Aug 112014
 

by Sabah Carrim

In night and light and the half-light, a snatch-theft, a robbery and a smashed window. That was two years ago. Now, blood splashed on my windscreen. PTSD.

Boulders on a truck, as I lag behind. Brakes screech. The world rolling onto my car bonnet and burying me alive. PTSD.

Motorbike zooms past and slashes my neck with a parang. Fresh cadaver in the green grass. Blood trickling onto asphalt like water from a hose. PTSD. Continue reading »

Jun 222014
 

by Stacy Chambers

The shark, nearly blind, preferred the sandy bottom to the middle or high ground of the tank. It was shady at the bottom, only an occasional shiny glass stone interrupted the smooth sand. Sometimes he could see small bright bursts of color made by the iridescent stones, a memory of a silver flash of a fish. On occasion he swam to the top, where two other lemon sharks vied for territory. At feeding time he always made his way up for the morsels of dead fish, mixed with soy protein. Continue reading »

Jun 112014
 

By Fran Fredricks

They were babies, fuzzy, white, playful, one riding the other’s back, trapped in my window well. They probably fell.

A friendly police officer flashed a light and stared, and told me there was nothing she could do. She told me to wait until morning to put a 2-by-4 in the well, they’d climb out, she said.

By morning, death was in my well. Little hissing, one shook all over, ignoring the slanted plank toward freedom. Instead it curled up into its sibling like a stuffed pillow and stopped moving too. Continue reading »

Apr 222014
 

By Cory Wilson

It had looked startlingly beautiful. The crimson pool on the dull gray concrete was all alight by the flashes of their cameras barraging the scene. Without any context it was just that, colors framing each other to create a master piece. He was an artist who used our disgust of him to create something.

We can’t relate to James’ life, or understand it. We tried, and failed. Then we blamed him for those failures. Our own ignorance became the burden he had to bear. So he refused. Maybe that’s why he did it. Just to show us he could. Continue reading »

Apr 132014
 

By Denise Drake

The baby was crying, again.

Susan sat quietly on the edge of her bed, hands folded in her lap, head bowed. She didn’t even glance at the crib this time. She knew there was nothing she could do to stop it. A single tear escaped, traveling down her face to the tip of her nose. It paused briefly before landing silently on her arm. She didn’t notice.

Today Caleb was nine months old. She had listened to his wails, unable to calm him, every single day for nine months. She had only a vague recollection of what life was like before Caleb. Continue reading »

Mar 312014
 

by Nathaniel Hobbes

She woke up with tears on her cheeks. That only happens when she’s been dreaming about him. I handed her a cup of coffee and waited.  “The same dream?” I asked.

She wiped off her face and said, “No, it was different this time. I dreamed I was lying in bed sleeping. He curled up behind me and buried his face in my hair, just like he used to. He whispered he would always love me, said goodbye, then melted away.” She took a swallow of coffee. “I wonder if he’s really dead?”

“Knowing him, he died years ago of some STD in an alley in Costa Rica.”

“Probably.”

After she left for work, I went out to the woods, to the shed, under the floorboards. She was right. He’d finally died last night.

Mar 232014
 

By Mark Juric

Mickey brushed away the lock of hair that clumped, sweat-soaked against Darla’s temple. He traced it back in place — once, twice — and still wet on his hand, smelled the richness of her each time. Dark and musky, her scent was earthy — like soil — and fertile, an ancient fragrance, older than either of them. Her breath had slowed and he placed his head to her chest where the balance of her blouse was unbuttoned, still coy, still clinging to her shoulders.

“Where did you. . .” She hesitated, afraid of accusing, afraid of a lie, afraid of the truth. “I thought you said you’d never done this before.” Continue reading »