By Phil Town
Here she comes. My God, look at her! With the sun behind her, giving her an almost-halo. How confidently she walks. Wearing her high-heels today, I see. They make her legs go on till next Tuesday. Or maybe that’s just perspective. Whatever, they’re beautiful. And so is she. Am I objectifying? Of course. But what else have I got until I talk to her? That’s going to happen today, though. I promised myself. The red skirt, then. I like that one. Here she comes. Here she comes. Now or never.
Tomorrow. I’ll speak to her tomorrow.
By Traci Mullins
“You’ve got to let him hit bottom,” they told me. When he fell through, they said, “It wasn’t your fault.”
This must be what they meant by, “The longest distance is between the head and the heart.”
A mother isn’t supposed to outlive her child.
By Minyoung Lee
In fifth grade, I wrote you a letter. I wrote my friend had a crush on you, which was true. I didn’t write I had a crush on you, too.
Your friends bullied my friend for a year. She cried all the time. She knew someone told you about her crush. I don’t think she knew it was me.
But that’s what you get for sharing your feelings.
I don’t remember what you looked like. I hope you were cute. I saw on Facebook my friend got married. Her husband looked hot.
If only I could remember your name.
By Alice Cimino
He started to fade.
He was bleeding a dark substance, darker than water, darker than blood. Ink, he said.
His face was whitening, his eyes were losing their glint, he was becoming something not human, nor animal. Paper, he said.
His thin line of a mouth opened. I’m not real, he said.
But he was. To me.
He climbed back into his book.
And I opened my eyes.
By Pat Brunson
IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT, or perhaps it wasn’t, but I needed to start someplace. Tired of the blank screen mocking me to no end. “Look who thinks he’s a writer.” Staring at me. “Is that your third cup?” I cracked my knuckles to limber my fingers. “Checking email?” THEY RODE OFF INTO THE SUNSET. THE END. I pushed spell check again. Now to fill in the middle with 85,000 words; presto, a novel. This is so damn easy.
By Amye Hartfield
“It’s weak,” she announced, eyes sparkling. I laughed. I cried. I cried because she hadn’t spoken in months. I cried because her salty humor still existed. The disease hadn’t swallowed it as it had her bent body.
“Mom, it’s steamed vegetables,” I smiled, stabbing a broccoli crown, raising it to her paper lips. They remained closed and curved upward in a defiant smirk on a normally barren face. She was with me again, for a moment. Then, like lowering a yellow shade, her withering face went blank again. Wiping my eyes, I lifted another bland forkful to her open mouth.
By Carolyn Black
She’d cherished the little pot for 40 years, remembers slipping it into her pocket when she found it, the rusty nails inside made a tinkling sound and the soot-blackened lid left a smudge on her coat. Cleaning revealed the silver cap and delicate, multi-faceted glass sides.
In her possession it had contained, variously, earrings, paperclips, moisturizers and face creams. Her daughter dipped her fingers into the coconut oil and asked her about the pot’s history. She’d always admired it and it fits in her hand perfectly. Soon, when she dies, her daughter will inherit it. Somehow she must tell her.