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.
Like heron, like hare, his home is the edgelands.
He comes to forget things, while charting the flight
Of graceful birds across sunken skies.
Every variety of nothing sits here.
Freights rattle by, a marching band.
Scars ache with the malice of neglected lovers,
Who are seeking to be remembered.
Heather Barrett lives in the UK and has a passion for horror and life writing.
“Ten cents a dance,” I said. He held me close.
We curled around the room like automatons performing selected sequences of human movement to Glenn Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade,” oblivious to the sounds and smells of war. He, the prince. I, Cinderella in my glass slippers.
Stealing peace out of chaos.
We were pressed against the back wall behind a tangle of dresses and hangers, the Boone’s Farm in our stomachs rising against the reek of moth balls. Blue and red flashing lights stabbed under the bifold doors, licking my guilty socks.
She took my hand, and suddenly nothing else mattered.
Chip Houser’s short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, New Myths, Every Day Fiction, and elsewhere. He’s a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop, has an MFA in Creative Writing from UMSL, and thinks cedar is the better option for closets.
The silent man stepped into the train, dragging his heavy suitcase.
First station. A blurry graffiti on the ruined wall drew his attention: “One life and one love are enough.”
Everything passed so fast through the window.
Second station. “Excuse me, sir… How can I cross to the other side?”
José Jaime Pérez is a person who loves making up stories based on what he comes across ordinarily.
He found them everywhere. On concrete, after they’d tinked and whirled circuitously. Gleaming dully amidst weeds and moldering detritus. Plucked from jars and dishes, under and around the blinking fog lights of nametagged suspicion.
He took them to his hovel, until he’d saved enough to escape this godforsaken place forever.
Kim Hawkins is lucky to be a stay-at-home father. He loves literature, writing, playing guitar and singing, and collecting nutcrackers. Also hats. Go Cubs.
The yelling was the first strike.
The possessive control was the second.
Now the bruised eye and busted lip signaled clearly that it was time to get out before it was too late.
He snuck out while she was sleeping, knowing that no one would believe him if he told.
Isabella Pinto is a current undergrad student at The New School, where she continues to work on her first novel.