Dana wasn’t allowed to walk the beach alone, even in broad daylight. Her parents never gave a reason, but she’d heard them whispering about the men who lived in the sea.
Late at night, when her family was asleep, Dana would wade out into the surf. She’d dig up sand dollars and watch the moonlight refract through the water. She had never been hindered by fear of the unknown.
When the sea men came for her, Dana did not scream. Perhaps this was what she wanted all along. She would not miss her family. She would not miss the earth.
“I can’t believe we’re doing this,” Andrea says.
I look over at my best friend, then down at the water below us. I swallow nervously before replying.
“It can’t be that bad. After all, Alex has done this at least twenty times.” I wince at how shaky my voice sounds.
“Yes, well, Alex is Alex. Remember the time he stayed underwater for two minutes because Tim offered him a frappe?”
We laugh, breaking the tension.
I take a deep breath. It’s time. “Alright, together. Breath, crouch, and jump.”
We clasp hands. I see the doubt and jump off the cliff.
From Guest Contributor Neroli Ladner
A tooth broke off a sprocket of a bicycle once. It made a small chinking noise hitting the street but the rider kept riding.
The sprocket tooth said, “Too bad, I liked that bicycle, but maybe being on my own will be easier; plus, I’ll be free of the other teeth, and that awful chain.” And the tooth went about being a bicycle himself.
But being a bicycle when you’re just a sprocket tooth is harder than it looks. A storm came and swept the tooth into a storm drain; it was lost forever. That bike never ran as smoothly.
From Guest Contributor Henry Eutaw
Rob drove down the back road at excessive amounts of speed. After losing his job, his fiancée, Felicia, broke off their engagement. He swerved into the next lane and an oncoming car approached.
“Watch it, nut!”
“Screw you,” Rob yelled.
Those few seconds his eyes were off the road, he came head on with a tree. His head slumped on the steering wheel, horn honking.
Several hours later he awakened handcuffed to a hospital bed with a policeman standing next to him.
“Once the doctor releases you, you’re coming to the station with me.”
Could Rob’s life get any worse?
From Guest Contributor Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher
Scott stared at the blank screen and pondered how to begin his obituary. Prone to bouts of depression, solitude, and introspection, Scott Beeker lived a quiet life filled with anger, passion, and, most importantly, love. Yes, that sounded nice, he thought. During the final years of his life he traveled the country in search of romance and adventure. He found both one night last May in the basement of a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. There was so much to tell, wasn’t there? So many stories that were more interesting than he’d first thought. If only there was more time.
From Guest Contributor Dan Slaten
We’d barely set down our suitcases when Vic said he wanted to leave. “Let’s wait for a Howard Johnson. This place is a dump. Look, cockroaches!”
And there they were, pausing to look at us as they strolled across the bed. “Yes,” I said, “but they’re dressed to the nines.”
They were stunning, her in a lacy ball gown with puffed sleeves and a train, fashioned from the iridescent wings of flies, and him in his coat and tails and tiny top hat.
“Let’s stay,” I said. “Maybe we can learn something.”
“Don’t be stupid,” he said. “Roaches are roaches.”
From Guest Contributor Brook Bhagat
Brook’s nonfiction, poetry, and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in dozens of publications, including Little India, Outpost, Nowhere Poetry, The Syzygy Poetry Journal, and Rat’s Ass Review, and she is the co-owner and chief editor of BluePlanetJournal.com. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College and an MFA from Lindenwood University and teaches creative writing at a community college. She has completed a full-length hybrid manuscript and is writing a novel.
Six nuclear bombs head for Russia. A short time later the world’s arsenal is launched. Life on the planet changed overnight.
Jon is hiding in a barn with other civilians. As soldiers break in Jon transforms into a pile of hay bales. Soldiers gather the civilians and escort them to camps. Julie, still in the barn, escapes detection because she‘s covered in hay bales. Jon saved her life. Jon changes back to human form.
Afterwards Jon and Julie become best friends. Months later, Jon tells her his secret. “Those six nuclear warheads, they weren’t bombs, that was me,” says Jon.
From Guest Contributor Denny E. Marshall
Dreams projected on a ceiling from a restless mind. A vision of a better tomorrow plays from the imagination onto the stucco. With pleading hope for happiness to join the rising sun, the reality of sadness can be temporarily cast aside. Muscles relax and the burden lessens with the promise. Eyes close and colors dance a firefly ballet on the back of eyelids. Fantasies and nightmares disturb the slumber but recede with the buzz of an alarm clock. Golden rays of butterscotch pour through the glass and warm the face. I rise, we all rise… with hope in our hearts.
From Guest Contributor Jordan Altman
“It’s only been eleven months,” said the other woman afterwards.
“This’ll probably surprise you.”
“You’re attracted to one of the guys in our group?”
“Ha! No, what I miss most is the comfortable, predictable ways Ben and I had. But real love? It disappeared years ago.”
“Real love? You don’t know how lucky you were!”
“Yeah. Part of me likes being on my own again. Still…”
“So you’ll go for the passion next time?”
“Next time? My libido’s semi-retired. So I think it’d be more like us both coming home from work, and just drinking wine together at day’s end.”
From Guest Contributor Gerald Kamens
It had been three years since Lea admitted her mother into the nursing home for Alzheimer patients. Sometimes she knew Lea and sometimes she was just a stranger visiting.
“Mom, wouldn’t you like to get some fresh air outside. Let me take you for a walk.” Lea pushed the wheelchair to the door.
“Where is my daughter? I don’t know you!” She struggled to break free from her wheelchair.
“I’m your daughter. It’s me, Lea.”
The nurse came in and helped Lea’s mother back into bed.
“I raised a nice girl.” Lea’s mother said.
It wasn’t Lea she spoke of.
From Guest Contributor Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher