Five pieces by Leo Norman
No moon; air crisp as mother’s sheets. Shivering, I spy the cab. The handle sticks. Opens. Coffee steams inside. Newspaper on the seat. Marie Celeste.
Mystery. I see the bricks, the place where no Holmes stood. Glancing down, his bright eyes bring it all to life. Elementary, my dear Watson.
Westminster Bridge. Iconic, poetic. Old. Ghosts of Blake and Wordsworth. Water grey as tombstones. He takes off his shoes. Jumps.
Old Street Graffiti
I take my aerosol downtown. Up for trouble. Mischief. Old punk, Mohican and slippers. I whoop with glee as I add apostrophes to shop signage.
Leo Norman is an English teacher at a girls’ secondary school. Every day, he spends far too much time asking girls to take nail polish off. Sorry. He lives in Southampton, England, with his wife and son.
Six pieces by Deborah Purdy
On winning the lottery
She smacks herself
On the head
Home to hide
In a shoebox
Under the bed
Blue My Mind
sapphire is what i
thought i saw
reaching into the night
where all the lights are the
same and run
into the river
What Wizardry is This?
She disappeared into herself
For a while and while she was
Gone, she was replaced by a
Door with a sign that read
The Color to Watch
It’s this year’s new
White, a lavender as
Light as air and spare as
A single kiss left lingering
On the cold shoulder
The upside down of lucky
Takes its time taking
Like some black spell
Situating itself on the
Of the book you left behind
The signs were there but I couldn’t read them,
Couldn’t see them until I tripped and they
Knocked me down, covering me with their
Deborah Purdy lives in the Philadelphia area where she writes poetry and creates fiber art. She has been a research scientist and a reference librarian.
Three pieces by Beverly C. Lucey
Tomatoes climb fences on Martin Terrace.
Four grape arbors droop on Maple.
Plum trees hang in McDougal’s yard.
On my street…nothing grows.
It’s not pretty, tripping over your tongue
But Melanie downed eight Margueritas.
Waking on sand, head crackling,
Seaweed clung where her clothes had been.
Tucumari Boys ‘n Berry
Boys was mining in Ragtown
around 1901 fearing Comanche
‘cept Rusty ate lantana berries
Then Bud shot off his own foot
More dreams buried.
Beverly C. Lucey has an extensive fiction presence online including ezines: Zoetrope All Story Extra, Vestal Review, CollectedStories.com , Flashquake, Smokelong Quarterly, Bound Off, LitPot, Absinthe Revival, and Feathered Flounder.
Winner of Fiction Contest for Estonian Public Broadcasting (2013)
Three pieces by Jose Ramirez
“Salty,” he says, pensive. “But I like it—it reminds me of the ocean.”
I shudder, sweating profusely, and breathless, “It’s always the quiet ones.”
Coffee in the Mourning
Mrs. Blanco drank her mourning coffee from her favorite ceramic mug, the one her son made years ago, when he was still flesh and bone.
This is a True Story
The man hugged me like I’d almost stolen his life. I would have ended with a pickax in my brain, having scared him to death.
Jose Ramirez is a lover of short stories—because they help him concentrate the meaning. A graduate of San Francisco State University, he majored in Creative Writing. Now he lives in the sleepy suburbs of San Antonio, having left his heart in California.
Three pieces by Michelle Reale
Crushed velvet aged me. I held my head high. You, at the bottom of the spiral staircase. Tucked the tag into my sleeve. Looked away.
There was time for a drink. But only one. Dry Prosecco. You in your tux. Me in my gown. Nowhere to go. We smiled anyway.
The steak was rare. My finger in the blood. You held your breath. The room had an aura. The night would be a long one.
Michelle Reale is an academic librarian on faculty at Arcadia University in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications both in print and online, including Nano Fiction, Smokelong Quarterly, Pank, Gargoyle, The Pedestal, elimae, JMWW and others. Her work was included in Dzanc’s 2011 Best of the Web Anthology. She is the author of four collections of short fiction and prose poems. She has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She blogs on immigration and Migration and Social Justice in the Sicilian context atwww.sempresicilia.wordpress.com
Moon Shine by Marion Brooks
“What more do you want from me?” asked Kevin.
“I’ll have a slice of that moon,” she replied, knife in hand, sharp as her tongue.
Recently retired, Marian Brooks has begun to write some short fiction. Her work has appeared in Curly Red Stories, Post Card Shorts, Thick Jam and others.
Bubble Bath by Joanna M. Weston
He’s chasing them across the grass: bubbles stick in his hair, on his shirt, to his fingers. They pop and pop and he’s four-year-old happy.
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/
Sunset by Krystyna Fedosejevs
Navigating the sidewalks in Mumbai, we search for the western sky.
Shantytown along shoreline halts our tracks.
The setting sun will not wait for us.
Krystyna Fedosejevs gathers appetizing tidbits from around the world, strings them into delectable stories and stores them in her gopher hole in the Canadian Prairies.
Two pieces byJoe D.
DJ Play That Song
Now their tempers were loose, her exes laid into each other with enough force to destroy the whole bar. The check fell to the ground.
A Crewed Interest
Out of the taxi, he looked at the sagging apartment veranda. His bag hung heavy with swag. Everyone he cared about was 5,000 miles away.
Joe D. is a poet and writer from the capital area. He has been published by Paper Darts, Linden Press, and other literary magazines. Most of his days are spent thinking about writing or what to watch on Netflix.
It Starts With Me by P.J. Monroe
I stand up alone. Then you stand up. And then the others join in. We all rise up. We become a wall. We are unbreakable.
P.J. Monroe lives, writes, and paints in Lake County, IL.
Four pieces by Carly Berg
Someone shook December and let the flakes fall. I flap out snow angels like a row of cut out paper dolls beneath cold flying glitter.
Young Heidi scalds the milk, ruins the hot cocoa. Stares out at the blizzard through tears. Mountaintop grandfather curls his fists tight, eyes like stones.
The others went to tents, leaving us with fire trance ‘til it smoldered. Zipped into your sleeping bag together then, cold stars kept us warm.
Hungry at the fountain’s edge. Coins shine through the water. Just a few more buys a burger. Glance, snatch wetly, quarters and an accidental cent.
Carly Berg‘s stories appear in several dozen journals and anthologies, including PANK, Word Riot, Bartleby Snopes and JMWW, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize as well. When she’s not begging the neighbors for sandwiches, she can be found here: http://www.carlyberg.com/index.html