A Tiny And Colorful Literary Journal

Posts tagged ‘M.C. Harris’

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?



Photograph by Nicole Monaghan


In My Back Pocket by Hannah Karena Jones

I keep paperclips and ticket stubs and Post-Its folded four times over and abandoned shells that don’t whisper ocean sounds in my ear and you.


Hannah Karena Jones is an Assistant Editor by day and a YA, fiction, historical, and memoir writer by night. Her work has appeared in Weave magazine and The Susquehanna Review, among others, and her book, Byberry State Hospital, is forthcoming from Arcadia Publishing. She maintains a blog at http://thewwaitingroom.wordpress.com/



Flurry Up by Dan Sicoli

All she could remember was how fast

they rode through the snow and how the

Camero’s window stuck open. The weather

floated down like ash.


Dan Sicoli is the author of two chapbooks from Pudding House Press–Pagan Supper and the allegories. Odd weekends he bangs out chords on an old Gibson.


Infatuation by Esther Thurman


Piles of letters. One began, You don’t know me. I love you. He tossed the page, kept her photograph. Death Row was such a drag.

Esther Thurman spends most days alone with urges to sublimate certain emotions–at times, in good order; at times, in pandemonium–by writing, drawing, and making photos. Other humans interest Esther immensely, especially those in need, lost, or troubled. After her death, her remains will be transported to and studied at Knoxville, Tennessee’s “Body Farm” (University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center).


Big Apple Red  by Bruce Harris

They met for the first time after countless online exchanges.

“You’re Big Apple Red?”

She hesitated, said nothing.

“You’re not from the city, are you?”

Bruce Harris enjoys relaxing with a Marxman.



Caught Red-handed by Sue Ann Connaughton

He assumed she’d pine for him after he left in the morning, until he found her fluffing away traces of his head-shape from the pillow.

Sue Ann Connaughton writes compact pieces from a drafty old house in Massachusetts. Her most recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barnwood Poetry Magazine; The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts; The Linnet’s Wings; The Citron Review; The Meadowland Review; Boston Literary Magazine; On the Premises; Twenty20 Journal, Nasty Snips, and The Binnacle Eighth International Ultra-Short Competition anthology.



Two pieces by Rachel Wolford

Now You Sea Me

In the cove, we dally as the tide rises. With a flip of my tail, I plunge with you into the depths. Even lovers drown.


Flea-ridden and scratching, I wandered to my favorite shade. I had begged no breakfast in the market. Blood on the pavement made an adequate lunch.

Rachel Wolford enjoys the challenge of tiny stories.



Charmed by Sabrina Bullock

Sweet and sassy like the tea in the south.  Yet only gentle curses come out of her mouth.  “Bless your heart,” she says real smart.

Sabrina Bullock is a writer living in Kittrell, North Carolina.  She enjoys cooking, gardening, crocheting, sewing, and especially writing poetry. 



Two Pieces by Sandra Wilson


Time for face paint, heels to walk to war.  Attack the town and hit the disco. No ammo, just drink to mollify your enemy. Partner.

Wellington Square

Do not fear the rain that births the green beneath our feet.  Lightning burns away the dark. Thunder restarts your heart.  Walk bravely into the storm.

Sandra Wilson, 29, is a UK resident who has been writing since she was very small. Recently these stories have escaped into literary lunes and static movement. She is currently editing her first novel into some state for submission.



Russian Red by Brooks Rexroat

Russian Red and dimples when she returns my crosswalk smile; I pivot, hope for eye contact—but it’s just swaying jet black as she recedes.

Brooks Rexroat writes and teaches in Cincinnati, Ohio. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Visit him online at http://www.brooksrexroat.com.



Marine Scene by Joanna M. Weston

The yacht leans into the waves. She trails one hand in the water. Watches the bubbles rise from where his body sank. ‘Champagne,’ she thinks.

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/  or http://smashwords.com/b/137826



Vermillion by Terry Sanville

The crippled soldier stares into Chaco Canyon. A hawk cries. I look up at the soaring raptor. When I look back, the soldier is gone.

Terry Sanville lives in San Luis Obispo, California with his artist-poet wife (his in-house editor) and one plump cat (his in-house critic). He writes full time, producing short stories, essays, poems, an occasional play, and novels. Since 2005, his short stories have been accepted by more than 150 literary and commercial journals, magazines, and anthologies including the Picayune Literary Review, Birmingham Arts Journal and Boston Literary Magazine. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his story “The Sweeper.” Terry is a retired urban planner and an accomplished jazz and blues guitarist who once played with a symphony orchestra backing up jazz legend George Shearing.


Barely Nude by Ray Sharp

The illustrated woman, inked from her neck to her fingers and toes, stripped down to a smile suggesting she still had something up her sleeve.

Ray Sharp is a published poet and short story writer from the Michigan Upper Peninsula. He does not wear nail polish, but he has been to Warsaw and Gdansk.



A Story in Four Chapters by M.C. Harris

Otherwise Engaged

Kettle whistles.  Voicemail beckons.  Clouds chug past her kitchen window.  She sips, listens again to the message, finger poised over her future.  Sips.  Listens.  Delete.

Social Climber

She twists her wedding band in circles, contemplates the future: the clack of his teeth, his whistling nasal passages, the peculiar syntax, previously so endearing.

Don’t Think Twice

That little noise he makes when he proves her wrong.  The hand closing to a fist.  The suitcase she packs is of the highest quality.

Warming Trend

Bed. Blanket.  Dear God, a pillow.  From down the hall, whispers of sheltered women filter into the dreams of her children, asleep under donated comforters.

M.C. Harris has been thinking about how and where we end up, and why (Luck? M.C. wonders. Design? Dogged determination? Hard work? Blessings from above?), and invites you to read the chapters in whatever order you choose, in search of the happiest ending.  M.C. continues to ponder the impending supernova.

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