by Nancy W. Wood
54 words

Delicate white shards of what used to be a redwood or a eucalyptus or a sofa or a serving platter or a car or a cat or a tender stalk of lavender layer my car.

When your voice, a thin, wispy thread bounced from satellite to satellite, asks me what’s new, I say: “Nothing.”

Nancy W. Wood lives and writes in Santa Cruz, California. She has been published in Long Story Short and is currently writing a mystery series. The first book in the series, Due Date, is complete and she is agent-shopping.

Notes Toward an Investigation

by Howie Good
94 words

Although he seems to already know the answer, the investigator asks how the object up there can be the moon when it’s spinning like a Ferris wheel. I shrug. He has short, fat fingers like the stubs of melted candles. The royal domain has shrunk, and the streets are often empty during the day, but filled at night with the dead from accidents. He asks again would I lend a pyromaniac a light. I concentrate on ignoring the screams coming through the wall. Somewhere I learned the heart is the size of a fist.

Howie Good’s latest chapbooks are Last Words, available online from Gold Wake Press at http://goldwakepress.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/lastwords.pdf, and Police & Questions, available online from Right Hand Pointing at http://www.righthandpointing.com/howiegood/

A Conspiracy of Address Book Salesmen

by Peter Cherches
78 words

It's the fourteenth century, and a man is leafing through his address book. He notices that more than two thirds of the entries are obsolete. So he buys a new address book and begins to transfer the names and addresses of the living. All over Europe people are doing likewise. The address book sellers are experiencing an unprecedented prosperity, yet they are also vilified, as much of the populace believes them to be directly responsible for the plague.

Peter Cherches blogs about food and travel at http://petercherches.blogspot.com



by Stephen J. Davis
100 words

Sex was great with Susan B. Anthony. No, not the woman on the dollar coin. My wife's name was Susan B. Anthony, like the famous activist. We got married in 1979, the year Susan's coin began circulation.

The coincidence manifested a tradition. Before intercourse, we'd always deposit a Susan B. Anthony into our piggy bank. "Sexual savings" we called it. Our sex life started out rich.

But publicly, the coin was so unpopular. Her limited production caused near celibacy. Divorce ensued.

In 2,000 I remarried. Sex is great with Sacagawea. No, not the woman on the dollar coin .

Stephen J. Davis teaches Kindergarten near San Francisco, California. He lives with his wife, daughter and two cats.

As We Stand Looking On

by Tom Lassiter
96 words

For a moment I watched as if from above, Davey and I below in the bed of the pickup as it bounced along the gravel road, kicking up a rooster tail of dust across the sagebrush flat. I saw what was happening, what would happen. And then I was in the truck again, hands pressing against the roof of the cab to steady myself, Davey's arm cocking, the yellow-ripe apple flung, the old man staggering, stumbling beside the road. Davey crowing a loud war whoop as we passed, shouting, "Dumb Injuns." Who was he? I wondered.

Tom Lassiter teaches writing and literature at Florida Atlantic University. He’s at work on a novel and a collection of short stories. His work has appeared in Tropic magazine and at Verbsap.com.

The Intimacy of Things to Come

by Beverly A. Jackson
67 words

He was part of the huddle, heads bowed, low murmurs, sweaty backs, ball arced in the air, arms extended, point scored, smacked asses, and jubilation! The girl watching can never hope for it.

His mother pours for her, tea in china cups lifted to soft lips, subtext of complicity in their breathy casualness, their pact in their palms balancing the saucers. The boy watching knows he's lost.

Beverly A. Jackson lives, writes and paints in Asheville, N.C., blogs at www.beverlyajackson.com.