Now the end of the year is upon us! We are so thankful for all the opportunities to gather virtually with this community in 2020, to host and attend workshops and support city-wide reading, to keep the CC Crawl going, to read all your wonderful pieces submitted, and to keep connected with you all! Keep an eye on the Submissions page for more opportunities, and to follow us on facebook and ig for updates. We have more to look forward to in 2022!
by Trevor Williams
creates sparks from friction
with the earth.
The salt in our sweat
transmutates into nitroglycerin
while we lay on a funeral pyre
piled up against a red dawn backdrop.
Continue to read An Act of Arson
by Katrinka Mannelly
“I think she’s the one, Dad. Please try to be open minded, okay?”
“I’ll try, Dawson, but you’re not making it easy, insisting I meet her out by the swimming pool.”
“I told you, she’ll be more comfortable this way. She’s nervous about meeting you.”
“If that’s the case, wouldn’t it make more sense to meet over dinner at Joe’s? Or grab a cup of coffee somewhere? Or a drink, even?
“All right, all right. Let’s just get on with it. How is she not freezing, anyway?”
Dawson slid the patio door open so father and son could step onto the concrete terrace leading to the backyard. The inground pool beyond their lounge chairs and barbeque glimmered. “I cranked up the heat.”
Underwater lamps and knee-level lights around the pool created a soft glow. Wisps of steam curled up from the surface. Paul saw a shadowy figure in the furthest corner, a few feet to the left of the diving board.
Dawson’s smile stretched across his face and his eyes twinkled. He swept a hand toward the pool. “Dad, this is Penelope.”
A gentle splash sent ripples across the surface and Paul watched as a silhouette glided toward them—arms outstretched, hands together, hair flowing, and tailfin pumping up and down.
Penelope broke the surface in the shallow end of the pool close to where the to two men stood. She rested her arms on the tiled lip and let her body float behind her. She looked up at Paul’s face. He saw pleading in her eyes.
“Hi Paul. It’s nice to finally meet you,” she said in a quiet voice. She lowered her eyes as soon as she finished talking.
Paul gawked. He scrambled for something to say, but he rejected statement after statement as quickly as they came to him.
“Dad?” An expectant look flashed in his son’s eyes.
“Ah, hi. Penelope. That sure is some get-up you got there.”
“Isn’t it?” Dawson gushed. “Completely custom made. She got it online. It’s one of a kind, just like her.”
Boy, was it ever.
Continue to read The Rarest Kind of Mermaid
by Bill Fay
color pots of fairies
at november’s end
toward the certainty
ochre of oak leaves
rattling the teeth
of the breeze
farms and forests
the moon shines
in the slow
drawl of darkness
over fallow fields
with eternal earth
on the turn
of a worm