The bullet misses her face; it deflects off the bullhorn she holds to her lips. Despite the hole in her lungs, she continues to chant as many hands lift her up and over the crowd. Then she is free, released now, at last, to be the eye, not the storm.
Carolyn R. Russell is the author of “The Films of Joel and Ethan Coen,” published by McFarland & Company in 2001. Her humorous YA mystery, “Same As It Never Was,” was released in 2018 by Big Table. Carolyn’s new YA dystopian thriller, “In the Fullness of Time,” was published by Vine Leaves Press in March of 2020. Her essays and stories include pieces for The Boston Globe, Dime Show Review, Bridge Eight, Wanderlust Journal, and Flash Fiction Magazine. She holds an M.A. in Film Studies from Chapman University, and has taught on the college, high school, and middle school levels. Carolyn lives north of Boston with her husband and two children.
Month-old pinpricks in the ditch of her arm, her chip outlined in the tight khaki of her back pocket. Her sponsor says the next step is a job. Applications, follow-ups, interviews. They smile at her. She smiles back. The job is hers, but “drug testing is required.”
She leaves again.
Crystal Ellwood is currently an English professor at both New England College and Cumberland University in Lebanon, TN. Her work is forthcoming in HauntedMTL’s 101 Proof Horror anthology and The Spectre Review.
It wasn’t the diagnosis of strangled bowel, nor the low survival chance to vital surgery that tore at his heart.
It wasn’t the palpable frailty of his hero, his mother, hooked up to machines, though these things were traumatic.
No, it was those five words: Can I come home now?
Absorbing the Donegal hills from distance only now, Perry McDaid’s creativity subsists on nature’s palette and scents. Unfortunately this sometimes involves silage.
The zombies falter. Flesh becomes corrupt. Limbs are shed; animation a struggle.
Yet the fiends still pursue us. Onto our fields we stagger; new furrows disrupted by frantic feet.
Spades raised, we strike; the dead fall, cleaved into pieces. Good fertilizer, for our crop.
We live on, another winter assured.
Paul Lewthwaite, who hails from Scotland, hopes to start writing again after a ten-year hiatus.
Surgeons can spend up to twelve hours working in the operating theatre. Strange indeed to call that “theatre.”
Or perhaps it’s merely human nature to adopt a pastime that sounds like glory on the mountaintops when all we ever do is hope that we can make it through the hardship.
Living in a mid-sized town at a hipster shop was nice for Isaiah, but he’s happy to try his hand at working in the big city! But now things are getting tedious. Writing is always a good hand, no matter the game. Though that might not hold up in Texas Hold ‘Em, which Isaiah is practising.
After they pulled her, pliant, from the water, someone raced to fetch help. Her husband insisted they lay her carefully, flat and straight. This they did, their mouths swallowing the questions they no longer dared ask.
I couldn’t see the point, myself. She was already broken from too much bending.
Linda Grierson-Irish writes flash fiction and the occasional short story, often while trying to sleep.