• Fiction,  Short Story

    The Unbearable Weight of Silence by Gregory Knight Miskin

    Three years old. Nap time for Jeff and me, seventh and sixth of seven, in my parents’ bedroom, the never-finished garage on the blueprints. Bare studs, concrete floor, some stick-on blue shag carpet tiles curling at the corners, a sheet hung on a line forming a crude anteroom between the kitchen door and the bedroom. Jeff and I are one person, known as The Boys, so rarely called by name it comes out jumbled as Grjeff or Jreg. The big kids say, “The Boys did it” to get themselves out of trouble without having to say a name. My older brothers and sisters, CarrollLynnConnieNormSylvia, are in school but we are…

  • Short Story

    Get Out of Your Car by Morf Morford

    “Get out of your car” should be the first Commandment of summers in the Pacific Northwest. Local gems, wonders and treats are out there, but you’ll miss most of them if you don’t get out to see, hear and sometimes taste them. Tacoma has many distant vistas that dazzle visitors, but a much closer – and slower – look has its own rewards. Tacoma has a rich history expressed in its building and parks.

  • Short Story

    Pink Petal by Tien Taylor

    London, 1874. “Your duty is making sure Mrs. Brandon is well cared for,” said Agnes. “There is a pain in her body that grows worse everyday.” “Does she not see a physician?” I asked. I tucked my wooden suitcase under my arm and sped up, trying to keep up with her. “She saw dozens,” she answered. “They can’t cure her. She requires medication.” Being new as the Brandon family’s maid, I should’ve wrote all of this down, but I was too mesmerized by Agnes’ gray braided hair swinging like a handle of a grandfather’s clock. “And Mr. Brandon?” I asked. “Does he require anything?” Agnes turned around. She stared at…

  • Novel Excerpt

    Meet the Characters in ‘Visual Liberties’ an excerpt by Alec Clayton

    Bitsey Calling Bitsey Ashton a square peg in a round hole would be like saying the Titanic was a motorboat that sprang a leak. Bitsey is more like a trapezoid with razor edges, capable of drilling herself into any hole of any shape no matter how big or little. She’s now middle aged with grown daughters. At least the daughters think they’re grown; Bitsey is not so sure about her youngest, Molly, a brand new freshman at Mississippi University for Women on the Gulf Coast. Big sister Jamie Lew married Abdul Taylor and is living in New Orleans. Those sharp edges of Bitsey’s have been sanded smooth by hard times…

  • Fiction,  Short Story

    Practice Makes Perfect? by Chelsea Vitone

    I peeked around the corner and saw him staring into the microwave, tapping his index finger on the counter as the seconds counted down. I heard that was bad for you, but with that pretty face, he should be fine with a few micro-radiated brain cells. I ran through my lines in my head, Hi I’m Sarah from advertising, I couldn’t help but notice you around the office. Chad, is it? I love your tie. I smoothed my skirt, ran my fingers through my hair and stepped into the break room. He looked up at the sound of my heels clacking against the tile and gave me a nod of…

  • Fantasy, Sci-fi,  Short Story

    Like Butterflies By Lorna McGinnis

    “I want to forget.” She looked upwards, into its eyes, trying to sound firm. “Don’t you all.” It raised an eyebrow. It was amazing how human it looked. If she didn’t know better she would have mistaken it for a woman. It wore a tailored suit and a string of pearls. Its hair was blond, going gray at in places, and done up into a neat bun. It was classy without being ostentatious. “Can you do that? Make me forget?” She smoothed a hand over her blouse and shifted back a little. “It depends.” It quirked its mouth into something that was almost a smile. Now that she considered, it…

  • Short Story

    Traffic Jam by Zachary Scott Hamilton

    I would call her Taylor, because black hairs draw toward the curve of her lips and edge into the miles between us – But instead I curtail a whimsy, freak out the neighbors by dressing my cat in an armor of arrows, go outside, into the suburbs, dressed in my fag dreams, and search for purple, learning the arithmetic of streets my art teachers taught me – and curving down the avenue of Toasters, big loaves of bread slide up from inside, all around us – Meeshka wants some of the toast and jumps up and down, clanging the arrows stop motion. Odd for a cat – “No Jumping!” Med.z…

  • Memoir,  Short Story

    Oh Holy Night or The True Story of Christmas Eve Dinner 2014 by J.R. Henry

    My grandmother’s house is quiet, spacious, and ostentatiously expensive. It’s dressed up like Hollywood money from the 1930’s, back before she married into wealth. White columns frame every floor length window, the light from beyond filtering through the slits in the heavy draped curtains. There’s a sleek grand piano in one corner of the room, a glass encased cabinet of silver odd and ends in the other. The plush white carpet is spotted with iridescent sequins of colored light bouncing off the tinkling chandeliers. Dean Martin pipes in softly from the house-wide speaker system. I’m in the sitting room, perched upon one of several silk upholstered chairs around the massive…

  • Crime,  Fiction,  Short Story

    Pro By Jenni Prange Boran

    It was one of those monochromatic days. Gray upon gray. Wet. The kind of day that makes old wounds ache. The kind that calls for a thick hooded sweatshirt. Gloves. And maybe a ski mask. None of these items would be a particular cause for concern on a day like today. The first red flag upon his entering the convenience store would be that classic motion, the reach around his back to retrieve his 9mm. The cashiers all know that motion. It’s not even like they’re trained to know it. But they’ve all seen television. Still, despite what they show on television, very few cashiers have the wherewithal to reach…

  • Crime,  Fiction,  Short Story

    Ashes to Ashes by Christian Carvajal

    She arrived when my office girl Margie was out to lunch, as if that narrows it down. I welcomed my latest possible client with an enthusiasm I usually reserve for good brandy. “Mr. Wainwright?” she asked, her voice perfect for radio. “I answer to that moniker. Dylan, too,” I said, smiling. I ushered her into the office and gave her the twice over. She had a figure like Beethoven in Braille, and a mug you could use to sell lipstick. Helen of Troy would’ve asked for her autograph. I should’ve known she was trouble before her rump left that valentine-shaped impression in my office chair. She wore black—-short black dress,…