By Todd!!!!


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?



By Jennifer Lai

The dating app alerted Rachel of her new match: RomanceLvR. His ‘About’ section read: “Bookworm. Flip my pages?”

Cute. It reminded her of Jake, her beloved ex who, after 5 years, still couldn’t commit. She’d got tired of waiting and called it quits last year.

RomanceLvR was a perfect match. Could he be her soul mate? She thought about connecting despite a lack of pictures. She shrugged. Why not?


The dating app alerted Jake of his new connection. Rachel looked as beautiful as ever. He wondered if she would take him back. He was finally ready to commit.

Jennifer Lai writes to “escape reality, to relieve stress, and to satisfy my curiosity.”

Perfect Match


By Amanda Quinn

You were smiling in the picture. I stretched it for clues. Tried to read your house number. We started messaging. You had a good job – something financial. A hypoallergenic puppy. Liked Laurel and Hardy. Perfect. I imagined us taking the dog for coastal walks. Coming back to curl up in front of Talking Movies. Things moved fast, but never at yours. I searched all the Hague Blue front doors in town until I found a match. And who you’d been hiding.
Amanda Quinn I lives in the North East of England where she works as a freelance writer and tutor.

A Unique Perspective


By E. B. Bradley

“I plan of dying before I turn 35,” she said as she balanced on a chair, trying to get her panties from the ceiling fan.

“Why’s that?” I ask, muffled from lying face down on the bed.

“Because nothing good could possibly happen after that,” she answered pulling them back on.

I haven’t seen that girl in years, I hope she’s doing well. Still as beautiful and wild as ever, like a human firework. I hope her plan fails. I’d love to see her ride life with the same vigor at 60 as she did at 19.

“I write because words can show the romanticism of everyday life.” – the writer

Over With


By Nick Lord Lancaster

Tiny insects circling my head. A spider bungees from a branch in front of me.

Close my eyes, deep breath. Open the envelope. I don’t unfold the letter; I know what it says. He’s sorry. Didn’t mean to hurt me, just trying to protect me …

There’ll be an address, although I’ve got his number, could have called it if I wanted to. Nearly have. Haven’t. Won’t.

I step over the nettles to the river’s edge, balance on the bank.

Hand shaking, I hold the letter out. It clings to my sweaty thumb, hangs over the water. Starts to peel away.

Nick Lord Lancaster writes short things and lives in Essex with his wife and two daughters (one human, one canine).



By Barry J. Vitcov

You caught me by looking at my reflection as I was looking at yours in the Cripple Creek Music Store’s window. You stood with a bemused look and nodded at the window while I continued to play my guitar, singing folk songs with a raspy voice, and being caught off-guard by your startling beauty.

You turned and said, “You sound good.”

I inquired if you played an instrument.

You replied, “Cello.”

I asked if you’d like to have coffee, “No strings, I promise.”

A bit of concealed laughter before replying, “Yes.”

That’s how our love song’s duet began.

Barry J. Vitcov says, “I wish I could say why I write, but I really don’t know. It’s so hard, yet something I feel that I need to do.”

Frogs and Love


By Shaily Agrawal

At the old age home, fingers entwined, they recounted their story to the volunteers.

Debra: It was 1959. I was at the city fountain, and like all women of my age, making a wish to find true love.

Suddenly a guy bumped into me, looking scared and mortified. His fiancée was holding a frog from the fountain and laughing.

It was love at first sight.

Emma: Next day, a jar with a frog spawn sat at my doorstep with a note: “Seems like you were kissing the wrong frog, Princess. Coffee at 4, City fountain?”

We never looked back.

“So many stories are waiting to be told. So I hold the pen and let the stories write themselves.” – the writer

Six Years Later


By Dwayne Allen Thomas

We were like small-town teenagers during a blackout in the 1950s. Despite phones, text messages, email, Facebook, and FaceTime, I drove 40 minutes each way to her house. We sat in my car, talking for hours. Nearly every day. For five weeks.

It almost didn’t happen. That first night, I drove her home from an event. She said, “Nice meeting you” and “Goodbye.” Ten times in the next four hours. But she didn’t leave. At 6 o’clock, we went for breakfast. She reached for the check. I said, “I should marry you.” She still didn’t leave.

Goodbye, Lover

hand-dust-flour-chalkBy Raymond Sykes

Her painted nails, ring- and middle-finger broken, rest upon the door handle. The crumbling remains of her nails fall like dust from my fist.

She smiles. “Always were pathetic, weren’t you?”

The dust floats, heaps upon the floor.

Her teeth flash. “Proud of that, aren’t you? Jack would never do something like that.”

Collapsing to my knees, tears drip-drip onto the nail dust. The manicured nails caress my tears. The metal of her engagement ring presses cold on my cheek.

“Goodbye, lover.”

The door slams. I rub the dust into the carpet, hoping to erase it forever.