Birdsong

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By hombrehompson

The music almost kills me today.

It is a childhood memory. The song that would play as my father hunted and brought local wildlife back to the garage. It would play as I cried for my mother, begging her not to go to work, terrified of spending time with this hulk of a man.

Today, when that song comes on the radio again, I can smell that garage. Hear those birds.

My tears almost cause an accident on the motorway. When I pull over onto the hard shoulder I sit for twenty minutes, thinking about my mother.

 

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Pieces

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By Polly Mayforth Krause

I’m starting to piece my past together

And at this point

I’m wondering

If my past should have been left in pieces

When I open up the wounds of my past

I suffer again

Having gained an understanding of why I suffered

It’s painful

But worth the pain

I think

Understanding leads to forgiveness and healing

Healing is about wholeness

It’s about picking up the pieces

And putting them back together

One shard at a time

Fashioning something new

That glitters

When the light hits the jagged edges

Jean and Jack

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By Jonny Booker

She looked like she’d been a prized greyhound in another life. She used the word “need” when ordering food at a restaurant. She’d married someone who was afraid no one would marry him; who was brilliant and shy and not even homely, and who blossomed with age. Together, they wrinkled, and the cashier was perplexed whenever she saw them come in—whenever she endured the woman ordering for herself and for her husband, and whenever she received a kind smile from the man, who never finished his drink.

Divorced. After 30 Years.

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By Captain 575

First love. High school sweethearts. The whole bit. Sometimes joked they shared a brain: Even bought each other the same Christmas gift—three times! One year it was tennis rackets. Ha! That was a laugh. They were still having sex then. Then it was iPads, which were cool. But! She left hers at the beach, he lost his charging cord thingy. Didn’t bother looking for it. Last year it was a book. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

The House Plant

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By Ian Fletcher

House plants are odd
for though some thrive
relatively neglected
others will not survive
despite the attention
administered to them.

Who’d have thought
for that matter
the one we bought
to adorn our balcony
whose flowers faded
according to the season
but whose leaves then
withered without reason
to languish out there
with stems so bare
winter through spring
despite our tender care
would prove to be the latter?

So it is with our love, my dear,
which like the plant outside
howsoever it is now tended
can never be revived.

     
Ian Fletcher’s work has appeared in Tuck Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, 1947 A Literary Journal, Spillwords Press, Dead Snakes, Literary Yard, Your One Phone Call, Schlock! Webzine, Short-story.me, Anotherealm, Under the Bed, A Story In 100 Words, Poems and Poetry, Friday Flash Fiction, and various anthologies.

Allahu Akbar

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By Robina Rader

“You’ll be sorry. You could have married me and had status and respect.”

“I’d rather die!”

“That can be arranged.“

He dragged her to the camp chief and said, “I’ve brought you a volunteer, sir.”

Two men held the girl while another fastened the suicide belt around her.

“You will go today to Paradise,” said the chief. “Find a crowd in town, where the infidels refuse to honor Jihad. Then press this button. Allahu akbar!”

The girl snatched the detonator and screamed, “Allahu akbar, Pigs!” as she pushed the button.

Tattoo

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By Linda Imbler

Kevis’s official death was June, 2161. He had previously died on November, 2016.

In his afterlife, he got a tattoo every time there was a massive group of sins committed. The big kind involving lots of people, hatred, brutality, and hopelessness.

Over the centuries, he received enough to cover his entire body. He developed huge asymmetrical lumps all over his body. Ink replaced his blood.

Gordon took his place. He expected centuries of pigmentation on his body. Instead, his first tattoo covered his entire back. It depicted a dead, still planet. The pain would always be excruciating.