The key gleamed in his calloused hand. Behind him, a childhood of broken promises and long struggles echoed the hallway.
Marcus held his breath and faced the door. Years of backbreaking construction for Uncle, and turning cheek to easy money, led to this defining moment: a place of his own.
Before embracing her affinity for writing, Shermie Rayne
had an indelible love of words. She likes to use written words to ponder, push back against, or relish in the journey of life. Currently, Rayne is editing the first draft of her first completed manuscript, SKY, an upper middle-grade, epistolary-journal novel that follows a tender-hearted soul, a seventh-grade girl, Sky Jeffers, as she contemplates the challenging burden of living.
Go on now,
purse your lips
to the only addiction
you’ve ever had.
The ashes of what was;
better than our
last breakfast shared
Let it rain and
ruin your white flag
while on grass-stained knees
I cry and beg
to gods who are either deaf or dead.
From the Midwest, Kacy Cunningham currently lives in San Francisco, where she is an MFA student in fiction at SF State.
She wasted her life watching her figure. Slimming down and staying fit were her full time jobs, consuming her because she consumed nothing else. Nothing but beautiful, empty as the calories she avoided. A double zero personality in a double zero casket. Smiling, for in death she only gets thinner.
Chris Griglack was born and raised in Massachusetts where he has lived for 24 years. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2012 with a degree in Writing, Rhetoric, and Communications.
His hands touched me in ways you are not imagining but in ways I cannot forget.
Those hands were the first to touch my tiny, ten-fingered, ten-toed body; the same hands that punched a hole in the bathroom mirror, leaving only his anger and his absence to remember him by.
Madison is a MFA graduate student studying Fiction at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She spends her time writing, reading, and watching too many movies, if there is such a thing.
The sticky sweet pain burns through your insides like hot treacle. It sits heavy in your stomach like too rich chocolate cake, mountains of sugar rushing like adrenaline from the sheer gluttony of pain.
They insist that pain is leaden.
Pain is sweet enough to make you sick.
Nikita Gill is the editor of lit journal Modern Day Fairytales. She has also written an ebook called Your Body is an Ocean and has been featured in Monkeybicycle.net
The soldiers made him pull the trigger, bury a bullet in his mother’s forehead, watch his village burn.
Some day, he thought, I’ll kiss a girl and see skyscrapers.
His knees collided with now-sacred ground. He gagged on the ashes of his soul.
Through smoky tears, he prayed. Some day.
Salena Casha’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Stymie Magazine, Bete Noire, The Quotable, Silver Blade and others. Follow her on twitter @salaylay_c.
I escape the house and run, crying, into the backyard. Examining hand-shaped bruises on my small body, I notice an anthill. Yesterday, I watched these ants a long time. Today is different. Raging, I stomp the anthill flat. Ants scurry in panic and writhe in pain.
It doesn’t help much.
Sam Gem is a writer of flash fiction, short stories, and maybe a novel someday. He resides in upstate New York.
She heard the saw cease its whirring.
Her love stomped in, dewdrops of sweat lining his creased forehead, clutching a crude cedar carving of a heart.
He had suffered so much, and still laboured under the weight of the memories, but today, it seemed, his stomps fell a little lighter.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
This story is based on a title suggested by @PoshPlatypus.
“Ow! Oooooow!! Ouch! Ooh… Aah… Huuuaaaah… OH!! Woooow… Whoa! Aaaah! It burns! Eeeeek! Aaaaargh! Nyyyuuuurrgh… WWWAAAAAAAAUUGHH!! Hoooly mother of painburgersssss… GRROOOOAARGH IT HURTS SO BAAAAD!! No, why, why!?!? Ooow!! Never again! I swear on your grandmother’s grave if you ever even BHAAAAAUGH!!! OW OW OW!!”
“…I said I was sorry.”