• The Banquet of the Holy Spirit by Seattle Poet (anonymous)

    The stars have sputtered into dust –Frail points of light,In droves devouredBy a swirling mass of black.Orion’s arrows flit no more,And the darkness strips the bear of his hide –The hand of God has swept the skies of all their light,And by his hand, the Sun and constellations die. Yet the blood moon shines in all its garish red –Though no sun remains to be eclipsed.The night has disemboweled the light of day,And its ravenous visage be drenched crimsonIn the viscera of its slaughter –Gaze you now upon the gore-stained face of God,Peering down with a penetrating stare,Upon frozen earth and flaming seas,From a blackened, stellar veilOf damned, digested souls.…

  • 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…

  • Circle of Oaks By Ellen Miffitt

    It happened in the woods, far from the nearest dwelling. Removed from civilization proper, the forest primeval was deep, dark, silent. So remote, little human contact had been made with this section of forest. It stood untouched, sacred in stance. The eldest trees scratched the sky with tender twigs. The sunlight filtered through this ancient stand’s thick trunks and massive branches to the moss covered earth rich with centuries of leaf droppings. She sat still, frozen in place, except for her heaving chest as she struggled to catch her breath. A faint finger of light slide through the tangle of forest canopy brushing her ebony hair barely giving form to…

  • Stripes by Jonah Barrett

    1 Missed Call, 1:25am Sylvia Zou, 1:26am: Are you asleep? This isn’t anything scary but could you call me? Sylvia Zou, 2:34am: Okay possibly scary. Not about us but I’m freaking out right now. I feel really bad, and I think your phone is down and…fuck. I’d really love your help right now Megan. I know you hate it when people are touchy feely but you help me a lot sometimes 2 Missed Calls, 2:39am Sylvia Zou, 2:55am: I’m a little better now. I still wanna talk though. Please. Not for any real reason, I think it would just calm me down, or something. I’m really sorry for this slew…

  • Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner? By Christian Carvajal

    The Ninjas were just sitting down when President Mendoza arrived, her Secretary of State in anxious tow. I was there by virtue of being one of the handful of American linguists capable of reproducing the apical velar stops, retroflex implosives, and tonal distinctions of our visitors’ formal dialect. Yes, the Ninjas can sit, though it stretches their pelvic joints backward in a curve that strikes unprepared observers as obscene. We call them Ninjas or Keplings partly because their actual name for themselves contains two lateral trills, and good luck with that. It’s also worth noting that Keplan Tradespeak uses nominative diacritics, so if you don’t know how to incorporate those,…

  • Don’t Piss Off the Fairies by Lory French

    He’s there against the wall, straining so hard that the veins on his neck are popping out. Grunting in terror or maybe pain, he’s got his elbows straight out in front of him, hands crossed and against his neck. At first I think he’s strangling himself until I notice that he is suspended about 6 inches off the ground. An icy chill rushes over me from scalp to sole, rebounding back up into my chest. This guy looks like he is fighting for his life against an enemy I can’t even see. My instinct to help is completely embattled by my instinct for self-preservation in the face of a visual…

  • The Case of the Tree Spirit by Teresa Carol

    I sat entranced across the table from the golden-haired lady who was explaining to me in detail the unusual occurrences she had witnessed at her home. I was surprised at how extremely beautiful she was. It was not the normal beauty that many women have, rather it seemed almost supernatural. Her hair was like spun silk which shimmered in the bright light of the coffee shop. Her skin seemed to glow with soft dew-like moisture. She was small in frame and light in body. I guessed that she was around fifty years of age. “Your skin is so lovely,” I interrupted, “Do you mind if I ask what you use.”…

  • 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…

  • Excerpt of Nightlife Interrupted by Robert Hazelton

    The game was a bust. Those punk ass brats were on it and my dice went on strike. I’ve never heard a ten-sided die tell me to fuck off in such a meaningful way. I had better luck with Ophelia and considering how our conversation went, I was doomed the second I sat down at the table. My poor minis and I should’ve bowed out after the first blow to my ego. I wasn’t that smart. At ten o’clock, I was brooding behind the counter over my failures when I really started to think about Ophelia. She was right about Meredith, I had no idea why I was made. The…

  • Nuclear Strawberries by Martin Chase

    As he shuffled ever-so slowly through the various avenues formed by these toxic, stinking ziggurats, his eyes swished about and mentally picked at appealing morsels of charcoal-smelling, singed rifle barrels, giant, radioactive roach talons with the look and smell of overcooked intestine, grossly-priced tablets that shot off hostile, acerbic-odored volleys of electric mercury, and the occasional, blackened skull or three, some clad in scalded, rubber masks, others laid bare and gloomily grimacing sans jaws. But in the midst of his last-minute window-shopping, the soldier’s ears captured the dull echo of an aching moan to his left. Turning towards the object of interest, the soldier gazed upon the thing it had…