Secret Admirer by Dawn Pisturino

The first day of May had arrived, and the world seemed bursting with flowers – red, yellow, purple, blue, and pink!  As Amy walked home from her office job, she breathed in the sweet fragrances that wafted all around her, from the blooming gardens bordering the sidewalk to the flower boxes – alive with living…

South to Key West by Edward N. McConnell

A stiff breeze whipped across the snowy field. There was silence . . . then,             “Cold today, isn’t it?” The wife said.             “Yeah, not as bad as last week though. I don’t know why we stay here in the winter. Next year, let’s go south, I’m thinking Key West,” said the husband.            …

AQUA – Part 4

(A short story in Vietnamese by Trần Băng Khuê, translation into English by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm) PART 1- PART 2- PART 3- PART 4- Last night, I couldn’t close my eyes. I left my bed, headed for the kitchen, and found a knife with a small black handle, placed it next to a lemon…

Thursday’s Special by Joni Caggiano

It was as if the argument earlier today had grown legs and followed me to my rusty red probe. The callous words leaping and reverberating around the entrails of the safe confines of my sanctuary were horrifying.  One and a half hours to travel home, craving that egocentric time.  I turned the radio up even…

AQUA – Part 2

(A short story in Vietnamese by Trần Băng Khuê, translation into English by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm) PART 1- PART 2- The dying atmosphere. Honestly, I couldn’t breathe on such days. The opening in my ears would slowly shut down. I would shut my ears to the sad stories of the world. Thus, in the…

The Storyteller by Tiffini Johnson

I got out of this town as soon as I could.  I got out of this house when I turned eighteen.  I didn’t think I’d ever come back. The scholarship from Yale was the best thing that happened to me in years, if not ever. It was about more than the medical degree. It was…

Drown Everything by Tony Espino

Carl looks past the photos of happy customers on the wall at a sparrow perched in the dark on an empty pill bottle outside. An artifact from a time when medication could relieve anxiety. A time when there was a choice to fix society or increase the dosage to deal with society. The highest dosages…

The Women in Dreams

(A short story in Vietnamese by Nguyễn Văn Thiện, translation into English by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm) There was a time when he took too many sleeping pills, he would have these vivid dreams. As soon as he fell asleep, he turned into a woman. Talking about it makes little sense, confusing, and often rather…

Crossed by Sarah Whiley

Izzy didn’t believe in luck, until that cat crossed her path. She had always been certain that events in her life were the direct result of her own decision making and efforts. But that cat. That damn cat. It had changed everything. Izzy had always been in control. Self-assured. Confident. She was a fortress, impenetrable…

A Short List by Tony Espino

I glance down at the list written on the palm of my hand. I don’t remember why my middle finger is crooked. But it must be the reason no one takes me serious when I flip them off. It’s hard to read my skin without any lights on. I’m left in the shadows since the…

The Quiet by Britta Benson

It can only stay quiet for a certain time. That first uncertain time, when the survivors hunker down, stay as low as they possibly can and live on scraps and dust mites. Some have planned for this and built a bunker. I guess, they’ll be slightly more comfortable. Mum and dad didn’t see the point….

A Coffin Maker’s Choice by Edward N. McConnell

“You know friend, I make coffins, can’t seem to sell any though, people aren’t dying fast enough.” On a February 2020 morning, Cappy Bates, a struggling coffin maker, was telling a potential customer his business was bad. More of a craftsman than a salesman, Cappy didn’t like small talk. Yet, here he was, instead of…

Scars We Don’t See by Cassa Bassa

Morning ma’am what can I offer you today? I paused, you looked familiar. I recognised the scar across your forehead and the missing front tooth when you squeezed out a smile. You don’t recognise me? Cindy! My name is Cindy. The Neighbourhood Centre found us a unit and I scrubbed up.  Oh Cin! O-M-G! I…

Fire in the River by Mercedes Freedman

Jafar says goodbye to the policeman who knocked on his door a while earlier. He goes to the dining-room where his eyes come to rest on the table, laid for dinner with Hadi when he comes home from university. He will have to get used to his meals without his son from now on.  He…

Stars Go Blue by Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

It was a secret place, a quarter acre of Eden abandoned and erased from the mind of mankind the instant the original sin was committed, and I had stumbled upon it quite by accident. No, that was a lie and I promised myself I would not defile the sanctity of the garden if it could…

Colourblind by Britta Benson

So what exactly are you meant to do, when you wish to spruce up your home a little – and let’s be frank here right from the start! All I intended to do was to paint a few walls, pick a new rug, perhaps a few scatter cushions, nothing major, just a cheap and cheerful…