Because you can see. It is other people who have the problem–flies cannot understand singular vision; pros and cons blink in unison. Suits and snoots on the train and even the grubs on the street shoot sideways sneers and whispers, feary scowls and snickers. The nothingness bothers them, the absence of the right, smooth as burned-off fingerprints. They are not convinced by your best prosthetic and toss you pity, a reward for your emulation of their normalcy. Dark glasses and patches insult the blind and pirates. Your final answer is the biggest lie by the bluntest knife: a wound.
From Guest Contributor Brook Bhagat
Brook holds a BA from Vassar College and an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. She teaches college writing and is the co-owner and chief editor of BluePlanetJournal.com. Her nonfiction, poetry, and flash fiction have appeared in Creations Magazine, Little India, Outpost, Nowhere Poetry, and The Syzygy Poetry Journal.
Wednesdays, post-second shift, bone-marrow tired, Kyra grocery-shopped. To stay alert, she categorized customers, itemized their purchases.
First: class, marital status, number of kids, happiness level. Pony-tailed woman opposite Kyra? Pinching pants tight in the crotch? Must be married ten years; barely making do managing odd-lots store; two sucrose-loving preteens; miserable as a mutt, minus flea collar, August.
Cart contents: Pony tail and family down waffles, wings, PB & J, rolls, store-brand sherbet, Bud, Coke.
Kyra’d be sad, eating that.
Pulled leggings, smoothed hair. Double-take: her mirrored reflection! She’d best snap out of this, load check-out counter. Be on her way.
From Guest Contributor Iris N. Schwartz
Iris is a fiction and nonfiction writer, as well as a Pushcart-Prize-nominated poet. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in such journals as Bindweed Magazine, Connotation Press, The Flash Fiction Press, Jellyfish Review, Quail Bell Magazine, and Random Sample Review.
The tall caped figure dismounted the midnight horse and negotiated cracked paving to knock on nondescript door.
Bright dancing eyes and grey beard yanked it open. “Well?”
Taken aback, Death cleared his throat. “HELLO.”
“Bugger ‘HELLO’, what kept you?”
Author pushed past the cowled figure.
“ER… DON’T YOU WANT TO DRESS?” Death waved a skeletal digit at the grimy T-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops.
Author pointed his beard aggressively. “That would be rather pointless now, wouldn’t it?”
Death sighed and followed the little man to the waiting steed. He was sure he’d forgotten something.
He raised the scythe.
From Guest Contributor Perry McDaid
When I was twenty, I had a friend who worked as a bartender. I remember that he hated sports, but that he learned to talk sports in order to get through his nights behind the bar with some civility, and of course to earn tips. And that is how I get through my life, by acting like I give a shit about things that I could care less about, by going through the motions. It generally works pretty well for me. People think that I’m a nice guy. Some have even gone so far as to think that I’m happy.
From Guest Contributor Les Bohem
The crack begins in the center of the mirror, spreads out, and creates four distinct sections. Each one reflects a different period of his life: childhood, young adult, middle age, old age. He sees the past and the future all at once. Like the mirror, he is shattered, torn in different directions. He has regrets, sure, but he wouldn’t be where he is today without those regrets and where he is isn’t so bad. Still, what if he could do it all over again? He reaches out and falls into the mirror and finds himself back at the beginning again.
From Guest Contributor Dan Slaten
She looked at him constantly, with eyes full of stories, desires, and expectations.
He was not used to it. Nervous, he kept ignoring her.
She called to him. Scared, he turned back to look.
She murmured, “Gimme an hour of happiness.” He saw she was wearing a sari, shabbily tied, covering her sparsely. Her eyes were full of coal, lips beaming out in red. She was wearing socks in Calcutta summers. He could not stop himself from questioning her.
She smiled and replied that it was the only piece of clothing that she didn’t have to take off to work.
From Guest Contributor Manmeet Chadha
I was once asked a question. In fact, it was the most important question in the history of the world.
The question was so immense that it should have been saved for God himself in the afterlife.
It covered love and hate and fact and fiction and everyone and everything at once.
Naturally, I wanted to answer, but my throat froze and my eyes turned to stone like those of a statue. If my heart throbbed, I wasn’t there enough to feel it.
Honestly, how’s a piece of shit like me supposed to know if everything happens for a reason?
From Guest Contributor Branko Tubic
First contact occurred in the year twenty twenty-two.
The spaceship lands on a cold rainy day. December the seventh at eight fifteen in the evening.
Many high-ranking government officials from around the world are lined up by the tarmac waiting to greet the visitors.
Around the landing site crowds have gathered from all around the globe. Hoping to get a glimpse of aliens on this historic occasion.
A sliding hatch opens and a group of aliens depart the ship.
The two sides make small talk. There is great disappointment when earthlings learn the race of aliens is called Kill Humans.
From Guest Contributor Denny E. Marshall
Grace paced the kitchen while her six-year-old daughter, Sophia, watched curiously. Sophia had bright blue eyes like her father. When would the war end? Grace thought. It had been two months and she hadn’t heard a word from Charles. All she could do to occupy her time was read and take care of Sophia.
Several months later Grace’s doorbell rang. She grabbed her robe and ran downstairs.
It was a military gentleman.
“Are you the wife of Charles McCormick?”
“Yes,” she answered, eyes closed.
“I’m sorry, but your husband died in an explosion.”
Grace collapsed to her knees and wept.
From Guest Contributor Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher
We stopped by a lake. Saw the sky stratified in blues, greys, and white. Felt frosty air thicken.
“She’s golden,” Sonny said as he watched the leader dog devour caribou. “Saved me from drowning through ice.”
I closed the thermos emptied of coffee, positioned myself on the sled. Sonny yelled out a command. The team of six malamutes sprung us forward.
“Reckon we can make two miles before nightfall,” he said. “Set up camp.”
“What’s over there?” I asked.
“Remnants of igloos.”
More commands. Our sled slid faster. Ice crackling beneath us.
Night approached with spirits of the past watching.
From Guest Contributor Krystyna Fedosejevs
Krystyna writes poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Her work has been published at: Nailpolish Stories, 50-Word Stories, 100 word story, 101 Words, Boston Literary Magazine, From the Depths (Haunted Waters Press), ShortbreadStories, SixWordMemoirs, and Espresso Stories.