By Tyrean Martinson
My father’s eyes hold the stories of the ages. They hold innocence and knowledge. They hold the sky. They hold the sea. They hold the rain. They hold laughter and tears the color of water. They hold rivers and lakes and dusty trails beneath tall pine trees pungent with sap. They hold books read by campfires and lamplight. They hold his whistle and his jaunty walk, as well as his embarrassment and his slow shuffling gait – every step measured for balance. They hold hope for moments of quiet conversation. In my father’s eyes, the stories are real.
Tyrean Martinson is a writer, teacher, daydreamer, believer who lives in the Pacific Northwest (near Seattle).
By Mayumi Cruz
At first, it’s the little things. A name. Some place. A memory.
Then it becomes a few names. A lot of places. Many memories. It’s like, you step into a merry-go-round which has just started spinning, and then it speeds up, round and round and round, and you get lost and dizzy as the objects fly around you again and again and again, until they all become blurs, flashes, smudges, while you remain rooted on the ground, confused and disconcerted.
At first, you panic. But then, you become numb.
Even when you don’t recognize the face looking back at you.
Mayumi Cruz lives in the Philippines with her husband and three sons. Her work has appeared in Philippines Graphic, Medium, and AdHoc Fiction. Her short story, “Black Love,” won Bookbed’s Fictory Contest in 2017.
By John L. Malone
I’ve come to mistrust the little guy inside my head. He used to be calm, dependable but over the years he’s become a little loopy, his thinking transgressive. Now I hardly know him. He’s a loose cannon, an IED waiting to be stepped on.
Look, I say, let’s be reasonable. You can’t say that! And you definitely can’t do that! You want us to end up in prison? Sometimes I give him drugs to quieten him, talk him down, get him to see reason. I love the little guy. I just wish he was more like me.
John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry
By Maja Bodenstein
I am fetching a glass of water when the walls of my house crumble around me. Before my eyes the clutter of my daily life reverts to its natural state: my ankles sink into the dirt that was once the floor as the house’s support beams shoot up into the sky, trees once more. In this primeval forest, I am the intruder; I have no choice but to sink into the morass and surrender to decay. But even as I dissolve into the sticky, primordial ooze, I sense life begin anew as a solitary bud sprouts from my little toe.
Maja Bodenstein is a Chinese/German screenwriter, obsessed with language and mythology. She lives in London, UK.
By Emily Ruggieri
I’m driving away
The day is new, the sun kisses my cheek through the glass
Warm like the touch of the hand that cares, do you care
Feelings are there, feelings I’m afraid to share
Feelings that we’re afraid to share
Emotions like an ocean, the depth scares me
Are yours like an arroyo, only full after the rain
It rains when I’m with you
When I’m with you we feel
The sun is warm as I drive away
Emily Ruggieri is a Nutrition major at Texas State
By Henry Bladon
At the unveiling, they announced: ‘The world’s first true human robot,’ I didn’t care to point out that the statement was actually an oxymoron, because I know how sensitive humans can be.
The crowd clapped and cheered. Oh. how clever they all are.
My neural network is capable of trillions of calculations every second. It is better than a human brain. They never thought they would see that day. They have also given me a laser to help with measurement, and another to aid mobility.
Once I make the modifications, it won’t be long before we won’t be needing humans.
Henry Bladon is a short-fiction and poetry writer based in Somerset in the UK. His work has appeared in Entropy, FridayFlashFiction, Mercurial Stories, Potato Soup Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, and Spillwords Press, among others.
By Lynn White
It’s interesting to consider that
every breath I take
has already been breathed by
another person or creature.
Been part of their breath.
Perhaps that dog over there,
smelly and hairy,
licking it’s own arse.
I would prefer not to have
molecules of oxygen from it’s breath
entering my blood stream,
giving me life.
But there’s nothing
I can do about it.
Have to take what comes.
Breath the air that’s there
wherever it’s been before.
Rebellion is not an option.
Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in publications including Apogee, Firewords, Vagabond Press, Light Journal and So It Goes Journal.