It Happened One Night

By Rachel McClain
88 Words

She always slept on her side with her arms hanging between her knees and her hands clasped in reverse, in perverse prayer. She folded herself so tightly, her knees drawn up closely, that she looked ready to be bound, wrists to ankles, and put into a case.

He was forever behind her. His arm across her chest made an upside-down capital “a” with her arms, a perpendicular prison crossing her. One night, all arms and legs, her tight body unhinged. One night she sprang open, a switch blade.

Rachel McClain is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom of the best kid on the planet (there--it's in print so it's true). She has recently been published in the Cup of Comfort volumes for Breast Cancer survivors and for Military Families and has work forthcoming in Fuselit and Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine. She was named an honorable mention in Women on Writing’s Winter Flash Fiction Contest and third place in their Spring Contest. She’s just finished her first young adult novel and would love if someone wanted to publish it. She blogs regularly about her awesome kid at http://thelaundryfairy.blogspot.com.


By Tom Lassiter
100 words

I knelt beside her, lifted the thin white camisole over her upraised arms, my eyes fixed on hers. I took her face in hands unsteady, fluttering as they did our first time in another life.

“You make me feel beautiful,” she whispered.

She drew me closer, held my face pressed to her neck, and against my lips I felt the pressing pulse of beating heart. She lay back, revealing all, and I looked there for the first time, and with the tip of one finger traced the raised lines of her scars, touched the landscape of her doubt and pain.

Tom Lassiter lives in South Florida. His work has appeared in Tropic magazine and at Verbsap.com.

Autumn Sonata

By Howie Good
85 words

When the tree, in high dudgeon, suddenly pushes through the polished wood floor, and the congregation of small scared birds disbands in confusion, when the deaf despise the hearing, and the night janitor at the Museum of Mad Ideas wipes with special care the shatterproof glass under which Hitler’s voice rages, time’s up, and I shed my coat on the ground and lie down beside her, believing, as we curl gratefully into each other, what is real is whatever is faded, or broken, or falling.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of six poetry chapbooks, including the e-book, Police and Questions (Right Hand Pointing, 2008), available free at http://www.righthandpointing.com/howiegood/


Thursday Thong & Six Word Winners

Top two Thongs (20 words each)

In the Mirror

by Matt Cummings

After the laughing gas, before passing out, he must have told the dentist he’d like the gold teeth after all.

Matt Cummings lives and writes in Oakland, California, where he is virtually unemployable due to an irrational fear of computers. He has received a B.A. in English Literature from Somewhere Someplace and achieved nothing else of note other than becoming The Most Cynical Man on Earth. He hopes to one day be recognized for this feat yet holds little hope for his chances...

Therapy’s Over

by KJ Hannah Greenberg

“My therapy’s over; summer vacation,” he reached for the watermelon.

“Never discussed and never condoned,” she reached for the knife.

This year, KJ Hannah Greenberg’s lightly pert and somewhat exuberant writing has been published or accepted for publication by: 365 Tomorrows, AlienSkin Magazine, AntipodeanSF, Bards and Sages, Bewildering Stories, Doorknobs and Bodypaint, Fallopian Falafel Zine, Flashshot, G. Stern’s Hag Samaiach Anthology, Hamodia, Joyful!, Ken*Again, Language and Culture Magazine, Literary Mama, Mishpacha’s Family First, Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine, Morpheus Tales, Parenting Express, Poetica Magazine, Poetry Super Highway, Static Movement, Miriam Liebermann’s the Best is Yet to Be, The Blue Jew Yorker, The Clarity of the Night, The Externalist, The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Woman, The Mother Magazine, The New Vilna Review, Tuesday Shorts, Unfettered Verse, and Word Catalyst. When not writing, Hannah tends to her imaginary hedgehogs and to her not-so-small children. She does takes away their marshmallow fluff, though, if they fail to clean their rooms.

And our 6 word G-String Winner is....

Post Scriptum

by Tom Lassiter

PS The lovemaking was creepy, too.

Tom Lassiter lives in South Florida. His work has appeared in Tropic magazine and at Verbsap.com.

Earlimart's Campaign to Stop the Sadness

By Daniel Casebeer
100 words

He writes her for years before receiving a reply. Then, all at once, a bundle of letters arrives on his doorstep. There is a pink one that smells like bananas, a yellow one that smells like oranges, and a beige one with scalloped edges that doesn't smell like anything. At the bottom of the bunch, sealed with a glob of black wax, is an envelope small enough to fit in his pocket. One by one, he opens the envelopes and spreads their contents on table. Then, wedging a pipe beneath his moustache, he pretends not to recognize his own handwriting.

Daniel Casebeer lives in Pittsburgh. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gloom Cupboard, Lexicon, and Ophelia Street.


By Jonathan Pinnock
100 words

On our first date, she said she was an animal lover, which sounded promising until I realised that “animal” was not an adjective. However, at least I now knew how to win her heart.

So I bought a small white mouse for her, called Benji. After a week with him, I became quite attached and I felt unbearably sad at the prospect of giving him away.

On our second date, I presented the gift to her as she opened the door to her flat. She hesitated briefly. Then, smiling, she took Benji from me and fed him to her python.

Jonathan Pinnock was born in Bedfordshire, England, and - despite having so far visited over forty other countries - has failed to relocate any further away than the next-door county of Hertfordshire. He is married with two children and a 1961 Ami Continental jukebox. His work has won several prizes, shortlistings and longlistings, and he has been published in such diverse publications as Smokebox, Every Day Fiction and Necrotic Tissue.

With a Titanium Smile

By Mercedes M. Yardley
61 words

Tell me, he said, why it is that when the wind blows, your hair doesn’t. You stand straight and still like a butcher knife; I’m afraid that if I touch you, you’ll draw blood. Yellow and Orange leaves swirl around you and then clang against your skin before falling to the ground. But whenever we’re alone…

Shut up, baby, she said.

Mercedes M. Yardley specializes in beautiful tragedy. She has been published in The Vestal Review, Six Sentences, Reflection's Edge, and Kill Poet. You can learn more about her at www.abrokenlaptop.wordpress.com