What My Father Left Behind

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By Dianne Moritz

A Spanish language textbook, his signature penciled on the flyleaf.

A self-indulgent sonnet scrawled on a slip of scrap paper.

That one photograph.

A lifelong sense of loss and longing in his two young daughters.

           
Dianne Moritz enjoys capturing brief moments in time, celebrating trials, tribulations, and beauty of life. She dreams of publishing a book of all her drabble.

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Darkness

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By G. Allen Wilbanks

“Why are you afraid of the dark? Darkness is the natural state of everything. It’s the light that’s unnatural. When God said, ‘Let there be light,’ he was imposing an artificial reality on a universe that had previously only know known total darkness and emptiness, and every force in nature is currently trying to drive us back to that original point of neutrality. Everything around us is temporary, and at some point in the future we will all return to that initial state of nothingness. It’s inevitable.”

“Maybe,” his wife admitted. “But, I still want you to replace the lightbulb.”

           
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and has published over 60 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two story collections, and the novel, When Darkness Comes.

Puzzling It Out

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By diannemoritz

You go along, putting life’s pieces together, one by one. Like a jigsaw puzzle, sometimes they fit snuggly: bird on a nest, sweet peas on a trellis. Then, just when you think you’re ready for the next piece, you lose it under the tablecloth or discover it’s all wrong … glaring sun, or cloud cover. Rounded corners instead of square. You need firm ground, find empty sky. Or vice versa. Always you desire roses without thorns. Love, not war. The biggest problem comes when you’re almost finished. There’s no escaping that last bit … it’s there, right there, waiting for final placement.

           
Dianne Moritz enjoys capturing brief moments in time, celebrating trials, tribulations, and beauty of life. She dreams of publishing a book of all her drabble.

That Moment, in a Bubble

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By Maia Cornish

They are selling sets of postcards: The Gate of Supreme Harmony; the Hall of Unity; the Palace of Earthly Tranquillity. In the Outer Court we pose for photos. I am self-conscious, standing in awe of history before tantalizing glimpses of emperors, concubines and eunuchs. A memory to be encapsulated in a bubble that will never pop.

I focus my camera on an ornate door embellished with Chinese lettering.

“And this one?” I ask, as I compose the photo. “What does this plaque say?”

My guide is inscrutable but polite.

“Ladies Toilet,” she translates. “Do you need to go?”

            
Maia Cornish is an emerging British writer, born in Cornwall. She has traveled extensively and has visited every continent (apart from Antarctica – yet). Her travels have inspired her writing, and her short stories, poems and flash fiction have appeared in print and online in UK and USA.

Believe

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By Nick Lord Lancaster

She wishes some ancient myths and Bible stories were actually true. She would like to believe in a god. She thinks the world would be a better place if alchemy worked. She once used a ouija board at a party, and tells herself now that she never believed in it. She supposes some of the theories in The Da Vinci Code may actually be true. She knows her herbal sleeping aid tablets don’t work, but she has absolute faith in the placebo effect. She doesn’t believe in an afterlife, but thinks that Mum is still watching over her from somewhere.

           
Nick Lord Lancaster writes short things and lives in Essex with his wife and two daughters (one human, one canine).

Partners

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By S.B. Borgersen

Partners were compulsory at primary school: for nature walks, for P.E., and to return to class after playtime.

Partners were picked, most popular first, until there was very little choice left. I, with my missing front teeth and my old black plimsolls, was always a straggler. So were you.

Fifty years later we are still partners. We had so many other things in common.

           
S.B. Borgersen writes because she just cannot help it, she also knits socks, and walks her smashing dogs on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Her favored genres are short and micro fiction, and poetry. She is a member of The Nova Scotia Writers’ Federation, Writers Abroad, a founding member of The Liverpool Literary Society, and she judged the Atlantic Writing Competition (Poetry) 2016 and Hysteria (Poetry) 2017.

A Thorn

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By Carolyn Black

A thorn from a plaited instrument of passion
A barb from Ziziphus spina-christi
Secreted in a weather vane in 1801
Now fallen from a burning spire
Inside a shell tougher
Than any egg

Survived the raging fire that
Roasted the rooster
It’s black twisted body
Wrought but not destroyed
Drenched by hoses and fire
A miracle

Two days later ash and tang of charred timber
Hang in the air
The fund to rebuild Notre Dame
Reached a billion euros
The thorn shall come home to roost on high
Again, a spiritual lightning rod

         
“I write because it allows me to leak a little.” – the author