A mosaic of tables
under tarped tents
littered with clothing.
Men bellow in Arabic
My Mexican origins
I know: hamsah five, talatah three.
I pick through Zara, H&M, and Bershka pleased
to be brown,
to stand elbow-to-elbow as a pseudo
Alyssa Minaker lives in North Africa with her affectionate husband and her even more affectionate Bichon Maltese, Zizi.
Her eyes scan the fruits and vegetables—oranges, apples, eggplants, peppers—neatly piled like cascading mountains. Nothing like the crowded, messy markets of home. No loud negotiations and catch-ups with familiar faces. Here, just screeches from carts.
Swallowing the lump in her throat, she takes some okra and moves on.
Mariya Khan is a fiction writer from Maryland and Editorial Assistant at National Geographic. When she’s not visiting museums or exploring D.C., you can find her cooking new recipes while binge-watching crime dramas.
We cheerleaders chanted to the helmeted heroes: “Kick ’em in the stomach, kick ’em in the head! We want blood, red, red, red!”
A year later my quarterback got shot through the helmet in Vietnam and I was chanting to LBJ, asking how many kids he had killed that day.
Tom Hazuka has published three novels and over sixty-five short stories in Chariton Review, Florida Review, Quarterly West, Puerto del Sol, etc. He has edited or co-edited seven anthologies, including Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Funny, and Flash Nonfiction Funny. Tom teaches literature and fiction writing at Central Connecticut State University. See more at tomhazuka.com.
Release the dictionary eaten whole, the bird swallowing a fish, in case it chokes you. Escape the mind fog. Unburden your broken back.
Let the old words butterfly your face, your hands, colour you gold, purple, red and blue.
Let them undo your reinvention: unearth the person you’ve always been.
Alison Woodhouse writes short and long fiction, has work forthcoming in Ellipsis 3 and Leicester Writes Anthology, has been short- and long-listed in various competitions, and has won Adhoc and matter magazine competitions.
We lock eyes at the supermarket exit: White kid; nineteen, maybe twenty; camo and boots in this heat.
I look for the AR-15 but all he carries is a box of Twinkies.
Someone yells, “Hey!” but the kid is fast, already on his moped. Gone, Twinkies crushed between his knees.
Susan Rukeyser loves America but has concerns. She wrote a novel, Not On Fire, Only Dying (Twisted Road Publications, 2015). Find more at her website, susanrukeyser.com.
Donna’s ninety-year-old mother spotted the Christmas tree in her daughter’s living room. It was hard to miss.
She frowned, warning, “This is how it starts.”
Last March Donna married an Italian, a Catholic to boot. Donna is Jewish but very quickly acquired a taste for cannoli and tiramisu.
Mother was right.
Recently retired, Marian Brooks has begun to write some short fiction. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband. Her work has appeared in Thick Jam, Curly Red Stories, Short Humour and others.
Editor’s note: This story came in prior to Christmas, and it was entirely my fault that it wasn’t posted closer to the holidays! I think it’s still worth reading though, don’t you? :)