I named my dogs Verlaine and Rimbaud, both mutts who liked getting into other people’s garbage.
They weren’t well-mannered or well-kempt, but friendly in a panhandler sort of way, inseparable in their shakedowns. Yet those probing eyes… They were enough to turn even the most calloused soul into a poet.
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.
The kitten sinks its teeth into my leg for the millionth time.
It ignores me.
“I was gonna give you a cool name, but from now on you’ll be called Princess Fluffylumps the Third!”
The male kitten blinks.
“Don’t push me. Or the glittery pink collar is next.”
E.O. is making a first attempt at a humorous fiction novelette called Id/entity, which, if it doesn’t suck, might actually see the light someday on Amazon Kindle. If not, EO will probably make some nice origami, or a LOT of paper footballs.
Cuddling that bright morning. Our relationship
had been called lovingkindness by Buddha himself
one ancient morning as the Morningstar appeared.
Like enlightenment, her eyes flashed,
kidneys failing: her urine ran clear like water.
My startled response frightened her.
Yet her eyes said, it’s okay,
see you next time my love.
Matthew lives in Maine. He still remembers the day his son called from school. His student teacher had brought three kittens in a cardboard box from her dorm. “Please, can I bring one home?”
Oh God, it’s done! The adoption is finally complete!
There she sits, a cute seven year old, her face filled with hope and questions.
Oh God, what have I done? Can I really provide the loving, forever family home she deserves?
What do I know about raising Jack Russell Terriers?
John Keeley is the new guardian of seven year old Storm, and is wondering about the trust our pets put in us.
Not to be outdone by Grandma’s cat, who slathered a gob of squirrel viscera upon the sidewalk, Boon whined at the screen door. Usually it was dross—holey sock, long-gone bones—but something’s different today: a tobacco tin with old coins, curled Greybacks.
Good dog, I say, over and over.
Leigh Ward-Smith is a writer, editor, and amateur duck-wrangler with a passion for literature in its many forms. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming for The Ghouls’ Review, 52nd City literary magazine, and the Bikes in Space fiction anthology. When not reading, parenting, or being outdoors, she can most likely be found blogging at Leigh’s Wordsmithery.
In spite of your exalted status, you are not invited to sit at the dinner table.
We will not save you a chair or set a place for you, and you will not be considered a centerpiece.
I left the letter on the table where I knew she’d find it.
Candace writes from a comfy chair since the cat is using the table.
There never needed to be smoke to signal a fire for Rodrigo.
News reports, assumptions, stereotypes; call him jaded, but with most things the cynicism served him well.
But he never questioned her. She was pure. Gentle. Perfect. His refuge. A confidante. A companion. The one.
The finest Chihuahua ever.
Rob Goss is a Tokyo-based writer. Learn more about him at tokyofreelance.com.
He stood there and waited. The dark encroached, then bathed him. It was there, it was coming, it was watching. Its eyes radiated in the near distance, its fur bristled and shimmered in the Moon’s gaze, its legs arched in readiness.
Then it pounced!
“Argh! Hello Fluffy, got me again.”
David enjoys writing random stories and playing with his terrible hounds.
Years ago I told the gardener, “One cat is enough. Drown those kittens.”
Indifferent, he pulled them from the mother and fetched the bucket.
We watched them struggling in the chill water, pansy faces upturned, soft mitts flailing, frantic squeals dying away.
So long ago, but it haunts me still.
Catherine Mathews is a State Department retiree formerly stationed overseas in Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Athens, Frankfurt, and Istanbul. She is now living in Northern Virginia and writing about her life.
I awoke in the cell, hoping, knowing Tim would come for me. He loved me. No matter what.
Even when I tried to kill the neighbors.
“Kate,” he murmured, stroking my hair, “let’s go home. It’s okay. I fenced in the yard so you can’t chase the neighborhood cats anymore!”
Mary Schermer lives in a small town on the southern shore of Lake Erie and writes short stories for enjoyment.