By Heather Sager

She had a friend, but she was too depressed or anxious
to see him.

She was too twisted up, so she let years of friendship
slide into the gutter.

He was her favorite, and she couldn’t reach him. In fact,
she thought he hated her, didn’t care about her,
though that was not true. Not true at all.

Wind rattled the panes of her room’s window
one dark morning. She listened. Too depressed
and anxious, she couldn’t leave her house.

She is reading this right now.

Heather Sager writes poetry and fiction. Lately, she writes to dream, or to hold up a mirror, or to share a feeling or interest.


By Cheryl Snell

In the fabric store you stand there staring at the pink damask. The pattern is woven through with threads in a darker, angrier pink, like the face of your high school sweetheart. There are boys like him going through their ugly phase everywhere, living like spools of fabric, tightly wound until they can be sprung. You turn from the pink folds toward the bolt of black, and a sour-faced woman in an orange smock slices off the amount you need to make blackout curtains. How else can you darken the sun? you ask her. Somehow you think she might know.

Cheryl Snell writes as revenge against reality.


By stevieslaw

Why not write
about it,

she said with that grin.
It was the last

friendly day
of the season

and we sat
on a weathered

log overlooking
the creek

that would
freeze by midweek—

about the time
her Greyhound

would run her
back to the city.

I come here

for inspiration,
though I’m more

likely to find

on a crosstown

there is nothing

I need add.
Pure description

is second-hand

I write because it is fun. A blank page is a challenge. I write and revise and revise. Often I get to say, “where’d that come from.”


By Monique van Maare

The green-grey eyes of her newborn look at her intently. She wraps him tightly in everything she has. Below, at street level, there is shouting and waving. She kisses the child on his bronze forehead, whispers his name, and lets go. Eyes pressed shut, two, three seconds in which there is no sound, no feeling, only her heart, clenched. At last, she opens her eyes to see her angel, held up for her to see, safe. She crumbles down against the hard balustrade.

A single, piercing wail joins in the chaos around her. Flames are licking the cracked balcony doors.

“I write to hear the little songs that my mind wants to sing.” – the writer

I Dreamt Last Night of The Dead Child

By Thomas O’Connell

I’m not sure why, it’s not like I knew him well. When I started dreaming, he was there – sitting across from me at some mall food-court. “What are you doing here,” I asked.

“I came to see you.”


“We’ll figure that out together.”

Then he pushed his chair back from the table and left. “Wait,” I called. It’s not like I was still drunk. Like I am the only person who’s ever run a light. Like the city shouldn’t have put in a cross-walk years ago. I woke unsettled. My lawyer says she won’t put me on the stand.

“i write so that i do not forget…” – the writer

The Kiss

By J. Iner Souster

I can hardly think of a better way to say goodbye.
To the sun and the moon, the water and the clouds,
I’ve always wanted to live on a planet where the sky was blue.

I can hardly think of a better way to say goodbye.
The light of a star. The smell of a blooming fruit tree. The kiss of a bare human hand.
To the fading flowers on a winter’s night

I can hardly think of a better way to say goodbye.
To be one last person who will fall in love.
Because in death, she is beautiful.

Short bio (Tell us why you write.): “I do it for love.”


By L. J. Caporusso

I cross my arms.
Well do you like me?
Do you like me?
Of course I like you.
Well I don’t know.
He smiles. What do you mean?
I mean. I don’t know.
You do know.
Well. You never say anything.
I’m always saying things.
About how you feel.
I say how I feel.
No answer.
Maybe I could say more. But we’re still getting to know each other.
I know.
Don’t I show that I like you?
You show you’re interested.
I’m interested because I like you!
His laugh makes me smile.
He’s interested because he likes me.

“(I write) because I can’t not write.” – the writer

In a Parlous State

By Mel Fawcett

Poverty and hunger are knocking at the door
Abuse and moral turpitude are rife;
Torture, greed, and exploitation rule.

But who cares about all that –
I’ve got a pimple on my nose!

The polar ice is melting and the natural world is dying
Soaring temperatures are beyond our endurance
And pollution is killing us all.

Of course we’re destroying the planet
But what about the pimple on my nose!

Wars and famine are everywhere
All kinds of horrors abound
People are dying for no reason

Everything is out of control!
And no one cares about the pimple on my nose.

“I’m not sure why I write.” – the writer


By Ren ElisaBeth

A thing sits inside me. It is large and takes up space and when it is there, there is absolutely no room for anything else. Even though I feel the edges of it pressing against my insides and pieces of it get wedged in my throat, the thing itself is hollow. It is simply empty and barren and in that respect we are painfully the same. The thing inside me and I often cry ourselves to sleep, and in the morning my pillow is stained black, my body heavy with all the things that are no longer inside it.

Ren ElisaBeth (she/her) is an emerging writer who enjoys exploring short fiction as a way to reflect on things that have happened throughout her life.


By John Leo Malone

We arrived late. That may have been the reason. Or maybe our reputation preceded us.

Either way we ended up in Siberia, Room 313, next to the storage area where the cleaning ladies gather at nine in the morning.

Adele, the desk clerk, tried to be genial but hit the wrong note.

Eventually, we got our keys and lugged our baggage down the corridor, the shadows hulking and ominous.

When we got to our room we were stuffed,

We agreed to sleep at separate ends of the king-sized bed.

That’s when we discovered we had a companion between us.

“I’m writing a collection of tales with geographical titles. This is the first.” – the writer