Grinning skeletal figures wearing multicolored clothing stand before a severely warped structure resembling a dilapidated house with crooked unproportioned windows. Unusually shaped flowers of an undeterminable species sprout wildly alongside treelike etchings. The artwork is inscribed with barely discernable letters, “To Momma, I love you.”
-Displayed at Galerie de Frigidaire.
Carrie Backer is the author of two children’s books: Wayne’s Trip to the Moon and Mr. Jacobs and the Serving Spoon. See more at backerbooks.com.
Tracing my fingers on my wrists felt wrong, the deliberate bareness.
“Vulnerability shouldn’t be visible,” said my mother, tossing me a cover-up sweater before school. She believed in the power of layers.
If she only looked closer there wouldn’t be these deeper cuts; there wouldn’t be any more wandering eyes.
Elif Baysak was born and raised in Izmir, Turkey. She moved to NYC to pursue her Bachelor’s degree and passion in the arts. Her engagements in the arts include theatre-making and playwriting, and she recently progressed into writing fiction. Her take on an honest piece is to work with impulses and feelings regarding human experiences. She focuses on the value of psychology in the arts, regarding subconscious and identity struggles, what it means to be human in our own bodies. Her artistic voice is a product of past or present, personal or universal events. Her passion for travelling allows her to experience the world in various ways and make observations, which provides her with the creative urge to write.
Johnny II finds his new home quite nice. Roomy, with a clear running tube. Good food and very clean.
Many visitors come at first, but then fewer.
His exercise wheel has developed a squeak—annoying, then soothing in time.
Memories of mother’s call as he rots in this lonely cage.
Iain L. Luen has a normal job, but hopes for rescue. He just wants to write and take pics. See more at deviantart.com/echoesofarchi.
We were soldiers of innocence at the rally point. Raging against real enemies in pretend combat. Holly berry bullets and stolen kisses in oak tree forts. Fighting the good fight, we sought redemption in afternoon light.
Then you left to fight a greater war.
I still wait for your return.
Katherine Rocheleau is a full-time writer, part-time vampire slayer, and hopeless chocoholic.
“It’s been on my mind forever and if I don’t ask I’ll explode please don’t crush me though let me down gently and we’ll pretend it never happened here goes will you go on a date with me okay forget I spoke there’s no need to say n—”
Mark Farley was raised in Zimbabwe where he survived two dog maulings, a swarm of killer bees, and being run over by a horse. Find him on Twitter or his blog.
A river runs close by.
Sometimes, we go together. I paddle at the edges while you swim deftly forward. You covet its spiralling depths, embracing the undulating void as you leave the land behind.
You emerge dripping, almost drowned, but re-submerge before you’re dry.
My heart sinks as you plummet.
Jo Withers writes poetry and short stories from her home in South Australia. You can follow Jo on Twitter.
Dusty bounded into my life, like a golden bone lay hidden inside me. Our ritualistic greeting never failed to cheer my weary spirit.
Dusty is gone now but sometimes I picture God laughing, tossing that tennis ball over the Pearly Gates. Dusty pounces and returns with eyes full of adoration.
Eileen McIntyre is a writer from Northern California, who sometimes listens when voices speak.
I visit him in the nursing home every week. He’s in the lunchroom now, his food untouched, diligently filling in coloring book outlines with crayons. He no longer recognizes me.
“Are you here to eat or to color?” he asks.
“To color,” I say as I sit close beside him.
Alex thinks that most nursing homes are simply repositories for human flotsam.
you were brilliant; so smart i couldn’t keep up.
for a while we wanted each other.
desire is stupid.
later we were sort of friends.
once in a while we spoke, but i felt more left out than when we didn’t speak.
now you’ve gone & died.
i miss you.
Quite by chance, Plum Kennard has been around quite a while and is happy to be in this world. Her work reflects her delight in the magical moments of life, but also the grief and loss a long life brings.