It’s cold here, and bleak.
They say not even love is real anymore. Some of them anyway.
There’s so much noise here it’s hard to hear anything.
As the TV blares the day’s grand dramas, I hear you sneeze.
Who knows what’s real?
Either way, I have what I want.
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the bright and hopeful hills of West Virginia.
We talked for hours, while making lists of people to call. Halfway to morning we went to bed. We were shattered. Before we fell asleep the wind picked up, gusting snow off the trees. As the branches lightened, they scratched against the windows, like something asking to be let in.
Author’s Note: For Sarah Kate 1980-2010
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, despite severe vision loss, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
She was a girl. Big smile, lots of friends, big demands, bigger expectations.
She went to see the world to find herself. She had to fight to keep that smile big, make new friends, reduce her needs and realise that dreams are not always real.
She is a woman now.
Alidiane is an English language student in Dublin, Ireland. Originally, she’s from Brazil.
He had always dreamed of having a vegetable garden. A place where tomatoes, beans and corn could be kissed by the sun and caressed by the rains.
Meticulously, he weeded and watered, hoed and harvested, until the loudspeaker murdered his tellurian bliss: Inmate B18763… report to the Exercise Yard, immediately!
If killing plants was a crime, Melanie would have been incarcerated for the term of her natural life.
Mothballs, mother’s coats zippered away in clothing bags above a field of gloves, fingers outstretched as if in bloom. Dad’s fedoras molded into the shape of his skull, various moods for each day, all nestled sleepily above the rooms where we slept, seasoned to perfection with the dust of forgetfulness.
Jim Doss lives with his wife and three children 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.
Picasso owned a cat who controlled the weather in Paris. When he painted the cat yellow, it was sunny. Purple, and lightning broke out.
People gathered outside Picasso’s door at sunrise and waited for him to put out the cat. “Darn, more rain,” they said during the cat’s blue period.
Jay Gershwin lives in New York. You can get a free copy of his novel, Poor Man’s Autumn, through Amazon.
He wore bags under his eyes and dressed in all-black.
He mourned over having to let go of what he had known for years.
Yet, he gleamed with elation as he moved his tassel from right to left.
Four years had passed, but he knew it was only the beginning.
Ever since she was young, Annie Lin has been doing all kinds of outdoors activities, including hiking and biking. Drawn to the atmosphere of nature, she keeps busy with figuring out the animal shapes of clouds and learning more about cultures beyond the city life. She is frequently out in the sun, often finding herself coming home with an awful tan.
Sidewalks have no desires
as do streets, no hidden agendas,
no future place they long
to go and see. Sidewalks are content
with being still and listening to the stories
that shoes and paws beat
into their skin day after day. Sidewalks
have no other place to be but here.
Arlene writes poetry, song lyrics, and flash fiction. She’s working hard on a romance poem about dead birds and their last confessions at present.
The grey mask shields her eyes from visions of the children she never had
and scents her dreams with lavender
The ear plugs muffle the whispers of her ghosts
She bites down on a bullet, designed to take the strain
And she lays herself down,
to fight the night.
Jennifer M. Smith lives in Burlington, Ontario.
Who are these senior citizens who surround me?
I see retirees decked out in bifocals and new teeth, but I remember energetic cheerleaders, state football champs, school newspaper reporters.
As we pass phones to share photos of our kids, grandchildren, and pets, we promise to meet again in 10 years.
Roberta tried retiring, but it didn’t work. See more at RobertaJacobson.com