“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.
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.
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
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.
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.