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.
She is a dancer, twisting her lithe grey body through the air as rivulets of water streak along her slender flanks.
At the peak of her flying pirouette, she can just make out the other dolphins playing in the distance.
Then her vision falls behind the stalls.
The audience applauds.
Jordan is a twenty-something writer and MA student from Telford. He has lots of aspirations, half hobbies, and musical instruments, but not enough time. If you like this, why not check out his blog
Her breath comes in gasps, followed by the irregular cadence of her exhalations. I hold her close, sensing the sharpness of her bones beneath her fur.
As I switch off the lamp, she nestles into the crook of my arm. I bring the covers over us both and whisper, “Goodnight.”
Kalyanii is a counselor and meditation instructor who enjoys wiling away her freetime manifesting her culinary inspirations and reveling amid the magnificence of nature.
The aroma of chicken soup teases my nostrils, now red and swollen.
I squinch my eyes from sinus pain. Temples throb. Joints ache.
My pity party halts as I reflect on the chicken’s last day. What it ate. How it died.
Maybe I’ll eat scrambled eggs and buttered toast instead.
Jeff Switt likes to write.
“Once AGAIN, I remind you that NO ANIMALS are allowed in the classroom during an examination.”
Jeremy patted the enormous grizzly bear’s head. “Why not?”
“He might, er, help you cheat.”
“Barry would NEVER do that,” said Jeremy, surreptitiously hiding his exam paper, on which he’d written “Grrr, grroowl, roooaarr.”
This story was based on the prompt “once again” at TypeTrigger.
I stepped on a spider. I felt bad, thinking I had killed him for sure, but by some luck or spider fu he found a crevice in the sole of my boot, and when I lifted my foot his legs uncurled and he scrambled off, both of us supremely happy.
Peter Schireson is a Zen Buddhist priest and writer living in the Sierra Foothills of California. His poems and prose have been published in a number of journals, both in print and online.
Jennifer awoke in the lion enclosure, drowsy and confused.
She’d just rested her eyes for a few seconds in the library, awash in a sea of dull economics textbooks. How and why was she here?
She shrugged her new shoulders, flicked her tail, and padded softly out into the sunlight.
Jeremy is a shambling mess of unkempt hair and caffeine-induced twitches, currently based in Southampton in the UK. He doesn’t have a website of his own, but would like to direct people towards the band he’s involved with at http://www.thebluescreenofdeath.co.uk/ and their music video he starred in.
Ronette hated bears.
One sat on her convertible.
The bear rustled the bag of chips on its snout.
She threw some chips into the back yard. The bear went after them.
Ronette started the convertible and sped away, but stopped as the bear cub wasn’t in a child safety seat.
Greg X. Graves likes monsters, ghost monsters, alien monsters, beast monsters, and monster monsters. Read more about them on his site, www.gregxgraves.com.
Bryson was just a dumb baboon. He knew nothing about radioactivity or mutations: all he knew was that the glowing green thing he’d eaten had tasted funny.
He hadn’t yet noticed the line of pebbles he was inadvertently levitating with his new telekinetic powers. He was just a dumb baboon.
This story is based on a title suggested by Kathleen DeVere of LoadingReadyRun.