Unconditional

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By Toni G.

He wrapped his arms around me then
his cheek resting heavy on the top of my head
as he hugged me in a kind of embrace
that were he to let me go
my entire being would spill out onto the floor
like rice grains falling from a ripped plastic bag
That was when
I knew
that I
his sinful son
was loved unconditionally
no matter what the vice president thought
about boys like me.

         
Toni G. writes because there’s just so much that needs to be said.

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The Effects of Charm School

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By Dianne Moritz

That afternoon, I glimpsed a stranger in the deli’s plate-glass window: teased hair, lips painted fuchsia pink, eyebrows penciled black — a new me!

I posed, then sauntered on.

Mother was waiting. “What have you done? Your father’s legacy. Ruined! Wash your face.”

Later, I stole that single photograph hidden inside a Sinatra album, brought my dictionary to bed. Legacy?? I gazed into my father’s eyes, ran a finger down his nose, across bushy brows. I fell asleep, his perfect lips pressed lightly to my own.

             
Dianne Moritz seeks understanding of her troubled relationship with her mother. She writes poetry and picture books for children since retiring from teaching in inner city Los Angeles.

For Him Anyway

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By J.T. Morse

​I knew what he’d become. But I didn’t care. To me, he was still Nick deep down. My Nick.

Crossing the trench into the Z-zone was tough. But I did it. For him anyway.
Fighting off the ravenous creatures, for days, sucked. But I had to reach him. To find my soulmate.

Seeing his rotting flesh and the carcass he’d become broke my heart. But I’d come this far. I couldn’t back out now.

Letting him sink his jagged teeth into my arm took guts that I didn’t know I possessed. But for him, my Nick, I did it anyway.

           
J.T. Morse writes to “explore the mysterious and empathetic connection to fellow humans.”

Spot

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By Paul Beckman

Lorna walked by the firehouse with her Dalmatian every day. Butch, the fireman, and Lorna nodded hellos.

Soon it became a “Hey” and “Hi.”

That led to dog petting and Butch and Lorna chatting plus exchanging phone numbers.

Which led to a dinner date with Butch picking up Lorna at her apartment where they hugged hello. Spot growled.

A good date, many good-night kisses, many promises. Lorna was turned on.

Lorna wanted. Lorna needed. She poured another glass of wine after undressing. They wrestled on the floor then Lorna rolled over. Spot sniffed her while Butch slept at home adone.

           
I write to see what’s on my mind and in my deepest thoughts.” – the writer

The Getaway

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By Invictus

As the train chugged out of the station, I left my small, picturesque town behind.

I was tentative because I’d left a dead man behind—the man who’d tormented me all my life with doubts, criticism, and discouragement of all my endeavors. Until I decided he had to go.

If you visit my pretty white cottage, you’ll find my kind, old parents sad but relieved. They’ll offer you tea and scones and tell you they’d known it all along. That I’d kill my inner demon and embark on this new leg of discovery and fulfillment.


“When I move someone with my words, I feel a little worthier than before.” – the writer

Real Prison

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By Thomas Fitzgerald McCarthy

After his final relapse, Andrew’s psychiatrist explained that the written word was far more real than daydreams, because it could be shared. When readers visualized an author’s story about his delusions, they granted him power over them.

A demon towered. Two-hundred and fifty pounds. Bald head. Big arms. Big fists. Big ugly grin. Ugly tattoos. He had sex with Andrew’s wife, told everyone that Andrew was a drunk and then beat Andrew up – endlessly.

Ten thousand fractured jaws, broken teeth and concussions.

Without warning, the demon disappeared right before his eyes and awoke inside an inescapable, iron hemisphere.

“Thank you.”
           
Thomas Fitzgerald McCarthy writes to speculate on and explore the nature of human reality.

Mountains

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By Conor Kilbride

The mountains have grown
Alongside humanity
They are growing still
Like civilization
This is how it will go
One never-ending show
The peak will breach the sky
We have passed that
Now we can fly
And when humans fall
The mountains will be there
Still growing

        
Conor Kilbride writes “to pretend I am a more serious person than I am in reality.”