A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

April, 2019

Five pieces by Todd Mercer

Unicornicopia

Strap a horn to a horse’s head,
it’s still a horse, acting. The audience
must need unicorns to be real
to magically suspend their disbelief.

Copper Penny

Jimmy’s buddy claimed he derailed trains
by leaving pocket change
atop railroad rails. Jimmy wagered
the train would flatten Lincoln, continue.
Test run: Evening Express.

Crème Brulee

A fancy place that serves desserts after dinner,
early and wearing a tie. Before she arrives
he has the ring-box on the table.
Pockets it.

Bohemian

The year I loved a Deadhead
and pretended Jerry Garcia was a genius,
strangers crashed in our front room.
I craved meat constantly, ate vegetarian.

Cherries in the Snow

or more accurately, their blossoms
coated in ice. Along the ridge
branches break from the weight.
Orchardists bank on next year,
eek through this one.

Todd Mercer was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. Recent work appears in: The Drabble, The Lake, The Magnolia Review, Praxis and Softblow.

 

 

Two pieces by Suzanne Cottrell

 

Wine Therapy

Friends gather annually at the beach to catch up, reminisce, eat, and drink. They clean stains with therapeutic crying and laughter and create new memories.

 

Heirloom

A quilt of his favorite tee shirts was made to commemorate his life and help him remember. His family sobbed. He died before its delivery.

 

Suzanne Cottrell, an Ohio buckeye by birth, lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting, hiking, Pilates, and yoga. Her flash fiction has appeared in Dragon Poet Review, The Pop Machine and Empty Silos (Inwood Indiana Press), Dual Coast Magazine, and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal. Enjoying my writing journey wave as long as it lasts.

 

 

Three pieces by Joanna M. Weston

Casual Smoke

We sat around the campfire, talking, blowing smoke-rings, at peace with
who we were, the world of classes, friends, beer. What more needed at twenty?

Peachy

she’s wearing a floral bikini
made of thin fabric and of string
it’s more than simply peachy-keeny
being enough to make the boys all sing

Heart Throb

my steady pulse
sounds like a croaking frog
on the echocardiogram

the squeeze and release
of my patient heart –
sweet music to my ears

Joanna M. Weston. Married; has two cats, multiple spiders,
a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader,
‘Frame and The McGuire’, published by Tradewind Books; and poetry,
‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’, published by Inanna Publications.
Her eBooks found at her blog: http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/

 

 

Wet Cement by Monica Crumback

I still think
about the toad
that hid
in the notch.
Bumpy little lump.
I grieved for him
and deeply hated
the smooth new
patch.

Monica Crumback lives in Michigan, writing and teaching children how to read.

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January, 2019

Afterglow by Barry Basden

At dusk, I stare seaward,
trying hard to picture just
what it was she saw
during those final days,
when she could no longer read.

Barry Basden lives with his wife and an old yellow Lab in the Texas
hill country. He has never had a manicure.

 

Two pieces by Megan Corkery
Rose at Dawn . . . Broke by Noon

She wipes at her runny, chapped nose and rises from bed.

White lines decorate the dresser.

Her dealer arrives with the sun.

Her wallet empties.

 

So Many Clowns . . . So Little Time

Round red noses and vivid rainbow wigs battle ticking clocks and endless responsibilities.

“I wanna come back tomorrow!” the child whines.

She sighs, and thinks…

Megan Corkery is a junior at Widener University who loves writing short fiction pieces and has a great love for mac and cheese. If she could, she would adopt every dog in the world and be completely content with her life.  

 

Hazy Daze by Nicole Gray
The chilled bottle

crouched between

thighs

It warmed

So did I

both sat

the night

on the kitchen floor

now damp

and us

luke-warm

 

Nicole Gray is a current Junior at Widener University. Her writing is infused with blunt and sharp imagery that forces you to wrestle with it. She hopes to continue writing even as she attends law school and pursue’s a career in that field.
 

 

 

 

Best of 2018

“Best of 2018” 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 all of the contributing writers whose work was selected for this special issue.  And thank you to every submitter and reader.

 

From January

Tap Dancers by Clarissa McFairy

Her glass stilettos clink as they tap the tiles of the Trattoria. Tall champagne glasses, toasting each step towards her new prey. Spouse number six.

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 (Red Dashboard LLC Publishing) is available at Amazon.com. Clarissa says she writes as the muse grabs her and whirls her around the dance floor of life.

Breakfast in Red by Tyrean Martinson

She ordered stewed tomatoes.
Her fingers were red, not the nails, but the skin.
I didn’t ask. I just served.
One never questioned the queen.

Tyrean Martinson is a writer, teacher, daydreamer, and believer who lives on the Peninsula in Washington State. She is the author of speculative and non-fiction books, as well as over 100 published short works of poetry and short stories. Find her at: http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com

From April

After Midnight

Moon rays lit long hair
as her breath paused.
One teardrop on soft skin.
She said,
“How many minutes ‘til you pass through me again?”

Stella Samuel is an author and editor writing women’s fiction, LGBT fiction, and children’s literature. She lives in Arizona, just about a mile south of the sun where her winter weather Saint Bernards soak up rays at her feet while she writes poolside.

From July

Garage Band by Erin Adams

She shimmies under, hopeful
Three-chord thrum stops, drummer makes a fat joke
She dumps someone’s mom’s lemon squares in her purse,
hits the opener button.

Erin Adams is pursuing her MFA in creative writing at Spalding University. Her brilliant husband, ill-behaved dogs, and talented writer friends are her greatest inspirations.

 

From October

Two pieces by Tracy Brooks

Beach Bum Blu

Pushed and swirled by currents, exhausted aquamarine ripples wash the coconut onto powdered sand. Travel-weary, it lies there; hot sunlight bubbling spongy flesh. Journey’s end.

Beach Bum Blu

Blue toes. Blue heart.
Pain swells with wave surges.
Her beach. Her baby. No more.
Snatched by the ocean, swept to the mermaids.
Greedy Neptune.

Tracy Brooks realized that turning 50 was a slap in the face – mortality didn’t merely appear on her horizon, it became measurable! It was at this point that she reinvented herself and began roaming in a completely new direction. After completing the SA Writers College Magazine Journalism course with distinction in 2012 and with her two fledged sons rather delinquent in their grandchildren-production duties, she began to fill the space in her empty nest with writing. Together with her husband, she travels in southern and East Africa, keen to see and experience everything she can before a Zimmer frame clips her wings. Her interests include the environment, travel, reading, the bush and outdoors, food, wine and gardening and she believes firmly that the joy of writing is better than Botox.

October, 2018

Two pieces by Tracy Brooks

Beach Bum Blu

Pushed and swirled by currents, exhausted aquamarine ripples wash the coconut onto powdered sand. Travel-weary, it lies there; hot sunlight bubbling spongy flesh. Journey’s end.

Beach Bum Blu

Blue toes. Blue heart.
Pain swells with wave surges.
Her beach. Her baby. No more.
Snatched by the ocean, swept to the mermaids.
Greedy Neptune.

Tracy Brooks realised that turning 50 was a slap in the face – mortality didn’t merely appear on her horizon, it became measurable! It was at this point that she reinvented herself and began roaming in a completely new direction. After completing the SA Writers College Magazine Journalism course with distinction in 2012 and with her two fledged sons rather delinquent in their grandchildren-production duties, she began to fill the space in her empty nest with writing. Together with her husband, she travels in southern and East Africa, keen to see and experience everything she can before a Zimmer frame clips her wings. Her interests include the environment, travel, reading, the bush and outdoors, food, wine and gardening and she believes firmly that the joy of writing is better than botox.

 

Bikini with a Martini by Kimberly Osgood

That is how I got him and made him leave her.
Now there’s another Martini and a new bikini.
That is how I lost him.

Kimberly Osgood lives and writes in Miami, Florida with her fiance Ian.
Her work has appeared in Paragraph Planet and 50 Word Stories. Her preferred poolside drink is champagne.

 

Two pieces by Madeline Mora-Summonte

Relentless Ruby

She scours the stain, a scar crossing centuries.

Desperate, she weeps. Haunted, she scrubs.

Blood from a murder holds fast.

Especially if it’s your own.

 

Find Me An Oasis

The sun sets.

Tom stops pretending. This new world is barren, devastated.

He turns away from the mannequins wearing tropical shirts, bikinis.

The gun rises.

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. Visit her online at http://www.MadelineMora-Summonte.com.

 

Penny Talk by Suzanne Cottrell

“Penny for your thoughts.”

“Try a dollar,” she smiled.

“I’ll read your mind instead.”

Cheapskate. “Really? Good luck.”

This blind date can’t end soon enough.

Suzanne Cottrell, an Ohio buckeye by birth, lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys reading, writing, knitting, hiking, Pilates, and yoga. Her flash fiction has appeared in Dragon Poet Review, The Pop Machine (Inwood Indiana Press), Dual Coast Magazine, and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal. Riding the writing journey waves as long as it lasts.

July, 2018

Dear readers and contributors,

I apologize for the late posting of this issue!  It’s a tiny one, too.  And I’ve included a piece of my own.  I hope you enjoy.

 

Pink Bikini by Nicole Monaghan

She wants coves, coconuts, indigenous lizards.

She wants the ocean.

She was six then sixteen.

I will gather her the whole sea in my arms.

 

Nicole Monaghan is founding and managing editor of Nailpolish Stories, a Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal.  Her collection of small fictions Want, Wound won the Burning River Contest in 2013.  She is editor of STRIPPED (PS Books 2011), an anthology of anonymous flash fiction featuring nearly fifty writers of flash across the country and the world.  Her work appears in many venues both online and in print.  Visit her at http://www.writenic.wordpress.com

 

 

Garage Band by Erin Adams

She shimmies under, hopeful

Three-chord thrum stops, drummer makes a fat joke

She dumps someone’s mom’s lemon squares in her purse,

hits the opener button.

 

Erin Adams is author of the novel, Wait for the Light, and she works as a freelance copywriter when she’s not being lazy. Her brilliant husband, ill-behaved dogs, and talented writer friends are her greatest inspirations. You can find out more about Erin at http://www.erin-adams.com

 

Three pieces by Clarissa McFairy

Mimosas for Mr. and Mrs. 

He never gave her roses, only mimosas. Mimosa wedding bouquet. Mimosa petals on honeymoon bed. Mimosa cocktails in bathtub. Mimosa kisses. Then she drowned him.

 

Nein! Nein! Nein! OK, Fine!

“Enough booze! Gimme that bottle, Kat. How many lives d’you think you’ve got?” “Nein! Nein! Nein! OK, Fine!”, sobs Katinka, kissing her ninth Hansa goodbye.

 

Nein! Nein! Nein! OK, Fine!

One more kiss, Brunhilda. Nein! Nein! Nein! OK, Fine! Her smouldering lips sink into his neck. Afterwards, he phones room service for a Bloody Mary.

 

Clarissa McFairy lives in Cape Town, South Africa. She writes short stories and poetry for anthologies, at home and abroad. Her poem, La Mia Musawas a vox poetica 2012 Best of the Net nominee. Her poetry book, Strange Bedfellows, published in the USA (Red Dashboard LLC Publishing) is available at Amazon.com. Clarissa says she writes as the muse grabs her and whirls her around the dance floor of life.

 

 

April, 2018

Midnight by Charles Rafferty

 

Two of Luke’s friends peeked in through a back window. They began clapping. A minute later, Mandy hurried to the car, her shirt buttons misaligned.

 

Charles Rafferty‘s new book of prose poems is The Smoke of Horses (BOA Editions).

 

 

Over the Edge by Steven Jakobi

 

The sniper is good at his job. They trust him, need him. That is his special kind of hell. His conscience is driving him insane.

 

 

Steven Jakobi is a retired biology professor. He and his wife live in rural Allegany County, New York with three dogs, two cats and a mess of chickens.

 

 

 

Two pieces by Stella Samuel

 

After Midnight

 

Moon rays lit long hair

as her breath paused.

One teardrop on soft skin.

She said,

“How many minutes ‘til you pass through me again?”

 

Italian Love Affair

 

By the ocean side, it sat.

In a wave lost on its break.

The missing piece

to a night she’ll never forget.

One high heel.

 

Stella Samuel is an author and editor writing women’s fiction, LGBT fiction, and children’s literature. She lives in Arizona, just about a mile south of the sun where her winter weather Saint Bernards soak up rays at her feet while she writes poolside.

 

Coalmates by Rachel Doherty

Entombed together

The last two men standing

Sharing one last swig in our inky grave

As we toast our lost brothers . . . and that annoying canary

 

Rachel Doherty works for a telecom giant by day and is a giant in her own right by night (a.k.a. a working mom who enjoys being creative in her spare time).  She graduated with a BA in Communications from Fordham University and an MA in Media Ecology from NYU.  She has been published in the 100 Voices anthology, the blog The Drabble, and the journal Yellow Mama.  Her own blog can be found at http://www.writestuffny.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Black Onyx by MM Wittle

 

Hidden in her classroom, her ring absorbed the remaining light because this lock down was not a drill. Proving her mother’s onyx ring myth wrong.

 

 

MM Wittle is a Senior Lead Educator by day, an adjunct professor at night, and a writer on alternating weekends. Feel free to follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook/MMWittle. 

Some day, she will remember her twitter password, and you can follow her there as well.

January, 2018

 

Five pieces by Suzanne Cottrell

Quiet Time 

Striving for completeness,
Vanessa sauntered along
paths of concentric circles
struggling to lose herself,
so she could find her true self.
How many more times?

Shattered Souls 

An eerie silence before
the floor shifted
beneath their feet.
Teetering, wobbling,
clinging to each other.
Dishes rattled, fell, shattered.
Prayers to be spared silenced.

Turquoise and Caicos

Couple’s needed escape to tropical island paradise
Tepid, turquoise, shimmering waters
Exhilarating horseback ride through surf,
an attempt to splash life
into their mundane relationship

Pump the Jam

Rock’n roll groupies
orbit their planetary rock star
around the United States,
experience concert euphoria,
hoard musician’s paraphernalia,
long to attend a private jam session.

Brown Bag

Sunday night dilemma,
school lunches, what to pack?
Each child’s food preferences,
limited grocery options,
lacking creativity,
peanut butter and jelly,
apple, juice box again!
Suzanne Cottrell, an Ohio buckeye by birth, lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys hiking, biking, gardening, and Pilates. Her flash fiction has appeared in Dragon Poet Review, The Pop Machine (Inwood Indiana Press), and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal.

 

 

Six pieces by Clarissa McFairy

 

Watermelon Martini

I eyed him over the rim of my Watermelon Martini, as from the gods, (theatrically) or balcony in Romeo and Juliet. He’d be a pushover.

Between the Sheets

Between the sheets, I find paradise. Each sunlit sheet, crisp and clean, yielding to my words. Penned in my new 50-page pad, exclusively for poetry.

Tap dancers

Her glass stilettos clink as they tap the tiles of the Trattoria. Tall champagne glasses, toasting each step towards her new prey. Spouse number six.

Vont to Bite my Neck

Vot keeps you so young? Me: Vampire! See my butt, no flab. Svetlana turns green … then bear-hugs me, growling, Vont to bite my neck?

Wildshine

She spun words, nibbling them before spitting them onto the page. Then she polished each one until it shone. She went for wildshine, never matt.

Satin Sister

Satin sisters into which I slip my morning feet. Soft, fluffy fairies, ferrying me to Jasmine tea. And the steamy kiss of hot buttered toast.

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 (Red Dashboard LLC Publishing) is available at Amazon.com. Clarissa says she writes as the muse grabs her and whirls her around the dance floor of life.

 

Blood Red by Candy Chilton

Crimson blade, scarlett line. Running rivulets from wrist to fingertips. Red blood congealing on her nails, dripping globules to the floor like spilled nail polish.

Candy Chilton lives, loves and laughs in Belgium.

 

Pink in the Park by Rebecca Field

She had a fetish for getting naked in public spaces, which he was happy to oblige, until she threw his trousers into the boating lake.

Rebecca Field juggles writing with caring for two young children and working in a demanding healthcare role. She has been published at Literally Stories, Short Fiction Break, 101 Words and Flash Fiction magazine. Forthcoming at Spelk.

 

Blue Mosaic by Joanna Weston

An indigo sky. Black water. Her surprised blue eyes. Bright turquoise swimsuit.
My wife with a million bucks in the bank: definitely worth one bullet.

Joanna M. Weston. Married; has two cats, multiple spiders,
a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader,
‘Frame and The McGuire’, published by Tradewind Books; and poetry,
‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’, published by Inanna Publications.
Her eBooks found at her blog: http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com/
http://www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com
A Bedroom of Searchlights – poetry
ISBN 978-1-77133-305-4
published by Inanna Publications

 

Quantum Nailpolish by Colin W. Campbell

Clever scientists said that nailpolish can be any color at all until someone looks at it. But how many girls do their nails without looking?

Colin W. Campbell writes short fiction and poetry in Sarawak on the green tropical island of Borneo and faraway in Yunnan in Southwest China. http://www.colincampbell.org

 

Five pieces by Jose Ramirez

Dr. Magic

“There’s nothing else I can do, I’m sorry,” he insisted. “Medicine is not magic.”

Years later, I attended his funeral: inoperable multiple meningiomas they said.

A Love Story

I had a dream once, where I was falling — in love, into a hole, into a rut, into pain, derision. And then I woke up.

The Future is Now

I met a robot on the street. My hate welled up when he said, “Hello.”

“Freak,” I snapped. “Go back to where you came from.”

Real Ghosts

“There’s no such thing as ghosts,” my sister Cora whispered, weeping over a picture of Mama — so young, beautiful, and serene.

“I know,” I lamented.

Forgiveness

Mrs. Aguilar loved birds to death. She kept a cemetery in her backyard, each with little names, with little crosses, and little rosaries for forgiveness.

Jose Ramirez is a lover of very short stories — flash fiction, micro fiction — because they help him concentrate the meaning of ideas. A graduate of San Francisco State University, he majored in Creative Writing and minored in Journalism. Born in Texas, he now lives in San Diego.

 

Three pieces by Olivia Taylor 

Super Star Status

I met him five years later on the red carpet, radiant. He, the star, was starstruck by the formerly invisible fan of his scraping beginnings.

Crushed Candy

A glowing rainbow mess stuck to the sidewalk at Disney World, proving that even the garbage was magical. Inside, the candy store smelled like hope.

Red My Mind

Clark was quiet and gentle until someone was in trouble. Then he abandoned Plato to defend a justice that the ancient Greek would not understand.

Olivia Taylor loves to experiment with numerous genres of writing, including poetry, short stories, novels, and screenwriting.

 

Six pieces by Tyrean Martinson

Espresso Your Style

Hipsters drink cold brew
Teens giggle over mochas
The moms sip non-fat single lattes
Hot single men caress double macchiatos
And I drink honeyed tea.

Sashay My Way

A soft scent of cologne earns my glance. His suit fits tight.
The elevator dings. It’s my floor.
I exit, breathe out, let him go.

Scaredy Matte

The canvas looms. She grips the dripping brush.
He touches her.
She jerks away, spatters crimson across white.
He knows she will create his masterpiece.

Dating a Royal

Boring, but her mother insisted.
After an endlessly formal dinner,
she dove back into the sea,
hid her crown,
and raced manta rays with friends.

I’m Not Really a Waitress
I pack heat.
I wear pink lip gloss.
I smack my gum.
Remember the first one before you order anything off Billy Bag’s special menu.

Breakfast in Red

She ordered stewed tomatoes.
Her fingers were red, not the nails, but the skin.
I didn’t ask. I just served.
One never questioned the queen.

Tyrean Martinson is a writer, teacher, daydreamer, and believer who lives on the Peninsula in Washington State. She is the author of speculative and non-fiction books, as well as over 100 published short works of poetry and short stories. Find her at: http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com

 

Powder Room by Erin Adams

No soap.
Florescent gloom.
She shimmers like she’s never felt pain.
I avoid the mirror.
She slams into a stall, pukes her gorgeous face off.

Erin Adams is the author of the novel, Wait for the Light, and she works as a freelance copywriter when she’s not being lazy.  Her brilliant husband, talented writer-friends, and her ill-behaved dogs are her greatest inspirations.  You can find out more about Erin at http://www.erin-adams.com

 

 

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