Priestess in my untidy temple, I wait alone upon my adorable Oracle.
She bestows her gifts freely, but not easily. Her words, strewn casually, discarded carelessly, I gather and scrutinize, turning them over in my mind, looking for truths, profound and ineffable.
“Do you know what an elephant says?”
John D. Payne grew up in the American Midwest, watching the lightning flash outside his window and imagining himself as everything from a leaf in the wind to the god of thunder. Today, he lives with his wife and family in the shadow of the Organ Mountains in New Mexico, where he imagines that with enough concentration he might be able to rustle up a little cloud cover for some shade. For updates, new fiction, and exclusive content, visit patreon.com/johndpayne.
I saved my little sister’s life.
She had a bad case
of deadly Arphidarfilus.
She sought a second opinion.
Mom was busy in the kitchen.
Dad was, as always, on the road.
I prescribed gumdrops.
(Gumdrops is the only cure.)
Half a century later
she says I’m still her hero.
Ron. Lavalette has been widely published in both print and pixel forms. His first chapbook is now available from Finishing Line Press, and a reasonable sample of his work can be found at EGGS OVER TOKYO.
Grinning skeletal figures wearing multicolored clothing stand before a severely warped structure resembling a dilapidated house with crooked unproportioned windows. Unusually shaped flowers of an undeterminable species sprout wildly alongside treelike etchings. The artwork is inscribed with barely discernable letters, “To Momma, I love you.”
-Displayed at Galerie de Frigidaire.
Carrie Backer is the author of two children’s books: Wayne’s Trip to the Moon and Mr. Jacobs and the Serving Spoon. See more at backerbooks.com.
Johnny II finds his new home quite nice. Roomy, with a clear running tube. Good food and very clean.
Many visitors come at first, but then fewer.
His exercise wheel has developed a squeak—annoying, then soothing in time.
Memories of mother’s call as he rots in this lonely cage.
Iain L. Luen has a normal job, but hopes for rescue. He just wants to write and take pics. See more at deviantart.com/echoesofarchi.
“It’s been on my mind forever and if I don’t ask I’ll explode please don’t crush me though let me down gently and we’ll pretend it never happened here goes will you go on a date with me okay forget I spoke there’s no need to say n—”
Mark Farley was raised in Zimbabwe where he survived two dog maulings, a swarm of killer bees, and being run over by a horse. Find him on Twitter or his blog.
We clung to each other in the dryer. Spinning socks became whirling dervishes in a passionate dance.
Unceremoniously thrown onto the hard surface. I was the only one left. Widowed now, and no one else can be my mate.
I’ve resorted to cuddling up to a lint ball.
Making people laugh, especially while they’re swallowing big spoonfuls of soup, is one of Diane Malk’s goals. She is a writer from Colorado who shudders at the sight of snow every winter and is certain she lived in the tropics in a previous life. Diane has been published in Mad Swirl, Hackwriters, and Scarlet Leaf Review. She is working on her first book and always has a craft project in the works.
First-grade bedtime. Lights are out. A coat-draped chair turns into the mummy watching my bed. Malfunctioning WiFi turns the nanny cam’s playful green light into the red-eyed demon watching me, too.
The wee, perilous hours of the night require defensive weapons of choice: a blanket pulled overhead and Duracell flashlight.
Darnell Cureton is a middle-aged man at the crossroads of life, expressing his personality through technology and creative writing.
He couldn’t believe his luck when their math teacher assigned her a seat beside him.
Months into the semester, he still hasn’t braved one word.
One day, his phone dies. He taps her shoulder, gestures to use her phone as a calculator.
She misunderstands. She writes her number.
J.R. Night is a recent graduate from the University of Maryland. He likes to write, draw, and exercise, all of which leave him breathless and annoyed.
Despite what he’d been told, Billy Donaldson still believed. They just had to be wrong. Santa was real.
He fell to his bed, weeping into his pillow. Only the action figures on his shelf and his puppy heard the mournful cries.
But the rustling on the roof gave him pause.
David Galassie is a fruitcake enthusiast and a history buff. His blog, chronicling the history and foibles of his old hometown, is at menashabook.blogspot.com
Floorboards creak as the man steals towards the sleeping girl.
Standing over her peaceful form, heart pounding against his ribs, he leans and sticks his hand under her pillow to replace the hand-stitched bag containing her incisor with a dollar. She stirs but does not wake.
“Goodnight, pumpkin,” he whispers.
Tasie E. George is a twenty-year old, as-of-yet unpublished writer, born, raised, and residing in Nigeria.