By Howie Good
I don’t know where I am. I just know it’s totally different from before, when you could get killed for a pair of sneakers. Jose became a named storm on Tuesday. Some people were trembling. They wanted to call it something else. I looked over and said, “Do you realize how dangerous that is?” Only one or two seemed interested. The others were all practitioners of the new brutality, a lot of gushing blood, gurgling almost. A bear actually came lumbering down the street. None of us even stirred. After all we’d been through, it seemed irrelevant to our circumstances.
Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize for Poetry from Thoughtcrime Press. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.
By K. Rawson
Last time I saw JT he was heading south on Dorgenois, with a case of beer on one shoulder. “Where you headed?” I asked.
“Me and some guys gonna ride it out down on Ann Street.”
“At Big Chief’s?”
He nodded. I could picture it: J.T., Albert, Shorty … Big Chief on bass. All them guys, jamming louder than any hurricane. “You oughtta join us,” he said. But Gran Marnier was all alone up in Goodbee, so’s I was headed up to board her windows and hit the grocery.
Never saw any a them again. Sometimes, I wish I’d stayed.
By Eva Rivers
Millie always wanted to fly. The first time she was dressed up like an Easter chick. Leapt off the top rung of a climbing frame and thudded into the dirt, a ball of yellow feathers with two red-shoed feet.
‘Baby, isn’t running exciting enough for you?’ I said, holding her tight. But it never was.
The last time, she was nineteen. Flew off a balcony twenty floors up. Did she imagine herself gliding and soaring like a beautiful swan before her wings were clipped for good? I hope so. Every night I lie, desolate, the yellow feathers beside me.
Eva Rivers writes short stories and flash fiction about those moments that change people’s lives. Her fiction has appeared in Sick Lit, Fictive Dream, Penny Shorts, Firefly Magazine, 101 Words, Train Flash Fiction, Storgy and Scribble. She lives and works in London.
By Graham Robert Scott
The pages of my grandmother’s personal cookbook were yellowed, brittle; any recipe not in her hand, a heavily annotated clipping.
“You aren’t looking through my old recipes again, are you?” she called from the deck.
“Good. Amateur scribbles. Buy a real book. From a TV chef.”
I turned the page. The next recipe, in her hand, called for “1 human head, pickled.” I squinted, tilted, peered. Failed to decipher those words as anything else.
“Could you bring out some tea?” she called. “Green tea in the fridge is fine.”
Such was my haste, I spilled some on the counter.
By Festum Bellator
I will take on that fight, although it will cause me to curl,
my body is sweat, face bloody, tears drop like pearls.
I will carry on, keep climbing, although I’m so weak,
rise early tomorrow, despite that day being bleak.
I will do this next step, even when crippled by fear,
keep praying and cursing, in silence, for no one to hear.
No foe will stop me, no demon, no beast and no man,
And so I will keep going until “I will”, will become: I am.
By Matt Weatherbee
I killed the kid. Hit him with my car. The night, so humid it was like being underwater, materialized the kid on the road, this shirtless dirty blonde boy from hell.
He braced for it, lifting his hands like he’d begun to float the moment before. When I plowed into him, the night crunched and reeled. Then he shot out into it, and I kept going despite myself.
The hit-and-run loops through my head for days, then turns to nightmares. Asleep, I edit it, cutting here, inserting there, rewinding, and playing it all over again, until I’m convinced he lived.
By David P. Cantrell
Blue ribbon dangling from golden pony tails clash with the orange coat but match her plastic stethoscope; she is a doctor.
Green leggings hug chubby legs and complement the pink Einstein Tee but not her frightful roar; she is a dinosaur.
The great building climbs, block by block, and it is good, but not enough for her critical eye; she is an architect.
Tears and sobs don’t mar her beauty nor take long hold. Hurt and sadness are over-matched by her spirit; she is my granddaughter and will become an amazing woman that I won’t likely live to know.