You put me on the cake and light my wick. I want to make you happy.
But then you huff and puff to extinguish my flame. I cannot grant your wishes this way.
Then you relight me because someone else “wants a go”.
Fine, I shall now purge this party.
Joey is not a fan of birthday cakes, with or without the candles. You can visit him at joeytoey.com
Bitten badly once, Linda felt twice shy. Yet Bob seemed safe.
The night he invited her over, she pecked his cheek as he opened his door.
His response: “Whoa—down, boy!”
Was she too forward, she wondered? Or was he… excited?
Then the answer struck—all furry paws and sloppy kisses.
Christa is a professional writer with a passion for creative expression. She has had her poetry and short stories featured in several publications, including River Poets Journal, The Write Room, Tanka Journal, Haiku Journal, and Every Day Fiction. Currently she resides in South Jersey with her six feline muses.
Peter hadn’t inherited his father’s disease, but a child of his could. He couldn’t allow it.
“This won’t hurt,” the doctor promised. It bloody did! He deserved that for not telling Clara, who desperately wanted a baby.
A year later, Clara announced, “I’m pregnant!”
Seemed she had a secret, too.
Mary lives and writes in southeast Ireland.
Tears flooded down her cheeks. The girl’s most outrageous fantasy had been realized: a pair of unicorns, in nature.
As she surveyed their matted, blood-soaked coats with horror, her eyes froze on contact with the victor, who, looking elated but puzzled, said: “Why do you think we have the horn?”
Kai Gaitley is pursuing an English major at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and enjoys discovering the energy that resides within every format, whether it is a sonnet, a blog, or a well researched essay. This dalliance with fiftywordism is a new and exacting path, full of high-stakes promise and brutal editing decisions.
My mother enjoyed researching our family tree – searching through census data, sending off for birth certificates, the lot. She painted a fruit tree on the wall, adding names and photos to its branches.
Then she discovered Great-Grandpa was a member of the KKK.
We burned his picture on the lawn.
writes novels, flash fiction and the occasional poem.
“We need to talk.”
“I’m sorry!” he shouted, thinking he knew what she wanted. “I’m sorry I hurt you. I’m sorry I can’t be the son you want. I’m sorry I can’t get my life together. You want perfection… I’m only human.”
“Ah,” she said, smiling sadly. “But you’re not.”
is, in fact, only human. She makes up for this about writing stories about people and things who are not.
“Chicken,” he argues, accepting a plateful of my scrambled eggs.
“Egg,” I counter, despairing.
“Chicken,” he pluffs, eggs carelessly falling from his smug mouth.
Unzipping my skin suit, feathered breast bursting, I peck him solidly in the chest. Mouth agape, he flees the kitchen.
I hate it when he’s right.
Judy Crawford met the love of her life in a college writing class. They don’t always agree either.
Shelly had known they were her husband’s white socks on sight; she’d cleaned them often enough. She recognized them immediately, dangling at eye-level just past the hotel room balcony, with Roy’s feet still inside them.
What she hadn’t recognized was the voice of the girl weeping above.
Cal lives in Hillsborough, NC where he writes experimental fiction, reads detective novels, and talks to his houseplants.
Thump. Thump. Thump. In the dark, I lug the lumpy sack down each stair, muttering curses at the noise. Christmas lights twinkle from the living room. What a surprise they’ll get in the morning.
I peer outside. Snowing. Heavily. Perfect. It’ll cover up my footprints.
And any drops of blood.
Matthew is a secondary school teacher and studied English Literature at the University of Glasgow. His short story ‘Blue Sky’ has just been published in a Centum Press anthology and he is currently seeking representation for his first science fiction novel.
As he fumbled to open the squeaky back door, he cursed himself for not having used WD-40. And there she was, just staring at him, with her revolver at the ready.
“Thank God,” she said. “I thought you were a burglar.”
He smiled in relief as she pulled the trigger.
Fred Vogel is working on a collection of short stories as well as a third collection of poetry. He plays bad guitar but sings like a bird. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.