All great jazz players stop here first in after-life: the Swansong Island Lounge. McCoy’s coming soon; the Steinway might not survive his hammer-handed tenure.
After it goes, no more instruments. Silence.
God installed these mechanisms,
walked away, and let be be.
West of the Moon, notes carrying over shoreline surf
Todd Mercer won the Woodstock Writers Festival’s Flash Fiction contest and took 2nd and 3rd place of the Kent County Dyer-Ives Prizes. His chapbook Box of Echoes won the Michigan Writers Cooperative Press contest. Mercer’s poetry and fiction appears in The Lake, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Thema, Blue Collar Review, Right Hand Pointing, Apocrypha & Abstractions, Cease, Cows, Dunes Review
and Eunoia Review
“Jimmy, keep practicing that paradiddle, loud and in time.” It was up to the boy now. Dave lay back exhausted.
The boy banged that hollow log, eyes closed, finding comfort in the rhythm.
He played and played, his cheeks wet with tears.
The rescuers heard the call.
Was Dave alive?
Feeling optimistic after the success of her first submission, Anmari decided not to kill Dave off.
The fortuneteller strokes my hand, the callouses along my fingertips. Her brow furrows. “You have the hands of a pianist… But that cannot be…”
My nostrils burn in a dark, musty room, air of silence shattered by empty notes only I hear. She shudders at my memories, proving herself authentic.
Denise Long writes from her home in Nebraska. She works as a freelance copy editor and an English instructor. In her spare time, she is also a wife, and a mother to two young boys. Her flash fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming from Burrow Press Review, Journal of Microliterature, and The Story Shack, among others. She occupies a small bit of online space at denisehlong.com
Everything he lost came back,
even a bit extra.
The Fates restored
what was snatched away,
with interest paid—
a practical apology.
He climbed out of a bottle,
walked home from the railroad trestle.
His wallet anonymously returned,
jammed full; the sainted
truck-chasing dog—alive again;
his woman re-enchanted, forgiving.
Todd Mercer won the Woodstock Writers Festival’s Flash Fiction contest and took 2nd and 3rd place of the Kent County Dyer-Ives Prizes. His chapbook Box of Echoes won the Michigan Writers Cooperative Press contest. Mercer’s poetry and fiction appears in The Lake, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Thema, Blue Collar Review, Dunes Review and Eunoia Review.
One day Henry was updating his iTunes.
Henry did not actually read anything.
The next morning Henry, to his horror, found that all his music had been replaced.
With Michael Bolton.
Henry had agreed to the terms.
Brady Gerber is a current student at Indiana University studying business and music who also loves to write. Some of his favorite writers include Kurt Vonnegut, Henry Miller, Ernest Hemingway, and Bob Dylan. Brady does most of his writings on his blog (Headphone Nation
) and on his Twitter (@BradyWGerber
The truck moved at a high speed, the driver singing along to the music on his iPod.
His phone vibrated in the back seat, receiving a call from his wife. The road ahead was cracked.
It was too late before the driver realized danger. He never reached home for dinner.
Mr. Literato, unlike his name, is not Spanish. He reigns from somewhere unknown in Asia and maintains a blog: alwaysrandomposts.blogspot.com.
Editor: You may wish to read this article for context!
Silent Night — The Temptations
Start Me Up — The Rolling Stones
Little Red Riding Hood — Nine Nine Nine
Jump — Van Halen
Push — Matchbox 20
Boom Boom Pow — The Black Eyed Peas
Take Me Away — Avril Lavigne
Please Forgive Me — Bryan Adams
On the Road Again — Willie Nelson
Third Time Lucky — Foghat
Carly Berg’s stories have been published in several dozen journals and anthologies–including PANK, Word Riot, and Bartleby Snopes–as well as nominated for a Pushcart prize. She has never tackled a pope.
“No one listens. NO ONE EVER LISTENS!!”
In the corner, several people were cowering. “Are you going to let us go?”
The irate tuxedoed gentleman whirled in fury, brandishing a handgun. “No!” he cried. “Ignorant fools. Listen. Appreciate. Learn. Grow.”
The captives cringed as the musician bent over his glockenspiel.
This story is based on a title suggested by @Jillers
He was set to become the biggest thing since the Jonas Brothers when it all went wrong.
It started with the pimples. Makeup helped at first, but soon it got out of hand.
Then his voice started cracking, so he lip-synched his concerts.
But the haircut was the final straw.
At the end of the first season of their reality TV series, the members of Hephty Rithums gathered their producers and kru together to celebrate.
They had lobster, steak, caviar, champagne, and a dunk tank full of money, just because.
They offered to perform a song, but were politely declined.