscotch with the cedars, hovering while drinking in the view.
She finally joined millions of tiny friends, covering the meadow in a shimmering lake of white. Watching the tree, waiting in anticipation for the old lady.
Paul Hock is an author from Fergus, Ontario, Canada. See more at paulhock.com