The first time and last time: New Orleans, moving through the August heat, sweating off the day. She dripped into a dark street where a voice beckoned, smiled, and pushed her off the wagon into high night flight descent.
Sleeping in the car, wrapped in his leather jacket, she shivered.
Doug Hoekstra is a working wordsmith. His short stories, essays, and poems have appeared in numerous literary journals through the U.S. Hoekstra has two book-length collections to his name: The Tenth Inning (2015) and Bothering the Coffee Drinkers (2007 – winner of an Independent Publisher Award Bronze Medal for Fiction). He lives in the Music City with his son Jude. Hoekstra is also a singer-songwriter troubadour who has released eight “critically acclaimed” albums of original material on labels on both sides of the pond, touring throughout the U.S. and Europe performing at bookstores, coffeehouses, clubs, libraries, pubs, festivals, radio stations, and castles, solo and with combos in tow. Highlights include Nashville Music Award and Independent Music Award nominations, lots of Top 10 lists, and many groovy times. As the pundits used to say, “a lot of people write songs, Hoekstra writes five-minute worlds” (Wired Magazine). See more at doughoekstra.wordpress.com.
Evelyn True was pronounced dead. Her doctor had checked: no pulse, no heartbeat, no breath. The herbal tea she swore by for ninety years couldn’t help her any longer.
When the undertaker noticed the body bag twitching, he zipped it open.
Evelyn slowly sat up and asked for some tea.
Candace based this story on an incident reported to have actually happened in Poland a few years ago. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Tea anyone?
The Royal Ballroom was not accustomed to motorbikes careening through its windows, but the helmeted man had a message.
A red triangle on the seal told the King all he needed.
“A storm nears,” he said. “We must ready.”
“Hang on,” said the biker. “Is this not 93 Privet Drive?”
Ben Reynolds quit his job to be a writer. What an idiot. Find more at justpunchtheclock.com
The ship halted; the black grains of sand slowed it.
Was this how it should look?
Taking another look at the brochure, I looked up and squinted. The picture looked like paradise.
Were those skulls on spears? Maybe I was just sea sick.
But it looked nothing like the advertisements.
Victoria is a 13-year-old girl who enjoys writing, reading, and drawing, all with her cat, of course.
Doctor Lorne Calder returned home to meet with Bert Ryan, a carpenter he’d hired to complete renovations at his home. Upon entry, he noticed a flaw in the foyer.
“You’re a master carpenter? Just look at that!” Calder complained.
“It’s easier for you,” replied Ryan. “You bury all your mistakes.”
Paul Finnigan is an Ottawa-based writer who has a collection of short fiction that has appeared in both Canada and the United States. Some previous publishers of his work include Boston Literary Magazine, Feathertale, Polar Expression Publishing, and Every Writer the Magazine.
King came running, tail wagging, the carcass of the neighbor’s bunny dangling from his mouth. Quickly, Jonah stuffed it back in the pen beside the neighbor’s patio.
When the neighbors returned from vacation, they tried to solve the mystery of what sicko dug up their dead pet from their lawn.
Roger Miller is a writer and stand up comedian living in Philadelphia, PA. He has performed at venues across the country, often seeking laughs at taverns and pubs in towns he’s never heard of.
The telegram crumpled in her hand.
BILLY MACALISTER. KILLED IN ACTION.
Hottest September day of 1915. She walked to the oak tree, picked the strongest branch, threw the rope. She didn’t hear the other Mrs William Macalister hammering at the door, clutching the wrong telegram.
BILLY MACALISTER. WOUNDED. COMING HOME.
Julia Vaughan is a fifty-something writer living in Ironbridge, Shropshire with cats, dogs and a grumpy husband. She has been writing stories since forever and has just published her first book of crime and mystery stories on Amazon Kindle: Grave Expectations & Other Tales.
What had been planet Yardinvert was now a cluster of brown bits. Bulging eyes encircled Lord Lapso. He was relieved his black hood obscured his gawk.
“You’ll die for this!” exclaimed one hostage.
The dark lord sighed. Note to self: keep some distance between the finger and button when bluffing.
Joey wasn’t interested in writing while at school but has been writing on his own in recent years. He doesn’t really care that Alderaan was peaceful nor how many Bothans died to bring you this story. Cos he’s a jerk, that’s why.
I was lying in bed when the phone rang. Sleepily, I picked up the receiver to answer it, and realized something was wrong.
I put the tube of hand cream down on my bedside table, put my glasses on, and picked up the real phone, instead.
It was nothing important.
Anne Lever is recently retired and is a mature student at ChristChurch University in Canterbury.
There I stood at the perfect venue, wearing a perfect dress, waiting for a perfect ring. It should have been the perfect day.
But as I stood at the altar, I realized it was all wrong, because the perfect guy was sitting in the pews, a guest at today’s event.
Kelsey Binder is a high school student from southern Louisiana.