Forty dollars. That’s it. All day walkin’ hot alleys. Ain’t nobody want the last corn and watermelon I got here. My feet are burning, my hands are sore from leading this pony.
Now, pony, just one more alley. I’m gonna find you some water.
Watermelon, watermelon, red to the rind.
Ann Bracken has authored two poetry collections, No Barking in the Hallways: Poems from the Classroom and The Altar of Innocence, serves as a contributing editor for Little Patuxent Review, and co-facilitates Wilde Readings Poetry Series in Columbia, MD. Her poetry, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals. Ann’s advocacy work centers around arts-based interventions for mental health and prison reform. See more at annbrackenauthor.com.
Had the cat been mine I would have signalled its swift demise, thinking, what sort of life can a cat have with three legs? But there it was, keenly curious, joyfully hobbling around my garden, nearly catching two feuding wood pigeons, doing cat things. Well, for one short summer anyway.
John Young is an old chap grappling with themes of limits, longings, and finitude. He lives in locked-down St Andrews, Scotland, an ancient town with an ancient university, home of golf, home also – allegedly – of many ghosts (though he has not met any yet).
“How’d you find your runaway goat?”
“We simply followed his spoor.”
“How’d you know it was his?”
“Before he left, Billy ate a magazine with one of your stories in it.”
“How’d that help?”
“Billy found some of your prose was indigestible. You could say he left a toilet-paper trail.”
John H. Dromey has some hundred-word stories (four new, one reprint) in WORLDS: A Science Fiction Microfiction Anthology (Dark Drabbles Book 1) (Black Hare Press, 2019).
I was six when I saw a leopard for the first time at the local zoo. Its presence had an enigmatic effect on me; inspiring.
I turned, posing for a photo, upright and brave, armed with a newfound sense of courage. The leopard stood confidently behind: shoulders propped, eagerly anticipating.
Jonah Ardiel lives and writes short fiction in Calgary, AB, Canada. To read some of his work, visit jonahardiel.neocities.org.
Knotty-pine rails and shorn winter grass,
pastures wandering aimlessly,
subdued air chewed to the quick.
Puddles notch the ground
(rough-hewn mirrors of regret)
at the hushed gate where he waited.
The morning of the horse’s passing,
a rickety world presents itself,
clouds cobbled together
in a pale and unfinished sky.
C.G. Thompson was once owned by a tall pony who was kind enough to listen to her talk about poetry. Sadly, he passed away before any of her poems about him were published. She had hoped to read them to him. He continues to be an inspiration.
Our eyes met through the glass, a chance that may never come again.
For one short moment we connected. Then just as quickly, she was gone—a graceful, young fawn.
I look for her on clear nights and wonder if she looks for me while eating apples under my tree.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
I didn’t know what it was at first, wings folded, very still. A bat expert told me I couldn’t get rid of it. “It’s a protected species.”
Veronica left after a week. She wasn’t prepared to share a house with a creature like that.
It’s just me and Boris now.
David Mark Williams lives in Scotland and writes poetry and short fiction. He has completed two poetry collections to date: The Odd Sock Exchange and Papaya Fantasia. See more at davidmarkwilliams.co.uk.
They used to fish together every day in the cove.
He lost his lifetime partner but still showed up in the cove. Fishing. Same time every day. Alone.
He would move away when anyone approached.
People knew this would happen when a female loon washed up dead on the shore.
NT Franklin writes after his real job hoping one day to have it be his real job. He writes cozy mystery short stories, nostalgia short stories, and Flash Fiction. When not reading or writing short stories, you might find him fishing or solving crossword puzzles.
Cupped in your hand
the choice is clear,
like glass marked
by a sparrow’s impact.
The heart thrums,
wild and free,
through your fingers.
You gently stroke
its neck unbroken,
and then release:
a body rises
through the sky
like dawn unfolding
No birds were harmed during the writing of this poem.
He wondered, first, why it hadn’t died.
Grey fur, scarce, in patches. Full of fleas, and two tender red eyes. Worms. Some bones broken, limbs bent.
Loaded the gun. Shot it. “Rest, now.”
But when it raised its head again, he realized:
Perhaps it was never alive to begin with.
Uzair Shahed Islam is an economics and mathematics student at the Lahore University of Management Sciences who writes fiction and non-fiction in his spare time.