Once upon a time, there was a girl who was a jigsaw puzzle. Everyone loved her because she could arrange herself to be whatever anyone wanted. Then, one morning, she looked in the mirror and realized she did not remember who she was anymore.
Then she fell all to pieces.
J.C. Pillard lives in Colorado where she works as an editor and data analyst. She has previously published stories with Broadswords and Blasters and Fall Into Fantasy 2019. She spends her time gardening, reading, and, of course, writing.
Her first tattoos were memorials. Then an image, then a symbol of sobriety. Each enriches her story. She embellishes her canvas with great care; her children are amused but shrug.
She is making a burning bowl of her skin.
One day everything she is will rise into the morning sky.
Melody Leming-Wilson teaches poetry in Portland, Oregon. She is about ready for a new tattoo.
It’s all new, each day of your life. New mornings, new challenges.
New enemies, new regrets. New reasons to leave.
New people in town, and the journeys you’ve never made.
There’s only one thing that never changes: the desire to become someone else without the strength to make it happen.
Russell Hemmell is an alien from Mintaka snuggled into a (consenting) human host. Recent fiction on Aurealis, Flame Tree Press, The Grievous Angel, and elsewhere. See more at earthianhivemind.net.
When the girl found me, I carried no traces of humanity. Unremembered, I became smooth as an egg. Seeing me should have killed her.
Though blind, she could hear my stories. As she listened, my limbs and features reappeared.
I kissed her eyelids and dissolved, tethered to Earth no more.
Becky Kjelstrom watches the night sky and ponders, what is light without dark or the known without the unknown?
An office drudge’s gloom always characterized James’s daily commutes.
Today, he smiled as he slid into City Station’s unisex washroom. Jaimie emerged, boarded the train and bypassed his regular stop.
At line’s end, she gazed across the sun-dappled street at New Beginnings’ help-wanted sign. Perfect place to restart my life.
Alan Kemister is a retired scientist experimenting with more fictitious writing. Get the gory details at alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com.
Jane was trapped in a world of low ceilings and high furniture.
At a charity event, she met an avant-garde decorator specializing in purple lighting. She told Jane, “Stand out. Be bold and bright. Shine. No excuses.”
So nowadays Jane lives in a beige cube with powerful splashes of purple.
Roberta Beach Jacobson is a humorist from Iowa / USA. She writes tanshi (short poetry), greeting cards, and flash fiction. See more at RobertaJacobson.com
One leg missing and the other hanging by a thread, the bedraggled teddy bear had sat forgotten on the thrift shop shelf for years.
“I want her,” Mollie said.
Mollie’s mother frowned.
“Pick something better. It’s your birthday.”
Mollie rolled her wheelchair closer to the shelf.
“No, I want her.”
Lionel Ray Green is a horror and fantasy writer, an award-winning newspaper journalist, and a U.S. Army gulf war veteran living in Alabama. He ironically loves Bigfoot and hobbits and believes Babe is the greatest movie ever made.
Bravely, he sits at the piano, hands going through the motions. He feels every note of his last performance, his swan song.
Nine-thousand nine-hundred and ninety-nine people rise, applaud. One stays seated, head down, emotions too much to bear, crying.
“Dad, I’ll always miss you,” she says under her breath.
David Maher is an aspiring writer trying to gain the confidence to complete his first novel by sharing stories, viewpoints, and his attempts at writing fiction.
In Mount Isa, miners train their savage dogs to attack Aboriginals that wander too closely to their houses.
I jogged through neighborhoods panting polluted air, my afro curls caked in lead dust. Chained beasts pulled their leashes tight while snapping teeth through low built fences.
I screamed, “I’m an American!”
Khalilah Okeke was raised in the Pacific Northwest and now resides in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two children. Her work has been published in The Plum Tree Tavern, Down in the Dirt magazine, The Red Eft Review, The Orissa Society of the Americas Journal, and 50-Word Stories. She has work forthcoming in The Scarlet Leaf Review. You can follow her blog at khalilahokeke.wordpress.com.
I lost my face last night. No eyes so I looked by feel.
So many things feel like a face. A silk scarf, a mud puddle, a love letter, a string of kelp.
I found it and put it on. Then I saw it wasn’t mine.
I wore it anyway.
David Holloway lives, reads, and writes in northern Virginia. He’s had stories published in Gargoyle, The Mad River Review, and The Offbeat. His favorite invertebrate is the Nudibranch.