June 30, 2016

“Boston” by Judith Robinson

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“Boston” by Judith Robinson

Editor’s Note: Judith’s short story is intercut with some of her own paintings, including the featured image above. * * * Winter has its way with Boston, Massachusetts; it captures and enslaves the place. The deadly cold, the snow and ice, the gloom, creep in and take over. Cars, windows, doors, all freeze hard. Snowplows, salt, shovels, tire chains, even ski poles emerge. The city succumbs, then accepts, bears down, fights on. Yet the still young enough enjoy it. Some college girls and boys, or as they like to be known, college women and men, revert to being girls and boys again. Ironic, but true. Some ski, some skate. There are sleigh rides. They have fun in the snow. A certain young woman, however, was not one of these winter revelers. Heather Ellen came from…

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June 16, 2016

Children’s Lit Issue – “Mirror Girl” by Allison Quaid

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Children’s Lit Issue – “Mirror Girl” by Allison Quaid

Editor’s Note: Our latest installment in our Children’s Literature Issue is a short story about a girl who uses her burden help a new friend escape danger. Illustrations by Jennifer Bolten McDonough. * * * Mirror Girl Mercy, a thin girl with long dark hair climbed out of bed. Her mirrored body reflected the grey, stormy clouds from outside the window onto the gloomy bedroom walls. Mercy’s entire body was covered with sharp pieces of mirror, glued to her like shards of armor. Only her head, soft and pink, bobbed out from the glass. From a distance, she looked like a walking Christmas ornament. Today, like every day, she would spend the day reading at home, alone. She flinched as she walked towards the library, the pieces of glass digging into her flesh. She opened…

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June 15, 2016

Children’s Lit Issue – “Hey Diddle” a Poem by Betsy Pohlman

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Children’s Lit Issue – “Hey Diddle” a Poem by Betsy Pohlman

Editor’s Note: This one’s just for the parents. Betsy’s poem takes the classic nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” and puts a new, PG-13 twist on what the cat, dog, moon, dish and spoon may have been thinking that fateful night when so many fantastical events transpired. * * * Hey Diddle   hey diddle (the dish thought) what have we here – you don’t see a leg like that anymore. i want that to tap my well – what a line, so classy. i love a good party.   hey diddle (the spoon thought) here’s something – lovely and round with wide hips and smile. i want that to fill my bowl – how sturdy, how fun. i’m so glad i’m here.   these gigs suck crickets (the cat thought) the costume uncomfortable – the…

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June 14, 2016

Children’s Lit Issue – “Elven Woods Harvest” by Christie Megill

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Children’s Lit Issue – “Elven Woods Harvest” by Christie Megill

Not too far from you, but maybe farther than you can see, is a forest. You would find this forest on a map, and it even has a name that humans have given it. This forest is also a place where magic exists, where mythical creatures are real, and where a dream can be made into reality with no more than a wish. You may call it one name, but to others, the forest is called Everwood, and it is a fantastical place. * * * Chapter 1 It was Poppy Dell who saw the first changed leaf of autumn that year. She was a young elf, only three years old, and she was the one to see the bright flash of autumn red, high in the maple tree closest to her home. Every year,…

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June 12, 2016

Children’s Lit Issue – “Makena, The Firefly” by M. J. Sterling

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Children’s Lit Issue – “Makena, The Firefly” by M. J. Sterling

Editor’s Note: This is our first installment of our Children’s Literature Issue – a short story about a baby boy in the wild and the animals who find him. Illustrations by Fuzz. E. Grant. * * * It was the hottest part of a hot summer day in the Maru grasslands when Mother Nia, the matriarch of the elephant pack, woke from her afternoon nap, yawned, and stretched her trunk to the sky. Father Idir lay on his side and his young son, Oluchi lay facing him, his trunk tucked into Father’s giant chest. “Wake!” said Mother Nia, “It is time to go to the watering-hole!” She prodded and poked him and his twin sister while her eldest girl waited impatiently. Meanwhile, the baby of the family lay dozing. Nia pretended not to see him…

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June 6, 2016

Two Poems from Hannah Carmack

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Two Poems from Hannah Carmack

PFD, IC, SUI Face up, Palms open, Eyes closed. Legs spread. This is where we’ve put ourselves. Somewhere between traipsing through the cecum and dragging our nails along the soft livelihood of our stomach, we fell and ripped the sweatshop seams of our intestines open. Trapped in Abraham’s bosom, stuck between death and mediocre existence. “We’ll be going internal now.” It is a fire, lit in the esophagus that keeps us here, our bodies’ negative reaction to our natural existence. We are internal now, pushing through the perineum with coconut oil and a scrap of shrapnel. There are hands wrapped around the sigmoid, squeezing to test its tolerance. We don’t scream, but our bodies tense to build us a wall, because they don’t understand nothing is wrong. “You’re preforming well.” Yes, we are. With deep…

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June 2, 2016

William Torphy’s “The Invention of Numbers”

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William Torphy’s “The Invention of Numbers”

  [Image courtesy of Katheryn Holt (c)2016. For more of her work, visit her site.] * * * Patrick had never needed to use a public phone. He noticed them occasionally, forlorn and disregarded objects in the urban landscape, but he didn’t really know if any of them worked. Still, he asked for change from the pretty dark-haired barista with the bumblebee tattoo on her neck. He handed her a dollar and she fumbled through the tip jar, smiling as she dropped the coins into his palm one at a time. He felt an electric charge when her fingertips brushed his. Maybe it was from all the appliances she handled. He left the café to hunt for a phone, unsure where one might be found. People passed by talking into their cells, staring at their…

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June 1, 2016

William Torphy’s “The Call”

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William Torphy’s “The Call”

    [Image courtesy of Katheryn Holt (c)2016. For more of her work, visit her site.] * * * 202-339-6732. The phone number I found scribbled on the title page of the book I was reading, a Milo Weaver spy novel.  Normally I wouldn’t give it a second thought. Used books often contain jottings from previous readers. The phone number could belong to anyone—a friend, dry cleaner, business contact, call girl—but it had nothing to do with me. My curiosity was easy prey to fantasy, though, immersed as I was in a story of international intrigue. I was strangely tempted to call.   Ridiculous and potentially embarrassing. What would I say to the person at the other end of the line? What reason could I give for calling? Of course, I could just hang up. If he…

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May 4, 2016

Bonnie Amesquita – Six Poems

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Bonnie Amesquita – Six Poems

Editor’s Note: We are pleased to bring you this collection of poems about faith, loss, love and growing older. Bonnie’s poetry speaks directly to the reader and reflects on the people and events all around us. Enjoy!   * * * How Do You Comfort? How do you comfort someone who grieves Sorry for your loss Our prayers are with you Sorry Sorry Words fail and sometimes offend Sorry for what? You didn’t give her cancer Cause the car crash You didn’t do anything wrong You didn’t have anything to do with it No Words don’t help They push us away Bury us with our dead Sequester our tears behind polite smiles Thank you for coming Thank you Thank you Touch hurts though hugs and air kisses are obligatory Don’t go there. Just be there…

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May 2, 2016

Wayne Hammer’s “Shifts” – Novel Excerpt

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Wayne Hammer’s “Shifts” – Novel Excerpt

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to bring you the opening chapter from Wayne Hammer’s sci-fi thriller Shifts. The novel weaves elements of genetics and espionage into a story about a man, Michael Duchesne, and the potentially world-changing implications of a DNA mutation secret he’s keeping. If this teaser chapter piques your interest, you can buy Shifts on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. * * * An elderly couple walked within a few feet of the boat slip. The woman slightly rotated her frail body and hunched her shoulders to keep the chilled morning air from leaking in over the collar of her oversized windbreaker. She paused for a moment and then left her husband’s side to stroll toward the edge of the dock. When she got to the railing, she leaned over to get a better look…

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