When Heinrich did not die at the apex of his actuarial bell curve, he felt intense relief; blessed. He loved his world as he never had; he felt the breeze as he sat on his deck overlooking the mountains; he squeezed the hand of his spouse
for one sublime second.
T.A. Young’s short story “Stooped” was published in The First Line magazine, summer issue 2017. His poetry appears in the October 2018 issue of Anti-Heroin Chic. You can find his literary reviews on his Instagram page, #thelitreview. He lives and works in New York City.
The steel wheels of the approaching train
screech at me to jump.
This is it!
I move towards the platform’s edge
and surrender to the approaching light.
A man’s voice calls from behind
Is that the train to Amsterdam?
I turn around, and I behold
my brown-eyed destiny.
Susan J. Nassuna is a Ugandan born writer and coach. She lives in the Netherlands, and when not working on her novel and a collection of short stories she guides others in using writing and storytelling as powerful tools for healing and growth. See more at writingforwellnessworkshops.com.
Tracing my fingers on my wrists felt wrong, the deliberate bareness.
“Vulnerability shouldn’t be visible,” said my mother, tossing me a cover-up sweater before school. She believed in the power of layers.
If she only looked closer there wouldn’t be these deeper cuts; there wouldn’t be any more wandering eyes.
Elif Baysak was born and raised in Izmir, Turkey. She moved to NYC to pursue her Bachelor’s degree and passion in the arts. Her engagements in the arts include theatre-making and playwriting, and she recently progressed into writing fiction. Her take on an honest piece is to work with impulses and feelings regarding human experiences. She focuses on the value of psychology in the arts, regarding subconscious and identity struggles, what it means to be human in our own bodies. Her artistic voice is a product of past or present, personal or universal events. Her passion for travelling allows her to experience the world in various ways and make observations, which provides her with the creative urge to write.
Squatting, thighs slightly burning, perched on your toes, hands in front of your shoulders, you place your head on the ground. Knees digging into your triceps, you tentatively lift one foot, then the other. Your left knee slips, so you try again, then again, until, one year later, you arrive.
Jess is a former scientist who maintains computational model code for current scientists. She occasionally gets the urge to write something other than lines of Python or Fortran.
This table, the wine, bread and cheese—that’s nonfiction; calling it “dinner” is, perhaps, a fiction.
Your silence, my tears, these trembling hands: nonfiction. Our last meal together: fiction.
Your attraction to someone else—OK, we’ll call that nonfiction. But the idea you no longer love me… must be fiction.
Nathan Alling Long lives in Philadelphia and can be found at blogs.stockton.edu/longn. His collection of fifty flash fictions, The Origin of Doubt, was published by Press 53 in March 2018.
While smoking my second-to-last cigarette under a street lamp in the desert, I decided that life operated on bad metaphors and absurdist poetry.
As I was crushing the last embers, two jack rabbits ran pitter patter away to have their children and die among the sand dunes and salt flats.
Peter Vickland is a college student living and working in Sacramento, California. His hobbies, aside from writing, include reading and collecting books and not cutting his hair as often as he needs to, as he is frequently reminded by his loving girlfriend. See more at petervicklandwriting.com.
“Statistically, it is almost impossible to win the Lotto,” her maths teacher used to say. Spoken like a man with a permanent, pensionable job.
For many years, Rita heeded his advice.
Now she shuffles to the till. Asks for a Quick Pick. Endures the pitying look. Says a silent prayer.
Geraldine McCarthy lives in West Cork, Ireland. In a former life she was involved in tutoring, lecturing, translation, and research. She has been writing short stories and flash fiction for nearly three years now. Her work has been published in The Fable Online, The Incubator Journal, Seven Deadly Sins: a YA Anthology (Gluttony, Wrath, Avarice), Scarlet Leaf Review, Brilliant Flash Fiction, and Every Day Fiction. See more at facebook.com/cruthaitheacht.
The dog barked, too late. She stumbled to the kitchen, dropped her towel over the puddle. He nosed his bowl into its folds.
She returned to the couch.
The interview was in an hour, but she was naked, too raw.
He followed, whimpering.
“Shhh,” she said.
They were both hungry.
Kiran Kaur Saini’s work has appeared in Glimmer Train, Pleiades, and elsewhere. See more at kirankaursaini.com
My life depends on the drugs, the research, the doctors. There are no miracles, only love of family. The IV drip is like the beat of a second heart pulsing its cancer-burning flames through my body. It keeps this fire raging in my eyes that both consumes and saves me.
Jim Doss lives in Sykesville, Maryland, and earns his living as a software engineer. He has previously published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again and What Remains. In partnership with Werner Schmitt, he also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
You’re feeling down
And a little lonely too
I have come around
To be close to you
Hold on, I am here
Hold on, cry those tears
Soon you will see
As we join hands
We’ll do this, you and me
You’ll smile and understand
Hold on, dry those tears
Mary has written poetry since age ten and continues to do so. She is also writing short stories and enjoys being a member of a writing group.