Hands, rough from years of hard labour; hands, morphed to the shapes of their tools; hands, discarded, unwanted, idle; hands, now tornadoes of boredom and rage and frustration; hands, locked together with bracelets of steel; hands that would’ve toiled until the life drained out of them, if they’d been allowed.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her fiction has appeared online, as well as in print and in various anthologies. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020. She tweets @laurabesley.
Day dawns like a drill sergeant barking orders. The tarnished door flap swings open, announcing breakfast: rubbery eggs on a tin plate and a heel of stale bread. The door clangs shut like a license plate dragging on pavement.
He crawls out of his cot. Another day at the monastery.
Debbie L. Miller is a Brooklyn, New York writer. She writes plays, monologues, short stories, micro fiction, and memoir.
“Can’t a girl get a proper cup of tea around here?” asked Katherine.
“Sorry Miss, we only have black coffee.”
“It’s just flavored hot water, no need to act like it’s highfalutin. But I do have very refined tastes when it comes to my beverages.”
“Look, lady, this is jail.”
Carolyn Smuts taught history before fleeing academic life to write. Her work has appeared in SELF, Glamour, Creative Living, Ultimate Motorcycling, and Business Week. Her recent fiction works were published by Akashic Books, Jitter Press, Wordland, and Omnific. She lives in Southern California.
The guard we call “Snake” saunters over to my cell door, opens the bean slot, and snarls, “Due to unforeseeable circumstances, Sweetheart, your execution will be held on your birthday,” then slams the metal door shut, like it was a guillotine.
I can almost taste my favorite flavor cake frosting.
Brad Rose was raised in southern California, and lives in Boston. Links to his poetry and fiction, which appear in print and on-line, can be found at bradrosepoetry.blogspot.com.
“The world’s your oyster!” they said.
I want to say they lied, pin the blame on anyone but myself, but I can’t.
I could’ve made something of my life. Instead I chose the unthinkable.
He’s been in prison for nine years because of what I did. Six more to go.
Gabrielle Soong is a 17-year-old high schooler and aspiring writer. Besides writing, her favorite things are music, reading, and soccer. She has big plans to travel the world and write novels.
The black cat strolled through the prison, being avoided by everyone in her path. She breezed into the first cell.
The prisoner dropped his head. “They didn’t believe me. That a wizard did it.”
“They will,” the cat said, transforming into his wife. She waved her wand, and they disappeared.
Jamie Mathews is an award-winning journalist and writer. He earned his BA from The University of Alabama, where he was a proud member of Honors English Program, and his MAT from the University of South Carolina. Find out more about Jamie on his site.
“Grapplin’ hooks, skeleton keys, guard uniforms… I got everythin’ you need, man.”
“You charge a lot, Skivvy.”
“It ain’t easy to get stuff like this into my cell.”
“But let me tell you, gettin’ nabbed for murder’s the most profitable thing I ever done. I’m makin’ a killing!”
They pulled the sun from the sky.
They harvested its energies, overcoming their world of sand and wind and forging a green and fertile new home, where pleasure reigned.
Their utopia fluorished as their sun died.
I destroyed its prison. I saved the sun and abandoned their paradise to entropy.