• Fiction,  Short Story

    Lost Blossoms by Patti Crouch

    In the family portrait, my grandmother sits prim and pretty in a white party dress, hair fastened by bows, eyes solemn. Behind her is a wall of black suits, slick-haired brothers with faces like bulldogs. Her father stares at the camera, thin-eyed and well fed; her mother curves her shoulders forward, perhaps hunching around the baby whose long christening gown glows white against her black dress. The baby was an afterthought, raised once the sons had graduated and departed, the only daughter allowed an education. My grandmother went to work at twelve in a hat shop, crying for months as her dreams fell away like petals. I imagine her behind…

  • Poetry

    May 18th 1980 by Carl “Papa” Palmer

    near to a year remains in my tour before the date to rotate back to the states my family with me serving the U.S. Army in eastern Hessen West Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall witness white ash fallen on our blue BMW blown across the Atlantic Ocean from Mt St Helens blowing her top in western Washington USA over 8000 km away where we have orders for Ft Lewis Washington wondering how far this military base is from the base of that erupting volcano covering stubborn Harry Truman of Spirit Lake Lodge like Pompeii from Mount Vesuvius along with other hazards we heard that had occurred in…

  • Fiction,  Short Story

    The Origins of Petrichor: A Modern Tragedy by Ross Dohrmann

    You examine a painting, a scene frozen at the moment when the mood shifted from chaotic to calm. I am the painter and you one of two subjects, observing the scene as if watching a Greek tragedy. You recall that before the scene, you felt light and you heard my words, but they were empty in your ears. You did not feel my anger, but you saw it burst from the knots tied in the pit of my stomach like fireworks. There was nothing I could do to censor or control my actions, and so for a brief moment you left your body and let mine purge. My eyes were…

  • Fantasy, Sci-fi,  Fiction,  Short Story

    Shattering by Annalise Thomas

    You can’t see the cave looming ahead, but you can feel its darkness reaching out to strike. “Are you sure about this?” you ask. Your hand is tentative on the elder’s arm, and you stumble as he guides you over a rocky patch of ground. The sword and heavy bag swing unbalanced on your hips. “I really don’t think I’m suited for this kind of thing.” The elder pats your hand gently, patronizingly. “I am certain,” he replies. You wait for elaboration, maybe a few worn-out but generous words of inspiration, but he does not bother. He slips away at the mouth of the cave, his bone-thin arm unsheathing from…

  • Fiction,  Short Story

    Shell of a Mom by Jonah Barrett

    We didn’t wanna come to the aquarium. We wanted to go to the boardwalk instead. The boardwalk had all kinds of gross rides and smelly food stands and cute boys with crooked teeth that smiled at you when you looked at them. Ava and I had saved up all month for this day out; we were going to get sick on the Zipper and eat crappy elephant ears and purchase shit clothing that we’d regret later that night. The aquarium didn’t have that. But that’s where we were. “This’ll be great,” her mother said as we stood in line. Ivy. Glorious Ivy. Doing us a favor. An unwanted favor. “When…

  • Fiction,  Novel Excerpt

    Bill at the Bible Study By Dave Engel

    Bill walks up to the door and presses the doorbell. The doorbell says, “Ding dong,” and ushers in our hostess. Oh Karen, her little Bible Study. The diligently prepared desserts and Columbian coffees. Oh how she loves to play grown-up and entertain a host of… ding dong, time to fetch the door! So in comes Bill to be greeted by a group of grasping hands, all teeth and gums with welcomes to share. Bill’s eyes slide down to the super-fashionable, ultra-religious, “Jesus” bracelets that loudly ask a question meant to probe one’s heart. And yet this marketable statement of faith somehow doesn’t probe Bill, he’s just left wondering if the…

  • Memoir,  Short Story

    A Misunderstanding Pertaining to Tomatoes by William Turbyfill

    I do not know how to make fried green tomatoes and I have mixed emotions about this. Part of me is glad I didn’t know. If I knew then the following experience never would have happened and I would be missing an important defining story in my life. The other, larger, more honest part of me wishes I had known so that I could have skipped this moment because stories are over rated. My one goal was to bring back a contribution to our community’s weekly potluck meal. The theme this week: southern food. The menu included chicken, cornbread and beans. So basically someone with no idea what actual southern…

  • Poetry

    No Kind of Rain by Morf Morford

    No kind of rain Falls in the distance No wind to carry fortunes Or even weary wings home There are dark birds That emerge From far corners There is little steady kindness From the turning of the earth The seasons chafe As if the earth itself Was running dry To continue reading No Kind of Rain, click here.

  • Poetry

    Another Equinox by Ellen Miffitt

    set the timepiece for 10:29pm… on the dot its autumn. half-light – half dark, a balanced outlook of sorts… 12 hours daylight – 12 hours night the celebration – mother nature is sending her first big fall storm. subtle shift charges the air… mare’s tails are enhanced in the setting sun. I collected oak leaves to dry. already they’ve turned a burnished bronze. Maple trees have leaves with red edges. Aspen leaves are golden… evergreens are loaded with pine cones. To continue reading Another Equinox, click here.

  • Crime,  Fiction,  Short Story

    Assumptions by Joshua Swainston

    What is that stupid saying? Never assume, because it makes an ass out of you and me. Well that pretty much fits the bill, except the only ass here is me. I was brought in, I thought, to handle the money. An intermediary. Winslow, the guy who hired me, runs some sort of coke outfit out of Vancouver, BC. The idea was to collect the cash and make sure it crossed the border at Blaine, Washington. I’d heard about the job from a friend of a friend. Winslow needed “a nobody.” I was told he was too heavily watched to take chances transferring his own cash. I didn’t ask who…