Who would win: a bear or a man with a baseball bat?
Ralph and I want to liberate the animals from pens and slaughterhouses. But after liberation, we think they should participate in humanity’s deranged games, like cage fighting. We think it will, oddly enough, promote understanding between the species.
Wim Hylen’s work has appeared in Four Chambers, Café Irreal and McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies, among other places. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and daughter.
Jack shifts his weight off his walking stick.
An 8.5-inch blade gleams. So this is the respect a pensioner gets.
He squints at the young man with the knife. Punk.
Jack raises his walking stick. “I was a weapons engineer for fifty years. And this is Wally, my homemade 12-gauge.”
Joey doesn’t have a walking stick and if he ever does get one, he probably won’t call it Wally. He can be found at joeytoey.com.
Tex is old school, still uses snail mail. Today, instead of going to the post office, Tex will try the latest technology.
After the message is sent, Tex feels confident. Now all he has to do is wait for a reply.
Tex will go back to the telegraph office tomorrow.
Denny E. Marshall had had art, poetry, and fiction published, including fiction in The Stray Branch Spring 2017. See more at dennymarshall.com.
I once knew an absent-minded assassin who sent poisoned letters through the post. After a note had been anonymously deposited to be postmarked, she’d apply her favorite perfume and take herself out on the town.
Her career came to an end shortly after she mailed a letter doused in perfume.
Sarah Krenicki does not wear perfume. This could end up being a lifesaver.
He wore bags under his eyes and dressed in all-black.
He mourned over having to let go of what he had known for years.
Yet, he gleamed with elation as he moved his tassel from right to left.
Four years had passed, but he knew it was only the beginning.
Ever since she was young, Annie Lin has been doing all kinds of outdoors activities, including hiking and biking. Drawn to the atmosphere of nature, she keeps busy with figuring out the animal shapes of clouds and learning more about cultures beyond the city life. She is frequently out in the sun, often finding herself coming home with an awful tan.
Every night the windows to her bedroom would be frosted over. She sat alone in her bed waiting for the finger-traced messages to appear.
No matter how hot it got during that Los Angeles summer, she refused to open a single window at night and risk meeting their chilly author.
Danielle grew up with a passion for all things literary. She first put pen to paper writing articles for a newspaper she designed and created during elementary school. Danielle’s creative channels evolved into writing poetry, short stories, essays, and children’s books. When not writing her own material, Danielle loves reading everything and anything she can get her hands on especially mysteries, suspense, and historical fiction. Some of Danielle’s other talents include finding new and creative ways to use sarcasm, spilling/dropping things, being supremely weird without even trying, knitting, and photography.
When the elevator got stuck, her heart began to pound. Her feeble hand stretched out for the call button. She couldn’t reach.
“Anyone in there?”
She gasped for the air to respond.
“Guess not. We’ll have maintenance take a look at it on Monday.”
They taped up a paper sign.
Sarah Hausman finds inspiration in her apartment building’s shoddy maintenance. She posts updates on her writing at facebook.com/sarahhausmanwrites, but probably only her mom checks it.
Sidewalks have no desires
as do streets, no hidden agendas,
no future place they long
to go and see. Sidewalks are content
with being still and listening to the stories
that shoes and paws beat
into their skin day after day. Sidewalks
have no other place to be but here.
Arlene writes poem, lyrics and flash fiction. She’s working hard on a romance poem about dead birds and their last confessions at present.
Things I’ve done for money: collected cans for cash, sold chocolate, shoveled sidewalks after a snowstorm. Once I built an amusement park in the backyard and sold tickets. That was the summer Mom quit chemo.
I told jokes for a penny. She bought a hundred, and listened from her bed.
Jane Hertenstein wrote this story.
I felt her shake me, but settled further into slumber.
I heard the shrill of the alarm, screeching like a siren.
I felt the fog grow thicker, although someone shouted, “Clear!”
I heard the paddles crackle, felt the jolt on my chest, but couldn’t wrestle weariness.
Just five minutes more…
Jo Withers sleeps with one eye open. Her middle-grade sci-fi adventure will be published in April 2018.