Rose sat in the part of the park that light didn’t reach. Around the edges, people moved like ghosts. The odd sound of laughter crossed the air, where she received it like a lost language.
Beyond purgatory, buses went to places that didn’t exist anymore; cafes, bars, cinemas, and home.
Patrick Mc Loughlin is an English Language Teacher in Ireland and dabbles in writing. He also dabbles in painting and music and someday hopes to do more than dabble. He lives in the west of Ireland where it’s hard to concentrate.
The painter painted the world black. Black trees, black grass, black clouds, black tomatoes. Van Gogh-like brush-strokes, thick with sorrow, melted around us. Even little girls smiled with teeth black as watermelon seeds. Everything so biblical we ran to the river to wash away our sins in dark, inviting waters.
Jim Doss lives with his wife and three children in Sykesville, Maryland, and earns his living as a software engineer. He has previously published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again, and What Remains. In partnership with Werner Schmitt, he also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
The tide of approaching adulthood pulled them from my shore. Strolling slowly where I once set a brisk pace, picking up random shells, desperate for some word, all I get is static. Then a familiar voice, almost forgotten, asks why I expect they’ll return when I never did.
Lee DeAmali keeps the porch light on.
A stem. A swirl, a sniff, a sip, and a sigh. The luxurious liquid flooded down his throat. This was what he lived for, what he worked for. To travel and taste the things he’d enjoyed for decades in their place of origin.
It wasn’t new, but it was novel.
Daniel Thomas is a creative freelancer in the NYC ad industry. Beyond working and writing, he can be found reading, cooking, playing hockey, and wishing he had an apartment big enough for a dog. A big dog.
The morning after, I find myself putting chopped tomatoes in my omelette, the same way he did. He had them ready on our first visit and somehow it became our ritual.
I hate tomatoes. But I’m glad I never told him.
I’ll miss Grandpa’s stories. And his tomato omelettes, too.
Melissa Kelly is a poet and short story writer from Long Island, NY. You can see some of her work in WestWard Quarterly Magazine, Plum Tree Tavern, Soft Cartel, Amethyst Review, and Anti-Heroin Chic.
Knitting knitting knitting.
It grew. It grew. It shifted slightly just that way and became a caterpillar.
A fuzzy caterpillar.
It slept straight through the pain, the breaking, the making, the knitting into a new life.
It emerged, for beauty.
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 & loss a long life brings.
I’m 67. I’ve decided it’s time to grow up.
I’ll no longer use my imagination
Run out into a rainstorm
Go skinny dipping
Laugh and sing songs with my friends
Build sand castles, play in the creek, or write stories.
Hmm… Maybe I’m not ready. Perhaps when I turn 68.
Paul Hock is an author, illustrator, and storyteller. See more of his writing at paulhock.com.
Sunshine after a murky morning,
Dark rings telling tales
Screams from behind tired eyes
That once danced with life
And still briefly glinted
When he saw her
He peered into the glass and blinked
The birth of a tear
Gravity carving a salty track to the cheek’s edge
Jon is a frustrated storyteller from the North West of England, currently working in Local Government but with a background in Newspaper Journalism.
Those deep pockets. Filled with safety pins and busy hands. Was Grandmother’s world going to fall apart and it would be up to her to pin it back together?
A safety pin pinched between those closed lips. To keep her from saying that one thing she wasn’t supposed to say?
Julie Eger is a massage therapist who writes fiction and poetry in her spare time. Her work has appeared in various anthologies including Anchala Studio’s The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memories and Inner Circle Writers’ Group FlashPoint Anthology 2018 as well as other online journals.
It’s cold here, and bleak.
They say not even love is real anymore. Some of them anyway.
There’s so much noise here it’s hard to hear anything.
As the TV blares the day’s grand dramas, I hear you sneeze.
Who knows what’s real?
Either way, I have what I want.
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the bright and hopeful hills of West Virginia.