This Morning I Lost My Favorite Sock and I Knew The World Was Ending

By Andrei Șișman

I wake up to the sound of volcanoes and people screaming. Outside, Kīlauea glows. The Goddess of Volcanoes is sitting at my breakfast table, drinking coffee as she makes the world burn. I say: “I hate my life. Take it.” I rip at my shirt collar, thrust my naked breasts forward. Pele blinks. She is so, so beautiful.

Anxiety mounts and I wonder: did I come on too strongly, too like a beggar? A murderer’s least satisfying victim is the one that wants to die, after all.

Pele sits up and kisses me. Her tongue, velvet lava, melts everything away.

––––––––
Andrei Șișman is a fiction author and memoirist from Bucharest, Romania.

Below the Surface

By Ellie T. Jacobson

The crinkled reflection stalks each move, forcing her to remain seated in the sterile room. A young man carrying a bouquet of tulips walks towards her, “Mind if I sit here?” As he sets the flowers down, he takes her hand in his, not waiting for the answer. She eyes their matching golden rings. His appearance shifts, revealing the groom whom she wed 50 Junes ago. “I remember,” she says, staring into his sea-green eyes. Relief washes over her body with the recovered memory. They sit in solitude until she looks over, “What is your name?”

––––––––––
“I write to release my words out into the world.” – the writer

Houston: Feb. 17, 2021

By Christine Ly Nguyen

The pool water is numbingly cold as it gurgles into the empty Evian bottle. My hands burn from the chill as I twist the lid to close, adding it to join its brothers in the grocery bag. Just a few more gallons, easy, and we can go. The gate opens and more neighbors join us in harvesting the precious commodity. We flash each other sardonic “Good mornings.” We finish and trudge back upstairs. I remind the group that this should not be used for cooking or bathing. We pass by empty lightbulbs, tiptoe through slippery patches, and finally arrive home.

––––––––––
“I write because why not?” – the writer

Baby J

By kreateatale

It was a Sunday,
She was induced in a manner
Painless as being stuck with a thousand knives.
Monday came,
Calm like a running stream returned.
Tuesday peeped,
Reinduction came with flames that dwarfed Sunday’s wrath.
‘Help me,’ she wailed.
‘Get it out of me.’
A symphony of pain and unabashed transparency.
Six-hours plus
And his cry tore through the womb.
My son,
My wife,
Me,
A new family.

––––––––––
“I have a gift and I must use it. I have a voice and I must be heard.” – the writer

The Grubby Little Animal

By John L. Malone

“I’ve got to keep picking up after the grubby little animal,” she said.

“Grubby little animal? Max? Isn’t he out of his puppy stage ?”

“No, your friend, Raymond. Impossible to live with. He’s not even house trained.”

“Come on. Everybody loves Raymond.”

“Good. You can put him up then. You’re on your own now, Ray tells me. Your wife left.”

“Hang on. I love the guy but I couldn’t stand living with him.”

“He’s on his way. I kicked him out.” And she hung up.

Just then there’s a knock at the door.

–––––––––
“I just love sharing this story :)” – the writer

The Journey of Waiting

By Bruce Levine

The day slowly ebbing away
Another checked off
On the journey of waiting

A week gone by
Sleeping away hours
Daylight waning
‘Til another night
And another dawn

Empty moments
Filled with empty moments
Unresolved

Fanciful meanderings
Daydreams of happiness
Sewn together with gossamer thread
On a tapestry yet created

Counting the chimes
As the clock strikes
The house in the dark
An elusive refrain
Against a background of emptiness

Holding on to the ephemeral
Watching an empty screen
Metadata floating in cyberspace
As longing continues
In a vacuum of reality

Filling the void
And the empty days
With waiting

––––––––––
“(I write) to share something important to me.” – the writer

Endless Quest

By Tamara Raidt

You will spend half of your life
striving to find the right words

said the fairy who had bent
over my cradle at four a.m.

and once you think you’ve achieved your task
you will spend the other half

striving to find someone
who can understand them.

––––––––––
“Writing helps me embrace my emotions, and it’s the best way I have found so far to make sense out of things that appeared to me without a sense.” – the writer

Snowball

By Will H. Blackwell, Jr.

A friend, leaving unexpectedly (trouble with “the law?”), sought a home for his still-unnamed rescue-cat, wondering if I …?

Foolishly, I said, “Yes.”

The little creature was intriguing—purest white! Purring softly as snowfall, it would ‘round up,’ snuggling.

Unimaginatively, I named it “Snowball.”

Undemanding, but seemingly inattentive, it didn’t learn its name.

Eyes crystal-blue—it made odd, squeaking sounds. I thought: You don’t even know how to meow!—eventually discovering, sadly, it was stone-deaf—a genetic-disorder among white, blue-eyed cats.

Evenings, though, if I shine laser-lights upon the wall, Snowball livens—chasing the moving dots like summer fireflies.

––––––––––
“I like writing about uncertain situations, that just might turn out all right in the long-run.” – the writer

It’s Only a Paper Moon

By Agnes Halvorssen

He broke in last night, saw an opening through your dreams and slipped inside. Mouthless, you found a pencil and wrote, ‘Can you see the world you left me in?’

You waited for him in a house that was yours but not yours, in a world which tore if you pressed too hard. He put you in a cardboard boat and pushed you out onto the ocean without saying goodbye.

When you woke, you blinked, eyes trying to focus, but all you could see was a paper moon looking at you through the window, frowning at your tears.

––––––––––
“I write to try to dry out some of the dampness of human existence.” – the writer

Grits

By Roy Gomez

I couldn’t remember the darned word to save my life. It was ‘grits.’ No matter how I coaxed the little heathen, it wouldn’t show itself. Cornmeal? Polenta. “Porridge!” I even shouted. But none was it. I quit rocking, rose from my chair, and shuffled in slippers to the kitchen. And there it was, up in a dark corner of my pantry, waiting right where I’d left it two months ago to the friggin’ day. Alzheimer’s? Dementia? Oh, stop! Quit. It’s just a single lousy word. ‘Grits.’ I turned and ambled off … muttering how I don’t even like grits.

––––––––––
Roy Gomez has been kicking words around for a good while. He writes “because it’s fun and cheaper than therapy.”