By John L. Malone
I’ve got a poem for you, a very short one, he promised with a garrulous grin, and then, in a long-winded introduction in which all the masters of brevity were cited from Basho to Lydia Davis, he proceeded to demolish all notions of shortness. The poem took ten seconds, the intro five minutes.
John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.
By Traci Mullins
Usually she managed to ignore them—their knocking, their scratching, even their pounding in the middle of the night. But today they clamored and clanged, creating such a ruckus that she had to open the door. She was stunned to see that Anger and Sorrow were only lost toddlers, pleading for safety. She made her heart into a cradle and her Feelings tumbled in, not so scary after all.
Traci Mullins’ short fiction has appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, Spelk, Dime Show Review, Ellipsis Zine, Palm-Sized Press, Fantasia Divinity, CafeLit, CommuterLit, and others. She was named a Highly Recommended Writer in the London Independent Story Prize competition.
By Sandra Arnold
It’s time to face the truth. Your story is abysmal. It’s trite. Overblown. It’s full of mixed metaphors and sloppy syntax. The characters are one-dimensional. The plot’s missing. There’s no beginning. No middle. No proper ending. Who on earth would publish it? It will never win awards. Bookshops won’t stock it. The critics will crucify you. They will say it reveals a lot about the kind of person you are. Take our advice and burn it. Think of the pain you’ll be spared. No need to thank us. This is the whole point of our Writers’ Support Group. Who’s next?
Sandra Arnold is a Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions nominee. Her third novel, Ash, will be published by Mākaro Press (NZ) in 2019.
By Amy Brunson
The thing about happiness is
It doesn’t exist in small secretive
Pockets of the world that you have to
Seek out and luck into
It exists in places that can’t be
Lived in or driven through
It exists in places that scare most people
So much that they never go even though
They have always been there and just haven’t looked.
By Jane Dougherty
Casa Mario had become their restaurant, ever since their first holiday together when he had proposed as they watched the sun set over Rome from the Gianicolo.
Years later, he still insisted, always gently with a smile, never giving her chance to say she wouldn’t mind trying somewhere different for a change.
She would take his hand, trying not to let her smile slip, trying not to look with too much longing at the noisy, bright, banal restaurant fronts they passed, none of which reminded her of the dreams tossed away like coins in a fountain.
By Ali Grimshaw
They call me adult.
I have learned to apologize, drive a car
mastered spell check to avoid embarrassment.
Yet my days of fevered creation
and re-imagining myself, remain inadequate.
Knowing I know less with each ring of curiosity around my trunk.
Like paint peeling off an old house I am more than one color.
I live as a revolving door to exit and enter,
each time with a different view.
Growing up I believed adults lived in sureness.
Shocked disappointment crashed down
when the truth broke through
with no answers in its hands for me.
Why didn’t mom tell me?
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!”