• The Plight of Bounty by Chelsea Vitone

    She sat at the long table, twirling her fork across her plate. Her mother’s forced laughter came from the head of the table and Aadhiya rolled her eyes. Her parents were throwing yet another dinner party and the swarm of the elite was almost nauseating. How could they act like everything was normal, everything was ok? Just before sunrise, her service girl Adeline, her best friend, had shook her awake, tears streaming down her face. Her brother was sick. Aadhiya watched Mrs. Hanson in her padded pant suit to make her look more ample than her hollowed cheeks belied. Dr. Nguyen wore the silk suit that he always swore was…

  • Magnum Opus by Jennifer Chushcoff

    If I must burn, burn me with my books. Let leaves fall and crisp, let poets sing me to sleep their lyrics, a lullaby. If I must burn, burn me with my books. Let loose the mad philosophers and all those clever novelists, even the fact-based wonder writers, I want it all. All the thoughts – the language of my spirit, singed in script, an alchemical triumph. If I must burn, burn me with my books.

  • Summer of Love: 1969 – 2009 by Heather Pilder Olson

    It’s the Summer of Love revisited: 40 years since the original. Have we made progress? Or have we regressed, impressed now With technology, getting connected On Facebook and Twitter and can you Tweet free love?   There is war on and we do not march for peace. There is a recession and we don’t protest in the street. Are we complacent?  Do we care? Should we still wear flowers in our hair? Can we feel free love when we don’t feel free? Can you come talk instead of texting me?   Are we better off or just more lonely?

  • Part 1: The Trilogy of the Special One: Veil Over Her Eyes by Lawander Thompson

    Bellania had her first taste of traveling when she was five years. She recalls that time when she was sitting proudly next to her mother in the window seat staring out onto the landscape. It was like looking through a large view master. Everything was in 3D, very vivid with colorful landscapes passing her by as the train moved steady ahead. This was so exciting for her because she had never really been on a long journey before but there would be many more to come, beyond what she knew as earthly travels.  She loved to sit quietly and count how many houses, trees, cows, or cars she passed by…

  • Like a Crime Scene by Christina Butcher

    criminal   you lay curled and coiled as a snake on the pavement   hot as the sun rising or a light so strong that it blinds me   breaks me all to pieces in the face of you and  

  • Youssef by Sabrina Schongalla

    Stepping outside your comfort zone can teach you a lot about yourself, about life, and about how limited your understanding of the world really is.  It was about 110 degrees in Marrakech, Morocco each day I spent wandering the streets near Jemaa el-Fnaa one recent July. The souks were packed with tourists like us dodging the bustling crowds, trying to avoid being hit by the passing horse-drawn carts and the motorcycles zipping through the narrow streets as vendors called to us to step inside their nooks and purchase their wares.  Because Ramadan had fallen in July this year the mosques called out the routine prayers over loudspeakers and no one…

  • The Tale of the Carry-On Culprits by Jackie Fender

    I shuffled through the usual envelopes containing statements of financial obligation, fliers emblazoned with stellar deals at this or that establishment, more bills and then….what was this? A thick, white envelope with a blue border and my name and address scrawled in black ink on the front. There was no impending special occasion, no cause for a friend to send snail mail so the non-bill correspondence was unexpected. No name could be found with the return address and as I flipped the envelope over to open it, upon further examination I spied a thumb print, in what could have been blood?! My heartbeat quickened as I tore the paper open,…

  • Valhalla Falls by Martin Chase

    A clash of steel, of blade upon horned helm, And axe against mailed breast. Fiery darts Piercing inky skies and warriors’ hearts, As battle-spilt blood flows free through our realm.   Then we are routed, surrounded by foe, Us Hammer-Folk, fifty in all, trapped by Two-hundred, raiding Cross-Folk spear and bow. Their king Harald demands thus: kneel or die!   But to them, we swear by our war-gods nay! We would, in glorious sortie this day Fall! Buri our jarl strikes Harald’s shield-man, And with blood-lust, to fateful fight, we ran!.

  • Retreat by Lynn Savage

    Paula nibbled her right index fingernail and stifled a chuckle, a half-eaten Tupperware container of Fiddle Faddle shaking on her lap. Doug snorted beside her, not from amusement but sleep apnea. Their doctor suggested a CPAP, but somehow the money for such third-tier necessities was always a paycheck away. Either Hannah needed a dental retainer, Logan had Little League camp, or Paula’s aging Durango threw a rod on the 405. Doug hoped to take the kids down to San Diego this summer, see Shamu before the activists had SeaWorld shut down, but it’d take an economic miracle to make that happen. After another bite of caramel-coated relief, Paula resealed the…

  • Pickles and Mayo by Jackie Fender

    Mayo and pickles, again. My stepmom wakes me up, hurried and excited. “Get up! You’re late, let’s go!” I am 8 years old and it doesn’t occur to me to glance at a clock and protest. I’m pulled out of bed with feelings of dread. Quickly I dress myself and head down the long carpeted hallway to the dining room where my stepmother is ironing like a madwoman. “Go, go, go!” She demands, handing me my lunch pail and shoving me out the door without another word. It’s a crisp January morning. The grass crunches under my feet, frosted over with dew. As I walk to school I watch my…