Raucous caws, black silhouettes against gray clouds circling without formation, guided by sky-touching spires of firs.
She remembers last year’s ravaged corn. She remembers “The Birds.” They are powerful, smart, and numerous. They inspire primal fear, admiration, and covetous love.
They arise from more vigorous and ancient stock than she.
Becky Kjelstrom adores all winged thingies, real and imaginary. See more at thenighmail.com.
“Grandy, will you tell me about Hawaii?”
A pause, and then he brushes his bottom lip thoughtfully with the edge of a thumb, the blue anchor on his forearm gone soft and blurry with time. In his eyes, I catch a glimpse of metal and fire.
“Not much to say.”
Erin Gilmore is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles.
Something wasn’t right.
Detective Tift examined his suspect. Newlywed Scott Blanchett scratched the dried blood flaking his wrists, sobbing all the while.
This case was clear-cut. They had enough evidence.
“Why don’t you just admit it?” Tift asked.
A pause. A sniffle.
“I can’t admit to what I can’t remember.”
Autumn Lala lives in Ohio, U.S.A. where she writes fiction and poetry while dabbling in nonfiction and screenwriting. While earning her M.A. in Rhetoric & Composition and teaching college sophomores English, she occasionally works as a freelance editor and graphic designer. See more at autumnlala.com.
She’d always been the good girl, the dutiful daughter, even-tempered wife and loving, supportive mother.
A woman with endless reservoirs of patience and good intentions, which made her popular with those far from home.
She’d folded her passion away in a place no one would ever look.
Until that day.
SG has a vivid imagination and lives in Brisbane, Australia.
Who knows why the black cat walked in front of us for two miles, occasionally looking back.
Not my cat, not yours. Just a black cat, late night walking down a three mile track.
And that disappearing trick with a mile still to go.
Eileen Carney Hulme lives in the North of Scotland. She has three full poetry collections published. See more at eileencarneyhulme.org.uk.
The neon flashes.
I wobble slowly and try not to puke.
People are fast asleep and so I watch all alone.
Steel cut, razor-sharp edges softened by alcohol.
A smell of rats and fetid waste.
Stars in the sky shine above the silent city.
As if nothing has gone wrong.
Henry lives in the UK. Sometimes he thinks too much. Sometimes not enough.
Noises in the night.
Sounds of fighting, of pain.
On the grass lies something leathery, scale-like, sticky with blood.
Every day a little bit closer to the house.
Where you keep new knives in unexpected places.
Including one under the mattress, not too far from your stretching hand.
Ian Hunter lives in Scotland and is a writer, poet, and editor.
“Again with the sacrificial cults?” the editor shouted, tossing her draft in the trash. “We’re not a tabloid.”
“But people need to know-”
“That you have an axe to grind?” he interrupted. “Bring me a real story, or you’re fired!”
And that’s when she noticed the blood on his shoe.
No animals were harmed in the making of this story. Get the inside scoop on Pontius Paiva and the latest stories at pontiuspaiva.com.
It wasn’t a typical summer day that David woke to. Silence was the most obvious difference and it was stifling.
A glance through the window and fear replaced confusion. Trees, infrastructure were nonexistent.
He felt no sensation as he rose effortlessly and stared at his bedroom mirror. It was empty.
Gordon Lysen enjoys retirement, passing the time with writing, painting, carving and carpentry.
The massive doors latched behind her nearly closing on the white satin train. Her hands shook as she clasped the lilies to her breast.
She began the long slow walk into her new life with eyes downcast.
The lilies fell as she raised her eyes and wondered: Who is he?
Pat is a retired teacher who spent 20 years trying to convince 13-year-olds that algebra is valuable.