As the clock struck midnight, ushering in my fiftieth birthday, the friends I’d been playing D&D with since middle school learned I was no longer the same person.
To be fair, one of them wasn’t surprised. I absorbed him first, while the others thought we were still playing a game.
“Slide inside the crocodile carcasses,” the elders said. Bellies in mud, we slid through the werewolf fields; we moved inches as they sniffed, let us be. The wolves were entranced.
We stole their young; took them home to our pots. We ate. We danced.
Someday mankind will rule this world.
Steve Sibra grew up on a farm in eastern Montana. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals over the years including Matador Review, Shattered Wig, Jellyfish Review, and Gravel. He features frequently in the Seattle area and has read at Capitol Hill Art Walk, Lit Crawl and It’s About Time reading series. He is a participant in May 2019 at Poetry Brunch in downtown Seattle.
You cut your heart into the shape of a rose and fill your chest with acorns. We eat the rose with some chianti on your birthday.
Afterward, you say this is the best birthday you’ve ever had and stuff your mouth with cake as squirrels braid your hair for winter.
Erik Fuhrer is the author of Not Human Enough for the Census, forthcoming from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. His work has been published in Cleaver, BlazeVox, Softblow, and various other venues. See more at erik-fuhrer.com.
Nothing would stop the Spartan Soldier from delivering the message.
Parched, hungry, weak after days of trudging through the vastness of the desert, he reached the prison.
Moans. The shackled, defeated, would not look up as he freely needled through.
He froze. He saw himself,
chained to a wheel.
Olympia is a wannabe pet owner and a student studying directing and producing TV. See more at olympia-christofinis.com.
“Where were you on the evening in question?”
Robert stared at the officer. He’d been in his car, waiting and dreaming. He’d been a musician giving a concert in Naples, a mechanic fixing engines in the Sahara, and Superman taking a short trip to Mars.
“I was everywhere,” he replied.
Patrick Mc Loughlin is an English Language Teacher in Ireland who dabbles in writing. He also dabbles in painting and music and someday hopes to do more than dabble. He lives in the west of Ireland, where it’s hard to concentrate.
Father flattens old photos, my boyhood hair white as snow.
He looks at my dark head, asks again if I color it. All my friends have been gray for years.
I consider the truth: I’m expelling inner darkness that beckons demons. It exits through my hair.
“No, Dad. It’s natural.”
Jeff Stone has published several short stories and many poems. He has three novels in various stages of completion and loves learning too much for his own good. Albert Camus said fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth. Dark Hair is a short piece of fiction that resides somewhere in between.
Two unexpected things happened after Timmy killed the monster under his bed: (1) he ate it (and rather enjoyed it), and (2) he took to hunting the monsters under the beds of other neighborhood kids. After all, someone had to do it—and he’d already developed a rather insatiable appetite.
Ran Walker is the author of sixteen books. He serves on the creative writing faculty of Hampton University in Virginia.
“You mustn’t play in the fields between worlds,” she warned. “One false step, and whoosh! The muddy abyss’ll swallow you up.”
The children are gone, now. All that remains are the scars in the soil where they fell: a dark, infinite wasteland of holes.
Down here, we call them stars.
David-Christopher Harris published the YA fantasy short story, “Falselight”, available at dcharriswriting.com. He enjoys cranberry juice.
Navin brought the dragon to his lips and kissed her tiny nose. “It’s time,” he said.
The dragon nodded, unfolded her shimmering wings and launched. In ever widening circles, she exhaled over the frigid land.
Navin smiled as banks of white capitulated to a triumph of green and riotous color.
Mary Haynes splits her time between sailing in Florida and dirt-dwelling in Burlington, ON. She is currently writing short stories and plays.
Snaking roots snare your ankles pulling you under the mud. You grab hold of an overhanging branch and scream. More roots wrap over you and drag you deeper, down towards the underworld. You look to me, begging for help.
My hands fumble as I notch an arrow to my bow.
David Rae wrote this story. See more at davidrae-stories.com.