A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal

January, 2021

ONYX Pure Acetone by Josh Urban

January rain falls, an icy clatter as I start packing.  Has God poured acetone over the city?  A trace of color runs in the gutter.

Josh Urban is a writer and musician about to move away from Washington, DC.  

Two pieces by Ramona Scarborough

Break the Ice

Instructions for parties

Deep breath to relax

Select small groups of one to three people

Rehearse opening lines in your mind

Move forward and speak

Sheer Nirvana

Death by Chocolate ice cream

Donuts oozing filling

Pie smothered in whipped cream

Nutty fudge

No calories, no cavities, no guilt,

And scales without numbers

Ramona Scarborough has used other’s life experiences as well as her own to author eleven books. She shamelessly eavesdrops, peeps through windows without being arrested, and plunders material from books, movies, and the news to write her over one-hundred published stories. Her imagination wakes her up at night. She rushes to her computer to write the words tumbling out of her brain. She’s especially fond of her husband, Chris, her five kids, and her two rescue cats.

Three pieces by Jim Bates

Swagger Like This

She looked at the ventilator where her philandering estranged husband lay dying. That’s what you get you big jerk. She adjusted her mask and smiled.

Scallywag

He was a gun waving drunk. She hid his bullets but for one. The one he played Russian Roulette with while she cheered him on.

Quiet Time

Winter wind blew cold across the snow-covered garden where colorful tulip bulbs lay waiting for spring. Like the hopeful old man watching from his window.

Jim lives in a small town twenty miles west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. His stories have appeared in CafeLitThe Writers’ Cafe MagazineA Million Ways, Cabinet of HeedParagraph Planet, Mused – The BellaOnline Literary Review, Nailpolish Stories, Ariel Chart, Potato Soup Journal, Literary Yard and The Drabble. You can also check out his blog to see more: www.theviewfromlonglake.wordpress.com.

Best of 2020

What a painful year. So much suffering and loss, however, does not quell the human desire to create. Rather, it so often stokes the flames. I am grateful to the writers, the artists, the photographers, the film makers, the actors, the dancers, the musicians for doing what they do–cobbling together a beautiful thing from the pieces of their shattered hearts, and unifying all of us in the process.

Best of 2020” stories were selected for their unique use of language, breadth of story in so few words, emotional impact, and the complex and original relationship of the titles to their stories. Congratulations to the writers whose work was selected for this special issue.  And thank you to every submitter, contributor, and reader of 2020. Nailpolish Stories wishes you an abundance of good health and a most happy 2021.

from October:

999 Happy Haunts

Mother dropped my cake, the word happy in chocolate ruins. She said she wouldn’t fail next year, eyed the half-empty champagne. So many next years.

Brooding In Burgundy

When Mom finally came back, she had me rearrange her room. Just like before, she said. There were always spaces, no matter how I tried.

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. A native of Idaho, Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others. 

from July:

Blueberry Pie

It’s picnic weather. We emerge from our house, cheeks burning and jaws sweating beneath our masks. The public pool is empty, filled with poisonous spit.

Kelsey Styles (she/her) is a Media Technologist with Wilmington University. She has an undergraduate in Communications Studies and Creative Writing from Widener University, and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Communication Management from Wilmington University.

Plum Passion by James Bates

Six feet apart in line our eyes met, twinkling.
“I like your face covering,” she said.
“Yours, too,” I replied.
The pandemic just got bearable.

Jim lives in a small town twenty miles west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. His stories have appeared in CafeLit, The Writers’ Cafe Magazine, A Million Ways, Cabinet of Heed, Paragraph Planet, Mused – The BellaOnline Literary Review, Nailpolish Stories, Ariel Chart, Potato Soup Journal, Literary Yard and The Drabble. You can also check out his blog to see more: http://www.theviewfromlonglake.wordpress.com.

from April

Cliff Hanger by Suzanne Cottrell

Starlings swirled.  Annette covered her head and dashed to her car.

Hitchcock’s The Birds weighed on her mind.

A bloody beak pecked at her windshield.

Suzanne Cottrell, a Buckeye by birth, lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina.  An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting, hiking, Pilates, Tai Chi and yoga.  Her prose has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Bearing Up,Exploring, Pop Machine, Unwanted Visitors, Empty Silos, Dragon Poet Review, Dual Coast Magazine, Parks and Points, and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal.  She’s still riding her writing wave.

from January:

Making Harmony

Parlor ivories, garage drums. Rounded, mellow, brash and dissonant. From opposite sides, brother-sister duets ease the house’s tension, music keeping our newly shaky familial peace.

Kelly Kotewa is a college instructor in Madison, Wisconsin. When she’s not writing, she is riding her bike.

October, 2020

Two pieces by Yash Seyedbagheri

999 Happy Haunts

Mother dropped my cake, the word happy in chocolate ruins. She said she wouldn’t fail next year, eyed the half-empty champagne. So many next years.

Brooding In Burgundy

When Mom finally came back, she had me rearrange her room. Just like before, she said. There were always spaces, no matter how I tried.

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. A native of Idaho, Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others. 

Pearl of Wisdom by Alexandra Paskhaver

Straight back. Chin up. Smile. She marches to the altar and says the words. Two countries sealed by marriage. Her eyes burn with bitter tears.

Alexandra Paskhaver thinks, therefore she is.

Don’t Be Spotted by Suzanne Cottrell

We donned our urban cameo costumes for a Halloween city block party.  Then screamed and ran when artist, resembling Liu Bolin, emerged from a mural.

Suzanne Cottrell lives with her husband and two rescued dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina.  An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting, hiking, Pilates, Tai Chi and yoga.  Her flash fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Inwood Indiana Press anthologies, Dragon Poet Review, Dual Coast Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal.  She continues to enjoy her writing journey.

Three pieces by Tyrean Martinson

Sundays

Red sun rising in a smoke-hazed world.
We stop our trek. Lift hands. Pray for clear skies.
We see hints of blue sky and rejoice.

Fearless

I climb the cliff’s back. 
At the top, my family’s laughter mingles as they leap into glimmering water. 
I breathe in, jump. Stifle my scream.

Topless and Barefoot

Car: Topless.
Toes: Bare.
Time: Sunset.
I drive the shimmering dark country roads into the blue-black night.
Someday: I will see you again, my love.

Tyrean Martinson has words in her soul, in the marrow of her bones. She can’t stop writing, and won’t. Currently, she is at work on a sci-fi novella series, a fantasy novel, and a mish-mash of short works. 

Space Replacement by Alicia Yau

“Approaching destination. Rockets off.” 

“Done.” 

 “Red button!” 

 “What?” 

 “Fired!” Clapped.  

 “Sorry…” Pressed.  

“Not you. The space debris!” 

 “But…” 

  “What?” 

  “I pressed your red eject button.”

Alicia loves to read and write fiction and science fiction. She has publihed in 365tomorrows.  

Foil Blast by Anita Khabiya

I kept saying it’s ok, kept adjusting; balanced acts only for others.  One fine day there was a blast over the rooftop. And everything changed.

Anita Khabiya from India is a Chemical Engineer by academics and a trained Montessori Directress by heart running a Montessori House of children from a decade. She expresses best through words and ends up impressing others with her food.

July, 2020

Whole Lotta Seoul by Connor Orrico

My roommate’s Instagram bloomed in beau monde last year, or the year before. I don’t remember exactly: his spirit always had pride, flag or not.

Connor is a student who likes listening to stories of how we endure.

 

 

Two pieces by Kelsey Styles

Diamond Ring

The pandemic is a rolling national holiday for President Bezos. Our packages line the garage. Our bubble wrap chokes turtles caught under his ex-wife’s Yacht.

Blueberry Pie

It’s picnic weather. We emerge from our house, cheeks burning and jaws sweating beneath our masks. The public pool is empty, filled with poisonous spit.

Kelsey Styles (she/her) is a Media Technologist with Wilmington University. She has an undergraduate in Communications Studies and Creative Writing from Widener University, and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Communication Management from Wilmington University.

 

 

Plum Passion by James Bates

Six feet apart in line our eyes met, twinkling.
“I like your face covering,” she said.
“Yours, too,” I replied.
The pandemic just got bearable.

Jim lives in a small town twenty miles west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. His stories have appeared in CafeLit, The Writers’ Cafe Magazine, A Million Ways, Cabinet of Heed, Paragraph Planet, Mused – The BellaOnline Literary Review, Nailpolish Stories, Ariel Chart, Potato Soup Journal, Literary Yard and The Drabble. You can also check out his blog to see more: http://www.theviewfromlonglake.wordpress.com.

 

 

Mandy by Moinak Dutta

Mandy had been a fine girl. She could have been a good wife too. Only that her man went to another town. She waited. Eternally.

Moinak Dutta is a published fiction writer having two romantic & literary fictions to his credit namely ‘ Online@offline’ and ‘ In search of la radice’. Many poems and short stories written by him got published in several dailies, magazines, ezines, anthologies. He works as a teacher.

April, 2020

 

Cliff Hanger by Suzanne Cottrell

Starlings swirled.  Annette covered her head and dashed to her car.

Hitchcock’s The Birds weighed on her mind.

A bloody beak pecked at her windshield.

 

Suzanne Cottrell, a Buckeye by birth, lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina.  An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting, hiking, Pilates, Tai Chi and yoga.  Her prose has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Bearing Up, Exploring, Pop Machine, Unwanted Visitors, Empty Silos, Dragon Poet Review, Dual Coast Magazine, Parks and Points, and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal.  She’s still riding her writing wave.

 

 

Forest at Midnight by Mehreen Ahmed

There were no lights, but sparks of ubiquitous fireflies in the forest of a midnight. Only a fire raged to a jaundiced sky. Denizens perished.

 

Mehreen Ahmed can be found at:

http://authorshout.com/2019-reader-ready-awards-winners/, amazon.com/author/amazon.com.mehreenahmed,

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5267169.Mehreen_Ahmed, http://www.midwestbookreview.com/sbw/may_17.htm#fiction, https://theeditorschoice.wordpress.com/, https://novelwritingfestival.com/?s=Mehreen+Ahmed

 

 

 

 

Blue Gray by Yash Seyedbagheri

Nancy sends emails to old friends every Friday. Asks for personal communion over coffee or beer.Spends the evenings refreshing email. Refresh, refresh. Shuts curtains.

 

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His story “Soon” was nominated for a Pushcart. Yash’s stories are forthcoming or have been published in Cafe Lit, Mad Swirl, 50 Word Stories, and Ariel Chart, among others.

 

 

 

 

Two pieces by Kate Jeong

 

Getaway

The ocean waves chopped under the bobbing boat. Foam fizzled, and the rays of the sun kissed down freckles on their skin. It was summer.

Slater Gray

Crumbling walls caved in on her sides. All she could feel was her limbs pressed onto her flesh. Her lungs burst for an intake.

Kate-Yeonjae Jeong likes her nails practical and clean, and rarely paints them a bold hue. She is a published author, and her poetry collection, Glitter Dust, (releasing soon!) will donate proceeds to a local hospital. Kate hosts free platform Book Bugs to encourage literacy education for English Second Language, which can be found on Youtube.

 

 

 

 

Be More Pacific by Monica Crumback

 

Just once

in San Francisco

accidentally found

Land’s end

lost on a path

fleeing great art

running from Rodin

finding white Boulders

gnashing green sea.

 

Monica Crumback lives in Michigan where she writes and teaches children how to read.

 

 

Two pieces by Briana Hernandez

 

I’m Not Really a Waitress

 

I move swiftly between tables, eyeing each patron carefully. As I turn, I feel someone grab for the small pistol barely covered by my uniform.

 

Silver Slippers

 

She dances on the stage, spotlight on her, silver slippers gleaming. Little did they know that her legs and feet were peppered with bone tumors.

 

Briana Hernandez is an aspiring author who’s work has appeared in Breakwater and The Ice Colony. She’s currently wrapping up her MFA, and spends her free time writing or experimenting with glitter polish.

 

 

 

 

January, 2020

Two pieces by Jim Bates

Get Mod

After news of the mass shooting he threw his guns away. Then he bought a camera and traveled the country taking photographs of anything living.

Tangoed In Love

His baby girl grabbed a dandelion and stuck it in his face dusting him with pollen while she laughed and laughed. It smelled like love.

Jim lives in a small town twenty miles west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. His stories have appeared in CafeLit, The Writers’ Cafe Magazine, A Million Ways, Cabinet of Heed, Paragraph Planet, Mused – The BellaOnline Literary Review, Nailpolish Stories, Ariel Chart, Potato Soup Journal, Literary Yard and The Drabble. You can also check out his blog to see more: http://www.theviewfromlonglake.wordpress.com.

 

Three pieces by Nan Wigington

Ready.Set.Pose

Her chest sank, body stank. Love despite. Arranged so, leg bones apart, broken neck cocked coyly. “Oh, my sweetie,” he would say, “I’m coming. Ready?”

Ask the Wizard.

The boy wanted yellow boots, a slicker sweet hat, 40 days of rain, six feet of flood. The days shone. Fires raged. His parents fought.

Not Quite Nude

She answered every door like that – fuzzy brown slippers, terrycloth bathrobe, escaping breast. Most turned away. But Lemuel sold her a set of bibles.

Nan Wigington keeps her nails short and unpolished. Her work has appeared in Spelk, Pithead Chapel, and Gravel.

 

Four pieces by Kelly Kotewa

Salt Water Happy

Joyfully we splash in the frothy backyard hot tub. Snow floats down on our upturned faces. The round butter moon is shining and we make wishes.

Serene Slate

The gong reverberates. Breathe in, breathe out, count ten. Shrieking thought birds zoom around my head. Breathe in, breath out, count ten. Again, again, again.

Getting Intricate

He says those words, and her air disappears. She pictures their small, trusting faces and chubby arms brown from sun. This wasn’t supposed to happen.

Making Harmony

Parlor ivories, garage drums. Rounded, mellow, brash and dissonant. From opposite sides, brother-sister duets ease the house’s tension, music keeping our newly shaky familial peace.

Kelly Kotewa is a college instructor in Madison, Wisconsin. When she’s not writing, she is riding her bike in the beautiful Wisconsin countryside. Her previous work has been published in The Potato Soup Journal and The Harpoon Review.

 

Best of 2019

Best of 2019” stories were selected for their unique use of language, breadth of story in so few words, emotional impact, and the complex and original relationship of the titles to their stories. Congratulations to the writers whose work was selected for this special issue.  And thank you to every submitter, contributor, and reader of 2019. Nailpolish Stories wishes you a happy new year. May 2020 bring you all the tiny gems you desire!

from April:

 

Copper Penny by Todd Mercer

Jimmy’s buddy claimed he derailed trains
by leaving pocket change
atop railroad rails. Jimmy wagered
the train would flatten Lincoln, continue.
Test run: Evening Express.

Todd Mercer was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. Recent work appears in: The Drabble, The Lake, The Magnolia Review, Praxis and Softblow.

 

from July:

 

Two pieces by Ellie Fabe

Prairie Gold 1970

Set out for sunrise, Dr. Scholls—
in the shimmering heat
we crack like secrets in a magazine
lollipops fade
and sleep
just before it rains.

Peppermint 1974

Charlie Brown never saw how it turned out
He was just kind—
cool with a dog
and a world of kids
shuffling to his house

Ellie Fabe is an artist and singer/songwriter in Cincinnati. She loved toenail polish, but doesn’t wear it anymore. In 2016 she illustrated a new edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Illustrated By Ellie Fabe. http://www.elliefabe.comhttp://www.beautypanicpress.com

 

October, 2019

Three pieces by Suzanne Cottrell

 

All Hands on Deck 

Turbulent waves pitched the twenty-seven foot sailboat.
“Lower the sails.  Hold fast.”
My taut muscles ached.
“Watch out, duck.”
The boom swung.
“Is anyone missing?”

 

Soles on Fire 

Charles and Marissa zig-zagged across the ballroom.
Slow, slow, quick, quick.  Her right heel broke and dangled.
Marissa remained composed.  The competition was at stake.

 

Stirring Secrets

Megan’s children pushed zucchini and beets around their plates for the last time.
New tactic, she added pureed veggies into muffin mix.
“They’ll never know.”

Suzanne Cottrell, an Ohio buckeye by birth, lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting, hiking, Pilates, and yoga. Her flash fiction has appeared in Dragon Poet Review, The Pop Machineand Empty Silos (Inwood Indiana Press), Dual Coast Magazine, and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal. She continues to enjoy her ride on the writing journey wave.

 

 

 

Four pieces by Clarissa McFairy

 

Waterbabies

They loll blissfully in the waveless ocean.  Waterbabies in a foreign land.  Unaware of the signs and tsunami warnings in a language they don’t know.

 

Sashay My Way

The ballroom butler longed to dance.  Twirled when tapped on shoulder.  Champagne, Ma’am?  “Sashay my way”, commanded the queen. He bowed deeply after their dance.

 

Hitchcock Blue

After seeing The Birds, she painted her talons.  “Hitchcock blue”, she cooed, clawing at his shirt.  Next day they found his bones in the bed.

 

Second Honeymoon

Her soft golden tresses tumbled like ribbons of linguini into his culinary hands.  Once an Italian chef, always an Italian chef . . . even on second honeymoon.

 

 

Clarissa McFairy lives in Cape Town, South Africa. She writes short stories and poetry for anthologies, at home and abroad. Her poem, La Mia Musa was a vox poetica 2012 Best of the Net nominee. Her poetry book, Strange Bedfellows, published in the USA (Red Dashboard LLC Publishing) is available at Amazon.com. Clarissa says she writes as the muse grabs her and whirls her around the dance floor of life.

 

Two pieces by Maxine Churchman

Beyond the Pale Pink

Our granddaughter opened our gift. Not impressed, she threw the doll down and burst into tears only to be placated with a toy Nerf gun!

Lincoln Park After Dark

The park was dark, lonely. Hearing footfalls in the shadows, I quickened my pace. The footfalls drew closer. I intercepted, bit and drank my fill.


Maxine Churchman lives in Essex UK and has two grown up sons and a not so grown up husband. She has recently started writing poetry and short fiction to share. She also teaches yoga twice a week so neat toe nails, nicely polished, are a must.

 

Two pieces by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Fiction

Hair cut, shave.

Bow tie, cane.

Sunflowers. Card.

Meet at spot. Reminisce. Smile.

Happy anniversary, my love.

Clean up around headstone. Weep.

Say goodbye. Again.

 

Sea Cliff

She hurtles over the edge.

The rocks slit the throat of her madness.

The sea drinks her blood, swallows her body.

But once, she flew.

 

Madeline Mora-Summonte is a writer, a reader, a beach-comber and a tortoise-owner. She is the author of the flash fiction collections The People We Used to Be and Garden of Lost Souls. Visit her online at http://www.MadelineMora-Summonte.com

 

July, 2019

Seeing Stars by Jim Bates

The last thing he thought before he hit the water was that she was right, he had been an idiot to dive off that cliff.

Jim lives in a small town twenty miles west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was raised by two strong women, his mother and his aunt, and hopes his writing reflects the positive influence they had on his life. His stories have appeared in CafeLit, The Writers’ Cafe Magazine, A Million Ways, Cabinet of Heed, Paragraph Planet and Mused – The BellaOnline Literary Review. You can also check out his blog to see more: http://www.theviewfromlonglake.wordpress.com.

 

 

Stark White by Maxine Flam
Trepidation fills my being because I can’t remember why I am in a straitjacket sitting in a rubber room. I hear footsteps. Oh my God.
Maxine Flam lives with her African dwarf frogs, fish, and mystery snails in North Hollywood, California. She enjoys feeding nuts to the four squirrels that live in the palm tree on her property. She has two Associate Arts degrees: one in Natural Science and one in Liberal Arts from Los Angeles Valley College. She has been published several times in the Op-Ed section of the Los Angeles Daily News.

 

 

Four pieces by Ellie Fabe
Brave New Pink 1964

Bell bottom Levis spin the sky paisley
telephoning ’til someone answers—
“One moment please—London calling…”
Eau de cologne!
Who hangs up on those chances?

Evening Green 1973

Old pop songs on the radio
masquerade in fields frosted with silver
slipping off
(in boots made for walking)
urgently searching for Muguet de Bois

Prairie Gold 1970

Set out for sunrise, Dr. Scholls—
in the shimmering heat
we crack like secrets in a magazine
lollipops fade
and sleep
just before it rains.

Peppermint 1974

Charlie Brown never saw how it turned out
He was just kind—
cool with a dog
and a world of kids
shuffling to his house

Ellie Fabe is an artist and singer/songwriter in Cincinnati. She loved toenail polish, but doesn’t wear it anymore. In 2016 she illustrated a new edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Illustrated By Ellie Fabe. http://www.elliefabe.com http://www.beautypanicpress.com

 

 

Stitch by Stitch by Natalie Ratzke

In out. In out. Needle piercing fabric. Button eyes and yarn hair. Pointed needle pinned through a fabric heart. Finally, the sound of utter silence.

Natalie Ratzke is a college sophomore and exotic animal caretaker.

 

Fairy Tailor by Victoria Molloy

Her wings did not fit quite yet. Maybe they just needed to be let out a bit. A little breathing room and she could fly.

Victoria Molloy is a happily devoted mother and wife. While most things in Victoria’s life are geared toward or pertaining to her boys, the one “girlie fuss” she always finds time for is a good pedicure. Victoria also loves all things winged (even has done indoor skydiving to see what it’d be like to fly), it’s what drew her to this title.

 

Dangerous Liaison by Gail Aldwin

Mollusks are slippery and warm
between lips and tongue.

Spear a carrot then slice the meat,
watch the blood pool.

Amaretto sponge cleans the palate.

Gail Aldwin’s published work includes a collection of short fiction Paisley Shirt which was longlisted in the Saboteur Awards 2018, adversaries/comrades a poetry pamphlet and The String Games, her debut novel, which has been longlisted in The People’s Book Prize for fiction. Getting to the next stages depends on public support. If you enjoyed Gail’s story please cast your vote. Click on the link below, scroll down to add your details, tick yes or no to receive the newsletter then submit. Voting ends 15 October 2019. Thank you for your support. https://peoplesbookprize.com/summer-2019/the-string-games. You can find Gail on Twitter @gailaldwin, on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/gailaldwinwriter/ and on her blog https://gailaldwin.com

 

 

Seven pieces by Tyrean Martinson

Vampire State Building

At the top step, Sarah paused, her pulse beating hard in her throat.
“Did we lose them?”
“Mostly.” I bared my sharp fangs.
She screamed.

Vampire State Building, Take 2

We held the elevators for late, single tourists on full moon nights.
Wooed them with the view.
Showed them who they could be, then drank.

Kiss Me at Midnight

I threw a masquerade, trapped him in a corner, and kissed him at midnight under a bold moon.
Enchanted, he would never leave me again.

Kiss Me at Midnight, Take 2

He knelt at midnight inside the fairy ring and brought the cold wet frog to his lips.
Transformed, he hopped happily away with his love.

Crown Me Already

I tapped my spiked heel and glared at my boy toy. What was his problem?
He turned to my flat-heeled sister and crowned her instead.

Pretzel My Buttons

I messed up again.
Buttoned my shirt wrong, one side of my collar brushing my chin.
It happened when I was guilty, alone with him.

Love Affair in Times Square

Every weekday, they met in Times Square.
But one morning, she wasn’t there.
Her face lit up the news screens above: murder-suicide by her husband.

Tyrean Martinson is a writer, daydreamer, teacher, and believer with a new hint fiction

series out in e-book. Ashes Burn, Seasons 1-7 follows the lives of three characters in a fantasy setting through over 200 hint fiction episodes. Tyrean can be found online at https://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/

 

Stitch by Stitch by Clarissa McFairy

Her needles click-clacked the names of those bound for the guillotine. Madame Defarge smiled. This scarf was her best colour. A bright red. Sunset red.

Clarissa McFairy lives in Cape Town, South Africa. She writes short stories and poetry for anthologies, at home and abroad. Her poem, La Mia Musa was a vox poetica 2012 Best of the Net nominee. Her poetry book, Strange Bedfellows, published in the USA (Red Dashboard LLC Publishing) is available at Amazon.com. Clarissa says she writes as the muse grabs her and whirls her around the dance floor of life.

 

 

April, 2019

Five pieces by Todd Mercer

Unicornicopia

Strap a horn to a horse’s head,
it’s still a horse, acting. The audience
must need unicorns to be real
to magically suspend their disbelief.

Copper Penny

Jimmy’s buddy claimed he derailed trains
by leaving pocket change
atop railroad rails. Jimmy wagered
the train would flatten Lincoln, continue.
Test run: Evening Express.

Crème Brulee

A fancy place that serves desserts after dinner,
early and wearing a tie. Before she arrives
he has the ring-box on the table.
Pockets it.

Bohemian

The year I loved a Deadhead
and pretended Jerry Garcia was a genius,
strangers crashed in our front room.
I craved meat constantly, ate vegetarian.

Cherries in the Snow

or more accurately, their blossoms
coated in ice. Along the ridge
branches break from the weight.
Orchardists bank on next year,
eek through this one.

Todd Mercer was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. Recent work appears in: The Drabble, The Lake, The Magnolia Review, Praxis and Softblow.

 

 

Two pieces by Suzanne Cottrell

 

Wine Therapy

Friends gather annually at the beach to catch up, reminisce, eat, and drink. They clean stains with therapeutic crying and laughter and create new memories.

 

Heirloom

A quilt of his favorite tee shirts was made to commemorate his life and help him remember. His family sobbed. He died before its delivery.

 

Suzanne Cottrell, an Ohio buckeye by birth, lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting, hiking, Pilates, and yoga. Her flash fiction has appeared in Dragon Poet Review, The Pop Machine and Empty Silos (Inwood Indiana Press), Dual Coast Magazine, and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal. Enjoying my writing journey wave as long as it lasts.

 

 

Three pieces by Joanna M. Weston

Casual Smoke

We sat around the campfire, talking, blowing smoke-rings, at peace with
who we were, the world of classes, friends, beer. What more needed at twenty?

Peachy

she’s wearing a floral bikini
made of thin fabric and of string
it’s more than simply peachy-keeny
being enough to make the boys all sing

Heart Throb

my steady pulse
sounds like a croaking frog
on the echocardiogram

the squeeze and release
of my patient heart –
sweet music to my ears

Joanna M. Weston. Married; has two cats, multiple spiders,
a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader,
‘Frame and The McGuire’, published by Tradewind Books; and poetry,
‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’, published by Inanna Publications.
Her eBooks found at her blog: http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/

 

 

Wet Cement by Monica Crumback

I still think
about the toad
that hid
in the notch.
Bumpy little lump.
I grieved for him
and deeply hated
the smooth new
patch.

Monica Crumback lives in Michigan, writing and teaching children how to read.

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