She gazes into the abyss, a gnawing itch tickling the back of her brain. A wisp, a puff, a shroud of a notion keeks through the fog—before vanishing in an instant. Her eyes glaze, her mind blank.
“Why did I come in here?” she wails, glaring into the pantry.
Haley M. Hwang is a writer living in the Chicago area. Her career spanned working as a newspaper reporter, medical writer, and online entertainment editor. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. When she isn’t writing, she is drinking coffee, eating pastries, and thinking about her next meal.
The basement was dank and stark, still, a broken window high on the wall, shards on the cement floor, spider webs as thick as fog, touching me.
I reached for the light string, where I knew it should be, and the cold hand was around my wrist, pulling me down.
Glenn A. Bruce, MFA, was associate editor for Lindenwood Review. He published eight novels and two collections of short stories, wrote Kickboxer, and wrote for Walker: Texas Ranger and Baywatch. His stories, poems, and essays have been published internationally. He has won awards, judged stuff, and spoken often. He taught at Appalachian State University for 12.5 years.
We’ve been furloughed until the city is sure that the storm has passed. A precaution.
Nestled between two large piles of various canned and dehydrated foods, hot coffee in my hands, I am prepared to watch the rain.
A few drops hit the window, and the glass begins to sizzle.
K. Victoria Hernandez is an ecologist and writer. She is a Clarion workshop graduate, writes short stories, poetry, and is currently working on a novel. Her favorite season is storm season, with a cup hot coffee for warmth.
At the centre of the sun, the dark matter eggs cracked open. The creatures emerged, stretching their massive wings into fifteen million degree heat. They looked outwards, ready for their first meal.
The first planet was too small, the second too dry.
But the third planet…
It looked just right.
Bill lives in Aberdeen, Scotland. His most flanturbulous ambition is to create a new word that will eventually appear in the Oxford English dictionary.
The titanium cylinder arrived battered, but JonX571 recognized the Intergalactic Express logo and the date 2021. Inside were three squirming humans: male, female, intersex.
His own archived memory chips retrieved data on world leaders and nuclear war, and an electronic screen with instructions.
What he found perplexing was “Love them.”
Kim Favors chases falling stars from California.
“That’s what I would’ve done,” he said. “I would’ve asked all the same questions; would’ve been sure exactly who I was dealing with; would’ve made certain he’d done exactly what they said. But I don’t think I would’ve pulled the trigger on him. I would’ve gone looking for his sister.”
Ron. Lavalette has been widely-published in both print and pixel forms. His first chapbook, Fallen Away, is now available from Finishing Line Press, and a reasonable sample of his work can be found at EGGS OVER TOKYO.
Father flattens old photos, my boyhood hair white as snow.
He looks at my dark head, asks again if I color it. All my friends have been gray for years.
I consider the truth: I’m expelling inner darkness that beckons demons. It exits through my hair.
“No, Dad. It’s natural.”
Jeff Stone has published several short stories and many poems. He has three novels in various stages of completion and loves learning too much for his own good. Albert Camus said fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth. Dark Hair is a short piece of fiction that resides somewhere in between.
Now a time-worn 22-year-old, after ten successful years hunting monsters under beds, Tommy was washed up and ostracized, no longer hero but villain.
His insatiable appetite for monster flesh and increasing expertise in the slaughter had brought his prey near extinction.
A protected species, the last monsters cowered in zoos.
Alison would like to give thanks to Ran Walker, who made her think about those poor monsters under the bed in a different light.
Editor: This story is a follow-up to Ran Walker’s “Hunting Nightmares.”
She had stolen the seed pod from Kew, years ago, when “borrowing” was still considered acceptable.
Cossetting it, encouraging it, keeping it safe. It took such effort. Gardening was her solace.
He picked the best stems, laid them on the coffin, and then, afterwards, poured bleach carefully over her plant.
Janet, who grew up near Detroit, now lives in Edinburgh and works for the newest Scottish university. She is a rubbish gardener.
I kissed you on the mouth, lips desperate and soft. You married a white guy, had two kids.
I stole a man’s dog, ran away to Alaska.
The man followed but the dog died.
Evenings I walk the beach, wind bleeding my lips.
I haven’t thought of you in years.
Cinthia Ritchie is an Alaska writer, ultra-runner, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Find her work at New York Times Magazine, Evening Street Review, Sport Literate, Rattle, Best American Sports Writing, Mary, Into the Void, Clementine Unbound, Deaf Poets Society, Forgotten Women anthology, Nasty Women anthology, Gyroscope Review, Bosque Literary Journal and others. She’s a 2013 Best American Essay notable mention, and her first novel, “Dolls Behaving Badly,” was published by Hachette Book Group.