As the train chugged out of the station, I left my small, picturesque town behind.
I was tentative because I’d left a dead man behind—the man who’d tormented me all my life with doubts, criticism, and discouragement of all my endeavors. Until I decided he had to go.
If you visit my pretty white cottage, you’ll find my kind, old parents sad but relieved. They’ll offer you tea and scones and tell you they’d known it all along. That I’d kill my inner demon and embark on this new leg of discovery and fulfillment.
“When I move someone with my words, I feel a little worthier than before.” – the writer
By Conor Kilbride
The mountains have grown
They are growing still
This is how it will go
One never-ending show
The peak will breach the sky
We have passed that
Now we can fly
And when humans fall
The mountains will be there
Conor Kilbride writes “to pretend I am a more serious person than I am in reality.”
By Frances Tate
Why does the attractiveness of the weather inversely correlate to my plans for the day?
Pondering this as I drive to work in glorious sunshine, I discover another mystery.
Why am I paying more attention to the vehicle in front of me than its driver is? She’s perfecting the stereotype and the even distribution of her foundation.
The red traffic light takes on a different meaning as a mascara wand appears. Waves. She rolls forward, crosses the lane marker. Again.
I’m tempted to follow her to work. Attach a bright red ‘L’ plate to her vehicle. Warning: Lipstick under application.
Tell us why you write: “There’s an option?!” – the writer
By Dianne Moritz
Wasting no time for seduction,
they move, make the hit. ZZT!
They need you like air, blood,
and your skin wells red, blotchy …
fierce itch a constant reminder.
Some men are like mosquitoes.
You’re walking down the street
on a sunny day, eating ice cream:
chocolate almond, sure, your favorite.
A guy whistles, calls out, “Hey,
Babe! Love your ass!” As if you care.
Then you’re standing at the water cooler
and a co-worker steps too close, cops
a feel. Or perhaps you’re relaxing, reading
The Rubaiyat at 3 AM when the phone rings.
Heavy breathing shatters the silence …
Dianne Moritz writes to make sense of life and love.
By John Adams
“Impostor Syndrome.” Tommy’s voice cracks on that last syllable. “Thinking you don’t deserve good things you’ve earned.” He doesn’t look at me, hasn’t looked at me since our friends left. “I… have it too, Natalie, sometimes.” He fumbles with the zipper on his letterman’s jacket.
I want to hold his hand.
I want him to hold my hand.
But he doesn’t.
“I tripped,” I say. “During cheerleader tryouts. I still got on the squad, and—”
He looks at me.
He takes my hand.
And within my synthetic human-suit, underneath my oozing true skin, my seven scaled hearts flutter.
John Adams lives in the Kansas City area, where he produces comedy shows and writes to amuse himself.
By Serena Jayne
Inside the secondhand copy of Pride and Prejudice, I find a tattered love note promising a glass of wine and some precious uninterrupted reading time. Had the couple’s relationship flourished or turned brittle and musty like the battered book?
An ambiguous ending serves as an invitation to fill in the gaps. I imagine they birthed a daughter with a passion for reading. Perhaps the girl preferred tales of wizards and wands rather than regency romance. Unaware of the keepsake inside, she donated the novel.
Satisfied, I fall into Lizzy and Darcy’s world, hoping to conjure my own happy ever after.
Serena Jayne has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Her short fiction and poetry has appeared in Crack the Spine, Oddville Press, 101 Fiction, and Switchblade Magazine, among others.
By Padmini Krishnan
Marie stood in the staircase listening to the music coming from the floor below. The pianist was a soldier who lived alone. She heard the soft passion in his notes and imagined his fingers caressing the keys. Was he thinking about his lover now? A few seconds later, she heard him almost pounding the keys in anger. Was this meant for his victims or perpetrators in war? She imagined him calling her inside and pouring out his problems to her. The music stopped abruptly. Marie felt empty as she stepped inside her empty penthouse.
Padmini Krishnan finds happiness and solace in writing.