Pot Luck

By Roy Gomez

While trimming Sunday dinner – calling her husband, Frank, to serve the plates – Madge drops a grain of arsenic on the mashed potatoes of one dish. At the dining-room table, holding hands, the Wills bow their heads as Dad thanks the Lord that their Madge is well again. Annie squeezes her mom’s fingers. Frank Jr. interrupts the prayer and asks if he can taste the wine this time. Oh, no! Madge tells him again he’s still too young. But a glint, an impish twinkle lights Madge’s blue eyes. She asks if anyone cares to exchange plates. Everyone titters. No.


Roy Gomez has “been kicking words around for a while.” He lives with his wife, two dogs and a cat in the Texas Hill country.

Love’s in the Details

By Riham Adly

My husband was a joker. He called me Ugly Betty as he did with his ex-wife and the wife before her. His blood pressure was fine, mine hit the roof, so I avoided the French fries he had three times a day, seven days a week. I liked to make sure everything looked neat. I’d spoon dollops of ketchup into my finest plates, and fetch the shiniest forks. That’s better than sex, he’d say. Later, the cops found the special salt I had stashed in my poison ring. They didn’t believe me when I said it was out of love.


Riham Adly is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. Her work is included in The Best Microfiction 2020.

A Squeaky Voice

By John L. Malone

So how are we this morning? chirps the Covid Marshal
as I stand unsteadily
between
the Fitting Rooms and the Bras display
at Big W.
I look around.
There is only one of me
so I assume
she is using the royal ‘we.’
I wasn’t looking at the bras
I say
in a squeaky voice.
I really wasn’t.
It’s all right, she says. You waiting for someone?
Yes, I say, my wife.
She’s trying on some cardigans.
Okay, she says.
Have a nice day.
I smile.
I think I got away with it.


John is amazed how by the addition of one tiny detail you can charge the everyday with something sinister

Cursor

J. Cameron Davis

The cursor blinking back at me,
over the face that got away.

The cursor glides over her smile,
I wish I had some words to say.

The cursor glides over her relationship status, it updated just today.

The cursor …

Curse her …


J. Cameron Davis is a recovering addict trying to inspire others.

Edith

By Clara Becker

She laid the gerbera daisies upon the cold stone. They were Edith’s favorite.
“Danny lost his job. They told him Friday.”

The woman was quiet for a minute, then sighed. “He misses you. We all do. What happened, E? How did it get so bad?” She sat there for a few moments longer, maybe waiting for an answer, then sighed again. “I’ll come back tomorrow.”

The woman got up and brushed the dirt off her pants. She walked to the gate and looked up at the darkening sky. “Why did you go, sis?” Then she was gone.


“I write because I think that my fiction tells more about me than I can say.” – the writer

A Moment of Clarity

By J. Cameron Davis

Dried vomit caked the corners of my mouth, as I squinted into the blaring sun. The stench of my unwashed body enveloping the car.

“You”ll be alright. This will all pass,” my mother said as she drove me to detox. A lifetime of concern lining her face.

Thoughts racing through my throbbing head.

Will this work? Can I stop? Is this life even worth it.

Peering out the window, I saw a plane writing a message in the sky.

“God Loves You”

At that moment, I decided to live.


J. Cameron Davis is a recovering addict trying to inspire others.

The Mosaic

By Michael Bloor

His mouth was dry, his limbs a little shaky. He wasn’t sure why he had stepped into the British Museum. He stared at the Ancient Roman mosaic of Bacchus, God of Wine, clad in vine leaves and little else, reclining implausibly on a snarling tiger. He shook his head. Everyone has their own vision of the eternal, but he saw the God of Drink as a woman – ethereal and elemental, warm and welcoming, poised on the lip of a cliff. He had a strong presentiment of where he would be going when he stepped out into Great Russell Street.


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

Cynicism Never Leaves

By Yash Seyedbagheri

Cynicism never abandons you. It’s easy to laugh at smiles and contemplate what pills induce jocundity. It’s even easier to laugh at Mercedes and BMWs, imagine that some so-called family man is compensating for extramarital affairs. He doesn’t know his kids’ favorite bands or wife’s worst days.
It’s very easy to dissect “Leave It To Beaver” reruns. Ward’s beating Wally and Beaver off-screen. June plans to abandon them, plans disguised within starched smiles and nicknames. Parents always do.

At dusk, I absorb long bursts of tangerine, pale blue, and lavender. I almost smile. But there are layers beneath clouds too.


Yash Seyedbagheri writes “to dissect and study human foibles, and to haunt himself.”

Toil and Trouble

By Diana Allgair

Double, double, toil, and trouble. A plethora of phrases and stereotypes raced through the young witch’s mind and served as fuel to a hypothetical fire that burned within. She collected crystals, read tarot cards, and occasionally performed spells when the need arose. A positive mindset and aligned chakras somehow led to superficial mockery from all those around the young witch, including friends and family. She would show them all. With a lock of hair and a sharpened mind, the witch would prove to the popular jocks, the cheerleaders, and her sisters, that laughing at a witch was a foolish endeavor.


“I write to reassure others that under no circumstances are they alone in times of trouble.” – the writer

A Lifetime of Sundays

By M. Maggard

Smooth the tops of fresh biscuits with fingers slick with oil, scrub pans in steaming water with a rough washcloth, and tie your apron so tight it creates a pink ring around your doughy stomach. Mash the boiled potatoes that burst with each thrust, fry chicken in oil that leaves welts on your hands, and set mismatched plates but the fancy silverware on vinyl tablecloths. Spend years standing in the hot kitchen with swollen feet and an achy back, sit at the table even though you’ve lost your appetite, and watch the family devour the feast and ask for more.


“I write because I want to have emotional experiences with those who read my stories. And because I think it was what I was destined to do.” – the writer