Two pieces by Chris Bullard
Sea Foam Green
The salt in my blood is kin to the sea. Like the prodigal, I’m welcomed back. The waves seize me and beg me to stay.
We let the gate guard know one crypt was open. He laughed, “Sometimes they get out.”
We never took the graveyard short cut again.
A native of Florida, Chris Bullard lives in Philadelphia. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.F.A. from Wilkes University. Grey Book Press published Continued, a poetry chapbook, in 2020 and Moonstone Press recently published Going Peaceably to the Obsidian Knife, his chapbook of environmentally themed poetry. Main Street Rag expects to publish his poetry chapbook, Florida Man, early next year. He bites his nails a lot, so he rarely wears nail polish.
Park Lincoln After Dark by Quinn Crook
The lovers hid away. For a moment, in that darkness, there was no shame. Under that purple sky, the twinkling stars, they could be themselves.
Quinn Crook is a nonbinary writer from Illinois. Their work has appeared in publications such as Bombfire Lit, Black Poppy Review, and Sledgehammer Lit. They can often be found haunting local coffee shops in the quest for the best latte.
Pretty Pink Preserves by Sara O’Brien
In rooms of white tablecloths, papered walls and large windows overlooking the lake, guests warmed by sunlight and memories heap strawberry jam on buttered toast.
Runner, traveler, book-lover and accountant by trade, Sara lives in Maple Glen, PA with her husband and two teenage boys.
Two pieces by Clarissa McFairy
Swoon in the Lagoon
He drove, gammy eyes on dark lagoon road. “Too close to edge,” she screamed. “I don’t wanna die in the lagoon.” The water just winked.
He knew his wife loved cats but recoiled when she grew whiskers. “This is just the aperitif,” she purred, dropping the mouse at his feet.
Clarissa McFairy lives in Cape Town, South Africa. She writes short stories and poetry for anthologies at home and abroad. Her poem, La Mia Musa was a Vox Poetica 2012 Best of the Net nominee. Her poetry book, Strange Bedfellows published in the USA is available at Amazon.com. Clarissa says she writes as the muse grabs her and whirls her around the dance floor of life.
Pearl Of Wisdom by Zinetta
She was suicidal at 9. She was suicidal at 22. At 24 she doesn’t know how to convey that her contentment feels like a miracle.
Zinetta is a writer… she thinks.
Pillow Talk by Allen Ashley
My initials keep me top of “Contacts”. Lead to unexpected calls. You keep your phone under your pillow, sleepily press alarm, buttons. You’re with him!
Allen Ashley’s work has recently appeared in the anthologies “No More Heroes” (PS Publishing, UK, 2021) “Vital Signals” (NewCon Press, UK, 2022) as well as online where he guest-edited the “last Chance filling Station” themed issue of “Sein und Werden”. Allen had two shades of varnish in the April-May 2021 edition of “Nailpolish Stories”.
Full Moon Party by Morgana Macleod
Backseat, your zipper teeth are a constellation navigating my Bedouin mouth. You groan, then shoot. I swallow, tasting silver. Nothing counts in black and white.
Morgana Macleod lives and writes on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. She has short stories published in several hard-copy anthologies you’ve never heard of, but her work can also be found online at sites including New Flash Fiction Review, Medium and outofthegutteronline.com. Still buzzed by a recent Pushcart nomination, she’s toying with writing a novel but concerned about the limits of her own attention span. Feel free to stalk her on Facebook (Morgana MacLeod) and Twitter @morganamacleod.
Breakfast in bed by Tricia Lloyd Waller
Anniversary treat; breakfast in bed biting greedily into the thick golden buttered toast and fluffy yellow scrambled egg; little realizing it is laced with arsenic!
Tricia Lloyd Waller is obsessed with words and story both written and verbal and has recently had work published in Vamp Cat literary Magazine and The World of Myth.
Vampy Brown by Richard Leise
Her desire couldn’t match mine and she relented, she cooled, her body a pool, her head – my shoulder – as though I held nothing. At all.
Richard writes and teaches outside Ithaca, NY. A fellow from Old Dominion University’s MFA program, his fiction and poetry is featured in numerous publications. At work on his second novel, he has a novella “Being Dead,” (OffBeat Reads), and a unique literary work “Johannes & Merritt” (Dark Lake Publishing), coming out this spring. His love story, “Jennifer,” will be available from DreamPunk press later this year. Follow him on Twitter @coy_harlingen.
Two pieces by Suzanne Cottrell
Make a Splash
Friends in a sturdy raft ride over class IV rapids,
dodge nested boulders and bounce in turbulent waters.
Then rapids ride over friends.
Take a Walk
Horns blare with the morning stampede of pedestrians,
rushing and shoving to get to work until
finally corralled in the city’s skyscrapers for the day.
Suzanne Cottrell writes poetry, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction, which have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She’s the author of three poetry chapbooks: Gifts of the Seasons, Autumn and Winter & Spring and Summer and Scarred Resilience. She is an outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, who enjoys reading, hiking, and Pilates. Follow her writing passion at http://www.suzanneswords.com.
Summer Green by Doug Hawley
The smell of freshly mowed grass sends me back through the years I’ve cut the grass. It smells even better when someone else cuts it.
The author is a little old man who lives with editor Sharon and cat Kitzhaber south of Portland Oregon USA. Information both personal and about his five hundred or so publications are here https://sites.google.com/site/aberrantword/ and here https://doug.car.blog/.
Two pieces by Stacey K.
Metal crashes. Plastic cracks. Airbags deploy.
Skin warm from sun rays radiating through broken glass.
Her eyes flicker open. Separation of light into a spectrum.
Got it Golding on
Shine off the tiny buckle as big hands fumble.
Nerves soar, escalating passion in his heart.
Stilettos are the last to come off. She’s beautiful.
Stacey K. is a contemporary romance author. She writes “sweet heat” love stories based on realistic healthy relationships that bolster someone emotionally and support their life goals. She loves strong female characters and sweet, devoted male characters.
Stacey grew up strongly influenced by her mother’s love for reading historical romance and belief in library access for all. She holds a master’s degree in molecular biology and is employed as a supply chain product leader within the pharmaceutical industry.
She makes Pennsylvania her home with her husband, Teddy, and their large, blended family.
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