• Calculated by Nicholas Stillman

    The barrel of a Colt .45 tastes like a handful of nickels. As a kid, I would shove change in my mouth and suck on it like caramels. I loved the taste of money. Today, I woke in my hotel room to the barrel of a Colt .45 checking my tonsils. I dreamed I was choking on my mom’s change again. I opened my eyes. On the other end of my steel lollipop was the blank stare of Dominique. I hadn’t seen her since the casino job, and the two days hadn’t treated her well. Her cheeks were hollowed out, her body shaking like a small dog left in the…

  • The Legend of the Shadow People by Lawander Thompson

    The legend of shadow people goes way back from the passing down of a story which is steeped with tradition from the descendants of the Seminole Indian from one generation to the next.  You can say this is partly true for those people who believed and say they witnessed the shadow people figures, for others, perhaps it is just myth. They were often called upon in desperate times as the protectors and guarded over you, and those highly evolved were endowed with their spirits to be powerful warriors against evil doers, as the legend goes. No one really knows the exact origins, or era or period of time, it just…

  • The Accidental Labyrinth by L. Lisa Lawrence

    (Part I) She stood in the shadows. There was a perfectly safe, well-lit space to wait in the Peace Garden. Only a moment ago, she stood for a brief moment in time, gazing at the pillar with the word “Peace” illustrated in several languages contemplating what the world could be if people embraced this concept. That was the place that safety experts would say an unaccompanied woman “should” stand at night. It was the center of the garden, exposed to the city streets, well illuminated; a place where no potential attacker could approach without being seen and any call for help would be noticed an answered. But it also exposed…

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…