By Dwayne Allen Thomas
It was a fight I couldn’t win. She used a cheat code and unlocked a fifty-foot wave of emotion that knocked the cool out of me for months. I countered. Blocked. Absorbed. She adjusted, summoning a set of logical surgical tools to pick apart my arguments at every turn. I conceded. We went our separate ways. She never spoke to me again.
It was her first time standing up for herself.
It made me love her even more.
By Kim Tackett
Where the river meets the shore, and it’s not just water anymore. On a good day, a beach. Not so great, a bog. The marshy part of marriage, so quiet, you have to pay attention to hear it.
A blur instead of a border, just the place where the grass grows in the mud. A twig, some moss, and a piece of trash.
The other side has a different view, but the water is still cold except for where it’s warm. Debris nestling in the grass, daring to be a treasure.
After all this time, still unsure of my footing.
I met him on a winding path beneath the bridge
leading to the zoo. I had lost my girl. He had lost
the plot though I didn’t know it then.
We talked briefly beside the banisters as a blue
Kayak passed us by. Before his accomplishments —
his CV baggy with published poems — I
was lost for words. “Take care,” I remember him
saying. “He’s always had his head in the clouds,”
a fellow poet once said of him. Perhaps that’s why
a week later he climbed to the roof of a big city hotel
and stepped off.
By Traci Mullins
“We can’t pull the plug,” my sisters say, as though our mother’s tether to this world is a cord infused with life, like the one that brought her into it. But I know it’s a shackle, chaining her to a place she no longer belongs. “Don’t let me linger,” Momma’d told me. So on the seventh day I say “Enough is enough.” My sisters are horrified as I turn off the machine, but I feel Momma’s lips brush my cheek as I set her free.
Traci’s work has appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, Dime Show Review, Ellipsis Zine, Flash Flood, Fantasia Divinity, Spillwords Press, and others.
By Phil Town
I went to visit my mother and had some business in the office. There on the counter, a photocopied …
Deer & rabbits & floral tributes.
Please be aware that there are deer, rabbits and squirrels residing in the surrounding woodlands, and there may be the possibility of some floral tributes being eaten.”
Now, my mum was passionate about all animals – she watched TV nature programs around the clock, and would go out in thunderstorms to save stray cats abandoned under scrapped cars.
So next time, I’m leaving roses. White ones.
A bloody great big bunch of ‘em.
By Nerisha Kemraj
He never saw the tears freeze at the corner of her eyes, he only saw her smile. He never felt her body tense as he hugged her goodbye … too eager to leave. He missed the everyday struggles of her life as he wrapped himself in his own. Her world darkened because the light representing him slowly faded. Shadows danced as the stifling walls caved in.
Jesse knew she had to change things, but how? Maybe change would come soon? She hoped. The weight of the world weighed her down. She fell, and no one was there to lift her up.
By D.A. Donaldson
“It’s called The Drabble,” she said. “One hundred-word limit.”
He sneered, “And you call that being published?”
“It’s something. It’s a start. It’s better than your Letters to the Editor.”
“At least people read those!”
“Do they? When’s the last time you heard from a reader?”
“Gimme a break,” he swigged his beer, “I don’t see any book deals coming out of your online dribbles.”
“Drabbles,” she corrected. “And my last post got 147 likes. At least I know that someone is reading and enjoying what I write. And you know what else? You just inspired my next submission!”