by Jim Parks
99 words

No other trucks. He had slept like a baby. His walk across the vacant parking lot took him through the midst of a flock of gulls. He could feel their collective body heat.

They rotated on their spindly legs and webbed feet, each following him with their beaks and eyes. They had wheeled over the portable toilet while he was inside.

Later she asked why he had not called her the moment he got in. He thought about the quiet bunk, the absence of vibration, the snug sea cabin feel of it.

"I needed to sleep. I was exhausted."

Jim Parks is a native of the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, son of a merchant and a bank teller from the black lands where they grow the cotton. Raised in Houston, he did his time in the Navy, college in California, newspapers there, Texas and Florida. Truck driver, deckhand on tugs, tuna clippers, oyster barges and shrimpers; a railroad bum and laborer, he can't remember ever not trying to work hard to tell his stories of sudden death, love, lust and life in print. Tagged as The Legendary Jim Parks by a less than complimentary police captain in Houston, he uses that moniker still to find out who among us has a sense of humor and who does not.

Three Days that Shook the World

by Kate Kaminski
35 words

It took three days to realize he didn’t love her. By then, everything had changed. Nothing would ever be the same. And they knew that life was, and always would be, just a goddamned cliché.

Kate Kaminski is an underground writer-filmmaker whose motto is, "Go ahead. Swim upstream. It's better exercise."

The New Job

by Doug Mathewson
99 words

Everybody had photos in the cubicles of loved ones, pets, and friends.
Having none of the above I cut out an old magazine picture of Courtney Love and put it in a cheap frame. She looked great in this smokey live concert shot. Her hair whacked-out, lipstick badly smeared, cigarette upthrust like FDR, and mayhem in her eyes. She had ripped the broken-strapped tacky sequin bra far from one shoulder, slick with sweat her bare breast exposed, nipple defiant.

The department supervisor made his courtesy visit, saw the photo,
and conversationally inquired , “So, ah... is that the Mrs.?”

Doug Mathewson writes very short fiction that occasionally changes of its own volition into poetry or essay forms. He has been published here and there online, most recently at The Boston Literary Magazine, Doorknobs & Body Paint, e-Muse zine, Six Sentences and Tuesday Shorts. His current project, True Stories From Imaginary Lives, can be found at www.little2say.org


The Unique Sound Properties of Ethylene Glycol

F. John Sharp
94 words

Tyrus heard about the accident when he was at work. In front of his house, all that's left are tiny glass pieces and the coolant reservoir with a kinked hose attached. He picks it up; it's vibrating. The hose straightens and he hears something leaking out. He puts the end to his ear—it's crying, screaming, calling for mommy. There're sirens, and voices of EMT's prying off the door and strapping the driver to a gurney and covering her face. Tyrus puts his thumb over the end, hugs the container, and closes his eyes.

F. John Sharp has published in print in Peninsular, Snow Monkey, GUD: Greatest Uncommon Denominator, Birmingham Arts Journal and Opium, and online in Eclectica, Pindeldyboz, Salt River Review, Paumanok Review, and Lunarosity, among others. His poetry appeared in the anthology, 'An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind,' published by Regent Press. He has worked as an associate editor for the literary journals, Night Train and Story Garden, and is the fiction editor for Right Hand Pointing. He has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.



by Tom Meek
83 words

Peas, capers, chunks of carrots and chicken, it looks like chicken pot pie. Red wine, no trace of the white or the martini, only the pate of a green olive and a pimento' red tail. Duck pate. I see it. Couscous, rosemary and crème Brule, you fed me well. All I did was sit there and gorge, you in your dress, me in my suit. This was to be our night, but I was a pig and took it all, even you. Vomit.

Tom Meek is a writer living in Cambridge, MA. He teaches fiction writing to youths and reviews films for the Boston Phoenix.


by Noel Sloboda
60 words

Kevin found the best way to deal with being dumped was with rocks. Heʼd paint his ex-girlfriendʼs face on one as soon as they parted ways.

In his vegetable garden, Kevin had a great collection of stony faces heʼd once kissed. All the brightly colored lips, forever puckered up, helped keep away the blues and the squirrels, especially in winter.

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.


by Carol Novack
46 words

So I'm in The Food Emporium and hear a man and woman talking and the man says to the woman, "Hey, I hear you've been working with wolves; that must be fascinating!" And the woman replies, "Yes, it is!" This was in the dairy section.

Carol Novack is a black-belt in madhattery: More at Mad Hatters Review.