A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal

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

 

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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.

January, 2019

Afterglow by Barry Basden

At dusk, I stare seaward,
trying hard to picture just
what it was she saw
during those final days,
when she could no longer read.

Barry Basden lives with his wife and an old yellow Lab in the Texas
hill country. He has never had a manicure.

 

Two pieces by Megan Corkery
Rose at Dawn . . . Broke by Noon

She wipes at her runny, chapped nose and rises from bed.

White lines decorate the dresser.

Her dealer arrives with the sun.

Her wallet empties.

 

So Many Clowns . . . So Little Time

Round red noses and vivid rainbow wigs battle ticking clocks and endless responsibilities.

“I wanna come back tomorrow!” the child whines.

She sighs, and thinks…

Megan Corkery is a junior at Widener University who loves writing short fiction pieces and has a great love for mac and cheese. If she could, she would adopt every dog in the world and be completely content with her life.  

 

Hazy Daze by Nicole Gray
The chilled bottle

crouched between

thighs

It warmed

So did I

both sat

the night

on the kitchen floor

now damp

and us

luke-warm

 

Nicole Gray is a current Junior at Widener University. Her writing is infused with blunt and sharp imagery that forces you to wrestle with it. She hopes to continue writing even as she attends law school and pursue’s a career in that field.
 

 

 

 

Best of 2018

“Best of 2018” 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 all of the contributing writers whose work was selected for this special issue.  And thank you to every submitter and reader.

 

From January

Tap Dancers by Clarissa McFairy

Her glass stilettos clink as they tap the tiles of the Trattoria. Tall champagne glasses, toasting each step towards her new prey. Spouse number six.

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.

Breakfast in Red by Tyrean Martinson

She ordered stewed tomatoes.
Her fingers were red, not the nails, but the skin.
I didn’t ask. I just served.
One never questioned the queen.

Tyrean Martinson is a writer, teacher, daydreamer, and believer who lives on the Peninsula in Washington State. She is the author of speculative and non-fiction books, as well as over 100 published short works of poetry and short stories. Find her at: http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com

From April

After Midnight

Moon rays lit long hair
as her breath paused.
One teardrop on soft skin.
She said,
“How many minutes ‘til you pass through me again?”

Stella Samuel is an author and editor writing women’s fiction, LGBT fiction, and children’s literature. She lives in Arizona, just about a mile south of the sun where her winter weather Saint Bernards soak up rays at her feet while she writes poolside.

From July

Garage Band by Erin Adams

She shimmies under, hopeful
Three-chord thrum stops, drummer makes a fat joke
She dumps someone’s mom’s lemon squares in her purse,
hits the opener button.

Erin Adams is pursuing her MFA in creative writing at Spalding University. Her brilliant husband, ill-behaved dogs, and talented writer friends are her greatest inspirations.

 

From October

Two pieces by Tracy Brooks

Beach Bum Blu

Pushed and swirled by currents, exhausted aquamarine ripples wash the coconut onto powdered sand. Travel-weary, it lies there; hot sunlight bubbling spongy flesh. Journey’s end.

Beach Bum Blu

Blue toes. Blue heart.
Pain swells with wave surges.
Her beach. Her baby. No more.
Snatched by the ocean, swept to the mermaids.
Greedy Neptune.

Tracy Brooks realized that turning 50 was a slap in the face – mortality didn’t merely appear on her horizon, it became measurable! It was at this point that she reinvented herself and began roaming in a completely new direction. After completing the SA Writers College Magazine Journalism course with distinction in 2012 and with her two fledged sons rather delinquent in their grandchildren-production duties, she began to fill the space in her empty nest with writing. Together with her husband, she travels in southern and East Africa, keen to see and experience everything she can before a Zimmer frame clips her wings. Her interests include the environment, travel, reading, the bush and outdoors, food, wine and gardening and she believes firmly that the joy of writing is better than Botox.

October, 2018

Two pieces by Tracy Brooks

Beach Bum Blu

Pushed and swirled by currents, exhausted aquamarine ripples wash the coconut onto powdered sand. Travel-weary, it lies there; hot sunlight bubbling spongy flesh. Journey’s end.

Beach Bum Blu

Blue toes. Blue heart.
Pain swells with wave surges.
Her beach. Her baby. No more.
Snatched by the ocean, swept to the mermaids.
Greedy Neptune.

Tracy Brooks realised that turning 50 was a slap in the face – mortality didn’t merely appear on her horizon, it became measurable! It was at this point that she reinvented herself and began roaming in a completely new direction. After completing the SA Writers College Magazine Journalism course with distinction in 2012 and with her two fledged sons rather delinquent in their grandchildren-production duties, she began to fill the space in her empty nest with writing. Together with her husband, she travels in southern and East Africa, keen to see and experience everything she can before a Zimmer frame clips her wings. Her interests include the environment, travel, reading, the bush and outdoors, food, wine and gardening and she believes firmly that the joy of writing is better than botox.

 

Bikini with a Martini by Kimberly Osgood

That is how I got him and made him leave her.
Now there’s another Martini and a new bikini.
That is how I lost him.

Kimberly Osgood lives and writes in Miami, Florida with her fiance Ian.
Her work has appeared in Paragraph Planet and 50 Word Stories. Her preferred poolside drink is champagne.

 

Two pieces by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Relentless Ruby

She scours the stain, a scar crossing centuries.

Desperate, she weeps. Haunted, she scrubs.

Blood from a murder holds fast.

Especially if it’s your own.

 

Find Me An Oasis

The sun sets.

Tom stops pretending. This new world is barren, devastated.

He turns away from the mannequins wearing tropical shirts, bikinis.

The gun rises.

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.

 

Penny Talk by Suzanne Cottrell

“Penny for your thoughts.”

“Try a dollar,” she smiled.

“I’ll read your mind instead.”

Cheapskate. “Really? Good luck.”

This blind date can’t end soon enough.

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 (Inwood Indiana Press), Dual Coast Magazine, and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal. Riding the writing journey waves as long as it lasts.

July, 2018

Dear readers and contributors,

I apologize for the late posting of this issue!  It’s a tiny one, too.  And I’ve included a piece of my own.  I hope you enjoy.

 

Pink Bikini by Nicole Monaghan

She wants coves, coconuts, indigenous lizards.

She wants the ocean.

She was six then sixteen.

I will gather her the whole sea in my arms.

 

Nicole Monaghan is founding and managing editor of Nailpolish Stories, a Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal.  Her collection of small fictions Want, Wound won the Burning River Contest in 2013.  She is editor of STRIPPED (PS Books 2011), an anthology of anonymous flash fiction featuring nearly fifty writers of flash across the country and the world.  Her work appears in many venues both online and in print.  Visit her at http://www.writenic.wordpress.com

 

 

Garage Band by Erin Adams

She shimmies under, hopeful

Three-chord thrum stops, drummer makes a fat joke

She dumps someone’s mom’s lemon squares in her purse,

hits the opener button.

 

Erin Adams is author of the novel, Wait for the Light, and she works as a freelance copywriter when she’s not being lazy. Her brilliant husband, ill-behaved dogs, and talented writer friends are her greatest inspirations. You can find out more about Erin at http://www.erin-adams.com

 

Three pieces by Clarissa McFairy

Mimosas for Mr. and Mrs. 

He never gave her roses, only mimosas. Mimosa wedding bouquet. Mimosa petals on honeymoon bed. Mimosa cocktails in bathtub. Mimosa kisses. Then she drowned him.

 

Nein! Nein! Nein! OK, Fine!

“Enough booze! Gimme that bottle, Kat. How many lives d’you think you’ve got?” “Nein! Nein! Nein! OK, Fine!”, sobs Katinka, kissing her ninth Hansa goodbye.

 

Nein! Nein! Nein! OK, Fine!

One more kiss, Brunhilda. Nein! Nein! Nein! OK, Fine! Her smouldering lips sink into his neck. Afterwards, he phones room service for a Bloody Mary.

 

Clarissa McFairy lives in Cape Town, South Africa. She writes short stories and poetry for anthologies, at home and abroad. Her poem, La Mia Musawas 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.

 

 

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