The bullet misses her face; it deflects off the bullhorn she holds to her lips. Despite the hole in her lungs, she continues to chant as many hands lift her up and over the crowd. Then she is free, released now, at last, to be the eye, not the storm.
Carolyn R. Russell is the author of “The Films of Joel and Ethan Coen,” published by McFarland & Company in 2001. Her humorous YA mystery, “Same As It Never Was,” was released in 2018 by Big Table. Carolyn’s new YA dystopian thriller, “In the Fullness of Time,” was published by Vine Leaves Press in March of 2020. Her essays and stories include pieces for The Boston Globe, Dime Show Review, Bridge Eight, Wanderlust Journal, and Flash Fiction Magazine. She holds an M.A. in Film Studies from Chapman University, and has taught on the college, high school, and middle school levels. Carolyn lives north of Boston with her husband and two children.
stands a man
clad in iron skin,
sheets of copper
draped over shoulders,
taint of green eyes
barren of thought
told to kneel
before the man
would have had me in shackles
and as empty in thought
as the monument
standing before me
Eric Persaud fights for public health.
After Rapunzel donated her braid to Locks of Love, her head felt too light, like it might float away.
They called her selfless, saintly. They praised her for her sacrifice.
She couldn’t tell anyone the real truth—that she needed to learn who she was, without her hair defining her.
C.M.F. Wright writes sentences that occasionally turn into stories. Her short stories have appeared in Syntax & Salt Magazine and in the VSS365 Anthology.
People had stopped coming to see Elsa. She couldn’t imagine why.
This new home had even less space and light than before.
Then the van stopped moving. Blue sky and the smell of savanna burst through the open door.
“Just hope you still remember how to hunt,” said her zookeeper.
Gaining a Masters degree from University of South Wales in Scriptwriting, storyteller Peter Gaskell’s screenplay ‘Pigs in Muck’ featured in the Lockdown Monologue Film Festival recently. His poems have been published in the Atlanta Review and Places of Poetry as well as reviews of theatre, books, film, and concerts in Wales Arts Review. As a commissioned ghost writer his work as a novelist has been published while he is currently seeking an agent for his own novel ‘Shaman’s Blues’.
“April ’68, I was cooking in a dive in Dubuque.
“The boss put up a sign: “Closed in Memory”. We all sat in the back, cursing, crying, hugging each other. Someone found a bottle, rum, to make the coffee go down better. He paid us regular for that day, too.”
Tony Press tries to pay attention. Sometimes. His collection CROSSING THE LINES (Big Table) can be found; indeed, he has several copies ready for mailing.
I gaze overhead into the blue and white swirls of ethereal mist.
I long to be there.
Dreaming; wishing; trying to find a way.
I abandon my responsibilities.
Now my magic carpet is at the runway’s end.
I advance the throttle and point the airplane’s nose skyward.
I am free.
Armand Vilches is an aviation enthusiast and flight instructor who has been flying since he was a teen. Unfortunately, his day job tends to get in the way of being at the controls of an airplane.
I ran into a ghost the other day. I think it was a ghost. It moaned a lot, and rattled chains like old Marley did when he visited Scrooge. I blinked and the vision cleared.
The ghost was me, twenty years into the future, chained to a gray, corporate desk.
Jenise Cook lives with her husband in the north-central highlands of Arizona where it snows. Jenise enjoys visitors to @jenisecook on Twitter, and at JeniseCook.com where you can find a list of her published works.
The child’s hopes are dashed as the balloon rises higher and further out of reach.
The question remains: is this what the balloon is seeking?
At the higher altitude, the rarer air and the heating sun cause the balloon to expand until it bursts.
Be careful what you wish for.
Ed N. White has recent stories accepted by The Scarlet Leaf Review and Wordgatherings (Dec. issue).
The skinny cat slinks through damp alleyways with hunger in her eyes, desperation sharpening her senses to a degree that she never thought possible. She’s found freedom in starvation, purpose in the chase, salvation in the feeling of blood between her teeth.
She will never be a house pet again.
Ethan Noll writes short stories and poems. He hopes to write something longer someday.
The wasp finds itself trapped inside a water glass held up against a window. It repeatedly slams itself against the window, rebounding off the water glass. Spent, it finally surrenders.
I slide paper between window and water glass, and free the wasp outside.
Surrender is not always what it seems.
Ellen Hansen is a writer and fiddle player living in Helvetia, Oregon. She recently retired from leading international tours. Her story “Surrender” just received first place in the 2019 Oregon Writers Colony 50 word story contest.