Held Together by a Thread

By Kim Hart

Pushing pins into vintage fabric
you remember
before,
and hear her laughter
echo down the stairs.
You sew a tiny dress
of floral cotton,
pink peonies and
yellow daisies.
A request,
“Please Mummy
Delilah needs something
pretty for my party.”
So you thread a needle
and stitch,
Misty-eyed at memories
of mud pies and makeup.
You lift
the finished piece
and hope
they’ll love it.
“Ellie honey,”
you call,
“I have Delilah’s dress.”
You follow the giggles
upstairs
and open the door
to a room,
where dust motes float,
refusing to settle
on an empty bed,
still waiting
for her.

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“I write to entertain and to see the thoughts running through my head take shape on paper. I love the thought of others reading my words, interpreting them differently, reading a myriad of meanings into the letters I’ve placed on the page.” – the poet

Midhowe Chambered Cairn

By Michael Bloor

On the small Isle of Rousay in the Orkneys, there lies a great chambered tomb. Five-thousand and four-hundred years ago, the farmers and the fisherfolk of the island laboured over many years building the tomb, the better to house and honour their dead. It sits in a field corner, alongside the farmer’s pile of black plastic sacks, storing the cut grass that will become the silage for the animals’ winter feed. That black plastic might seem unsightly, but it is surely also a reminder that human kind are still working this field after more than five-thousand years.

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Michael Bloor lives in Dunblane, Scotland where he first discovered the exhilarations of short fiction.

Things Change

By Avril Tan

Young, spry, happy,
A miracle of life is born.
Unbeknownst to the harshness of the world,
Ignorant to the cruel and vicious.

Rebellious, immature, stressed,
Welcome to the precursor of adulthood.
Troubled by their looks,
Fixated on the materialistic, instead of idyllic.

Tired, worn, drained,
The corporate rat race is on.
Tormented by the thought of dismissal,
Enticed by the green paper.

Aged, seasoned, wise.
Congrats, the chase is over and you’re a veteran at life.
Cared for and loved by the next generation,
Unaware that the hunter has become the hunted.

Things have changed, haven’t they?

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“I write as a way to de-stress from all the chaos and melancholy of life. As a student with a love for the arts, writing is one of the few things that still brings a smile to my face.” – the writer

Aristocatfishing

By Jeff Hill

The girls and I have a system
They are the beauty
I am the brawn
But we are all the brains
We don’t go against anything or anyone who gets hurt
And we don’t do it to anyone who doesn’t deserve it
We aren’t vigilantes
We aren’t modern-day Robin Hoods
Because we don’t kill
And we don’t share our wealth
But we do take their money
And we do hurt them in the place that has the most impact
Their wallets
We match
We chat
They book the hotel
I show up
We collect
And we eat the rich
Together

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Jeff Hill writes stories and helps others write their stories.

Love at the Laundromat

By Karen Southall Watts

Both walked with a rocking gait born of carrying too much weight and illness. As they washed and hung a wardrobe of generous and forgiving polyester clothes and flowery bed linens, we chatted. They told me about their approaching anniversary. Fifty-two years. They made light about cost of living, fixed incomes, and fear of falling. The dryers weren’t hot enough. We commiserated over how many quarters we’d wasted. I knew I’d be hanging my towels in the living room overnight to get them dry. As the couple slowly loaded their car, I drove away, alone and green with envy.

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“I watch the world. Then I write.” – the writer

How Long is Forever?

By Avril Tan

People thought we would last forever,
To their credit, they got it partially correct.
Even months after the desertion,
I’m still exactly where you left me.

The pages of the calendar continue to turn,
Yet, I still harp over what could have been.
The time I spend grieving,
Is well past the times we’ve shared.

I want to escape from this wretched hole,
But a force pushes me back in every time.
What I harbour within me will last an eternity,
Which really begs the question,
How long is forever?

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“As a student with a love for the arts, I write as a way to de-stress from the chaos and melancholy of life.” – the poet

New Beginnings, Old Endings

By Asha Rajan

Shattered dreams at our feet, like confetti on our wedding day. We sign divorce papers on each other’s backs. The pen scratches your signature into my skin and I remember our younger selves, lying naked and happy, the feel of your finger tracing your initials the same way. Memories do that don’t they? They edit out the arguments and silences and forced confessions. Carefully curated scenes of idyllic bliss are all that remain – two dimensional caricatures of a flattened reality like sepia photographs of travel adventures.

You post a selfie titled “New beginnings.” I unfollow you. Same old endings.

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Asha Rajan is a South Indian-Australian writer who writes “to make space in her head for new worlds and new words.”

It’s Too Quiet to Sleep

By Ruth Polk

Audible is my bedtime companion when my thoughts whirl out of control and won’t let me relax.

At night, my dog snores, snuffles, sighs, adjusts his bedding, and click click clicks his way from one spot to another in my room as his claws tap the floor.

It’s comforting to wake and catch him sighing in his sleep.

The reverse is also true. If I don’t hear him, I wonder. I strain to detect sounds of his rest. The more I wonder the more I wake.

The quiet keeps me up.

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“I write because it’s fun.” – the writer

Gretel’s Choice

By galianoalison

There’s still dishes to scrub, floors to sweep, and laundry to wash, but at least I’m not hungry anymore. Hansel just eats and cries while I do all the work.

Some things don’t change.

And who’s to say we wouldn’t be there still, if the witch hadn’t gotten impatient, and thought to make a meal out of me? Nothing builds muscle like housework, and all it took was a quick shove and she’s the one roasting in the oven.

I haven’t freed Hansel yet.Right now, there’s no one to tell me what to do. Freedom tastes better than gingerbread.

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“Drabbles are the cookies of my writing life. They let me experiment, try out – an idea, a style – with no long-term commitment. But just because they’re short and sweet doesn’t mean I don’t pay attention. I try to let the restriction of ingredients and word count keep me on my toes.” – the writer

The End of a Drought

By Lisa H. Owens

I could almost feel the rain on my skin. Big bloopy raindrops soaking my dusty hair and quenching a constant deep dark thirst. I stopped the car, turning off the windshield wipers to press parched lips to the droplets as they collected on the glass. It was a tease akin to a desert oasis. Water, so close yet so far away.

Slender pines swayed, bare branches mocking their excesses as they cast off the rain in wide sheets. My need was so intense. I threw open the door and stepped out, head thrown back—mouth open wide—greedily slurping the clouds’ offerings.

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“I write to saturate one’s senses with neat things and odd things.” – the writer