By Martin Cororan
From her bedroom, kitten slippers on feet and sugary beverage in hand, Kiki wrote a few lines of code that kicked out the support struts of the western world.
As markets crashed and billionaires were relieved of their fortunes she posted a pouty photo and liked a whole bunch of stuff. The armed response came as an unpleasant surprise; the publicity less so.
Prison wi-fi left a lot to be desired – One star and a troll review.
20 years. The judge asked that she make eye contact, but her social media was blowing up. She tagged him. 10,000 likes.
By T.J. Barnum
Sometimes she explodes. It’s not pretty.
She buys several mirrors to watch for signs of approaching combustion.
She enrolls in yoga classes, starts kick-boxing, gets a buddha tattoo.
Friends tell her everyone has bad moments.
She reads books: It’s habit. It’s buried pain. It’s bi-polar.
Reframe. See a counselor. Pray.
She gets her tongue pierced as a reminder to stop.
One day a stranger at a market hands her a key:
“Why are you so mad at yourself?”
She starts conversations with the person in her mirror.
At first it sucks.
After awhile, they both smile.
By Paul Croucher
“You’ve no imagination, Davis.” That’s what my English teacher used to say to me. And when I was called in to see the head of year she’d say: “Don’t you have any dreams, Davis?”
After I left school I joined the army. I got to see the world, make new mates, and pick up dead children.
If only they could see me now.
Paul Croucher’s work has appeared in Reflex Fiction, Bath Flash Fiction Anthology 2016, and forthcoming in Bath Flash Fiction Anthology 2017.
She attends because it deepens her faith – the words, the music. She attends because as a little girl, her parents took her to Sunday school, and the momentum has sustained. She believes because the evil in this world must be combatted by something bigger – an entity better and more loving. So, with eyes closed, she chooses to pray.
Her faith sustains her, keeps peace present during dark times. Yet, some people … They attend beside her. They sing, they pledge, they join in fellowship hour. But, they are the reason she has one foot in and one foot out the door.
By Allen E. Rizzi
I found a grounded hawk,
Featherless and lost.
Though evening bore the shadows,
Help, it seemed, was neither
His to take nor mine to give.
By Patsy Collins
He staggered forward, through shifting sand. Reaching the building he’d seen from the last ridge, he barely had strength to knock on the weathered boards. His dry lips couldn’t form the word.
“Water?” a voice asked. He nodded.
“Still, or sparkling? Would you like ice and a twist of lemon?”
A mirage. Just a mirage.
We spend our days playing in the closet.
In our imagination it is a spaceship, a doorway to other worlds, a portal that can travel through time. In the darkness we act out our fantasies, constructing the characters of our narrative. We play with the treasures that surround us – costumes in boxes, paperwork on shelves, trinkets that remind us of our parents.
We play all day in the closet, waiting for the door to be unlocked once more.