18: The pelican on my shoulder reminds me to slow things down, live calmly.
25: The snake slithering up my arm symbolizes willful and unapologetic action.
33: The rose on my wrist shows me that beauty can stem from new beginnings.
“Dad, what do your tattoos mean?”
“Nothing,” I say.
Jonah Ardiel lives and writes short fiction in Calgary, AB, Canada. To read some of his work, visit jonahardiel.neocities.org.
in the afternoon
the trio of princesses
zips down the hill
skips across the cobblestones
to the village library
Why all the excitement?
The Harry Potter book club
Every princess knows
to the secrets of wizardry
hidden in books
Roberta Beach Jacobson is a humorist from Iowa.
Fibonacci was fascinated by spirals. Mathematical patterns in flower petals, repetitive details in seashells – Nature’s inescapable, infinite cycles.
As I hear you arguing with your father, drink-fuelled tempers curdling love to spite, I wonder: are we all like this? Caught in eternal circles, passing around the point where we began.
Jo Withers writes micros, flash and poetry from her home in South Australia. She is also author of the children’s science-fiction adventure 5 Simple Steps to Saving Planet Earth.
We’d ride uphill past the tavern in Poppy’s ancient Cadillac. I pictured a tuxedo-clad Ricky Ricardo crooning love songs to Lucy, twirling on the dance floor, backed up by a big band. I’d wave to the hollow-eyed scratching junkies slouched against the wall. They’d wave back, baffled by the attention.
Sara Jacobelli lives in New Orleans where she works in a public library and teaches writing workshops. Her flash fiction, flash nonfiction, and short stories have been published in various places, including the New York Times Metropolitan Diary.
I float beneath the ceiling.
On the red carpet, my body glows: satin, silk, jewelry worth ten times my parents’ house.
My body hugs cast members, producers. Gets felt up.
I miss home.
The afterparty. I ride a thick line of cocaine back into my body.
Feeling whole… doesn’t last.
Maura Yzmore is a Midwest-based writer of short fiction and a science professor. Find more of her writing at maurayzmore.com/stories/ or say ‘hi’ on Twitter @MauraYzmore.
Leaves dance with the fall breeze
The sun steals the early frost
The moon waits in the wings
I shiver in respect of nature
I shiver in respect of my age
Eighty years young
I am beyond the age of expectation
for women according to the insurance
companies age calculations
Charlotte McElroy is an 80-year-old retired teacher. She is finally following her dream: writing! Thank you for giving her this opportunity.
She says, “The roads to hell and heaven are unmarked. At their intersection, a man who’s either a devil or an angel sells flowers. Angels always speak truth; devils always lie. One question ensures you get to heaven.”
“Yeah,” he lies.
Graham Robert Scott teaches writing at a university in north Texas. His stories have appeared in Barrelhouse Online, Nature, and The Drabble. See more at hemicyon.wordpress.com.
It’s a night just like a hundred others. The candle gutters gently as the Storykeeper takes a deep breath.
A hush of soft voices steals through the room, each ghost asking for their turn. She focuses on a high, young voice, and lets his story sweep her away.
Maria likes how she can squeeze microfiction into her hectic life. She’s amused to note that writing 50-word stories is making her drabbles seem too long.
The biographer asked, “When did you realize that you were mad, Mrs. Hudson?”
Sally Hudson’s manacled feet prevented her from moving. She looked up at the small barred window above her head. “They told me,” she responded.
“Who were ‘they’?”
“The kids in school. Mad as a hatter,” they said.
Jean Blasiar is a published author (Charles River Press), playwright (Off The Wall Plays), short story writer and theatrical producer. One of Jean’s plays was optioned by 20th Century Fox for a pilot.
A cherub-faced, golden-haired toddler grins at me from a faded poster. Cute kid, but it’s the age progression sketch beneath the photo that stops me cold.
I study my reflection in the post office window and my stomach knots.
Looks like my “mom” owes me one heck of an explanation.
Jenni Cook spends her days in the courtroom as a corporate litigation attorney and her nights in front of the computer, making up stories. She is the author of several short stories, and is currently working on the first novel in a series called The Millicent Chronicles, about a centuries-old witch whose unique method of conflict resolution plays a role in history and present-day events. When she’s not writing or litigating, she enjoys acting, painting upholstered furniture, and rooting for her nephew’s college baseball team (#goscotsgo). Jenni lives in Northwest Arkansas with her Australian Shepherd, Jasper, whose antics are the source of much entertainment.