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 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 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!”
By RLM Cooper
I often think I’m insane. I hear voices. And there are multiple personalities all trying to get out. Male. Female. Old. Young. Black. White. Some are heroes and some wanted by the police. I’ve been places no one has ever gone before. And I know things. Things no one else knows. Or will ever know. My brain aches with it all. And I’ve done things. Scary things and boring things, too. The voices speak to me. They demand to be heard. Sometimes it’s frightening. But I … excuse me a second.
“What is it, dear?”
“Your editor is on the phone!”
By Dawne Zirley-Leight
You don’t realize this (probably)
But in you
I see the promise
of an infinite horizon and
During quieter moments
I find the space to be mindful
which warm threads will line the womb into which I crawl
And there you are
If you see this (and
I doubt you do)
think of me
I watched you walk across the room, caught your scent from the wind gently blowing,
Smiled when you said hello, hiding my startle that you’d already come so close,
I noticed your two-second lingering stare, fought the urge to look away from your welcoming gaze.
But isn’t that what he had said, quickly welcoming me into his arms and getting into my head? Quickly twisting me and turning me like a piece of thread, causing me to come undone, I picked up my books and started to leave, hoping you would follow to catch me, and not bind me.