With a swipe of my hand, the pentagram completes. Cold air ignites into neon light. I wave, pushing the star away—curtailing physics, defying rationality. Choking on my tears, my naivety of a moment ago astounds me.
As the glow fades, I close the ancient tome. Magic becomes fantasy again.
When not indulging himself by reading or writing poetry and prose, B.S. Roberts makes a living as a museum curator and an administrative assistant at the University of Maine at Augusta. He lives in Maine with his fiancée, daughter, silver pheasants, turtle, and four cats. See more at bsroberts.com.
“Tranquil here, isn’t it?” said the voice. She’d met him after her divorce. Such a good listener! She felt a rivulet of sweat trickle down her back beneath her blouse. But the tree was wide, and his touch cool as he coiled himself around her and whispered in her ear.
Robert Markovich spent a lifetime in what is charitably referred to as service journalism, writing and editing stories about everything from cars to toilets, most recently at Consumer Reports. He is happily and gratefully retired.
It is always evening in my room. One wall has a painting, the winter cove, water now grey blue, cliffs dominant. Black ideograms; strong cursive brush strokes; the characters telling a story I don’t need to understand.
I go there as they lock down my radiotherapy mask again.
Helen is an experimental Artist and Writer based in South Wales, U.K.
The wheel is spinning.
I am gambling on red.
If this pays off I will be very rich.
It will be the perfect casino heist.
the traffic light is green. A truck hits me side on.
The wheel is spinning. I can’t control…
This getaway is strictly
Brian Maycock lives in Glasgow, Scotland. His short stories have appeared in magazines including Dreamcatcher and The Weekly News.
Lots of soap. Scrub. Sing a happy song for twenty seconds. Rinse. The officials say if I wash my hands real good, I’ll help stop the virus’ spread.
But I don’t know any happy songs, and washing my hands may get rid of germs but it won’t cleanse my sins.
Marc Littman’s short stories have been published in magazines ranging from Fictive Dream and Cafe Lit to The Saturday Evening Post. He also writes novels and plays. He lives in Los Angeles.
I escaped his slithering hands and bolted into the night. Johnny’s malty breath followed me before giving up with a cuss; he was always skittish about the marshes.
Crouching among the reeds, a frog startled me. I clasped him in my fingers, took a breath, and kissed him.
Nicholas Katsanis lives in Chicago and writes magical realism and absurdist fiction. He is currently editing his debut novel. Follow him on Twitter at @NicholasKatsan1.
You liked that shelf too. The one at the back by the window that looked onto Olan Mills, Family Photographer. Graphic Fiction. The place where our ten-year-old selves swapped plastic-sheathed tales of Gaul and boy detectives between each other. If only we’d met. Maybe we’d have realised we weren’t alone.
Amanda Quinn lives in the northeast of England where she works as a freelance writer and tutor. Her writing has been published by Shooter Literary Magazine, Open Pen, Ellipsis Zine, Butcher’s Dog, and Spelk Fiction among others. She can be found online at amandaquinn.co.uk and on Twitter at @amandaqwriter.
I dig up
In a cave
All I need
Is a lump of coal
A bed roll and a match
A strawberry patch
A cool breeze
Under a tree
A book in hand
I cast the spell
And flash back
We all, at one point, need a second chance.
I arrive at school hot, sweaty. I want to run like Usain Bolt. He runs as fast as a car. My teacher says it’s not possible to keep up that speed for long, but she’s wrong. She has to be.
When I can, I’ll be gone. From he-who-hits and she-who-ignores.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her fiction has appeared online, in print and in various anthologies. She tweets at @laurabesley.
“See who’s at the door, Emily.”
I notice his muddied broken boots. Then his face all lined. His widow’s peak, sharp like mine. The smile, curling like newsprint thrown in the fire.
He says, “Found you.”
A chrysanthemum blossoms on his chest. I take the gun from mom’s shaking hand.
James Geneser is a writer and an artist who doesn’t really know what he’s doing, but knows he loves telling stories.