Am I Drunk, You Ask?

By Linda Chandanais

Am I drunk, you ask? I’ll have you know I haven’t had an ounce of liquor in over twelve —
hours.
I’m as sober as a field mouse on its way to a bar mitzvah.
You’ve never heard that before. Really?
You’re right, last night I had quite a snootful but — hey, were you there?
Oh— you’re the bartender.
I’ve not gone this long without drinking since I was twenty when I abstained for thirty hours.
Oh, wait. I was thirty, and it was twenty hours.
Anyway, I’m proud of myself.
This deserves a celebration. Give me a shot of Jack.

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Linda Chandanais writes because she “can’t stop.”

Too Late

By Catherine Harkness

Augustin, the last Frenchman
to die on Armistice Day, was
spreading the welcome message,
of ceasefire soup at noon.
The shooting stopped at eleven, though
the Treaty was signed at dawn.
No one wanted to haul
their ammunition home.
Shot on 11th November,
his ceasefire came too late.

Flora Buchanan was ninety, and
died on New Year’s Eve.
She cared for her Tom, with dementia,
they shielded all year alone.
Exhausted by the winter,
she accepted care for Tom.
An early Christmas present,
the virus took its chance.
The shot in the arm was December.
Her vaccine was too late.

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“I write to make sense of my thoughts and experiences.” – the writer

First Contact

By David Berger

The silvery disc-shaped ship landed exactly where a rational space-going race would land their ship: on the mall in Washington, DC. A slim, silvery robot emerged from the ship. Every satellite, probe, listening device, etc., available was immediately focused on this humanoid.

Within minutes, a huge, metallic-grey Warbot had plodded from the Pentagon to the Mall, where the robot was standing next to its ship. When the Warbot came within ten meters of the obviously alien creature, the silvery skin of the newcomer began to flash with a dazzling rainbow of colors.

“Nice colors,” the Warbot rumbled.

“Oh, this old system!”

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“I write to express myself as a social being and as an individual.” – the writer

Church on Sunday

By John Goodacre

On Sunday I always go to church, with the prayer book aunt Edith gave me all of seventy years ago. I’m in my Sunday clothes and hat waiting for my sister to fetch me.
The others in this home don’t go to church, poor dears. Don’t know what they’re missing.
The nurse comes in with my pills.
‘You look nice today.’
‘It’s Sunday. I’m going to church.
‘Oh yes, dear. And how do you get there?’
‘My sister Alice fetches me.’
Why does the stupid girl have to say ‘Oh dear, you still don’t remember. Alice died nine years ago’?

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“I try to write the interesting lives of my family; but my own life intervenes.” – the writer

My Moon

By Cheryl Bennett

Driving, driving, driving.
Heading to my son. Deep breath.
Should be good.
Hope he’s sleeping, hope he’s … I just hope.
In a bed where the sofa was.
He was robbed. Job, manhood, body, dignity, future,
All gone.
Nurse is here.
Remembering his text, few years back. Best autocorrect ever.
“I love you moon.” Not Mom.
Filled with silent screams. I approached his side like every day for over a year now. I stroked his head, put a smile on and said, “I love you my moon.” He managed a weak pain-ridden smile, “I love you my moon.”
I miss him.

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“I haven’t been writing. I just thought this clip of my life would be therapeutic for me.” – the writer

Camilla

By Jeff Hill

There she is
Camilla
She’s the daughter of a diplomat
And the wife of a CEO of a world-famous dating app
She meets me on the steps of the museum
And her bodyguards both slip back into their places
As she walks toward me
Black dress flowing in the wind
Music of the city announcing her arrival
And both of us no longer concealing the lies
Our wedding bands tell
I contemplate what my world will be like
After I have her killed

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Jeff Hill is a moderately reformed fratboy-turned-writer who left teaching after 10 years to focus on his writing career. He is the Chief Creative Officer of ComicBooked.com and is currently pitching two novels.

Seven Second Solution

By Yvonne Lang

Seven. What happened? I have the feeling I was in the middle of something important. Six. Genius combined with short-term memory loss is a curse. Five. I can see writing “The equation holds the cure. You have seven seconds.” Four. The numbers all made sense but I didn’t remember writing them. Three. Wait, where are my hands, why am I a goldfish? Two. I can fix this; I just need to do the math. One. What was I supposed to be doing? I had the feeling it was important. What were those sums written on my tank? Seven seconds?!

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“I write because I cannot imagine not writing. It gets the weird thoughts out of my head.”

Taken At The Flood

By E. E. Rhodes

The nurse told her the baby was doing well.

Outside the clinic a breathless couple parked badly.

She packed her handbag, checking the bedside table for the phone that no one called.

The couple rushed past her at the lift, both of them excited.

In the evening she headed to the beach, and climbed up onto the rocks.

The tide scrubbed out the name she’d written in the sand.

It was the nature of the sea, this constant eroding.

Somewhere in the town a mother shushed a crying newborn.

At the water’s frayed edge there was nothing left at all.

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E. E. Rhodes is an archaeologist who lives in a tiny castle in Worcestershire. She writes flash, cnf and short fiction to make sense of it all.

Transformations

By Jenny Middleton

Glass confetti melts fast, blurring jagged fragments to the hot, smooth translucence of a vase turned by Murano glass workers. Metal rods swing to the hammer of a kiln’s volcanic roar as molten glass is dipped from the mass of flames and rolled against a rag to form.

heat blows to stillness; words fall from mouths to print.

Outside the workshop’s fiery dark, canals eddy with the push of boats; lapping at the timber supports of the pier, tiny waves turned to tongues erode the foundations. We walk, jarring experiences separately.

nightshade blooms
as closing day cedes
galleries

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“I’m a working Mum. I write to still the spin of life’s chaos.” – the writer

Duties

By Yuna Kang

The late sun was hot, scorching. She was exhausted.

The steady cycle of knitting for an endless lavender scarf strained her fingers. Mute complaints pricked at her mind, but she suffocated them neatly.

She peered out from her stained porch.

In the near distance was a lake, blue as a rare stone, speckled with light. Boats swam quietly along its nodding currents, moving further and further along until they disappeared behind hooded mountains. Beneath the distant foliage, she could almost sense cinnamon, the beating of wings, and destiny.

Her fingers ached.

The boats dipped silently out of sight.

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Yuna Kang is a queer, Korean-American author who has been writing since she was small, and she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.