The water’s rising; it’s washed away the righteous and the sinners. I’m still here. I’ve bailed, prayed, bailed again. Ahead, there’s a girl huddled on a rooftop. I navigate toward her, lift her into the hissing raft.
It sighs, loudly.
I wave goodbye, clambering onto the slates.
The water’s rising—
Linda McMullen is a wife, mother, diplomat, and homesick Wisconsinite. Her short stories and the occasional poem have appeared in over seventy literary magazines.
My father started fights in bars. The brutalist architecture of his days was legendary.
He was proud to be blue-collar, to break things with his hands and rebuild them in his image. Oak. Rosewood. My mom. The bones in my fingers.
In our house, silence was an act of survival.
Julian Dores lives in Brussels, Belgium. He enjoys writing fiction and taking candid photographs of everyday life on the street. You can follow him @JulianDores or on his website.
We didn’t have enough bullets for everyone, so we had to draw lots. I lost. Typical.
“You should be glad,” they said. “You’ll get to live longer. In a way, we are the losers, right?”
Joke’s on them: I’ll eat their faces as soon as I turn into a zombie.
Rodrigo Ortiz Vinholo is a Brazilian fiction writer based in São Paulo. His short fiction work has been featured in over a hundred collections in Brazilian Portuguese, exploring a wide variety of genres. His latest books are ‘Sinônimo de Rancor’ (2018, self-published), ‘Os Dias em que Rubia Viveu no Futuro’ (2019, Lendari), ’33’ (2020, Casa Literária) and ‘Poemas Chatos para Pessoas Ruins’ (2020, Darda Editora). See more at rodrigoortizvinholo.com.br (in Brazilian portuguese)
Humans, givers of food, thought the large dog, bounding to the man sitting against a wall. Since the time of the great light, the wind and fires, it had eaten little.
But the human had no food and was very weak.
Humans are food! thought the dog, trotting contentedly away.
John Young is an old chap grappling with themes of limits, longings, and finitude. He lives in St Andrews, Scotland, an ancient town with an ancient university, home of golf, home also – allegedly – of many ghosts. (He has not met any yet.)
Had the cat been mine I would have signalled its swift demise, thinking, what sort of life can a cat have with three legs? But there it was, keenly curious, joyfully hobbling around my garden, nearly catching two feuding wood pigeons, doing cat things. Well, for one short summer anyway.
John Young is an old chap grappling with themes of limits, longings, and finitude. He lives in locked-down St Andrews, Scotland, an ancient town with an ancient university, home of golf, home also – allegedly – of many ghosts (though he has not met any yet).
The zombies falter. Flesh becomes corrupt. Limbs are shed; animation a struggle.
Yet the fiends still pursue us. Onto our fields we stagger; new furrows disrupted by frantic feet.
Spades raised, we strike; the dead fall, cleaved into pieces. Good fertilizer, for our crop.
We live on, another winter assured.
Paul Lewthwaite, who hails from Scotland, hopes to start writing again after a ten-year hiatus.
Despair of evening gives way to terrors of the night, to sleep, disrupted, dreaming of elegance, of past and future nightmares. To wake to morning and rise, to work, to read, to listen for wisdom, to love again and hope for another evening, another night, another dream of another day.
Originally from New York, Janet Clare lives in Los Angeles with her husband. She’s had short fiction and essays published in literary journals online and anthologized. She studied at UC Berkeley and UCLA. Her first novel, Time Is the Longest Distance, was published December 2018 by a small press out of Australia, where the story is set. She is at work on her second novel, A Different Happiness.
“I followed your vision through the hellholes of northern France.”
Now, on a chateau hospital lawn near Ypres, she laughed beside him.
“Custance, nurse of my wounds, beacon of my desire.”
The purloined brandy, springtime lark song, and his idolatry bonded her heart to his.
Close by, field cannons rumbled.
Retired in Ontario, Gary Thomson has ample time to blow Satchmo’s and Beatles’ tunes on his Hohner harmonica.
Noises in the night.
Sounds of fighting, of pain.
On the grass lies something leathery, scale-like, sticky with blood.
Every day a little bit closer to the house.
Where you keep new knives in unexpected places.
Including one under the mattress, not too far from your stretching hand.
Ian Hunter lives in Scotland and is a writer, poet, and editor.
More than a tourist in the land of the Parkie where the governor
mumbles and shakes. I’m like a warrior trying to escape; PD has
a grip on my soul. A voting citizen, I fell off the floor and opened
the door to a new life that yells: watch out!
Michael Mogel is an out of work Fire Alarm Inspector due to Parkinson’s and has been writing poetry since college where he founded a literary