By Maura Yzmore
When I met Jenny, she worked as a waitress at the diner where I often ate after my shift.
The day I fell in love with her, she gave me the middle finger—the whole middle finger, with the telltale writer’s callus and both knuckles. It floated alongside chunks of chicken in the creamy soup that she served me.
I was more curious than appalled. “How does one get the whole middle finger chopped off?”
“By flipping off a ninja,” said Jenny, deadpan. At that moment, I knew she was the one.
The settlement I received paid for our honeymoon.
Bio: Maura’s short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fiction Pool, Storyland, Microfiction Monday Magazine, The Dirty Pool, and 50-Word Stories.
By Lara T. R.
They call her beautiful, and, indeed, she is. Beautiful in the way of a lightning strike – only when viewed from a distance. Up close, she will burn skin from bone.
She wears prisms of light in each strand of her hair. Every dead cell alive with the electricity that emanates from her soul.
Only scorched earth lies in her wake.
By Anna Kander
“Mom, tell a fairytale! Can you do it in six words?”
“Alice in Wonderland?”
“Well, it’s 2017 … The Mad Hatter gets himself elected.”
“You made it political!”
“I teach politics.”
“Aesop’s fable about hard work?”
“Grasshopper ran. Ant voted for him.”
“Come on. Try The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”
“‘Failing’ boy spreads fake news. Sad.”
“Boy Who Cried Wolf: nobody tells that story anymore.”
“Jack and the Beanstalk: Beanstalk? We’ve giants to kill—here.”
“I can’t even—”
“One more, sweet daughter: Kissed frogs. Lived joyfully. Beautiful tadpoles.”
“What do you call it?”
“Happily ever after.”
Anna Kander is a writer in the Midwest. Her tiny stories have appeared in Nanoism, tweetpulp, Story Seed Vault, TweetLit, and 121 Words.
I’ll eat chocolate for breakfast
and smoke a cigarette for lunch
I’ll wear pajamas all day
and mascara all night
I’ll swipe left and right
and kiss indiscriminately
I’ll bring home an unmemorable date
and kick him out before coffee
I’ll be the person you fell for
and I’ll be single.
By James Blevins
“We’re here for only a short while,” Amy said out loud, sketch pad on lap, pencil poised over blank page. “Then it’s back to the spider.”
Her breath, a frosty, cloudy haze, emitted percussively as she spoke. “But as far as I know,” she continued with added emphasis, pencil dancing across her sketch pad, “spiders don’t write poetry.”
When she was finished, she looked down at what she had drawn, then back to its source, satisfied. Above her, the sun was young, far below its apex in the sky.
“Maybe they don’t need words,” she mused. “Not like we do.”
By Bill Diamond
During a fitful night, I woke to Stygian darkness. Checking my phone, there was another late-night voicemail. The grief returned. A headache began. I braced myself with strong coffee.
“I’ve been calling for days,” the familiar voice was desiccated and desperate. “I need your help. Why won’t you answer?”
My eyes welled.
“I feel like I’m dying. Just send me a little money, then I’ll go into treatment. This time will be different. Please!”
My finger trembled, and I almost gave in. I sobbed for my lost daughter, and deleted her message.
Tell me where I’m from.
Explain the culture that made me,
the genes that gave me a kufi instead of shades.
Never been into meadowlarks or glades
yet I appreciate the romantics.
Poets that paved the way.
You see no one is born a slave,
but restricted humanity breeds partiality to your own kind.
Be careful what truths you accept into your mind.
If you let assumptions lead,
you might be disgusted by what you find.
Perhaps it’s semantics,
logical gymnastics that bind,
but if anyone could be summed up in one word it would be Human.