A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal

July

Crimson Red by B.S. Johnson
There was blood on the floor, the walls, the counter, the ceiling. He “bled out” they said. Jugular sliced, painting everything around a Crimson Red.

B.S. (Barbie Sue) Johnson resides in Georgia with her husband and parents. She recently had a non-fiction published with Sweatshoppe Publications, Maters, Taters & Grits, and has had poetry published in The Rusty Nail Magazine, and OneFortyFiction.com.  

Two pieces by Thomas Cannon

Barefoot in Barcelona

He tried to hold her hand, but she found herself orbiting him. Sometimes their words led to kissing. Years later, they remember love and smile.

Trailer Trash
He got on my case, the cute one said.
Well, did you cheat?
We were on a break.

Her friend nodded. Then it don’t count.

Thomas is a writer, but wants to keep his day job as as a special education teacher too. Shouldn’t be a choice to be made in the near future.

Mermaid’s Tale by Bruce Harris

Despite having written a wonderful story of love and adventure, Samantha received a failing grade. She knew she should have studied the list of homophones.

Bruce Harris enjoys relaxing with a Marxman.

My Daddy’s the King! by Ross McCleary
No one believed me but they believed the DNA results. By then it was too late. I wasn’t available for comment.

Public heartbreak; private relief.

Ross McCleary is a writer from Edinburgh. He writes a lot of flash fiction and spoken word stories. He doesn’t yet have a website but he talks a load of nonsense and is fixated on unusual Wikipedia pages on his twitter @strongmisgiving

Four pieces by Gemma Bristow

Cherry Cherry Girl
Cherries on her ears, in that photo, whenever I wake. I still put them in the shopping basket. They moulder in the cupboard, ghostly, grey.

Electric Teal
The ducks whirred pleasure as we fed them magnetized flakes. Her birthday. One star shone through the dome; she asked if it was really blue.

Merlot
Trimming those vines, day after day; the same faces, the heat. We have knives. No astonishing matter. But the colour of your blood surprised me.

Yellow Flame
Can you see? It’s over now. I’m here; I’m whole; I have this one candle. I’ll burn it when I learn the date you died.

Gemma Bristow is a technical writer who tries not to think about software interfaces all the time.

Three pieces by Jeff Switt

Pale Cashmere
Backseat snuggling, “Of course I love you.”
Lies exchanged like valentines.
“Don’t stretch my sweater. Here, let me help you. No, not there.”

Mamba
Stiletto heels step to the beat of steel drums. A drop of sweat rolls down her cleavage. What the hell. Tomorrow it’s back to Topeka.

Sweet Memories
Children riding bicycles, innocence in motion, their ring-a-ding bells battling for attention like hummingbirds competing for nectar around my azaleas. I like the birds best.

Jeff Switt likes to write.

Three pieces by Judy Hall

Limited Addiction
We hugged for two full minutes, the corduroy of your jacket leaving imprints on my arm. After, I felt the ridges you left on me.

Don’t Sweater It
I stepped on the back of his shoe, ripping off the sole. Beautiful, dark eyes flashed annoyance at me, then amusement, and he smiled mysteriously.

Dive Bar
Irish whiskey drunk, he laughed too much, but he kept stealing sober glances, judging her reaction. His hand rested on the small of her back.

Judy Hall is a teacher of English both at the high school and college level but she wishes she wasn’t. She wishes someone would pay her to just read and write all the time. She has a Masters in Literature from Rutgers and is an MFA candidate at William Paterson. She’s been previously published in Ostraka, Outsider Ink and Linguistic Erosion (June 13). She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three children, a very stupid cat named Vladimir, an evil cat named Tonks and a number of unnamed fish.

Six pieces by Paula K. Randall

Glitter
The sea sparkles, shimmers. Children paddle, splash each other. Breaking the waves a face, while a hand, a finger points skywards. Help! The children laugh.

Baby Blue

She presses the knitted bonnet to her face. So soft. She types, one finger at a time. ‘For sale’ she writes with difficulty. ‘Never worn’.

Impact
He blanched at the expression on her face. He’d hurt her. He knew that. She reached into her handbag. The bang was deafening. He fell.

Siren
Against the rock the waves crashed. The mermaid surveyed the destruction around her. Masts. Planking. Broken spars. Drowned sailors. She combed her long, golden hair.

Splash
‘We’re perfectly safe,’ said Gemma’s husband. ‘Inflatables are unsinkable’. Neither noticed the dark shadow beneath them, but they felt the surge as the whale surfaced.

Ring the Changes
Emily lifted the receiver. ‘I’m coming,’ she heard. She frowned. ‘Who’s coming? Who are you?’ The door rattled. She watched, waited. Saw the handle turn.

Paula K. Randall lives with her partner in a small, pretty town in Essex, UK. She loves opera, cats, cricket and going to the gym. She’s also a voracious reader of all sorts of fiction. Of course she love to write as well, and her debut crime novel, Hangman’s Wood is currently available on Amazon for Kindle. She’s had a few shorts published recently, mostly, but not all, crime.

Antique Rose by Rebecca Beauchamp
“The roses are beautiful this summer.” I took her thin, wrinkled hand and, knowing she’d be gone by next year, blinked back tears. “Yes, Mom.”

Rebecca Beauchamp is a Maryland writer who masquerades as a nine-to-fiver. Some of her work has been published in “Four and Twenty.”

Three pieces by Eliza Archer

Roma Scarlet
Her heart was the color of ripe, red plum tomatoes. She knew he was going to see it in her eyes. Did he like Italian?

Basque in the Sun
Warm summer afternoons, he became the long bronze sand she sunned her damp body on, hoping that his tan was contagious. But she only burned.

All Shook Up
Five minutes before he arrived, she changed her shoes. Her underwear. Her lipstick. And her policy on never going all the way on first dates.

Eliza Archer is working on a novel. She drinks too much coffee. Reply Forward

Two pieces by Paul Beckman

Seeing Red
The kids in the SUV laughed and flipped me off.
So?
I smiled at the woman driving.
And?
She smiled and gave me the finger.

Green Envy
My family shares everything—cars to clothes; but I didn’t offer to share my husband with my sister no matter what she says.
Nuh uh.

Paul Beckman writes everywhere and sells real estate in Connecticut. One endeavor is much more rewarding than the other. He’s been published in The Raleigh Review, Boston Literary Review, The Brooklyner, Web Del Sol, Playboy, Soundzine, 5 Trope, Word Riot and other wonderful venues in print, on line & via audio and photography. Stories upcoming in Ascent Aspirations, Yellow Mama, Pure Slush & The Story Shack.

Top Coat by Saira Khan
I arrived in a London Fog trench over my nightie, Heinekens stuffed into the pockets, not wanting to be stranded at your place without drinks.

Saira Khan writes and lives in Clyde Hill, WA and also paints her nails sometimes. Her humorous memoirs will be published posthumously .

Two pieces by Amanda Nicole Corbin

Lonesome Dove
From a distance, you see love: two birds flirting with the sky. But as you approach, one has field-fallen. The other was only a wing.

Black Star

There, but only in theory. Astronauts map the way I chart our conversations; with loosened pants, or Orion’s belt…Why can’t we find his darkened heart?

Amanda Nicole Corbin is currently in Salt Lake City, learning how to teach high schoolers and dreaming about onion rings.

The Café Look by George Sparling

Seated at a table, I glance at a man who stares at my scars. I think: his struggle

lies inside while I bear atrocity outside.

George
likes red beans and quinoa, Ornette Coleman, his stationary bicycle,
neo-noir movies, scarlet tanagers, and dreams & nightmares. He lives in Northern California, on the north coast. He’s been published in many literary magazines including Underground Voices, Full of Crow, Linguistic Erosion, 50 Comrades of Red, Paper Darts, and theNewerYork.

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