The Waiting Room

By Megan Thompson It smells of sweat and hot breath, combining to make some sort of terrible human perfume. The old lady across from me, whose hair is unnaturally black and stiff, keeps softly dozing in her chair. She is overdressed for the occasion, her pink lipstick smeared around her thin and aging lips. TheContinue reading “The Waiting Room”

Warmth and Whispers

By Steven James Cordin Burning cold filled his chest.  Voices in his head screamed for warmth. He awoke with a start, his body so cold it burned.  For a moment, he wanted to let the cold embrace and consume him.  The mad echo of the voices in his head drove those thoughts away.  Their urgentContinue reading “Warmth and Whispers”

Mother

By Erik Suchy Milton winced at the basketball’s collision against his back, a pool of discomfort opening with hot knives, followed by dull aching and finishing with ripples in his anatomy sea. Of course, he thought. Since when does a star quarterback like Brock Lerner ever miss a target with a heave-ho like that?“ You’reContinue reading “Mother”

Christmas Roses

By John E. Marks You can interrogate roses all you likeBut do not lie. The rain waters you too.In this human garden it is you who is the flower. Roses at the graveside:Blood red petals grown from the groundAn abyss of petals? Fervent and well paid scholarsArgue, when babies cry,That’s one in eye for scholarsContinue reading “Christmas Roses”

The Backyard Digger

By Robb White The boy was a nuisance. Every day I’d find him digging out there with his child’s shovel and pail with happy cartoon figures bordering the tops and bottom. I was solely concerned about his well-being, not the fact he was trespassing. Two summers ago, we had two bands of coyotes raising theirContinue reading “The Backyard Digger”

Poison Marsh Summer

By Mark Benedict When your parents first pitch you on their idea to steal a laundry basket full ofcash, you know you should skate. Not that you’re above petty crimes. Heck no. In fact, petty crimes are kind of your thing. But it’s a dark, do-nothing chapter in your life, not to mention that theseContinue reading “Poison Marsh Summer”

A Scene Illuminating the Perils of Truancy

By B.W. Carter So, yeah, this boy, he’s standing on his usual corner, right, watching traffic dissolve into the vast white wash of the sun. The day is loud as a concert and very bright. The boy is slouching against a streetlamp. Squinting into the beeping, belching exhaust-sweet bustle, he smokes his last cigarette. Smoking,Continue reading “A Scene Illuminating the Perils of Truancy”

For Your Protection

By Chris Bunton “Tracy and David Santos, come out of the house!” A voice spoke through a loud speaker. Tracy and David both jumped up from the couch in their living room. They looked around in terror. Their favorite show flickered on the TV, and the image was replaced by a message which read. “DavidContinue reading “For Your Protection”

The Perfect Shot

By Erik Suchy “Ah, I take it you must be Edith?” A sarcastic military salute, followed by a low chortle. “Present and reporting for duty,”she giggles. “Erm…Gus, is it?” A snicker, one that makes her feel embarrassed once it penetrates her ears. “No,” he chuckles. “Off by only five completely different letters and an extraContinue reading “The Perfect Shot”