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.

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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.

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.

When Words Aren’t

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By Christine Goodnough

— hear — planning a trip
to —? They’ve been — now
they want to stay — and see —

Sounds flow around me,
smiles of understanding
I smile, too; it’s only polite.

Another speaker, more sounds;
everyone laughs. I grin, too,
not willing to appear clueless.

Someone else comments —
but I give up. Giving ear
to gossip’s not respectable.

Besides, if I only hear snatches
of juicy details about someone,
I won’t get the story straight.

A friend looks directly at me
and asks, “How are you today?”
She understands.

“Not so great right now,”
I whisper, “My hearing aids
both died during the service.”

           
The author is a wife, mom, grandma, nature lover, a poet and writer since her teens. She’s published a collection of short stories and poems and recently a book of haiku verses. She says: “I try to weave a dash of humor, compassion and thankfulness into what I write. And I am almost deaf. I’m very glad for my two hearing aids, but in a crowd …”

The No. 2 Train Line

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By Toni G.

Let’s not do this she said. You
know who we are Jake, we’re
writers and if things don’t work
out we’ll end up writing about
each other. So, let’s not do this.
We were eye to eye then. The closeness
of her lips proving almost too great
a temptation for my willpower.
I took a deep breath, and tried to wash
the vision of her perfect lips from my mind.
Awkwardly, we walked to the no. 2 train
station, her headed downtown back
to Brooklyn, me uptown back to the Bronx.

           
Toni G writes poetry, flash fiction and song lyrics. She believes that everyone is a poet and writes because there’s so much to say.

Beach House

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By Dianne Moritz

That house is lonely now.
First my dog, next your old cat.
No one expected a cancer,
So quick and greedy.

How I miss your laugh,
Blaze of blue eyes as you
Spoke of love and work,
Offered sage advice.
I miss these happy sounds:
Ice tossed in a glass,
Jazz in the background,
The unlikeliness of us
Being together there.

Those brief moments,
Memories so clear,
while the house stands
Bereft now, cold, empty as air.

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

Weekend Friend

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By Nayana Nair

I tell my friends
that “I’ll probably die of loneliness.”
They smile and reply “Me too.”
I wish I had told them “I love you” instead.

                   
Nayana is an engineer and a technical writer who moonlights as an amateur poet. “Writing for me is a process of self-realization and an effort to understand what is ever elusive.”