Mystery Ships


By John L. Malone

When he gets up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night, she’d be there or on the way back to his room after pausing in the kitchen for a glass of milk, she’d be in the hallway. Time after time.

Passing ships in the night. He’d look at her, and she at him, sometimes a twitch of understanding, affection, then they’d both look away.

After eight years, off and on, they were still a mystery to each other. Her cat. Not his. They’d never bonded.

John is a South Australian writer of poetry, flash fiction and the occasional short story.

The Things You See at Traffic Lights


By John L. Malone

The blue Yaris pulled up at the traffic lights alongside his HiLux; the driver began picking his nose. Christ! did people still do that? Soon it would accrue a fine. You weren’t supposed to even touch your face. What would he do next? dig a finger into his ear, clear out some wax, have a good itch? scratch his balls? He was amazed at this guy’s brazenness, his folly. The things you see at traffic lights, he thought. Then he realized he was looking at his own reflection in the Yaris’s side window.

John is a South Australian writer of poetry, flash fiction and the occasional short story



By Lorna Stewart

“He loves his tulips” She nods towards the garden.

“Went to ruin when my Joe passed, but our Jason tends it now”

Listening to their questions she pours tea.“Yes the greenhouse was extended! Jason’s very popular”

Her voice lowers. “He used to be a bit of a toerag. But now you can’t get him out of the greenhouse! He buys all the seeds himself you know. Nan, he says for top quality you need the best.”

Puzzled she asks them to repeat the question. “Of course they’re Tulips! Why else would he make so many trips to Amsterdam officer?”

“Writing provides me with a good excuse to day dream!” – the writer

What Was He Thinking?


By John L. Malone

What was that guy thinking? Did I agree to this? I must have. What was I thinking? I should never have posed nude, for starters. That wasn’t necessary. And sitting in public view for all to see. You know what I look like? A guy sitting on a toilet seat, hunched over, muscled legs taut, trying to take a dump instead of having a good think. At least he could have put a cubicle around me. Even a bronze statue deserves some dignity.

John Malone is on a roll. His chapbook of poems has just come out.

On a Sticky Note Found at the Bottom of an Elizabethan Trunk


By Michael Thomas Ellis

‘Tis writ that only rot be wrote
by those who seldom write nor writ,
and those what learned to write by rote,
shall rare see quote what rough they writ.
— Bill

“I write because I’d never be able remember these things if I only spoke them out loud. Besides, imagine the looks if I did.” – the writer

The Return of the Native


By John L. Malone

So what’s your story? You’ve been out all day, don’t come home at night, and just when we’ve locked up and getting ready to go out, you rock up! Nice one. I know what you want. I know what you’re after. So, what’s your story, eh? She looks up at him with her mock-innocent amber eyes, but the cat has nothing to say.

John’s new poetry chapbook, Hope is the Helium, is coming out this year.

The Uses of Prayer


By Eliza Mimski

Dear Heavenly Father,

Max had the nerve to break up with me last night. I did absolutely nothing wrong. Please let him regret it and text me saying he misses me and wants to get back together. I would like flowers when he comes over, preferably roses, red ones. Also, please make him really suck up to me because I’m going to play hard to get just so he knows that if he ever breaks up with me again, it will be hell for him.

Thank You, Heavenly Father,

Your friend,


PS. I’ll be wearing my low-cut red dress.

“I write because I cannot imagine a world where I didn’t, couldn’t … It’s how I spend my time when not working.” – the writer



By Sian Taylor

“What the—?”
Home from work, Helen sees the eggs and flour on the kitchen floor.
Her daughter looks up from her cellphone.
“Zack was making pancakes and dropped stuff.”
“Why didn’t he clean up?”
“He ran out of time. He’s gone to soccer.”
“What about you?”
“I didn’t do it.”
She’s had enough. Helen scoops up the eggs and flour, adds corn and a slosh of milk and starts stirring.
Thirty minutes later Zack’s back, throwing his soccer gear on the table.
“What’s for dinner? I’m starving.”
“Corn fritters.”
The kids eat quickly.
Helen chews her cheese sandwich.

“I write because I really enjoy it – and it’s great if others enjoy it, too.” – the writer

Hard Five


By John Adams

“I’m not here to tell jokes.” He scoops up the microphone with the same confidence he practices rescuing sea otters from oil spills. “I’m here to tell truths.”

“Your ‘truths’ aren’t funny either!” a woman heckles over her Jack Daniels.

A bead of moisture forms on his forehead. “Humor distracts us from a world in crisis.”

“I wish it’d distract us from your set!” calls another rando.

The comic starts full-on sweating. “Fight the establishment!”

“Fight your booking agent!”



Defeated, he spends the rest of his five minutes talking about the wacky things people do with their butts.

John Adams is a founding member of That’s No Movie, an improv comedy team that plays at festivals across the United States. He lives in the Kansas City area, where he produces comedy shows and frets about writing.

Questions Google Can’t Answer


By Frances Tate

Why does the attractiveness of the weather inversely correlate to my plans for the day?

Pondering this as I drive to work in glorious sunshine, I discover another mystery.

Why am I paying more attention to the vehicle in front of me than its driver is? She’s perfecting the stereotype and the even distribution of her foundation.

The red traffic light takes on a different meaning as a mascara wand appears. Waves. She rolls forward, crosses the lane marker. Again.

I’m tempted to follow her to work. Attach a bright red ‘L’ plate to her vehicle. Warning: Lipstick under application.

Tell us why you write:
“There’s an option?!” – the writer