To be sitting all alone,
collapsing in on myself,
and teasing at
a candle’s pale flame,
watching it tenderly
lick away the whorl
of my fingerprint.
left behind is
pink and raised
not a burn,
but something softer.
exploding stars know less pain.
Tina Privitera-Reynolds is a young, emerging writer, so be patient. She has had poems published on SpillWords with more publications upcoming. As a beginner in the daunting world of online publication, she is happy to receive any feedback (especially criticism) and helpful tips and tricks. Her biggest goal is to improve.
I was born in a place called Hopelessville, which is a particular state of mind, not an actual geographical location. It’s sort of a spiritual town, or, to be emotionally precise, a dispirited wasteland where deeply disheartened and severely disturbed residents exhaust their loveless lives.
I abandoned it long ago.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and four collections of short fiction. Regarded as a master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in Esquire and other magazines, been anthologized 60 times, received a long list of of awards, and been utilized in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
On my first night in the shelter (in a pitch black room), while praying, someone touched me. Then a softly accented voice said, “Teach me to pray like you…”
Months later, I still see her clasped hands praying through her darkness. Her smile widens with each new day.
Vernae is new to the world of publishing, but is enjoying every moment of it. She began submitting her work for publication in 2018 and has been published several times. Her unpublished children’s book “Teddy Wet My Bed” was recently selected as one of five Finalists by Eyelands 2019 Book Awards in the Unpublished Books Category.
Withering from within, she huddled her hunched-over spirit through the imposing church doors.
In her closed fist was enough shiny and dull copper, grubbed from the streets, to pay.
Perhaps crumbs of kind words. Or drops of holy water from the priest’s aspergill.
Just enough sustenance to survive another week.
Una Nina Nine loves to read and write.
Temperatures rose, sea level too.
Melting glaciers flooded more land.
Some struggled to reduce emissions.
Others shrugged, undaunted by growing evidence
Of fires, floods, and environmental chaos.
Politicians dithered, totally impotent.
Humanity stood staring at the abyss,
Desperate for saviours, but none appeared.
Look to yourselves, a tiny voice said.
Alan Kemister is a retired scientist experimenting with more fictitious writing. He’s currently working on a climate change novel. Get the gory details at alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com.
Giggly, smiling, innocent seductress peering out from the pages of school yearbooks. One foot on the hockey field, one in the library. The world spread out before her.
Years, babies, miscarriages, surgeries, illnesses, and life. My Mom. All grown up.
If only I had known the girl of the giggles.
Eileen Mardres is a retired teacher / social worker and sometimes writer of manuals and English test questions. She is now writing her way through her senior years with micro-fiction, poetry, and memoirs of life adventures.
Death heard the newborn’s cry and began his inevitable journey.
Sometimes he can save them early, but too often the path is arduous and slow. He weeps when he reaches them in old age: by then they have suffered a life too long, in all its illusion and false hope.
Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. He’s been published in numerous places across the web and has been anthologised in Blood & Bourbon, Blink-Ink, DEFY! and twice in the Uncommon print collections. He’s on Twitter at @tomwrote and his website is tomobrien.co.uk.
Sani and I stood in a hotel parking lot once and watched two children who were standing silently, holding each other’s hands and looking at the ground, while their parents fought.
That night we promised each other we’d always talk gently.
Those were hopeful days, before we knew the world.
Owen Yager is a senior at Carleton College. His work has recently appeared or is upcoming in multiple publications, including Flash Fiction Magazine.
Despair of evening gives way to terrors of the night, to sleep, disrupted, dreaming of elegance, of past and future nightmares. To wake to morning and rise, to work, to read, to listen for wisdom, to love again and hope for another evening, another night, another dream of another day.
Originally from New York, Janet Clare lives in Los Angeles with her husband. She’s had short fiction and essays published in literary journals online and anthologized. She studied at UC Berkeley and UCLA. Her first novel, Time Is the Longest Distance, was published December 2018 by a small press out of Australia, where the story is set. She is at work on her second novel, A Different Happiness.
The day fertilizer was delivered, he showered it down hollering, “Girl, watch our corn grow!” His eyes always checked the skyline for clouds.
Fallow fields all around; only thing growing fast is cancer. Rain healed the crops. Now I wheel Dad into the storms, praying it will heal him too.
Madeleine Kleppinger is a writer with a day job as a scientist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She hosts a blog that helps readers discover their greatest story, with weekly posts that range from book reviews to original short stories to lifestyle pieces about adventurous living. Her free time is spent bounding through the wilderness with her American Bulldog, Sonnet.