A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal

Archive for January, 2016

January, 2016

Three pieces by Mureall Hébert

Rich In Heart

$4,500—an honest accounting error


Franny lined her mattress

too jittery to spend a dime

and spent her nights

sleeping like a queen

Go Go Girl

Sara’s belly unfolded in a blossom of unplanned swelling. Her tattered soul straightened, patched its leaks, and grew steady enough to support her detaching hips.


He groped me during our second date. Bamboo’s Circus. Threadbare lions, two drunk clowns, and a half-naked lady riding bareback. Gold paint can’t change anything.

Mureall Hébert lives near Seattle. Her writing has appeared in Lunch Ticket, Crack the Spine, and Bartleby Snopes, among others. She’s co-editor at Whidbey Writes. You can find her online at http://www.mureallhebert.com and @mureallhebert

Two pieces by Zella Christensen

Celeb City

She dreamed of living in Beverly Hills with the stars, and now she does. She steals her neighbors’ trash and sells it to make rent.

Heavy Metal

As she strips the ancient house, she blasts Black Sabbath to distract from thoughts of arsenic in the wood, lead in the tacky pink paint.

Zella Christensen writes fiction and poetry, some of which you can find at zellawrites.com. She is still trying to learn how to paint her nails without also painting her whole hand.

Two pieces by Clarissa Adkins

Va Va Voom

You will not miss the clear note on our spotless, fuchsia counter. But me, yes. I’m leaving you all in Miami and heading to Virginia.

Ice Melt

Blueberry ice cream was a poor choice at the fall festival. The temperature dropped. Like a sticky scarecrow, hay strode ticketless through the corn maze.

Clarissa wears numerous hats related to reading, writing, and words, including the invisible one she wears while she teaches English to high school students.

Stylenomics by Stephanie Amargi

The boy held the suit to his face and breathed. He was always the best dressed man, they said. He was the best liar too.

Stephanie Amargi lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband. Her poetry is forthcoming in Foundling Review. She writes about her love for food, words, and being human on her blog https://balsamicvignette.wordpress.com.

Two pieces by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Fade to Black

She’s long legs and attitude.
He notes the baby fat, cheap lip-gloss.
He gives – a smile, a cigarette, a ride, a beating.
He takes – everything.

Shifting Power

Lana spills across his lap. Her skin, dark syrup, smothers his gray suit.
He moans. His eyes, shut.
She pauses. His wallet, opens.
Lana smiles.

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

Ask Me Anything by Kent V Anderson

And then she asks me why I want to marry her.
Is it for her money?
I ask her what the other possible answers are.

Kent V Anderson intends to make this story into a movie. The screenplay might be somewhat longer, with several added characters, including a blind eccentric billionaire, and ending in a dramatic fight scene over a small bottle of colorful liquid which apparently is useful for other things besides cosmetic purposes. Kent would like to play himself, but the other parts are still available.

Fire by Sarah Vernetti

Using her new markers, she drew a girl who looked just like herself. It came to life and pulled her hair. She retaliated with scissors.

Sarah Vernetti lives in Las Vegas.


Best of 2015

“Best of 2015” 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 2015 sparkle here at Nailpolish Stories. To NS readers and contributors alike, enjoy, be inspired, and thank you for supporting the journal.

from January

Thinking of Blue by Sierra Offutt

The walls carry layers of navy, bringing midnight indoors. We spatter-painted the ceiling with stars; spattered each other with occasional love. The door’s shut now.

Sierra Offutt picked up a pen at the age of seven and never put it down. She has never believed in limiting herself to a single genre, although fiction was her first love. She now splits her time between writing, borderline caffeine addiction, and being an avid overachiever working toward three majors in Psychology, Creative Writing, and English at Widener University.

Banana Split by Barry Basden
The Asian war bride, waiting in a VA hospital for her husband’s death, thought again of her village, and banana trees that once grew there.

Barry Basden lives in the Texas hill country. He edits Camroc Press Review and is coauthor of Crack! and Thump: With a Combat Infantry Officer in World War II. His shorter work has been published widely, both online and in print. A chapbook of his flash fiction, Used Rainbows, was published in 2014 by Red Dashboard.

from April

Mind Your Mittens by Kelsey Dean

In Michigan we use our hands for maps.

My restless feet take me everywhere except home,

but it’s always here, always pulsing in my palm.

Kelsey Dean is essentially Pippi Longstocking, although her hair is not red. She tries out different careers by day and writes by night. She also paints. You may see some of her work on this page: http://kelseypaints.tumblr.com/. Kelsey is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, but is currently living in Istanbul, where she hopes to become a mermaid in the Bosporus.

Peach Perfect by Len Kuntz

Summers we picked fruit along with the migrants, mother sweet on the foreman, Dad just paroled, the sun a gold peach asking too many questions.

Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State and an editor at Literary Orphans. His story collection, “The Dark Sunshine” debuted from Connotation Press last year. His work appears widely in print and online, and also atlenkuntz.BlogSpot.com

from July

Coming Up Roses by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Her grave, like the assault, is done in haste. She fights for life, shoving her fingers up through the dirt, seedlings desperate for the sun.

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.

Ski Teal We Drop by Georgene Smith Goodin

You’re the daredevil; I’m the audience.
I sip cider by the fire. You lie in snow, lips blue, neck broken.
Your poles snapped as planned.

Georgene Smith Goodin’s work has appeared in Alligator Juniper, After the Pause and Every Day Fiction. She has won the Mash Stories flash fiction competition and regularly competes in The Moth StorySLAMS. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the cartoonist Robert Goodin, and their two dogs, Toaster and Idget. Follow her @gsmithgoodin.

from October

Endurance Race to the Finish by Barry Basden

The Messerschmitt makes pass after pass at my wounded plane. But at the channel, the German pilot salutes and peels away. Rudderless, I struggle home.

Barry Basden is coauthor of Crack! and Thump: With a Combat Infantry Officer in World War II. His shorter work has been published widely, both online and in print. His latest flash collection is Wince.

Night and Fog by Sab Holzman

grandpa goes into
the living room
he talks about growing up
in nazi germany
i don’t listen
his furrowed hands move
like shutting doors

Sab Holzman is a creative writing student who enjoys magical realism and Seamus Heaney.

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