First the whispers
Then the shadows
His skin bites
He stands braced
Screams flash back
She wakes him
He leaves the sweat-soaked sheets
She makes oatmeal
He almost smiles
A goodbye kiss
She revisits her spell book
Patrick Yu says: It didn’t work out in the end.
The walls inside the grimy bathroom stall are plastered with rumors: pregnant, gay, abortion, slut.
As if words didn’t mean anything. As if they didn’t have power over a person’s life.
My grip around the Sharpie tightens. In an empty corner, I add some truth: You will be missed, Kerry.
Tonia Markou is a writer and university teacher based in Germany. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing. When she isn’t writing flash fiction or short stories or editing her first novel, she collects Converse shoes, stationery, mugs, and pajamas – not necessarily in that order. Her fiction has appeared in Flash, Lit Up, The Junction, and P.S. I Love You.
Many islanders believed that chickens were for laying eggs and eating. But Lin knew better. Life was all about the fight. Families, cities, countries, and dynasties, all jostling for survival. The cockfight was life. And money.
Though Lin’s luck had disappeared and he, too, would have to do the same.
Charmaine Wilkerson’s novella How to Make a Window Snake won the 2017 Bath Novella-in-Flash award. Other stories and essays have appeared in various print and online publications. She tweets occasionally at @charmspen1.
Mikolo woke up tired. His hair felt heavy and his throat burnt. A masked man came into the room and gave him some water.
The man left and locked the door. Mikolo did his business in the corner. He could hear unbearable screaming from down the hall.
He was next.
Dan Shushko is a Ukrainian writer from Lviv.
I didn’t object when Mom took me to the shrink. I’m a good son.
I answered all his questions truthfully.
The doctor told Mom it’s worrisome, my playing with fire and torturing small animals.
I reassured her. Those are symptoms for small boys. They don’t apply now that I’m forty.
Paul Lees-Haley used to be a psychologist and will be again when they let him out. His work has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, The Alabama Writers Conclave’s Alalitcom, Voices, G/C/T, Hypertrophic Literary, CoEvolution Quarterly, Trial, Spectrum, and numerous psychological and legal journals and magazines.