A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal

July, 2016

Three pieces by Barry Gross

Sipping Bourbon

A/C groans through 80 percent humidity.
Playing solitaire, naked, baroque radio.
She exits shower, enters bedroom, says,
“You’re a real class act.”
Drops towel.

 

Christmas Trimmings

She points, “This one.”
A wreath is a wreath.
Criteria? I don’t know.
“It’ll green the door.
Make merry.”
Come March,
a great fire starter.

 

Fall Colors

Heart in gutter. Sponge drunk.
Cracked shot glass, leaking liquor, bleeding lips, numb smile.
Beer soaked money sticks to bar.
Leaves discolored after summer life.

Barry Gross is a poet and substitute teacher who lives in Bucks County, Pa. He’s moved to write by the every day; observe and record. He listens to all kinds of music and is currently enjoying Miles Davis and band playing “Jean Pierre.”

 

Rubbernecker Red by Paul Beckman

I hung back from the police barricade transfixed with the cops and crowd when a woman noticed my blood red nails dripping and screamed.

Paul was one of the winners in the Queen’s Ferry 2016 Best of the Small Fictions. His latest collection, “Peek”, weighed in at 65 stories and 120 pages. His website www.paulbeckmanstories.com

 

Three pieces by Michelle Wallace

Fuchsia Fantasy

He’d been attracted to her potential.

She’d been enchanted by his fading glory.

Two rebels.

One extraordinary love.

Perfect combination.

Reality bites.

Who’s fooling who?

 

Ghostly Green

“Lucky plants showered with attention, if only…”

His wife sifts the potted compost, tenderly.

Be careful what you wish for.

You just might get it.

 

Wildlife Expedition

Hipsters, leather jackets and motorbikes

Bonnie and Clyde reinvented.

Volatile liaison.

Cocktail of anger, sadness and revenge

Hurtling along life’s highway.

Fast forward.

Self-destruction…

Inevitable!

 

Michelle Wallace is a writer-in-the-making, on a never-ending journey…a flash fiction junkie!

She blogs at http://writer-in-transit.co.za/

 

 

 

 

Sole Mate by Suzanne Cottrell

 

Frayed strap, broken heel, scuffed leather; worn beyond repair.

Replicating life.

Slumped in her chair, enveloped by her robe, clinging to memories.

One more dance.

 

 

Suzanne Cottrell lives in central, rural North Carolina.  An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she now has time to pursue other interests and projects.   She is a fledgling writer, working to spread her wings and ride the thermals.

 

 

Two pieces by Tobi Pledger

Steel Waters Run Deep

The swimmer broke the surface, ripples in molten steel, and swam to shore. He walked toward the horizon dripping ball bearings onto the glassy beach.

 

To Be Continued…

I feel great. Lithe, pliable, pain-free, months of physical therapy worth every minute. I raise my arm to high-five the world. Pain seizes my shoulder.

 

Tobi Pledger is new to creative writing and has previously only written continuing education and scientific articles. This is way more fun.

 

Russian Roulette by Marla Dunham

 

In Hollywood films,

the game seems exciting

no one really dies

 

Orlando, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech

they did

white roses by Caitlin’s stone bare witness.

 

Marla Dunham lives in Chapel Hill, NC.  She retired from college English teaching after four decades.  She is currently enjoying her family, including her wonderful granddaughter, her poetry writing group, exercise, reading, and registering people to vote.

 

 

Two pieces by Lisa Nielsen

Bitter Buddhist

My breath is monotonous and
as soothing as
sirens and barking dogs.  I’m
tired of ignoring smirks and
misconceptions just
so I can say ohm.

 

Just Nothing

That shrug says enough. Take her high maintenance hand of frost and gold and give it a squeeze.  My cuticles taste better when they’re bitter.

Lisa Nielsen is a single mom adjusting to life in Staten Island by taking photographs of the hilly and bountiful everchanging landscape for inspiration, doing her best to curtail her tendency to lollygag.

 

Two pieces by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Dark Anemone

Headstones jut, teeth to snap her back. The open grave, a dark maw eager to gulp, to swallow. But still she drifts, rootless yet trapped.

Red Heels

Jenny lost a shoe, but she is no Cinderella. She shucks her prom dress, weaves into the water. On the sand, her broken tiara glitters.

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.

 

 

Watch Me Go by Elizabeth Konkel

 

She clutches the bouquet, blue and flecked with snow. She places it deep into the ground. Before she leaves, she brushes snow off the tombstone.

 

 

Elizabeth Konkel has a BFA in Creative Writing, a special interest in photography, and a love of stories. She grew up in a rural community on a farm where she learned about animals, family, and folklore. Her passion is Screen Writing, fantasy, science fiction, and nature photography.

April, 2016

Four pieces by Kelsey Dean

 

Velvet Voyage

She definitely picked the right dress. Crushed velvet, rusty red. His hands fluttered like moths drawn to light, catching on her every dip and swell.

Licorice

Anas, that Egyptian boy at school, reminded her of anise, the flavor of her mother’s Christmas cookies. He lingered in her head, cocoa-eyed and sugarplum-sweet.

Chills & Thrills

They met on the ski lift.

During the ride up, they determined that their mouths were very compatible—and those certainly weren’t frostbites on their necks. 

Devil’s Advocate

Stray strands tucked and pinned, pearls placed carefully along collarbones.

Shirt buttoned and tucked.

Fitted skirt. Straight back.

Another long day of defending the guilty.    

Kelsey Dean is essentially Pippi Longstocking, although her hair is not red.  She tries out different careers by day and writes by night.  She also paints.  You may see some of her work on this page: http://kelseypaints.tumblr.com/. Kelsey is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, but is currently living in Istanbul, where she hopes to become a mermaid in the Bosporus.

 

Three pieces by Phoebe Lyons

Black-Out

Guitar fingers. One soggy bruise. Two thumbs up, given to him in three breaths. Four Loko. That night he made fifteen minutes feel like five.

 

Cherry Pop

You’re shaking, he tells me, but I can’t feel it. I’m a paper swan, folding myself around him. This is his pond. I’m tastefully drowning.

 

Curtain Call

I’m memorizing the picture of JFK on the wall as he tactfully gropes his way across my thighs. He could be my Lee Harvey Oswald.

 

Phoebe Lyons is currently studying Bilingual Childhood Education and Creative Writing at SUNY Brockport in Western New York. She loves to write, sing, and play guitar. She went to Space Camp when she was nine, which was very cool. You can find more of her work in Germ Magazine and Words Dance.

 

Three pieces by Joanna Weston

 

Tangerine

she smells like Christmas
feels soft and just ripe
needs to be peeled
flesh exposed to my gaze
touched with gentle fingers
and eaten
whole

Coffee Bean

he’s a might-have-been man
a gleam in the eye dude

a last-seen getting off the bus
an almost-made it boyfriend
certainly a lean mean has-been

Cotton Candy

spinning on the carousel
sweet as summer honey
all pink, lilac, pale yellow

young voice singing out
she’s one cute candy kid
my small granddaughter

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

 

Four pieces by  Krystyna Fedosejevs

 

Yukon Gold

Family stories of a rush for vanity abound. His uncle panhandled waters for Yukon gold. All he can afford are potatoes of the same name.

Spray Paint the Town

She carried her winter blues into spring. Let them go when crocuses and tulips sprung color to gardens and her paintings suited the clientele landscape.

Bronzed to Perfection

Liz had her athletic achievements showcased for all to see. Bronze medals at best. What weren’t displayed were the photos of her first class boyfriends.

Plenty of Fish in the Sea

No luck. Sea was too big. I changed my line of thinking. Cast my vision into a stream and pulled out a man I kept.

 

Krystyna Fedosejevs writes poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Her work has been published online and in a number of magazines, including:  Nailpolish Stories, 100 word story, 101 Words, Boston Literary Magazine, From the Depths, SixWordMemoirs, and Espresso Stories.

 

Five pieces by Tyrean Martinson

 

Wicked

Dark purple ice cream with chocolate streaks beckoned her spoons, her lips, her tongue, and she ate until the carton emptied, but she wasn’t satisfied.

 

French Affair

I tucked his yellow fleur-de-lis in my hair, and gave him a rose leaf. He dropped it, a missed message in the language of flowers.

 

Hopelessly in Love

After, I stood at the window, wagging my tail. She never returned to fill my food dish again. My dog heart broke, but loved on.

 

Need Sunglasses?

Promenade vendors pushed dark, plastic lenses. I chose a ladybug pair, covered my eyes, and waited for the end flash, a future that blinded us.

 

Ahead of the Game

The clock ticked. I ran down the hall, contract in hand. I won the raise. But, the competition dogged me, plotting to drag me down.

 

 

 

Tyrean Martinson, everyday writer, has three story collections out, some experimental fiction, and three novels. She’s a believer and a daydreamer. Find her online at http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

 

Two pieces by Evert Asberg

Dream Catcher

My wife evaporates healing scents, prepares healthy food, gives me a loving massage. The next day I feel better. Back to work. Love ruins everything.

 

Priti

When the loyal employee subjected his wife to a customer satisfaction survey, she appeared to have left without a trace. He ticked the appropriate box.

@EvertAsberg looks into his notebook to see what stories came bursting out of him that night.

 

Pep Plum by Shermie Rayne

I’d already lost my soul to Queen Reina. So when my precious prince held my plum-colored heart out for the court to judge, I capitulated.

Shermie Rayne likes to use written words to ponder, push against, or relish in this journey of life. She’s finding that micro/flash fiction is an excellent medium to do just that.http://shermierayne.wordpress.com/

 

January, 2016

Three pieces by Mureall Hébert

Rich In Heart

$4,500—an honest accounting error

$45,000—intention

Franny lined her mattress

too jittery to spend a dime

and spent her nights

sleeping like a queen

Go Go Girl

Sara’s belly unfolded in a blossom of unplanned swelling. Her tattered soul straightened, patched its leaks, and grew steady enough to support her detaching hips.

Folly

He groped me during our second date. Bamboo’s Circus. Threadbare lions, two drunk clowns, and a half-naked lady riding bareback. Gold paint can’t change anything.

Mureall Hébert lives near Seattle. Her writing has appeared in Lunch Ticket, Crack the Spine, and Bartleby Snopes, among others. She’s co-editor at Whidbey Writes. You can find her online at http://www.mureallhebert.com and @mureallhebert

Two pieces by Zella Christensen

Celeb City

She dreamed of living in Beverly Hills with the stars, and now she does. She steals her neighbors’ trash and sells it to make rent.

Heavy Metal

As she strips the ancient house, she blasts Black Sabbath to distract from thoughts of arsenic in the wood, lead in the tacky pink paint.

Zella Christensen writes fiction and poetry, some of which you can find at zellawrites.com. She is still trying to learn how to paint her nails without also painting her whole hand.

Two pieces by Clarissa Adkins

Va Va Voom

You will not miss the clear note on our spotless, fuchsia counter. But me, yes. I’m leaving you all in Miami and heading to Virginia.

Ice Melt

Blueberry ice cream was a poor choice at the fall festival. The temperature dropped. Like a sticky scarecrow, hay strode ticketless through the corn maze.

Clarissa wears numerous hats related to reading, writing, and words, including the invisible one she wears while she teaches English to high school students.

Stylenomics by Stephanie Amargi

The boy held the suit to his face and breathed. He was always the best dressed man, they said. He was the best liar too.

Stephanie Amargi lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband. Her poetry is forthcoming in Foundling Review. She writes about her love for food, words, and being human on her blog https://balsamicvignette.wordpress.com.

Two pieces by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Fade to Black

She’s long legs and attitude.
He notes the baby fat, cheap lip-gloss.
He gives – a smile, a cigarette, a ride, a beating.
He takes – everything.

Shifting Power

Lana spills across his lap. Her skin, dark syrup, smothers his gray suit.
He moans. His eyes, shut.
She pauses. His wallet, opens.
Lana smiles.

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

Ask Me Anything by Kent V Anderson

And then she asks me why I want to marry her.
Is it for her money?
I ask her what the other possible answers are.

Kent V Anderson intends to make this story into a movie. The screenplay might be somewhat longer, with several added characters, including a blind eccentric billionaire, and ending in a dramatic fight scene over a small bottle of colorful liquid which apparently is useful for other things besides cosmetic purposes. Kent would like to play himself, but the other parts are still available.

Fire by Sarah Vernetti

Using her new markers, she drew a girl who looked just like herself. It came to life and pulled her hair. She retaliated with scissors.

Sarah Vernetti lives in Las Vegas.

Best of 2015

“Best of 2015” stories were selected for their use of unique 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 contributors for spinning these powerful pieces that made 2015 sparkle here at Nailpolish Stories. To NS readers and contributors alike, enjoy, be inspired, and thank you for supporting the journal.

from January

Thinking of Blue by Sierra Offutt

The walls carry layers of navy, bringing midnight indoors. We spatter-painted the ceiling with stars; spattered each other with occasional love. The door’s shut now.

Sierra Offutt picked up a pen at the age of seven and never put it down. She has never believed in limiting herself to a single genre, although fiction was her first love. She now splits her time between writing, borderline caffeine addiction, and being an avid overachiever working toward three majors in Psychology, Creative Writing, and English at Widener University.

Banana Split by Barry Basden
The Asian war bride, waiting in a VA hospital for her husband’s death, thought again of her village, and banana trees that once grew there.

Barry Basden lives in the Texas hill country. He edits Camroc Press Review and is coauthor of Crack! and Thump: With a Combat Infantry Officer in World War II. His shorter work has been published widely, both online and in print. A chapbook of his flash fiction, Used Rainbows, was published in 2014 by Red Dashboard.

from April

Mind Your Mittens by Kelsey Dean

In Michigan we use our hands for maps.

My restless feet take me everywhere except home,

but it’s always here, always pulsing in my palm.

Kelsey Dean is essentially Pippi Longstocking, although her hair is not red. She tries out different careers by day and writes by night. She also paints. You may see some of her work on this page: http://kelseypaints.tumblr.com/. Kelsey is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, but is currently living in Istanbul, where she hopes to become a mermaid in the Bosporus.

Peach Perfect by Len Kuntz

Summers we picked fruit along with the migrants, mother sweet on the foreman, Dad just paroled, the sun a gold peach asking too many questions.

Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State and an editor at Literary Orphans. His story collection, “The Dark Sunshine” debuted from Connotation Press last year. His work appears widely in print and online, and also atlenkuntz.BlogSpot.com

from July

Coming Up Roses by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Her grave, like the assault, is done in haste. She fights for life, shoving her fingers up through the dirt, seedlings desperate for the sun.

Madeline Mora-Summonte reads, writes and breathes fiction in all its forms. She is the author of THE PEOPLE WE USED TO BE: A Flash Fiction Collection.

Ski Teal We Drop by Georgene Smith Goodin

You’re the daredevil; I’m the audience.
I sip cider by the fire. You lie in snow, lips blue, neck broken.
Your poles snapped as planned.
 

Georgene Smith Goodin’s work has appeared in Alligator Juniper, After the Pause and Every Day Fiction. She has won the Mash Stories flash fiction competition and regularly competes in The Moth StorySLAMS. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the cartoonist Robert Goodin, and their two dogs, Toaster and Idget. Follow her @gsmithgoodin.

from October

Endurance Race to the Finish by Barry Basden

The Messerschmitt makes pass after pass at my wounded plane. But at the channel, the German pilot salutes and peels away. Rudderless, I struggle home.

Barry Basden is coauthor of Crack! and Thump: With a Combat Infantry Officer in World War II. His shorter work has been published widely, both online and in print. His latest flash collection is Wince.

Night and Fog by Sab Holzman

grandpa goes into
the living room
he talks about growing up
in nazi germany
i don’t listen
his furrowed hands move
like shutting doors

Sab Holzman is a creative writing student who enjoys magical realism and Seamus Heaney.

October, 2015

Three pieces by Barry Basden

Wild Blue Yonder

Through thin cold air, Luftwaffe fighters rise to meet you. “Stay alert,” you tell the crew, and give control of the B-17 to the bombardier.

Running with the In-finite Crowd

He rolls over, dives after the bogey, fires long bursts, screaming, “I got him!” They crash almost together: fireballs and smoke, enemy and new ace.

Endurance Race to the Finish

The Messerschmitt makes pass after pass at my wounded plane. But at the channel, the German pilot salutes and peels away. Rudderless, I struggle home.

Barry Basden is coauthor of Crack! and Thump: With a Combat Infantry Officer in World War II. His shorter work has been published widely, both online and in print. His latest flash collection is Wince.

Tudor City Teal by Damar Stone

Annoyingly poofy teal dress. Matching hair streaks.
I hadn’t broken Mother’s royal rules exactly.
She taught me to make an entrance unforgettable.
So, I did.

Damar Stone, believer that all stories connect.

Night and Fog by Sab Holzman
grandpa goes into
the living room
he talks about growing up
in nazi germany
i don’t listen
his furrowed hands move
like shutting doors

Sab Holzman is a creative writing student who enjoys magical realism and Seamus Heaney.

Two pieces by Tyrean Martinson
Seared Bronze
With pointed sticks, they roasted their marshmallows over a fire kindled by her stolen journals. She held the sharpening knife until it seared her skin.

Pyro Pink
When the pink-haired lady at the fireworks stand offered real adventures, Sam didn’t expect the dragon on his doorstep. Thankfully, he owned a fire extinguisher.

Tyrean Martinson, every day writer, likes tea and tales. Find her online at http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/

Five pieces by Cameron Filas

Fifth Avenue
I control fifth to the bridge. Everyone knows that. Except sometimes people forget. So I remind ‘em. Ask Slim Jim why he’s in a wheelchair.

First Timer
The couch was more comfortable than she’d imagined. She sat naked, nervous. The video camera stared at her. He approached. Easy money; for baby food.

Sandy Beach
We ran down the steps to the sand. There were shells, smooth rocks, and beach glass to be found; and maybe my first kiss, too.

Fierce, No Fear
“Attack!” He shouted. “Kill!” We replied, as we thrusted our bayonets into the tires; faux enemy that would not thrust back. We were brave warriors.

Devil’s Advocate
Lucifer sat cross armed in his seat as I pleaded with the angelic jury. “What crime has he actually committed? He didn’t eat the fruit.”

Cameron Filas loves the challenge of crafting a micro-fiction piece. You can find his other publications at http://www.cameronfilas.wordpress.com.

Mind Your Mittens by Anne Anthony
Sally shoved her mitten-covered hands deep into her coat’s pockets concealing the damp chocolate ice cream stains from the ladies at her diet support meeting.

Anne Anthony escaped New England’s dreadful winters when her family’s moved to North Carolina where she writes full time. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the company of her encouraging husband, her daughters, her mother, assorted siblings and her faithful English Springer companion, Luke, a merciless critic of her work who only pretends to sleep all the live long day.

Two pieces by JY Saville

Indigo
A bruise the colour of thunderclouds blooms on her leg, the tears fall like rain. I thought it was your favourite colour, her mum said.

Show Off
Natalie wore her new red swimsuit, shaved her legs with mum’s razor. Tom dived in the pool fully dressed and stole the limelight as usual.

JY Saville writes whenever she isn’t reading, and spends more time than is healthy blogging at http://thousandmonkeys.wordpress.com

Dream On by Shermie Rayne

Dust dances above the corn tassels. Breathless: I wait. Brakes squeak, rusty metal opens. Grinning, mailman Bob slides a thick envelope into my box. Breathe!

Shermie Rayne likes to use written words to ponder, push against, or relish in this journey of life. She’s finding that micro/flash fiction is an excellent medium to do just that. http://shermierayne.wordpress.com/

July, 2015

Wrap Me Up by S. Kay

The bot-written fake email is so touching, a spear-phishing campaign
nets a 15% click rate on hot malware links. People see hope in new
kin.

S. Kay writes one tweet at a time. Her debut book “Reliant” is
available for preorder at tNY.Press/reliant. Follow her at
@blueberrio.

Blue in your Face by Gary Treible

Shoes, socks, and the remote control lie on the crest of the dam.  The sun shines through the dryness of September, yet the water rises.

Gary Treible is from a place that doesn’t exist any more.  Seeking more substantial accommodation, he now lives in the Pennsylvania heartland surrounded by acres of Peppermint Patties, barbells, and pad mounted heat pumps.  His writing focuses mainly on short works such as lists, errata sheets, addenda, marginal notes, and greeting card platitudes.  He recently submitted a work to a web site.

High Roller by Rachel Dull

Steph agreed Brendan’s smoking jacket with a pocket for his vaporizer made him “classy as shit”, so she spent his weed money on toilet paper.

Rachel Dull is a professional data manager, classic over-thinker, and zealous friend. She is currently working on a novel by continually distracting herself with the quicker gratification of flash fiction.

Rose Bowl by J. Donnelly
He’s standing by the jukebox now, directly under the championship photo. Still, nobody recognizes Todd from his glory days.  All he wants is a drink.
J. Donnelly lives and writes in Astoria, NY. His chapbook on Amazon singles is called The ECW. Thank you for reading.

Yellow Brick Road by Michelle Wallace

Voicemail yet again.

Cut the call.

Dump the peace offering.

Wind scatters hundreds of marigold petals.

Sigh.

Pop a load of pills.

Road to oblivion…

Michelle Wallace is a writer-in-the-making, on a never-ending journey… a flash fiction junkie!

She blogs at http://writer-in-transit.co.za/

Two pieces by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Coming Up Roses

Her grave, like the assault, is done in haste. She fights for life, shoving her fingers up through the dirt, seedlings desperate for the sun.

Reflecting Pool

Lisa stares into the puddle. Her face is dirty and mean, just like Mama’s love. She stomps the water, sends teardrops of herself everywhere, nowhere.

Madeline Mora-Summonte reads, writes and breathes fiction in all its forms. She is the author of THE PEOPLE WE USED TO BE: A Flash Fiction Collection.

Burnt Orange by Luke Silver

“Why?” I ask.
He extends his arm and shows me blistered skin that pusses like Jell-O.
“Because I’d rather feel pain then nothing at all.”
Luke Silver is a Los Angeles native living in a shoebox in New York City. He has a blackbelt in Kung Fu and a very limited sense of smell. His work has been published elsewhere. He can be found on twitter @LUKEABRASSI.

Two pieces by Trudy Utterly

Congeniality is My Middle Name

Big grotesque faces. That’s what I see all day. They have spit on the corners of their mouths. “Keep the customer satisfied!” I tell myself.

Two pieces by Trudy Utterly

I Saw…U Saw…We Saw…Warsaw

There had to be over two hundred eyes in The Old Town Market Place that summer’s day. Yours were the only ones that were blue.

Trudy Utterly collects words, letters and punctuation marks by night, occasionally an umlaut or two, and by morning has stacked them into neat little stories in her head. Usually, by early evening, she sticks them to paper. When she is not checking her dots and tittles, she is performing in musicals in the kitchen, painting pictures on the bedroom ceiling or composing symphonies in the bathtub.

Ski Teal We Drop by Georgene Smith Goodin
You’re the daredevil; I’m the audience.
I sip cider by the fire. You lie in snow, lips blue, neck broken.
Your poles snapped as planned.
Georgene Smith Goodin’s work has appeared in Alligator Juniper, After the Pause and Every Day Fiction. She has won the Mash Stories flash fiction competition and regularly competes in The Moth StorySLAMS. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the cartoonist Robert Goodin, and their two dogs, Toaster and Idget. Follow her @gsmithgoodin.
Twp pieces by Joanna M. Weston
Blue Lagoon
dive me down among octopus
weaving through coral
catch a swordfish by the tail
swing by sharks before breakfast
then let me bask in sunlight

Royal

crown me with rubies and diamonds
with earrings of emeralds
necklace of sapphires and gold
a dress embroidered with pearls
but make my shoes comfortable
JOANNA M. WESTON. Married; has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses.  Her middle-reader, ‘Those Blue Shoes’, published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, ‘A Summer Father’, published by Frontenac House of Calgary.  Her eBook,  ‘The Willow Tree Girl’ at her blog:  http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/

April, 2015

Three pieces by Kelsey Dean

Mind Your Mittens

In Michigan we use our hands for maps.

My restless feet take me everywhere except home,

but it’s always here, always pulsing in my palm.


Come to Bed Red

The color I wished I’d whispered in his ears.

But at sixteen, my cheeks

went cherry pink at the thought

and my tongue kept tripping.

Knockout Pout 

Her daddy wouldn’t pull the sled.  She had to drag it herself, eyebrows knitting curses, wondering if the effort was really worth a ten-second thrill.

Kelsey Dean is essentially Pippi Longstocking, although her hair is not red.  She tries out different careers by day and writes by night.  She also paints.  You may see some of her work on this page: http://kelseypaints.tumblr.com/. Kelsey is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, but is currently living in Istanbul, where she hopes to become a mermaid in the Bosporus.

Ten pieces by Len Kuntz

Starburst

They looked like that—minty-green, tangy lemon, plum-colored.  She tugged her knee-highs, hiding the bruises like a good daughter, beckoning her first boyfriend forward.

Firestarter

Summers we started fires.  Twig piles, then brush fires, abandoned barns behind our trailer park, empty residences.  The last one—our lives—smoldered longest of all.

Angelic Cynic

Slick lips, light as scarves or gossamer.  He took her that way, a new Houdini, made her fly.  He said, “Abracadabra,” and for once she believed.

Happenstance

In the office elevator he smelled garlic and shrimp.  She was older, her lips swollen berries.  He took them, said, “Marry me,” as she swooned.

Electric Red

My daughter paints everything fire-engine red—lips, lashes, hair, nails.  There’s a rough, new boy now.  “Don’t worry,” she says. “He’s nothing like you, Dad.”

Coconut Surprise

My daughter returns from the tropic tent with a tongue stud.  She says it’s to keep her focused, clicks the bead, says, “Or maybe ecstasy.”

Full Moon

The power’s out, everything frozen while moonlight lifts off the lake.  You take my hand and lead.  You kiss me hard, say, “Shut up, stupid.”

Scotch on the Rocks

He’s passed out, a polar bear snoring, Jimmy Fallon on TV.  You empty his half-empty glass in the sink, thinking half-empty, half-full, time to leave.

Rock Chick

My daughter visits: half-shaved head, studs where eyebrows should be, wearing torn fishnets and studded stilettoes.  She lights up a cigarette and I listen.

Peach Perfect

Summers we picked fruit along with the migrants, mother sweet on the foreman, Dad just paroled, the sun a gold peach asking too many questions.

Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State and an editor at Literary Orphans.  His story collection, “The Dark Sunshine” debuted from Connotation Press last year.  His work appears widely in print and online, and also at lenkuntz.BlogSpot.com

Secret Stash by Dan Plate
In those days, Joseph used the wise men’s gifts to buy a set of tools, a solid workbench, and a string of pearls for Mary.

Dan Plate lives in Illinois with his wife and three kids, teaching and indulging an interest in everything mathematical.

Lady Godiva by Kayla Pongrac

Lady Godiva slurps steaming milk from
a wooden spoon while I talk about
ceiling fans and garden hoses.
She ignores me. Burns her cold tongue.

Kayla Pongrac is an avid writer, reader, tea drinker, and record spinner. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Vinyl Poetry, Split Lip Magazine, Oblong, HOOT, KYSO Flash, and Nat. Brut, among others. Her first chapbook is forthcoming from Anchor and Plume Press. To read more of Kayla’s work, visit www.kaylapongrac.com or follow her on Twitter @KP_the_Promisee.

Two pieces by Patricia Zoltan

Not Just a Pretty Face

Online Dating Service Entry Form

Account Name: Tart With a Heart

Age: Younger Than Springtime

Appearance: Funky Comes To Town

Occupation: Nail Polish Name Creator

Through The Fire

We were waiting for the train, starving and ragged but free, smudgy-faced, smelling like stray dogs. A woman in white, smiling, handed me an apple.

Patricia Zoltan is an Adelaide-based writer in South Australia. Her short stories have recently appeared in Bukker Tillibul, bukkertillibul.net, and on writersbillboard.net. Her story, ‘Violet and the Clairvoyant’ was the winner of the Flash Fiction competition of Writers Billboard in March 2015 and is available online, http://writersbillboard.net/flashfictioncomp.html

Patricia is also the Founder and Managing Editor of Tiny Bites, an online literary journal, dedicated to short fiction, tinybites.net,

which is now open for submission at TinyBitesSubmissions@gmail.com

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