Four pieces by Annmarie Lockhart
Coney Island Cotton Candy
the sugar melted
on pictures of us
when the day tasted
and you bled strawberry
and the beach crawled with
He knew I’d bail.
I got too much pride
to walk that aisle,
with her standing there
carrying my flowers and
Isn’t It Romantic
Rodgers and Hart
meets John Hughes
meets Mary Shelley:
I Weird Science-ed you
into being, my dreamy
Chick Flick Cherry
They bonded over
a schmaltzy ending,
and a toast
to the no-good dog
that started their cat fight
in the first place.
Midnight Ink by Candy Chilton
That night we ran down the beach together, the dark sand cold between our toes, the sea retreating from our footsteps . . . unreachable as the moon.
Candy Chilton lives, laughs and loves in Belgium
Opi Nail Strengthener by Ellie Fabe
So I know desire–
(the backbone it requires)
but would rather flirt a jealous razor’s edge–
than watch it dance alone
all starry fucking night.
Ellie Fabe is an artist/musician in Cincinnati whose mother would not let her wear wear nail polish because it was too trashy for little girls.
Crackle Polish by Randall Brown
She wished aloud for new nails, so I went to the hardware store. She told her friends about her new clever boyfriend. I play along.
Randall Brown teaches at Rosemont College’s MFA Program. He’s the author of the award-winning collection Mad to Live, and his work appears in The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Flash Fiction and Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction. He blogs regularly at FlashFiction.Net and is the founder of Matter Press.
2025 – Liberty Green by Kelly Shackelford
Masses huddle for the cleansing.
Liberty’s torch beaconing, Here, invaders shall hang.
Citizens chant, “Exterminate the parasites,” as Illegals tread by on Freedom’s death march.
Kelly Haas Shackelford has been many things in her short life: preacher’s daughter, a domestic violence survivor, single mom to four, first female project manager in the largest steel company in the US, cat rescuer, word wrangler, and romance enhancement specialist (aka the toy lady). She has had over 50 pieces accepted for publication in various venues such as The Speculative Edge, The Old Red Kimono, Black Petals, and Every Day Poets. Currently, she is working on various writing projects between taking care of her 10 full time rescue cats and taming a feral colony.
Two pieces by B. Lee Draper
Impatiently she checked the time. Again. Why was she waiting? She deserved better. Nodding, she rose to leave. Then he was there, smiling. She sat.
Long hair floated in the foam. Lithe scaled arms clawed the sand. The fisherman stared at his catch. Sea eyes into sky ones. Mermaid dinner?
B. Lee Draper lives in northern Australia and wrangles words as a hobby.
Four pieces by L.M. Leffew
Miles and decades from this place, she will tongue the open mouth of her soda bottle, remember a girl who tastes of summer-warm cherry cola.
Sweet and cold, the office faux pas. Until someone tires of missing snacks. Syringe of ipecac, delicious plums, and the ice box thief is outed.
Using My Maiden Name
It’s been 20 years since she’s scrawled this signature. She adds an extra flourish to the “y’s” tail and hands the decree to the clerk.
They fit together well. Snug like puzzle pieces. He whispers a wish in her ear. She gapes, grins. “Here I thought handcuffs’d be too much….”
L. M. Leffew scribbles stories, novels, novellas, plays, blog entries and the occasional piece of poetry. Some she’s published. Some have been relegated to the morgue file. You can read all about it at her blog: chaoticallyyours.blogspot.com
Two pieces by Jeff Switt
Countless neuroses were her bling, strung with knots of despair, worn in fear that they would scatter across the floor leaving her naked and normal.
They sat on the morning porch in adjudicated silence, separated by two chairs and 43 years of “if onlys” and “what ifs.”
But mostly silence.
Jeff Switt is a retired advertising agency guy who loves writing flash fiction—some days to curb his angst, other days to fuel it. His words have been featured at Dogzplot, Boston Literary Review, Flash Fiction World, Nailpolish Stories, Shotgun Honey, and have appeared at lots of places that take whatever you send in.