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Tasie E. George is a twenty-year old, as-of-yet unpublished writer, born, raised, and residing in Nigeria.
The floor glistened with its fresh coat of lemon-scented mop water.
He entered by the kitchen, stumbling through the sliding glass door. Covered in mud and with grubby hands wrapped tightly around three grass stalks, he beamed.
And then her heart melted when he said, “Mommy, I picked you flowers!”
Jess works in fiscal, studies biology and English, and vanquishes Laundry Monsters on the weekends.
It rained the day I was born. Momma says the angels were crying because I left them.
Daddy laughs and says I poked a hole in the clouds on my way down.
Momma and I just smile. She winks at me and tucks a stray feather back under my sweater.
Candace Kubinec wrote this story.
Finally, after four long years, I’m free!
I can use the bathroom and take a shower without a tiny partner. I can finish a cup of coffee while it’s still hot.
Oh, the possibilities! I could even read quietly or even watch a non-animated television show.
I miss her already.
Marcus Benjamin Ray Bradley grew up in Perryville and now lives in Versailles, KY, with his wife and daughters. He wonders if his wife will feel this way in three years.
I watched him grow.
A fern leaf opening.
A curious child.
His face searching for… reflecting the sun.
“What’s in the schoolbag!” I gasped at its weight.
“Rocks,” he said.
I thought his wit a bit dry for six.
Only… it was rocks!
“I’m collecting them.”
Mary Sheehan wrote this story.
Ogg smart. Ogg made dead wood make warmth. Red tongues keep cold and wolves away. Ogg’s soul warm too when can’t see black empty in sky. This hard to articulate. Hot bright light enlighten dark cave of no purpose inside Ogg. Ogg the Clever. Ogg try to get closer. Ouch!
Jamie is a PhD student in Scotland.
“That’s the girl I’m going to marry,” he said, pointing down the hall. His friends dared him to approach, ask her simply for a date.
“You’re cute, but I already have a dog,” said she, in reply to his awkward entreaty.
Right he was. The two were married forty-seven years.
Anita Reynolds is a writer and artist, wife and mom in the rural reaches of Tennessee. Her work is inspired by the strangeness of life, from the mundane to the magical.
Ummm, my favorite part of the day is when I colored on the table.
I touch things with my yucky hands.
I spill milk on my sister’s bed.
Listen to your Mom and Dad and listen to policemans or else they’re gonna put you in jail and don’t get cavities.
This story was written by three-year-old Chase Sciacchitano. He told his mother that he will win and she will not. (Mommy hasn’t submitted yet. She’s not sure she can compete!)
The kitten sinks its teeth into my leg for the millionth time.
It ignores me.
“I was gonna give you a cool name, but from now on you’ll be called Princess Fluffylumps the Third!”
The male kitten blinks.
“Don’t push me. Or the glittery pink collar is next.”
E.O. is making a first attempt at a humorous fiction novelette called Id/entity, which, if it doesn’t suck, might actually see the light someday on Amazon Kindle. If not, EO will probably make some nice origami, or a LOT of paper footballs.
I think about his freckles sometimes.
One under his eye, two on his cheek, and twenty-six on the bridge of his nose. I get hung up on the three on his lips. They were my freckles. I claimed them every day.
They’re still there. But they have a new owner.
Carly Huss lives with her boyfriend and dog in Lewisville, Texas.