A Picture of Mind

By Isabella Reid

I grab on and adjust my focus. I let it click in. One, two, three, click. I adjust and point. Look at what’s in front of me. Adjust my perspective. Let it focus and fill in. Click, click, click. Switch the frame and look at what is already in focus. Give it time to clear and understand. One final click. Now I have to wait. Let it develop. What is it that will come out of the black and white? What will come out of the mundane and plain of dreary life? Darkness turns to fuzzy shapes until shaken clear.


“I write to tell other people’s stories, people who otherwise wouldn’t be heard.” – the writer

The Crow Remembers

By Lynn White

Through the mist
the crow is watching
the beach party
as they pile up the stones.
He watches them build them
higher and higher
but he’s not impressed,
he knows that the stack of stones
was even higher once.
Their ancestors built it first
and the crow remembers them
remembers their faces
through the mists of time
in life and in death.
Remembers that
it formed a stairway
all the way to heaven.
That’s what they told him in life.
That’s what they tell him in death.


“I write to let the words escape.” – the writer

The Life and Death of a Dad Joke

By An Anonymous Dad

Walking into a KFC in Bardwell, Kentucky, I thought of a hilarious joke. I figured I’d test it out on the cashier, since she looked like she could use a laugh.

CASHIER: Welcome to KFC, how may I help you?

ME: I was thinking … Since we’re already in Kentucky, shouldn’t this place just be called FC?

CASHIER: (blank stare)

ME: … because the K would be redundant … Get it?

CASHIER: Yeah, I get it.

ME: (nodding eagerly)

CASHIER: It’s dumb. Can I take your order?

ME: (in my head) Only if you promise to give it back.

Betwixt and Between

By Jay Heltzer

I haven’t been this nervous for a first date since my last “first date” four decades ago. Unsure of my earring choices, I glanced at our wedding photo. “Go with the fake Tahitian pearls, kiddo” he’d probably say.

Our friends paired us well. My date was incredibly witty and charismatic. Not charming enough to manage the fallen crumbs in his beard, or for me to ignore his lazy eye, but an engaging gentleman nonetheless.

After the enjoyable evening, back home, I removed the pearl earrings. He’d probably ask me “How was it kiddo?” Wiping a tear, I shook my head.


Jay Heltzer has been telling stories for decades, he currently enjoys breaking norms and perspective through microfiction, short stories, and a book idea that is “just almost kinda there …”.

The Trump of Doom

By Laurence Raphael Brothers

The President of the United States sits all alone at his desk in the oval office. The door is locked, the curtains drawn. His bodyguard’s pistol is on the desk, along with a tarot deck. The president shuffles and cuts. Over and over. Every time, the Tower comes up. A mighty stone structure blasted by lightning, a crowned king falling. He shuffles, cuts again. Still, the Tower. At last he tears the ill-omened card in half, shuffles, and cuts one more time. His hand trembles.

The Tower. Again.

His aides come running when they hear the sound of the shot.


Laurence Raphael Brothers is a writer and a technologist with 5 patents. His urban fantasy novella, The Demons of Wall Street, was recently published.

Heroes

By Michael Bloor

Patrick, my friend and neighbour, and myself were arguing back and forth about our literary heroes: Is their influence always for the good? I spoke in their defense, citing Robert Burns fostering the belief of every Scot that ‘A Man’s a Man, for A’ That.’

Patrick denied that literary talent necessarily overlaps with moral courage, political acuity, or even a healthy quotum of commonsense. He instanced Conan Doyle, who believed in faeries and dodgy spiritualism, but clinched his case with Kafka’s diaries. The entry for August 2nd 1914 reads: “Germany has declared war on Russia. In the afternoon, swimming lessons.”


Michael Bloor only discovered the exhilarations of short fiction after he retired.

Solitary Confinement

By Bruce Levine

A black hole lies in wait
A future created in limbo
Outside forces pull strings like a marionette
A veil of darkness hovers on the horizon
Tears of joy eradicated and replaced by tears of sadness
Perpetrated unknowingly in fields of sorrow
A power of destruction moving onward
Tentacles spreading like Moriarty’s empire
Connecting dots and pulling tighter
Waiting in shadows of a street lamp
Waiting for solitary confinement


“I write because I must!” – the writer

Apartment 2B

By Dianne Moritz

Mosaic tiled bath,
Oak mantle carved
With twining vines,
The warm fire,
And my fear. Always
My cloud of fear, dark
And full of doubting.
We wavered like children
Wading near ocean shores.
We shied from leases,
From license.

Now, I wonder
Who couples
In our fire-lit room,
Unafraid, sure, committed?


“I write to capture indelible moments in time.” – the writer

I Am Awake, I Think

By Srilata

in a bubble
as large as my room
an autumn wind can blow it over,
i think.

i am awake in a bubble
while the world outside is a big bad wolf
ready to blow it over,
i think.

i am awake in a bubble
while the world outside daudles,
sniffles and sneezes,
ready to blow it over,
i think.

we are all in a bubble,
well at least those of us who are lucky,
while the rest of them,
wait for all this to be over,
where it is safer to be outside,
of this bubble,
i think.


Srilata is “a photography enthusiast who uses words as therapy; still figuring out how to adjust my intensity to exist in this world.”

I Found a Piece of Sky in My Pocket

By Agnes Halvorssen

It was hidden behind an old tear-soaked tissue. It is one of our skies. Not a remarkable one. Not a sunset or sunrise, or even a deep black star-pocked one. I wanted to keep those, thought I should, but got distracted with checking you were still there. Once, I thought I might collect the fragments of skies and sew them together into a big quilt for us to sleep under. This piece I hold in my hand is just an ordinary grey sky and I wonder what I should do with it now.


“I write to try to dry out some of the dampness of human existence.” – the writer