plays over stained glass
as I sink to my knees
before the God who made me.
My eyes fill when
I lift them to meet His.
We glow as
love burns a bridge between us,
and I am consumed
but not destroyed.
At long last,
I am home.
Maria is blessed.
Bacon. Two eggs, over easy. Two slices of white toast, with butter and jam. Coffee with cream and sugar. The Sunday paper held up with one hand, nothing but coverage of the recent crisis.
Indigestion. Headache. Slight anxiety.
Tomorrow? Oatmeal. Almond milk. Juice. A book of poetry. And a smile.
C.M. Bunch writes (mostly) speculative fiction from the suburbs of Saint Louis. He is trying real, real hard to publish two novels and several short stories. Keep your fingers crossed for him.
Hands, rough from years of hard labour; hands, morphed to the shapes of their tools; hands, discarded, unwanted, idle; hands, now tornadoes of boredom and rage and frustration; hands, locked together with bracelets of steel; hands that would’ve toiled until the life drained out of them, if they’d been allowed.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her fiction has appeared online, as well as in print and in various anthologies. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020. She tweets @laurabesley.
The surgeon cracked open the cocoon that was your ribcage and held your heart in his hands. He cradled it cautiously, cupping his palms as if encircling a fluttering moth. I cannot remember what he told me after—only the sound of his voice breaking when he said your name.
Jennifer Stitt is a PhD candidate in US intellectual history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her writing has appeared in Aeon, Aura Literary Arts Magazine, Chronically Lit, Essay Daily, Guernica, On Being, Public Seminar, and other places. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and is currently working on a book about the history of solitude.
You upload your post-protest selfie from a much nicer bathroom than your own, and while your other friends are commenting on your bloody, angry welts, I’m noticing the two toothbrushes in the cup, and wondering whose expensive towels you’re bleeding on and what heartbreak you’re setting yourself up for now.
Stephanie King is a past winner the Quarterly West Novella Prize and the Lilith Short Fiction Prize, with stories also appearing in Loch Raven Review, Lumen, Entropy, and Every Day Fiction. You can find her online at stephanieking.net or @stephstephking on Twitter.
I could have stolen the sandwiches but I needed the shoes more. The beach was busy but nobody noticed me. They rarely do during the day.
The boys come for me after the pubs have closed. Restless, bored, vicious.
But tonight I won’t be kicked or punched. Tonight I run.
Eszter Molnar is a former teacher who lives by the windswept British seaside. She has been published in one of the UK’s biggest subscription magazines for children. By day, she cleans up after preschoolers, by night she writes flash fiction, picture books and Middle Grade fiction.
He’s a lonely fixture on the street corner: cardboard sign, threadbare coat, empty eyes resigned to this fate. His life is a mere bump in the road. Ignored by many, embraced by none, even though he once lived their lives.
In the night, he howls without words and resolves nothing.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
I wait for Mom and Dad to return from the hospital.
Please wake up.
The rock skips one, two, three times across the calm lake surface before sinking into the deep. It’s all in the wrist action. I tried to teach you, like I tried to teach you to swim.
Jayne Martin is a Pushcart, Best Small Fictions, and Best Microfictions nominee, and a recipient of Vestal Review’s VERA award. Her debut collection of microfiction, “Tender Cuts,” from Vine Leaves Press, is available now. Visit jaynemartin-writer.com or find her on Twitter at @Jayne_Martin or Facebook at Jayne Martin-Author.
Pockets emptied, Tim purchased the red blend. He twisted off the cap and chugged while exiting the store. The familiar heartburn, boiled cherries and artificial oak, warmed him.
Invisible to others, a shoulder bumped him. The bottle fell, his outstretched hands useless. He watched his comfort stain the concrete sidewalk.
Melanie Maggard is a flash fiction and short story writer living in Seattle.
Dark henna bleeds deep beneath her skin. Vines twist around fingers; an ancient eye keeps watch over the serpent hidden among the leaves. Yet it is the phoenix, swooping down with fiery wings, who alights against memory’s pulse, clearing a path so she can once again believe in happy endings.
Kristin Tenor finds inspiration in life’s quiet details and believes in their power to illuminate the extraordinary. Her work has appeared in various literary journals including The Midwest Review, Bending Genres, Milk Candy Review, Spelk Fiction, among others. She is the Flash Fiction Editor at CRAFT Literary. Learn more at kristintenor.com or find her on Twitter at @KristinTenor.