Overlord

By B.W. Carter

Glorious king! He’s wonderful. He’s insufferable. He commands, and you scramble to obey. He demands, and you cannot deny him. He howls, giggles, jabbering incessantly. You must guess at his every whim, for he is capricious and quick to anger if his desires are not anticipated. He is gorgeous. He smells. His fists batter your face, wrench at your spectacles, but you grin and bear it. Opposing him is unthinkable, for obeying him is your greatest delight. He rules your world. He’s monstrous, a tyrant. He’s an angel. He really, really reeks.

Your turn, honey. The baby needs changing again.


By day, B. W. Carter serves as a cog in the machine of social services, administering child welfare programs from a cluttered cubicle. By night, he writes absolutely whatever he wants from a slightly larger cubicle somewhere else.

Modern Times

By Dianne Moritz

Oh, how indifferent we’ve become:

phone calls directed to machines,

countless emails left unanswered,

requests for help dismissed, ignored,

no neighbors chatting in the backyard,

snippy shop workers, broken promises.

How I long for acknowledgement, simple

words of kindness, support in times of need,

a friend who says, “I hear you, you matter.”


“Sometimes I write to express my dismay with the world.” – the writer

Forever Nine

By Darrell Petska

He’s driving fast toward the town lights.
Pray harder than you’ve ever prayed before.
But what’s wrong? Is it Shirley?
Just pray.
Hail Mary full of grace… Is it Mom?
His tears shine in the dashboard lights.
Mom’s already there.
What happened?
I shouldn’t have said let her go… I shouldn’t have…
Pray it’s not too late.
He doesn’t slow down till we reach the pool.
Are we in time?
Wait here. He leaves the car door hanging open.
Darrell. It’s Uncle Don’s voice. Uncle Don’s arms.
Let me go! Where’s Shirley?
But it’s so bright I can’t see.


“Writing orders chaos. Words make sense of silence.” – the writer

Bloodsuckers

By Jim Bates

We were sitting on the city dock. I was crying, “I don’t want you to leave.” He put an arm around my shoulder. “It’s okay, little man,” his term of endearment for me, his kid brother. “I’ll write every day.” Ron was eighteen and my hero. Early next morning he was leaving to go to war.

Later we walked along the shore. I got covered with bloodsuckers and he sat me down and picked them off, one by one. I’ll never forget his gentle touch, or how he dried my tears. Or that last day we were ever together.


“I write to try and bring a bit of happiness to people.” – the writer

On That Cold Night

By Nick Lord Lancaster

She dived out of the way, so set on preserving her own life that she didn’t notice until afterwards, lying bruised and relieved on the dusty tarmac, trying to focus her disbelieving eyes in the hope of seeing the registration, that it was her late husband’s car. The car he’d cleaned inside and out every Saturday morning, removing any trace of whoever had been in it on Friday night. The car she’d last seen on that cold night, two weeks before Christmas, when she’d watched the water for over an hour to make absolutely sure it wasn’t going to resurface.


“I’m not entirely sure why I write, but I’ve tried not writing and it doesn’t work.” – the writer

The Sun Had Begun to Rise

By Asher Bomse

The waves gently crashed into the sand as dawn broke over the horizon. And she’d already breathed her last. She’d crossed the veil hours prior. Into the light she’d gone. Away from the pain she’d experienced.

She knew this day was going to come. She didn’t want to leave her loved ones behind. Her time was at an end with them though. She had become an angel forever protecting them though.

She’d closed her eyes in her room. She opened them to see the beach, seeing her mom, and just knew.


Asher writes “to share stories with the world.”

Depression

By Megha Nayar

I have 102 degrees of cabin fever. It happens whenever I marinate in could-haves and should-haves for too long.

Do little things, says my therapist. Take a bath. Make your bed. Walk. Call a friend.

Easy for her to sing that song.

I’ve lain here for hours now. I last drank water in the morning. My armpits reek of yesterday’s sweat. My scalp has sprouted little balls of sebum that I scratch and weed out when I’m bored.

This can’t go on.

Out I jump, as suddenly as I’d slumped.

I step away from the brink, into the shower.


“I write because it is the only kind of validation I know.” – the writer

At the Stroke of …

By John L. Malone

There’s a merry-go-round inside my head
and it’s starting up again
only there’s no music
and there’s no one watching
only me
from the sidelines
& I’m on the merry-go-round too
though I want to get off
but it’s going faster and faster
& I’m getting dizzier and dizzier
& I have to lie down
before I fall down
again.


John is a South Australian writer of poetry, flash fiction and the occasional short story.

Making Chutney

By Michael Bloor

I’ve been making green tomato chutney. Outside in the street, I see a woman and a small boy. He’s walking unevenly, avoiding cracks in the pavement. His mum gives his hand a mighty tug: mother and son, out-of-step.

Then, I can’t remember what weight of sultanas to add. When I find the yellowed recipe, I see it’s in my mum’s handwriting. She’d spelt ‘tomato’ with an ‘e’ at the end, which upset me a little.

I used to say my mum was a difficult woman, but perhaps she wasn’t all that difficult. Maybe it was just that we were out-of-step?


“Michael Bloor only discovered the exhilarations of short fiction after he retired.” – the writer

Glancing in the Mirror

By Dianne Moritz

“I can’t wait for tomorrow,” he says,
splashing cologne on his craggy cheeks.
Warm steam sweats the cool glass.
She smiles and happily plays along.
“Because I get better looking every day!”

Watching him comb back his thinning
salt and pepper hair, goosebumps prickle
her bare arms. She steps close, to peck
his still damp cheek …. startled to see
crows’ feet scratching the corners of her eyes.


“I write to capture indelible moments in time.” – the writer