by Damian Dressick
17 words

"Nope," said the foreman. "Won't be the jury gets hung, that's all you can lay hands on."

A Pushcart nominee and winner of the 2007 Harriette Arnow Award for short fiction, Damian Dressick's work has appeared or is slated to appear in more than twenty-five literary journals, including New Delta Review, Alimentum, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Vestal Review and Contrary Magazine. Founding curator of Pittsburgh's UPWords Reading Series, Damian teaches creative writing and literature at Robert Morris University. www.damiandressick.com

Copyright © 2008 Damian Dressick


by Bob Heman
72 words

The stork brought a baby bear to the hunter and a baby fox to the frog and a baby chicken to the wolf. Each was raised to adulthood by its new parent in the same way they would have raised any child. The bear was taught human ways, the fox frog ways, the chicken the ways of the wolf. Later, when they talked with each other, they became filled with strange ideas.

Bob Heman's work has appeared in Quick Fiction, Paragraph, Sentence, and many others. A collection of 33 pieces, How it All Began, is available as a free download from Quale Press at http://www.quale.com/How_BH.html

Copyright © 2008 Bob Heman

The Evening News

by Chris Deal
98 words

The tender turns the television to Univision, mostly for the telenovela women, and there they saw, on the news, this grainy clip of a group of Argentine kids freaking out over a gnome coming their way, pointy hat and drunken hobo shuffle and all. Nat watched from over his beer and spoke, to his reflection in the glass, to the tender, to no one, "Now, if you see a little fellow coming your way, all jolly on his bun, you don't scream. You buy that cat a drink and get his story." No one had anything to say.

Chris Deal writes from Huntersville, North Carolina. He is the fiction editor for Red Fez, and has been published in a handful of places around about.

Copyright © 2008 Chris Deal


We continue to get more and more submissions - stunning work, too - but alas, we can't publish everything.

This is just a reminder that if your piece isn't chosen one week, it could on another. The editorial process is subjective and is often based on the overall issue, just as with any other publication.

So keep it up. Our readers need you!!


How Things Were

by Doug Mathewson
56 words

Family called us difficult children. School and the neighbors called us worse.

"Your mother's nerves can’t take it," Dad would angrily yell.
Late at night, I would squirt lighter fluid on our boots, my sister would strike the match, and we would run screaming through the house.

Stunts like these just made our folks nuts.

Doug Mathewson writes very short fiction that occasionally finds itself being essay or poetry. He is current project is "True Stories From Imaginary Lives." He has been published most recently by PenPricks Micro-fiction, Creative Soup,and Tuesday Shorts. His poetry will appear in the March issue of eMuse-zine.

More of his work is available at his own blog, www.little2say.org

Copyright © 2008 Doug Mathewson

A Day in the Life: The Guinness Counter

by Cicily Janus
100 words

A thousand words a minute.
5a.m. flight to Bangor, Maine.
More words than anticipated: 1,259.4
Winner: by default. Her competition--asthmatic.

The breathless could have won, gasping out, inhaler! Good last word. The other woman chattered, the winded collapsed. I laughed--sick, twisted laughter.

Last week: World’s longest conga line--New York City. CEO announces 20% salary increase, complete outbreak of idiocy.

Count: (people, dogs, canaries) 2,450.
Deaths: 1.
Report doesn’t mention it. Death warrants disqualification.
Tomorrow: Hotdogs--Weingarten, Germany.
Hot Dogs to be digested: 110.
I’ll be there.
I’m the senior Counter—part of the absurdity; an out-numbered oddball.

Cicily Janus is a writer in Colorado Springs, CO. Her writing has appeared in many online and print journals. For a complete listing of her projects, both writing and otherwise, you may visit her website at: www. cicilyjanus. net Cicily is also hosting a writers retreat in Vail, Colorado this fall with award winning authors and editors. Visit the retreat website at: http://www.freewebs.com/literaryretreat4couples
or on myspace at:

Copyright © 2008 Cicily Janus

For the Record

by Noel Sloboda
66 words

While studying Stein manuscripts at the Beinecke library, Beth turned out to be a poor steward of history. Taking notes, she used red pen, which leaked onto the precious pages of the Mama of Dada.

Beth’s guilt was great, only mitigated by the implausible hope that a future scholar, studying the same pages, might mistake the origin of the accidental mark and conclude Stein bled ink.

Noel Sloboda lives in Pennsylvania, where he serves as dramaturg for the Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival and teaches at Penn State York. His writing has appeared in venues based in the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. Look for recent work in Chronogram, Vulcan, Keyhole Magazine, bottle rockets, Gentle Strength Quarterly, Poems Niederngasse, and Pen Pusher. He is also busy with a collection forthcoming from sunnyoutside.

Copyright © 2008 Noel Sloboda


Stolen Lunch

by Sarah Holland
100 words

Lightning necklaces the sky as Cordell Reno dashes into the bushes with a lunch sack stolen off the WPA supervisors’ truck. He’d lifted each bag, comparing, then grabbed the heaviest one. I’ll get found out...the drive boss will can me for sure. Work’s scarce, but he doesn’t care. He hasn’t eaten anything but flour all week, and his stomach is scraping up against the back of his spine.

"We’re poor people, son. We got our own laws," his dad says.

Safely hidden with his prize, mouth watering, he opens the bag.

Inside is a bunch of black walnuts, and a hammer.

Sarah Holland lives in Maine. Her fiction has appeared at Six Sentences.

Copyright © 2008 Sarah Holland

the first date

by Louise Yeiser
16 words

oh my god the look on his face when i told him i didn’t eat fish.

louise yeiser is a freelance writer, studying creative nonfiction at the university of pittsburgh, who doesn’t go out much.

Copyright © 2008 Louise Yeiser

Shake ‘N Jake

by Mike Reczek
95 words

"What’s for dinner, Mom?

"Shake ’N Jake!"

"Awesome! Hey, Dad--Mom’s making Shake ’N Jake!"

"Shake ’N Jake? What’s that, honey?"

"Shake ’N Jake is a quick and easy meal that’s perfect for the whole family! Jake comes fully dismembered and disemboweled for convenient choosing of the body part you want! Simply shake the contents in the freeze-loc bag for tasty seasoning and place in the microwave! Who’s ready for Shake ’N Jake?"

"Me! I want an arm!"

"I’ll take a leg!"

"And I’ll have the lymph nodes!"


Mike Reczek is a TEFL teacher currently working in Taiwan. He has been to Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, and Jakarta and, to his knowledge, and never willingly eaten Shake ’N Jake.

Copyright © 2008 Mike Reczek