One of Time, an excerpt for a work in progress by William Turbyfill

521628_10153084132195624_555272240_n“I guess we’ll have to have class indoors then.” This was not the first time Professor Clifford Barrow made this joke but his students laughed just the same. Despite his tendency to be a bit of a recluse and his inability to make a good joke, Professor Barrow was well respected. Some of his students even liked him.

The class room was bright which stood in stark contrast to the rain and darkness outside. Before Clifford arrived on the planet, he did not realize that when they say it always rains on Ravis, they mean it always rains on Ravis. The sun never broke through the constant rainstorm and the dark clouds enveloped the entire planet forcing a perpetual state of night. This provided few distractions for the students and was one of the reasons Ravis was known for producing the brightest minds in Council Space.

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Fly on the Wall by Rockford Rowley

CC picMost people we encounter don’t understand us. They merely occupy the relatively fleeting, disposable roles in our lives we inadvertently have but seldom gain insight from. But we can hope. We can hope to be understood. We can hope to find people who perceive our personality exactly the way we so carefully present it. There are a lucky few who find people who perceive it exactly the way they intended. As if they’ve been an un-perceivable fly on the wall your entire life, carefully observing you, only to be miraculously transformed into a human being the moment before meeting you. And on one unsuspecting evening last summer I felt like one of those lucky few.

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The Faithful Wife by Lory French

IMG_20140517_161510“I told you I wasn’t ever going to go into sordid details,” Olivia sighed, tired of the drawn out conversation.  Dave could be such a little bitch when he wanted to be.  She was tired and knew that tomorrow morning was only going to bring a long march of more whining from the kids she’d be chaperoning up to Everett for a field trip on some whale watching boat. She ran her hand longingly over her empty pillow.

“I need to know now.  I know I said I was ok with it, but I just …. I can’t take looking at every guy we know and wondering ‘Is it him?  Did he know I gave permission?  Is he laugh…”

“PERMISSION???” She exploded.  “Permission?   I for damned sure didn’t need your fucking permission.”

Dave threw up his hands in surrender.   “That was a poor choice of words.”

“Yes, the hell it was!”

“I just…..Olivia I can’t take it anymore.   I know what we agreed to do, and I have been trying to just let it go, but you know everything about her.  Everything.  What we did, where we went, how long it went on.”  Olivia buried her ears in her hands, willing him to shut up.   “Don’t do that, babe. I just need a name.  I can’t handle second guessing all our friends.  It’s making it worse.”

“Making what worse?” Olivia questioned.  “You. Cheated. On. Me.  This is not something I brought down on us.  You cheated on me.    As for my ‘revenge fuck,’ as you wanted to call it, I can promise you it’s no one you know.  That’s a guarantee.”

To continue reading The Faithful Wife, click here.

Approval Rating By Titus Burley

catandhatJerry ushered the aide and intern into his office gesturing for them to sit in the two leather chairs that had been placed in front of his mahogany desk. He hated afternoon meetings but his chief of staff had been adamant that he block fifteen minutes for these two. He appraised them as they moved to the seats, his eyes roving from the shorter young man with his Caesar cut bangs and lingering on the slim-waisted blonde in the teal mid-thigh skirt that accentuated her impossibly long legs. If it had been a morning meeting, he would have held court formally, ensconcing himself behind the desk in his throne-like, though surprisingly ergonomic, chair. Instead he moved aside a family photo and sat casually on the edge of the desk, the lip of the desk deep enough that had he wanted he could have kicked his feet like a small child on a swing set waiting to be pushed into motion.

The bifocals wearing aide looked up from a thick folder of charts, graphs and explanatory data. “Your overall favorability rating is down to fifty-two. You were at fifty-five a week ago. Fifty-eight last month.”

“It’s not a public perception freefall,” defended the intern who attended or had attended (it was hard to keep up with everyone’s biographical data) Wellesley or one of those other high profile all-girl schools. Was her name Karen or Karina? No. Katrina. Like that hurricane that decimated New Orleans.

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The Observable Universe by Jonny Eberle

Jonny_Eberle_Headshot_SquareThe young man buys a ticket and wanders around the exhibit on the history of the spacesuit before disappearing. It takes more than forty minutes before the observatory volunteers find him locked in the Clark Telescope Dome. He refuses to come out.

The man demands to know why he can’t see Saturn through the telescope’s eyepiece. He doesn’t believe them when they explain through the closed door that the rotation of the Earth has shifted the planet out of the telescope’s field of view. They offer to come inside and reposition the telescope for him. He tells them that he is not a fool. That he will wait.

“I want to see her fly through Saturn’s rings on her way out.” He says this three times in quick succession. They assure him that they understand, but exchange worried glances.

The volunteers fetch the astronomer who is about to leave for Happy Jack to watch an alien world transit in front of its star five hundred light years away.

“This planet is in a highly elliptical orbit,” he tells them, dropping a bottle of bourbon into the passenger seat of his hatchback. “It may not cross the plane of the star again in my lifetime.”

To continue reading The Observable Universe, click here.

The Barista by Jonathan Dittman

bio picThe barista had a dream in which she was a bartender.  The bar was dimly lit with only a baby handful of barflies hovering atop sullen barstools, swilling cheap hard liquor and spewing misogynistic banter that normally offended her.  However, in the dream the barista was genuinely engaged and even slung her share of sexist observations.  As she turned to reach for another bottle of JB, the barista caught a glimpse of her sallow reflection and shuddered.  Her countenance rebounded off the liquor-stained mirror and, much like the men she was serving in that hole of a bar, projected a sickly hue that reeked of destitution.  Aside from her ghastly appearance and demeanor, it was a rather banal dream, as it merely substituted the proffering of ground coffee for bottom-shelf whiskey.  Upon awaking, she wondered what significance such an episode portended but soon shook off the fading images and headed to the shower.

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Times-bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles and T-Town Local, Marissa Meyer.

from Julia laughingFollowing is the (entirely untouched) prologue from the very first novel I ever attempted to write, begun when I was sixteen years old and sitting on the bleachers in gym class. It was basketball day. So odd the things you remember.

Though in reading it fourteen years later there are about a million “beginner’s mistakes” I can point out – things that would make me cringe in my writing today – I actually found revisiting this story to be surprisingly refreshing. Even now I can remember how much I loved this world and these characters that I was beginning to create. Though I’d been writing fanfiction for about two years at that point, this was my first foray into original fiction and the act of creating something brand new, entirely from my own imagination, was wonderfully addictive in a way that continues to amaze me even now.

I hope readers will enjoy this glimpse into my “forgotten novels drawer,” and that all aspiring writers – young and old alike – will be inspired. Go forth and create.

Click here to read Eternal

When She Left By Hawwa Alam – Youth Writing Contest Winner

cwcMa says the world is a bad place. She says keepin’ away is our best bet for safety. The earth is like a ship’s biscuit, and all the people are weevils burrowing away, tryna hide their evil. That’s what she says. I agree, because no-one says nothin’ to Ma that’s not what she likes and gets away with it. But sometimes I wonder what’s on the outside; behind the trees that bow and whip their leaves in the wind like hair on a wee girl’s head. I sometimes sit at the window and just think things like that. Ma says it’s a waste of time dreamin’ – that it’s just lettin’ fluff gather in your brain and that good, smart girls never say what if. But I’m not a smart girl. I’m just Lilith Weaver, Lil for short – and I like dreamin’. Ma doesn’t need to know that.

To  continue reading When She Left click here.

Apples for the Snow Queen an excerpt from 42 Sketches by Michaela Eaves

applesSnowQueenThe one thing the Snow Queen missed most was apples.

Since moving north, she didn’t get fruit. And truth be told, she’d never been a fan of most fruit anyway. But the apples reminded her of a time before she’d left for the north, when she’d been closer to Snow White, before White had gotten married and grown distant. They ate apples by the slice off the blades of paring knives as they sat on the deck of the cabin in the woods, while the dwarves were off working.

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Gnosis by Christian Carvajal

Carv Author PhotoI earn an exceptional living; let’s just leave it at that. I owe it to one basic principle: there’s no such fucking thing as a secret. Secret Coke formula? Horseshit. Sure, there’s an eyes-only folder in some safe in Atlanta, but that formula’s used every day to make millions of bottles and send them all over the world. Any chemist worth his sodium chloride could find the secret formula in one dull afternoon. Secret Original Recipe from KFC? It’s salt, black pepper, and MSG, period. You say “what about eleven herbs and spices!” I say, “When’s the last time you heard that phrase in a commercial?” There may’ve been eleven herbs and spices when the Colonel was still lacing up his string tie, but those days have gone the way of Mother’s Pride.

“Aha,” you say, “but what are they hiding in Area 51?” Hundreds of enlisted men and women pass through that output daily. Someone knows. Is it a spaceship? Someone knows, so it probably isn’t, or they would’ve told more civilians over the years. But this way, when mum’s the word, it appears they know something we don’t.  Oh, but what about those creepy numbers stations on shortwave radio? Are they nothing more than international spy networks chattering useless facts at each other? Does Bigfoot shit in the woods? Someone knows.

To continue reading Gnosis click here.