The child therapist gave me a box of Crayola markers, told me to match the colors to my emotions.
“This is stupid.”
He said, “I know.”
I grabbed the black marker and discarded the rest.
He sighed. “Your mother is going to die.”
Without looking up, I said, “I know.”
Avra Margariti is a queer Social Work undergrad from Greece. She enjoys storytelling in all its forms and writes about diverse identities and experiences. Her work has appeared in Wolfpack Press, The Writing District, Dime Show Review, and Page & Spine.
They argued more and more. She said it was a temporary thing; he wasn’t so sure.
Pooh sticks off the bridge would determine their future.
From the other side of the bridge, only one stick appeared. She said they were now one; he said they needed to go separate ways.
Stuart is a retired teacher living in Christchurch New Zealand. He has never let Pooh sticks determine his life choices. Perhaps he should have.
I’m sitting on the floor, looking up at a woman. She’s walking round the house picking things up then putting them back down somewhere else. She looks at me with a huge smile then goes all squeaky and high-pitched, starts telling me how cute I am.
This happens every day.
Zoe, age 16, wrote this story.
“Play it, Sam.”
I play it, sing it, my black fingers aching to caress your white face.
Do I have any chance with you, Ilsa? I could at least profess to you. See what happens.
Rick swoops in. My boss.
“Sam, I thought I told you never to play—”
David is a professor at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, and a student in Seton Hill’s MFA in Writing Popular Fiction Program.
The typhoon decimated the village.
Huts were razed to ground level; palm trees had snapped like matchsticks. Rotting corpses and flooding were giving rise to disease and more death. Post-disaster survival was paramount here.
Across the globe, a starlet with handbag Chihuahua was complaining about her caviar and lobster bisque.
Melanie Cranenburgh wrote this story.
Behind her eyes, two serpents swam, one in each eye. Her eyes closed, and their bodies bulged. Wriggling veins under the skin, light’s speed bumps. The serpents had their own eyes, eyes with which they ate. Ate images. Light, dark, good, bad. The serpents in her eyes made her blind.
Matt Weatherbee is a college student.
For the finale of the show, the emcee swings a live chicken around by its head till the neck breaks. It calms the audience, which considers this the essence of free-range. The chicken gets dizzy but feels grateful for the applause. Its last tiny thought: “I’ve never felt so alive.”
Cara Lopez Lee is the author of the memoir They Only Eat Their Husbands (Conundrum Press, 2014). Her stories have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Rivet Journal, Connotation Press, and Pangyrus. She’s an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has collaborated on more than twenty books. She has been a faculty member at Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop, a writer for HGTV and Food Network, and a TV journalist. She lives in the beachside town of Ventura, California.
I held my whiskey and listened to the sound of melting ice fill the silence of my lonely apartment.
Cracking the window, I watched a mother bird fight thistle and thorn to find food for her babies in the harsh storm, still singing.
Maybe, I thought, things weren’t so bad.
Adam has had his stories and poetry published in numerous online and print publications. To find out more, follow him on Twitter
He watched the ladybird crawl up the blade of grass. He pitied the beetle, its perspective confined to the soil; its miserable existence regulated by the basic needs to eat, defecate, and reproduce; its life dependent on the man’s whim.
He did not envy the ladybird… until it flew away.
Francisco Tutella’s fiction and poetry reflect his experiences growing up in northeastern Pennsylvania and his time spent studying and traveling in Italy. He has written for Wilkes magazine, and his poetry was included in the Luzerne County Transportation Authority’s 2014 Poetry In Transit program. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Wilkes University and teaches composition and literature in northeastern Pennsylvania.
I watched him pick up those drugs. More than once.
And I watched him smoke them, or drink them, or inject them. I watched him become them.
And I asked, “Why did you let these things change you?”
“I couldn’t change the world. I changed how I look at it.”
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the autumnal hills of West Virginia.