She was a classic beauty, no question. Poets adored her aloof smile, her grace and mystery, and some thought they knew her, but her secrets were masked behind a reflective melancholy. Even with age she retained a certain elegance, though her glory days were over. She was sinking. Arrivederci, Venice.
Marilyn McFarlane is the author of several travel guidebooks. These days she focuses on 50 word stories, haiku poetry, and occasional essays. And she’s working on a mystery novel. It looks good so far; we shall see.
Starlight city nestling inland
Where Magic is humming
And Mystery glows
Interwoven between threaded crossed lines
At each end is a watcher
A tall figurine
Stop centrally now, take care with your step
Yes, just there, on that same pinprick where
Stand the Artists who painted
The wild silken road.
Peter Li-ping lives far from the Silk Road but it’s always with him.
Tomlinson raged to his feet, scattering the table and playing cards. “Cheater!” he hollered at O’Leary.
“Go home, Tomlinson, you’re drunk!”
As Tomlinson stumbled toward the barn door, his boot knocked over the lantern.
For three days, Chicago burned.
Tomlinson blamed it on O’Leary’s cow. Nobody alive could contradict him.
Jen Mierisch draws inspiration from science fiction, ghost stories, and the wacky idiosyncrasies of human nature. She lives, works, and writes just outside Chicago, Illinois.
“Grandy, will you tell me about Hawaii?”
A pause, and then he brushes his bottom lip thoughtfully with the edge of a thumb, the blue anchor on his forearm gone soft and blurry with time. In his eyes, I catch a glimpse of metal and fire.
“Not much to say.”
Erin Gilmore is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles.
She was a memorist, holding onto the collective experiences of an entire generation.
We all depended on her for our memories—faces in scrapbooks, grandma’s favourite recipes, names of distant relatives.
On the day she died, all she remembered faded away and her family was left with only a void.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
The centurion realized they were doomed
surrounded by barbarian hordes
Not his choice, being sent to Germania
To die on foreign soil, in this supposed adventure
For the Glory of Rome and Gaius Cornelius Tacitus
He marked the time on his Rolex
The professor was wrong
Time travel… really sucked
Paul Hock wrote this story.
She was an old woman spending summers bent over: planting, weeding, harvesting.
I watched from my window as she used her cane to search for beans and cucumbers.
Now I am the old woman, bent over, sowing seeds saved by her.
I harvest a bit of her with each picking.
Candace Kubinec wrote this story.
Meet me where the setting sun kisses the roof of the lighthouse, I said, that familiar place where we whispered secrets at two in the morning. I needed to be there because I remembered all the things that we had said. She didn’t show up, because she remembered them, too.
L.S. Engler writes from outside of Chicago, though she grew up chasing dragons in Michigan. She is the editor of the World Unknown Review and is currently finishing up a trilogy about zombies called The Slayer Saga.
He had been arrested and brought to the Precinct. In the cell he received a black eye in silence. Outside a crowd bayed for his blood. Inside a guard said, “We’re moving you for your own safety.”
As they entered the basement car-park Jack Ruby stepped forward and shot him.
Michael D Hill is a Londoner who has lived in Dorset for more than half his life. He enjoys reading, writing and breathing.
The ink keeps smearing.
Johann, dinner! Kommst du hier! His wife’s voice, sweet notes on spring breeze.
The ink hides in the whorls of his fingertips.
Just one more try. A finer sheet, smooth but dense.
He leans into the crank. There’s an art to the turn of the handle.
Juliet Hubbell teaches English Literature and Humanities at Arapahoe Community College. Her short story “The Owl” won the 2015 Montana State Fiction Award. Rick Bass called the story “mysterious and powerful.” Her work has appeared before in Hektoen International: Journal of Medical Humanities, Workers Write, JAMA: Journal of American Medical Association, ACM: Another Chicago Magazine, Progenitor, and Midwest Quarterly. Her rendition of a medieval Black Forest fairy tale, “Saarbrucken Witch”, won the 2013 British Fantasy Society’s Short Story Contest. She is an active member of both the Lighthouse Writers and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and attends writing and publishing conferences annually, including the Association of Writing Professionals conference.