“Best of 2014” 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 2014 sparkle here at Nailpolish Stories. To NS readers and contributors alike, enjoy, be inspired, and thank you for supporting the journal.
Altar Ego by Annmarie Lockhart
He knew I’d bail.
I got too much pride
to walk that aisle,
with her standing there
carrying my flowers and
Annmarie Lockhart is the founding editor of vox poetica, an online literary salon dedicated to bringing poetry into the everyday, and Unbound Content, an independent press devoted to poetry. A lifelong resident of Bergen County NJ, she writes two miles east of the hospital where she was born. Her words can be found at fine places in print and online.
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.
Big Money by Tyrean Martinson
When the terrorists shot down Big Money, she was hiking up her Franklin skirt to show off her thighs. She died alone under flickering streetlights.
Tyrean Martinson had to rifle through her daughters’ nail polish to find Big Money and Classic Coral, but she’s thankful she did. Tyrean has also written Champion In the Darkness, a fantasy novel, and other short stories and poetry. You can find her online at Tyrean’s Writing Spot.
Violet Flicker by Madeline Mora-Summonte
He holds out the bouquet, but he can’t reach across the chasm he created.
The flowers match the color of the bruises staining her skin.
Minimalistic by Emily Strauss
women gathering eat
silence, the cat low
slung, with a bell
around her neck
ignores us all,
hears crows outside
the window, hisses
Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry. Over 160 of her poems appear in dozens of online venues and in anthologies. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California, and never uses nail polish, except on the floor.
Gray Area by Sarah Vernetti
They met in a group session, shared lunch in the cafeteria. Never broke the rule: no overnight guests. They married in the hospital’s serenity garden.
Sarah Vernetti is a freelance writer and mom. She lives in Las Vegas.
Fierce, No Fear by Madeline Mora-Summonte
The biopsy needle slurps fluid, tastes tissue. Across her breast, bruises bloom like predatory flowers.
She waits. Considers options. Weeps. Regrets. Prays.
The phone rings.
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.
Teal the Cows Come Home by Brigitte Winter
Yeah, we’re disappointed.
Thirty-year journey to the colony. Three years of bioengineering.
We wait thirty-three years to see cows again.
And they come out blue?
Brigitte Winter is a collector and teller of stories, a theatrical director, a cookie baker, a wannabe world traveler, and the Executive Director of Young Playwrights’ Theater, a Washington, DC nonprofit that inspires young people to realize the power of their own voices through creative writing (www.yptdc.org). She has a passion for boundary-busting speculative fiction, and her current novel-in-progress is a pre-apocalyptic coming of age adventure. All of her celebrity crushes are on authors. You can follow her on tumblr @thebrigittewinter for anonymous magnetic poetry, errant street signs, and other word wonders.