Surprised by chill after weeks of scorchers, she holds her bag of groceries to her chest, purchases for a solitary meal.
Two girls skip by, flaunting autumn exuberance, ignoring homework, ignoring regimen and rigor. She alone grieves sweaty embraces, August smells, dreams expired as moderate temperatures and cooler heads return.
Nancy Ludmerer lives in New York City with her husband Malcolm and cat Sandy, named after the storm he fled (right into Nancy’s arms) and Sandy Koufax. Her story “First Night” appears in Best Small Fictions 2016.
Recalling the smiles of my youth
I see the greenery, opulence, white pillars, and cars
As fires, fragileness, and feigned freedom
Mistaken for a world of bliss
Now I flip through fertile flames
Molded tablecloths, fancy watches, and fired clay;
The only keepsakes
That outlasted God’s dark test of time
Annie Lyall Slaughter wrote this story.
Pulling barbed wire buried in the scrub,
it lightly flicked and nicked the skin.
Found the blueish pulse. Drew the brightest reds.
The colour and size of ladybirds.
And wiping in afterthought onto shirt cloth,
It darkened the sleeve while I carried on.
Alive for a moment, slowly becoming dirt.
Patrick Mc Loughlin is an English Language Teacher in Ireland and dabbles in writing. He also dabbles in painting and music and some day hopes to do more than dabble. He lives in the west of Ireland where it’s hard to concentrate.
I remember your eyes shimmering like constellations the night we fell in love.
They say when we look at stars, space is so immense that we’re seeing light broadcasted from bygone histories. And even after death, our lives go on, conserved by light, traveling perpetually across the soundless, glittering darkness.
Kiki Gonglewski is a senior at Albuquerque Academy. She was a finalist in the 2017 state-wide “NM Girls Make Movies” screenplay contest, has won national recognition in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and has been published in the 2018 edition of Navigating The Maze, an international teen poetry anthology. Her six great loves in life are art, movies, Kurt Vonnegut books, astronomy, writing, and Korean barbecue.
I open my eyes.
It’s still here. Thank you.
It was here yesterday, and the day before that. Uncertain how long it will be here for me, though. Nobody can tell me, because once I nearly saw the last of it. I nearly died.
I hope it’s here again tomorrow.
Michael has not been published by a major publishing house as yet, although he has written a handful of articles for local lifestyle magazines and one or two rural media reviews. He was a photographer (retired) by trade. Michael has been writing for many yearss. He is now living with hearing failure, but that doesn’t stop him from writing on a daily basis.
He flies above ruinous landscapes,
pondering patchworks of castles baked in mud.
Like Alexander, Genghis, and the Russians,
he yearns to find and best his enemy here.
What does it mean that these monuments of dust remain,
that the fortress of the steppe warrior endures?
As if awaiting a deluge.
A.M. Bigler is a pilot who reads and writes. Today, he lives in Wisconsin with his wife and two sons.
My dad’s thunder would pluck you out of a trance before you realized you’d entered one.
“What’s that crap you’re listening to!? Rock ‘n’ Roll? That’s not music; it’s shouting!”
Sixty years later, every nerve twitches when bombarded by the “music,” all words and volume.
I’m irrelevant. Just like Dad.
Eileen is a writer on good days, a crafter on others. She wishes the muse would sit on her shoulder more often.
Cheryl sits on her porch, waiting. She knows that when she sees the first lightning bug, glowing as it rises from the grass, summer will have truly arrived.
Her paranoid neighbor says they won’t come anymore—climate change.
Cheryl isn’t a believer. She shivers in the cold August night, waiting.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
Sunshine after a murky morning,
Dark rings telling tales
Screams from behind tired eyes
That once danced with life
And still briefly glinted
When he saw her
He peered into the glass and blinked
The birth of a tear
Gravity carving a salty track to the cheek’s edge
Jon is a frustrated storyteller from the North West of England, currently working in Local Government but with a background in Newspaper Journalism.
Mothballs, mother’s coats zippered away in clothing bags above a field of gloves, fingers outstretched as if in bloom. Dad’s fedoras molded into the shape of his skull, various moods for each day, all nestled sleepily above the rooms where we slept, seasoned to perfection with the dust of forgetfulness.
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.