A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal

Archive for the ‘Nailpolish Stories’ Category


Sun worshiper by Lisa Nielson

The ocean is all teeth today–devouring the sand, but enraged by its compliance.  Suppler days are dreamy, but we have monsters to tame.

Lisa Nielsen is studiously working on her resolution to write more and clean less.

Below the Belt by Alice G. Otto

Friends parade pocketed portraits of their kids: soccer, choir, scouts. The missing baby teeth are daggers.  Nothing’s taking, nothing’s working.  Your own wallet is barren.

Alice G. Otto lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas with her husband, two voracious beagles, and an extra-toed cat. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas.

Go Go Green by Bruce Harris.

She made her own compost, bought an electric car, and heated her home with solar energy.  Everything was sustainable and recyclable, except her nail polish.

Bruce Harris enjoys relaxing with a Marxman.

Three pieces by Gemma Bristow

Berry Burst

They freeze too quickly for astonishment, ripe fruit crashing from the branches into snow.

By morning, all is white except the pulp of six pomegranates.


Daylight makes real what she dreamed so long.  Their goddess, their protector, stolen from her dais, and the gates of the city buckling under blows.

Wedding Gown

Nailed into a box of bronze and cedar to hide her disgrace.  Only the waves, as she’s pushed from shore, murmur I will protect you.

Gemma Bristow is a technical writer who tries not to think about software interfaces all the time. Her poetry and prose have appeared in various publications.

Three pieces by Joanna M. Weston


Smoke sifts out through the tent door, a gentle pale drift against deep blue sky. The familiar smell tickles my nostrils and I smile: pot.

Sunshine Sparkle

My skis hurtling down, wind stings my cheeks. A burst of dazzling white, and I’ve fallen, a whirl of poles and skis, blinded by sunshine.

Smoky Canvas

He bought a large red herring, cooked it in butter on his gas stove while texting his girl-friend. The explosion fried his fish and mortgage.

Joanna M. Weston is married; has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader, ‘Those Blue Shoes’, published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, ‘A Summer Father’, published by Frontenac House of Calgary. Her eBook, ‘The Willow Tree Girl’ at her blog: http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/

Two pieces by Zoë Danielle

Ruby Pumps

I wore them because of the slender length they gave my legs, stretching off into nothingness, while the sharp point of the heel anchored me.

Rock Candy

It reminded me of her; all violent edges but translucent in a way that let me see right through. One bite and I tasted blood.




 China Doll by Madeline Mora-Summonte

The plane flamed, then crashed into the lake. Divers discover a singed china doll still strapped in a seat. It’s the only body they recover.

Madeline Mora-Summonte reads, writes and breathes fiction in all its forms.


Four pieces by Hannah Thurman


The foreman didn’t sound the call loud enough, people said later. But

I knew I’d seen her smile as she walked into the demolition zone.

Going Green

After she left, I threw away her canvas grocery totes and began asking

checkout girls to double bag my toilet paper. Fuck you, sea turtles.

Shrimply Divine

We de-veined them at the sink, waiting for someone to apologize first.

Later, I rubbed a lemon on my hands and hit an unseen wound.

Sand Shimmer

Bits of mica, broken glass, worn down crystals, dirty needles,

aluminum snippets, plastic, change, oil, water, silt. Like many

things, more beautiful from far away.

 Hannah Thurman is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She has work

forthcoming in Fiction 365, The Eunoia Review, and The Rusty Nail.





Three pieces by Rafi Miller

Yoga-ta Get This Blue!

1 white shirt with yellow armpits to 30 spandex’d sex queens.

She lives in child’s pose, buries her face in her knees.

“Wrong,” says teacher.

You Only Live Twice

For lunch: beer and double-bacon cheeseburger.  Swollen stomach, onion breath.

(He dumped her this morning.  He wants someone less responsible, more reckless).

She orders another.

Romeo & Joliet

“You’re sweet,” she sighed while he kissed her thigh.  “But do you remember my name?”  “Yeah,” he mumbled into her skin.  She didn’t ask again.

Rafi Miller is an almost 21-year old studying plants and bird activity in the Pittsburgh area. Sometimes, she walks through labyrinths and eats gluten-free bagels. Not at the same time, though. She’s working on not multi-tasking.



Happily Ever After by Gary S. Watkins

His heart–not broken–abscessed

by her words and emotion until it burst.

His hands clasped her throat,

stilled her voice,

started the healing.

Gary S. Watkins is a middle school teacher living in the Arizona desert. The long, searing summers of Phoenix will almost certainly inspire additional fictions, and not all of them fever dreams.





Two pieces by Jessica Fullerton

 Pink Punk

Wearing a hot pink dress in the black-clad crowd, she looked like a Britney Spears fan and not the screamy lead singer of Herniated Disc.

Shiny Dancer

She’s dipped and dappled, with the light reflected on prismatic pirouetting. She’s a fluid shadow in the mirrors, a silhouetted changement, a sun-soaked tour jeté.

Jessica Fullerton is a recovering grad student, happily embracing non-scholarly writing having just finished her master’s thesis. She is also her friends’ My Size Barbie.


Two pieces by Jonette Stabbert

Got the Blues for Red

The freckled fingers of his large hands tenderly touch and stroke.  Heartbreaking sounds follow, accompanied by my tears. How I wish I were his guitar!

I’m Not Really a Waitress

Five years waiting tables. The uniform flaunts my fake cleavage. The clientele is very generous.  Soon I’ll have enough saved for my sex change operation.

Jonette Stabbert lives in the Netherlands. She keeps polishing her writing and sending it out.





Glass Slipper by Victoria Large

These shoes might crack if she gained an ounce. Shatter if she stamped her foot. They suited the small and demure. They didn’t fit her.

Victoria Large is a previous Nailpolish Stories contributor whose work has appeared in a number of print and online journals, including Blink Ink, Cafe Irreal, matchbook, The Molotov Cocktail, and Wordriver.





Three pieces by Chelsea Covington Maass

 Who Needs a Prince?

Beast likes his porridge cold, his lady hot boiled, muy caliente. The world serves Beast what he wants. His lady perfects breakfast wearing red lingerie.


Stardust wishes and moonbeam dreams illumine her wistful mind: our mother Earth, old as time and round with lava boy. His eminent birth—violent—beckons.

 Art is Hard

But collectors know rough bark beauty leads to sweet center sap:

·         Bore deep hole.

·         Fit spout tight.

·         Collect amber essence of ancient living creature.

·         Consume.

Chelsea Covington Maass lives in Philadelphia and studies creative writing at Rosemont College. You can follow her on Twitter @chelseasfiction



Beam Me Up Hottie by Ami Allen-Vath

Scrolling pay per view, tipped rocking horse, toy tornado, baby’s 90-ish minute nap–fiercely ticking away–she forgoes housework and a shower for Magic Mike.

Ami Allen-Vath is on a fresh chapter of self-discovery.  This summer she quit her sales job to stay home with her two children, pursue her passions, and maybe cook dinner once or twice a week for her supportive husband.  She is currently writing a YA novel with aspirations of finishing it in the summer of 2013.


Three pieces by Shawn Murtagh

Potato Fields

Two overalls filled with boy and girl dash through potato fields; he crashes, she raises him, he rests on one knee, and will again someday.

Blushing Bride

He blushes her. She cannot hide from him. Floating with father, she’s vulnerable and afraid. He will touch her heart and body with mortal hands.

Mob Square

Tien`amin tanks roll, and the mob disintegrates. Bullets are flying fascists when people are peaceful. Fire in the dark laughs louder than the people cry.

Shawn Murtagh’s wife can give herself a professional French tip, and it saves him 50 bucks a month. His vision-blog for an E-Zine that will captivate, motivate, and challenge the youth of the world can be found at http://catalystlit.blogspot.com/



Two pieces by Laura Stearns


I found a can of tuna and some carrots for lunch today.  Note left on counter: please help dad get groceries and toilet paper tonite.

Step Right Up

He was so nice, I fell in love again.  “This time it’s for real!!” I told my girls.  They just smiled while shaking their heads.

Laura and her best friend are both writers.  Her friend found this awesome nail polish stories website. Love. One of her stories got picked for December!  She was like, “Oh yea bitch? Getting published before me!? Bring it!”

The One For Me by Luke Armstrong

This Bud’s for you, she said, grabbing my last PBR and toasting me like a maniac. It was not for me. And neither is she.

Luke Maguire Armstrong (LukeSpartacus.com) once fought a bear and almost died. Haters later claimed it was “only a raccoon” and that he was acting like “a little girl.” @LukeSpartacus

Victoriana by Gemma Bristow

‘Someone died on that,’ was your comment when we bought it. A relic of a rotten empire. You only want it now because I do.

Gemma Bristow is a technical writer who tries not to think of software interfaces all the time.  She wrote a thesis on imagism and has published poems in various magazines.

Street Smart  

The neon sign is as hot and pink as a summer night whose heat keeps people seated, sedate. I feel sorry for the girls inside.

Jocelyn Crawley is a 28-year-old college student currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree. Her work has appeared in Jerry Jazz Musician and is forthcoming in Faces of Feminism, Calliope, and Visceral Uterus. She enjoys using the written word to challenge patriarchal paradigms.



Pandora Black by Rachel Rose Teferet


When she turned on the TV, apparitions flew out of the flickering florescent screen.  Screeching and mewing, they made nests in her long black hair.


Rachel Rose Teferet enjoys designing websites, creative writing, and goat herding.  Her website: lettersandfeathers.wordpress.com




Blue Glow #7 by Eric Suhem


He never felt more purposeful, being used as a polo mallet in the game of the gods, whacking a blue ball over the horizon glow.


Eric Suhem dwells in office cubicles and ocean waves. He can be found in the orange hallway (www.orangehallway.com).




My Poisoned Heart by Samantha Memi


He took my loving heart and cooked it in a red wine sauce for his supper. Then we went to bed. Him satiated, me heartless.



Samantha Memi is the author of Kate Moss and Other Heroines (Black Scat Books).  Her writing can be found at http://samanthamemi.weebly.com/




Rebellion by Marian Brooks


Herby, the bottle-nosed catfish, lost his taste for shit.  Boldly, he swam to the top of the tank, nipping the Angel Fish on the way.


Marian Brooks, having recently retired has begun to write short fiction.  She graduated from the U of P (Eng. Lit) and Villanova University (Counseling).   She has been a psychotherapist for many years.  Marian lives in Pennsylvania with her husband.




It’s Raining Men by Bruce Harris

“I’m telling you, that’s why there are manhole covers.” The therapist listened, took notes. “I’ll tell you what,” she said, “let’s schedule a regular appointment.”


Bruce Harris enjoys relaxing with a Marxman

Freefall by Ruth Newell

At 60, Brenda was content with her life. Until Sven, the young blond ex Swedish Marine sky dive instructor strapped her ass to his pelvis.

Ruth Newell is a freelance writer with a serious slant towards dharma travel. She spent the last 25 years writing a variety of technical documents, marketing material, and website content for Native American tribes, government entities, and corporations. Much of her professional writing pertains to sustainable development (specializing in zero waste technologies), comprehensive and environmental planning, fundraising/financing, and community and business development. She also taught creative writing in a private school for 16 years and is working on a collection of randy love poems as well as a book of short stories. (2shoestravel.blogspot.com)




Long Stem Roses by Jayne Thickett


“We’ll meet again, Love.”

They lay on the fresh earth covering his broken body. Cellophane sunlight stung my eyes.  Did you tell her about me?


Jayne Thickett lives in the UK and writes every day.  Or so she tells anyone who will listen.




Red Carpet


At Target we scan for cruelty free nail polish. She selects a tiny red bottle and says, “This one doesn’t say anything about animals.”


Jack Hill lives in Northern California, works in litter abatement, and edits Crossed Out Magazine (www.crossedoutmagazine.org).


Artful Dodger by Jennifer Falkner

The shoes are Manolos and the scarf is Hermes. But the purse–Balenciaga—carries almost no cash. And the credit cards are too easily traced.

Jennifer Falkner’s work has appeared in The First Line, Paragon Journal and Flashquake.  Last year, she received the Reader’s Choice Award for a story appearing in Fiction Fix.  Links to these and other published stories can be found at jenniferfalkner.blogspot.ca



Secret Story by Pamela Hill

She runs barefoot through sand and giggles and chases tumbleweed as it dances toward the dunes. Then the wind shifts, and the tumbleweed chases her. 

Pamela Hill loves to write.


Skirting the Issue by Danielle Fouquette

 “We should talk.”


For him it became the roots, twisting over rocks toward the bank.

For her, the trunk, leaning recklessly over the current.

Danielle Fouquette has been preparing to be a writer all her life.

Two pieces by Monica Crumback

 Tickled Pink

It was just a shirt

on a hanger

at a charity store.

But when she wears it

off her shoulder,

it becomes so much more.



Not exactly.

Not mint green, lime.

Like a splash in your beer

or the zest of life

sunk deep in a decadent

key lime pie.

Monica Crumback’s essays and poetry have been published in numerous print and online publications, including Brain,Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, Skirt Magazine, and Vox Poetica.

Otherwise Engaged by Joanna Owen

You’re in white silk taffeta.  He’s in a rented tux.  I wear a bridesmaid gown and wish you’d slip the ring on my finger instead.
Joanna Owen is a full-time nurse and part-time writer living on the coast of southwest Florida.

Lincoln Park After Dark by Alina Pleskova

I paused after we passed each other, just in case. Checked my pulse and found it steady, signaling too slight a danger to bother. Yawn.

Alina Pleskova lives in Philadelphia by way of Moscow (she doesn’t have an accent, but is happy to humor you with a pretty decent imitation upon request.) She is the Poetry Editor for Apiary Magazine, & can usually be found frantically running across the city in stilettos, determined to dispel the commonly-held belief that poets are never on time. No such luck yet..

Three pieces by Lisa Nielsen

 Sketchy character

You are just an outline, a deliberate rough draft, but you mirror my discontent so I will tiptoe, like an acrobat on your chalky silhouette

Secret story

You, adrift in a car I don’t know/ me, behind the door/ playing safe with an elusive faith/ lighting a candle to follow your shadow

Gossamer White

I wish I had the audacity to shimmer in a train of stars, but I can’t fight the tenacious debris of rocks and broken glass.

Lisa Nielsen is a single mom living in Staten Island, using poetry to dodge laundry and yard work.

Bring Me the Moon by Rachel Alday

“Be wary, letting a literal-minded woman fall in love with you,” the lunar emperor said. “‘Beyond the fields we know’ is closer than it was.”

Rachel Alday is a cook who lives down in the hurricane state.

Six pieces by Jessica Tsuzuki


They were her favorite jeans—tight on the curves but loose past the knee, leaving just enough space for the hunting knife in her boot.

San Francisco Sparkle

The vampire pop queen sanguine in all aspects beseeches the crowd . Love me,mortals. Through red eyes that hint of gold, she leaves us mesmerized.


Blinding chunks of funky glitter cling to her frail form. “Nothing can outshine my discoball headlights.” With heavily accented alienation, tonight she owns the world.

Matte Aqua

Animal, vegetable, or mineral? None. Pure hard metal with a candy coated shell. She’ll give you her number, and hack your accounts in your sleep.

Yellow It’s Me

A bright morning howdy form your obnoxious neighbor, Jane. Sunflower petals scatter down the hall after her, showing where she’s going; knowing where she’s been.

Plugged-in Plum

Pirated on a private IP, I find myself solemnly hacked, staring at the once idle screen, now dancing to the beat of distant digit drumming.

Jessica Tsuzuki has amazing adventures, mostly in her head.



Love Me Tender byDan Hart

After school, I douse my nails with polish remover and rip the rainbow freedom rings from my neck.

At home, I must not be me.

Dan is an engineer working, reading, and hiking in Silicon Valley, where he is happy to be himself.

September: Happy First Birthday, NS.

Happy first birthday, Nailpolish Stories, my colorful, unpredictable, and growing baby.  To celebrate, I am re-running the first nailpolish story which went live September 5th, 2011.  Thank you, readers and contributors, for your trust, your enthusiasm, and your continued love of small sparkly things.  And for allowing this literary babe to become a toddler. 

Much love,

Nicole Monaghan

Posh Trash by Nicole Monaghan

We wrapped borrowed scarves around our curved hips, as if that were payment.  Mom snapped her gum, looked into our eyes, sorry, asked about lay-away.

Nicole Monaghan is founding and managing editor of Nailpolish Stories and editor of Stripped, A Collection of Anonymous Flash (PS Books 2011).  Her first collection of short fiction, Want, Wound is the 2012 winner of the Burning River Press Annual Fiction Contest and is forthcoming in spring, 2013.  Visit her at http://writenic.wordpress.com

Show Me The Ring by Bruce Harris

The payday was smaller than the town. Whatever. For the first time, I was clean. “You ready?” my trainer asked. I responded with four words.

Bruce Harris enjoys relaxing with a Marxman


Three pieces byAnnmarie Lockhart


Skin Deep

you made me


like birth marks

or tumors caught early


sitting on the

surface, superficial spots


up with powder

or excised clean and quick

Pink Diamond

not a gem

but a base

on the field


home after

a high fly

hit over the wall

through Mrs. J’s




Brandie Alexander

initials carved

on the tree


prom night


on peach

schnapps and



still sweet

on each other

a lifetime later

Annmarie Lockhart is the founding editor of vox poetica, an online literary salon dedicated to bringing poetry into the every day, and the founder of unbound CONTENT, an independent press for a boundless age. A lifelong resident of Bergen County NJ, she lives, works, and writes 2 miles east of the hospital where she was born.


Up Front and Personal by Jody

He looks at me, I stare back.

He’s handsome. There’s tension.

I gasp as his hands touch my chest,

then shove me off the bridge.

Jody is a British fitness freak and inveterate procrastinator.  She spends her working days painting her nails, learning new words and never finishing what she . . .

Vampsterdam by Paul Lock

A child harmed?  The culprit found.  A beating pulse.  My claws expand.  A scratch to taste.  My eyes flash red.  And then I gorge… justice. 

Paul is a techno-geek with a love for language, who’s aiming to swap his day job in front of the computer supporting software, for a day job in front of the computer being an author… although he still won’t wear nailpolish J. He can be contacted at ‘paul.lock@outlook.com’.

Three pieces by Chad Greene

Blue My Mind

When her wealthy husband’s affairs turn her world upside down, the old trophy wife who was once a young gymnast starts walking on her hands.

Cuddle by the Fire

After we stomp down the freshly turned dirt with our white cheer shoes, we brush them with our pom-poms and bounce back to the bonfire.

Naked Truth

My husband served me with divorce papers because he thought I had aborted his baby. I signed them, though, because it hadn’t been his baby. 

A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, Chad Greene is an assistant professor of English at Cerritos College. His writing has appeared in the Journal of Microliterature, Nanoism, Southern California Review, The Southlander, and the flash-fiction collection Book by Authors. Earlier this summer, he earned an honorable mention in the Ninth Annual Ultra-Short Competition.



Two pieces by Charlotte Lock

Lucky Lucky Lavender

A four leaf clover.  A horseshoe upright.  A rainbow.  A pot of gold.  So I’ve been told.  Coins and lanterns.  Knocking on wood. Luck.

Hearts And Tarts

A glimpse of sweat.  The heart speeds up.  The smile lit so bright. It all felt right.  A tear of joy.  Somebody to love. You.

Charlotte Lock is from Bradford.  She is thirteen years old.

Two pieces by Erin Garlock

Pink Lingerie

English class is awesome.  I hate the teacher, I hate the subject, but Jenny Heinrich’s pants hang low and I can see her pink panties.

Wild Strawberry

Sunsets on Sundays bring closure.  Another weekend is spent, to our homes we must go.  On my pillow, her hair.  On my mind, our love.

Erin Garlock, having written far too much software using every character on the keyboard except the alphabet, enjoys escaping into the world of real words when the opportunity presents itself.  When not actually at a keyboard, he has a penchant for photographing churches with his wife Colleen.

Shine: An Elemental Trilogy of Summer by M.C. Harris

Silver Elements

He stood alone at the shoreline, looked her way as a slant of sunlight reached her sterling necklace, the silver spark that caught his eye.

Golden Conduct

Intelligence, grace, generosity.  Her friends called him golden… “Golden Boy,” but only in whispers, as if there were shame in perfection, or in recognizing it.

Kinetic Copper

Suntanned wrap of her legs, copper warmth, is what he remembered long after she was gone, having convinced herself he was too good for her.

Well, nobody’s perfect, M.C. figures.  And we grownups know that, don’t we?  We know not to expect perfection from ourselves or from anyone else, because that’s just not fair, is it?  Not fair to ourselves or to anyone else.  Nope.  No, Sir.  Because perfection is impossible, and as grownups, we know not to ask the impossible, right?  In spite of the impending supernova, in spite of every stressful thing that makes us want to roll up into a big baby ball and cry, or makes us want to assume our most-practiced fetal position and just sort of, you know, stop for a couple of minutes, sometimes we just have to be grownups.  Am I right?  Hello?


Orange Pop by Joanna M. Weston

He’s my rib-tickling, joking Grandpa, who juggles apples, goes sky-high on the playground swings, and has pockets full of orange jujubes – just for me.

Joanna M. Weston is married; has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader, ‘Those Blue Shoes’, published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, ‘A Summer Father’, published by Frontenac House of Calgary. Her eBook, ‘The Willow Tree Girl’ at  her blog: http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/

Two pieces by Angie Shaeffer


Look at that, she thought.  The cut, so bruised and bloody before, turning pink.  Strange, something so painful can evolve into a favorite, pretty color. 

Ginger Passion

Her hair, that’s what always got them paying.  She pranced and sassed like the others, but made sure her curly sienna locks smelled luscious always. 

Angie Shaeffer is a Baltimorean, international educator, and world traveler who recently touched down in New York City.  She finds writing inspiration in everything, including toilet bowls and, thanks to this literary journal, nailpolish colors. 



Check Me Out by Majnun Ben-David

Temporarily abandoned cart disrupts checkout line, snarky remark ready. Offender revealed as dark beauty, remark shelved. Peace through beauty? No, I’m just shallow he decides.

Majnun Ben-David can be reached at majnunbd@gmail.com and thinks his bio should probably not be longer than his story.


Two pieces by Giulietta “Julie” Nardone

Luscious Lips

We could not stop kissing each other’s marshmallow lips in the darkened playground. Entwined bodies wanting more. Oh God, I wish he wasn’t my cousin.

Forest Green

When I regained consciousness, all I could see was green. My body immobilized. Suddenly, a woman shouted, “Help get her out of the trash can.”

Giulietta “Julie” Nardone hails from Massachusetts where she is a creativity activist, writer and karaoke singer. Her stories have been published in The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, Skirt! Magazine, Underwired Magazine, FlashQuake, Common Ties, Rollins Magazine, and broadcast on NPR. Visit her blog “Take Back Your Life” at http://www.giuliettathemuse.com

Marina Dawn by Charles Rafferty 

She didn’t need to cup her hand around the cigarette. His sails would be useless today. Her feet felt certain as soon as she disembarked.

Charles Rafferty‘s poems have appeared in The New Yorker and The Southern Review, and his stories have appeared in Sonora Review and Cortland Review. His most recent chapbook of poems is Appetites (Clemson University Press). Currently, he directs the MFA program at AlbertusMagnusCollege.


Blanc by David Tomaloff

an ignoble vessel. white, girl

shaped. moving over the water

like a ghost,

a ruptured past—

a valediction to days best banished to the sea.

David Tomaloff builds things out of ampersands & light. His work has appeared in several anthologies and many fine publications. He is also coauthor of the collaborative poetry collection YOU ARE JAGUAR, with Ryan W. Bradley (Artistically Declined Press, 2012). Send him threats: davidtomaloff.com

Hopelessly in Love by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Lena hangs her husband’s pants. Straightens collars. Snugs socks. Pretends he’ll wear them tomorrow. She puts the clothes away.

Grief fills the charity bag instead. 

Madeline Mora-Summonte  MadelineMora-Summonte.blogspot.com reads, writes and breathes fiction in all its forms.


Smoke by Bruce Harris

The trouble began with three words, “Have a light?” There were matches in the ashtray. He grabbed one. Now, he trades cigarettes to stay alive.

Bruce Harris enjoys relaxing with a Marxman.


Rambunctious by Alina Yudkevich

Heathcliff’s bones were made of rubber, according to his mother. He held his breath when she walked by, so she wouldn’t see his toes wiggle. 

Alina Yudkevich is a 17th grader at the University of Georgia studying English and Film Studies. She works part-time at a particle accelerator laboratory, and will be very embarrassed if she accidentally ends the world. 


I’m a Rich Girl by Mitchell Sommers

There’s no “reading of the will.”  That’s just bad movies. Only a check, all my father had. I clutch it, not crying, not yet, anyway.

Mitchell Sommers is an attorney in Lancaster and Ephrata, PA. He is the fiction editor of Philadelphia Stories.  He received his law degree from Penn State, Dickinson School of Law, and his MFA from the University of New Orleans.

Two pieces by Monica Crumback

Eggplant Frost

It’s like Gettysburg behind the garage, thanks to all the frost. Late October. Here come leaves, rakes, then Christmas. I pray it killed the wasps.

Red, Red

It’s not a color so much as a banner painted on her mouth. Nude is useless, like pink and blush. Red says she’s growing up.

Monica Crumback‘s essays have been published in numerous print and online publications, including Brain,Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, Skirt Magazine, and Vox Poetica.

Three pieces by Lisa Nielsen

in a flash

you were miles gone before anyone noticed.

a flash of light,

a moratorium on what light really means

and shadows turning bitter in your wake



you were too amused to catch on

that I was predisposed to lavish

love on scented lips, to sway my hips

and ask for change


strike a pose

head to knees

fingertips to toes,

I spy through my legs like curtains,

and take my breath for granted.

today, forgetting is my conciliation prize.


Lisa Nielsen is a single mother living in Staten Island, using poetry to make sense of the world.


Varnished by Mary Nelson

Diagnosis for Narcissa: Allergic to her own image. Therefore avoid light. No mirrors. Reaction from Narcissa: Asks for stronger Benedryl. Opens compact and checks make-up.

Mary Nelson is an octogenarian who has been writing ever since college days having published short stories and two historical novels. But she’s not above delving into some humorous challenges such as this one. She believes that without a sense of humor the creative process is minus a powerful asset.


Three pieces by David Ellis Dickerson

Pearl Drop

Heartstruck, she fainted in the opera’s loge. Her necklace spilled. Today, children discovering marbles underfoot cup them to their ears to hear “una furtiva lagrima.”


In the middle of her jump, she paused, hovering, undecided about whether or not to land. Both milieux have good arguments. For now, air wins.

Carry On

Slide the buckle. Flotation device. In the event. The compartment overhead. Secure yours first. Assist your neighbor. No smoking. Tampering or disabling. Thanks for choosing.

David Ellis Dickerson is a regular contributor to public radio’s “This American Life” and the author of the memoir “House of Cards.” He could not resist this magazine’s concept.


 Castaway: A Black And White Story In Five Shades
by David Tomaloff  
 [i.] Her Intelligent Constellation
The word star in all its connotations; how summer sinks its teeth into waiting skin. Which boy is your favorite? she asks a faceless sky.


[ii.] Navigate Her

Answers hide their faces & fail to fall, neither as riddles nor as rain. The night sky is a con; of this, she’s become certain.


[iii.] Waltz

The word sea in all its connotations; how water caresses the tops of thighs. Which girl is the fairest? she asks of another passing ship.


[iv.] Carnival

She asks, but a passing ship is not a boy: her there wading in the water on the morning she left to join the sea.


[v.] Fiji

A young summer is rife with the consequences of prayers for certainty: we may ask a shark for directions; it might then follow us home.

David Tomaloff is a writer, photographer, musician, and an all-around bad influence. His work has appeared in several anthologies and in fine publications such as Mud Luscious, A-Minor, >kill author, PANK, and elimae. He is the author of several chapbooks, including 13 (Artistically Declined Press), and A SOFT THAT TOUCHES DOWN &REMOVES ITSELF (NAP and Red Ceilings Press). His book of collaborative poetry with Ryan W. Bradley, YOU ARE JAGUAR, is due out summer 2012 from Artistically Declined Press. He resides in the form of ones and zeros at: davidtomaloff.com


Porcini by Annmarie Lockhart

He preferred steak,

rare, with red wine,

but all she ever ate

was fungus that grew

along the tree roots.

They chose heartache

over stomachache.

Annmarie Lockhart is the founding editor of vox poetica, an online literary salon dedicated to bringing poetry into the every day, and the founder of unbound CONTENT, an independent press for a boundless age. A lifelong resident of Bergen County NJ, she lives, works, and writes 2 miles east of the hospital where she was born.


No More Film


Too many moments lived through a glass lens and thrown in that musty drawer, she hugged her son as he blew out his seven candles.


Liquid Vinyl by Tracy Hauser

The needle scratched your spin back and forth, and sweatbands on wet hair pumped your choices.  The blue strobe flashes on your rises and falls.

Tracy Hauser is an MFA graduate student at the University of Baltimore’s Creative Writing & Publishing Arts program.  Currently she is the editor of the Strange Detours online magazine.  She has been published in the latest issue of Abandoned Towers Magazine, the Urbanite, Epiphany Magazine, Marco Polo Arts Magazine, Writer’s Underground, Trivial Typewriter, the Colonnades Literary Magazine, Literary Brushstrokes, Blood & Roses, The Rusty Nail, and for the 2012 4th edition of Welcome Hon, You’re in Baltimore!.  She is involved around the city in promoting writing through project-based learning activities for schools and organizations. 


Two pieces by JY Saville

Flight of Fancy

He rode in on a silver horse and took them by surprise. She’d said come in character but hadn’t specified whose. He used his own.

Naked Truth

I watch the petals fall and know with sudden clarity that this marks the end. With those bare stalks, the last of us is gone.

JY Saville writes in the North of England and blogs at http://thousandmonkeys.wordpress.com; the nails that tap at her keyboard are not always purple.



Blue Lagoon by Joanna M. Weston

A long shallow dive into the blue of sunlit water.  Reach up, grab her wrinkled old ankles.  Pull her down.  And the inheritance is mine.

Joanna M. Weston has had poetry, reviews, and short stories published in anthologies and journals for twenty-five years. Her  middle-reader, ‘Those Blue Shoes’, published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, ‘A Summer Father’, published by Frontenac House of Calgary. Her eBook, ‘The Willow Tree Girl’ at her blog http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/




Mysore Passion by Rebecca Gaffron

She came for the experience; and rippled European yoga men aroused by her strong asanas. But she always carried hand-sanitizer. The locals might be contagious.

Rebecca is a sometimes writer, sometimes procrastinator and hopes she will be forgiven for both.  She can be found at: www.rebeccawriting.wordpress.com


Midnight Blue by Christina Murphy

Knowing how to behave gets you a yacht, the Cinderella, floating in the bay at midnight as you await the woman you plan to seduce. 

Christina Murphy lives and writes along the Ohio River. There is much about a major river to suggest words, currents, and images–many of which, in some form or other, find their way into her poetry.

Three pieces by Carly Berg

Turquoise and Caicos

A winter Minnesota tract house. Muumuus and bangles, mango walls, big plants. Jambalaya, no clock. Barefoot blues by the fireplace. Her husband was a macaw.

Swept Off My Feet

The Prince tried the slipper on all the women’s feet. He wouldn’t stop. Cinderella cried. Disney Security intervened. The guard said they’re all like that.


A cupcake lady, ruffles and ribbons. Hanging out the wash on a crisp April morning. When she bends, the neighbor man sees sweet blush cheeks.

Carly Berg is an editor, writer, and flop-about. Her work has appeared in Pank Magazine, Dog plot, Front Porch Review, and others. Nail polish makes her happy.


Riding Hood Red by Karen Walsh

What big eyes! Pale and cold, like blue ice. He paws my cape, nails sharp as thorns. I should flee, but I don’t. I surrender.

Karen Walsh is a psychologist and university instructor in St. Louis, Missouri. She has been writing fiction for fun but no profit for many, many years.


Hackney Spackle by Lisa Nielsen

he has my penchant for sarcasm

splaying it out before you like an enchanted gift

but a pantomime of devotion is all he’s actually offering

Lisa Nielsen is a single mother trying to balance the mundane with the groovy.


Atomic Orange by Katherine Lopez

The sky splashes bright orange over the sea. You wish it were cold, a smoothie. Instead it’s hot as the air, tainting fish, ships, beach.

Katherine Lopez writes stories, poems, essays, articles, blog entries, letters, notes, and doodles. Some of which are published.


Limited Addiction by Edie Montgomery

The nightmares of her past haunted her, even in daylight. Made her crave the poison. Each day it saved her. Each day it killed her.

Edie Montgomery has bungee jumped in Australia, swam with a shark in Tahiti, and slept in a haunted castle in Scotland.  Now she just likes to stay home and write little stories.  You can find her on twitter at @MeWriteWords.


Two pieces by Nicole Monaghan


He thought it was an Italian dessert, and I said no, it’s how I reach your lips.  We kissed again.  He said short was cute.

Taffy Town

He said everything was sticky here. The diners, the dance clubs, the situations. He wiped his hands on his jeans, said get used to it.

Nicole Monaghan founded and edits Nailpolish Stories.  Every once in a while, she publishes her own stuff here.  Because she loves to write.  And loves NS.

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