The Sin of Proximity

by Grant Hettrick
94 words

She wore camel colored Uggs and had visible panty lines under gray chiffon sweats. Her straw hair peeked from under a hot-pink alpaca hat. A snowsuit bundled toddler held her hand and their boots made tiny footprints on the gossamer layer of snow-brushed sidewalk.

Arbitrary gusts of winter wind seemed intent on flaying every inch of exposed skin from victims whose only sin was proximity. The pessimists cursed the bitter chill, the stoics endured, the optimists dreamed of summer. Mother and child twisted and twirled as they tried to catch snowflakes with their tongues.

Grant's work has or will soon appear in Peeks and Valleys, Heavy Glow, Toasted Cheese and Ruthless Peoples Magazine. He likes to eat bowls of Honey-Oat Cheerios and play Sorry Sliders with his wife and and children.

Time Travel Machine

by Marilyn Peake
55 words

Haze danced, grotesque phantom above primordial soup. I checked the time travel machine’s destination point. Had I traveled backward? No, I had moved clockwise within history. Earth had found its remedy, dumping humanity through cataclysmic funnel into oblivion. I hoped for parody, replication of that moment when life quickened within the womb of elemental stuff.

Marilyn Peake is the author of three novels and numerous short stories. Her writing has won numerous awards, including a Silver Award and three Finalist placements in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, three Finalist placements in the EPPIE Awards, and Winner of both the EPPIE and Dream Realm Awards. James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief of the Midwest Book Review, describes Marilyn Peake as a "story teller of considerable narrative skill". Margaret Marr, reviewer for NightsAndWeekends.com, describes Marilyn as "one of the best e-authors on the Internet.” Further information about Marilyn's work is available at: http://www.marilynpeake.com

I Don’t Want To Know

by Rachel Yoder
99 words

Please don’t tell me you used the word “celestial” in a poem, or about that girl you almost fucked, but instead left in your bed while you masturbated in the living room. I don’t want to know about the bus you rode through the mud hole. Please don’t speak of your mother, happiness, all the letters you haven’t sent. I hate hearing about
Panama, and the way you say how’s your Spanish? Resist the urge to justify your jeans.

Look, it’s raining. Tomorrow’s Tuesday. Let’s stick to weather, orienting facts. How it’s colder now. How I’m renting a room.

Rachel Yoder attends the Nonfiction Writing Program at the
University of Iowa. Other tiny writing of hers can be found in Quick Fiction, flashquake, and Juked.

Bedroom Art

by Lorraine Descallar
66 words

The dark grey factory erupts on the skyline, churning out carcinogenic smoke. The warmth of the buttery-yellow terrace house left behind, just as the sky turns from royal to cold azure. Wheeling your pushbike along the narrow street, before cycling to work. Flat cap dipped down against the bitterness. The loneliness of the early shift. Monday to Friday, overtime Saturday.

On the opposite wall is

Lorraine Descallar is a scientist who finds creative writing hard.


by Edmund Sandoval
100 words

My father is drinking. I am with him and drinking also. He's been telling me about success and how to walk the tightrope without falling. He's saying it's easy. Just walk and think of nothing else, he says. He minces the air with his fingers to make a pair of legs. He walks his fingers across the bar and up my arm. I see lint on his jacket sleeve; I see yellow sweat and dirt stains on his collar. He leaves his hand on my shoulder. Tightropes, he says. His hand is heavy as anything and I let it rest.

Edmund Sandoval likes running up hills in
Southwest New Mexico and looking at the emptiness of the hills. He likes bourbon. He has had stories in Hackwriters, Drunk and Lonely Men, Dogzplot, and the Thieves Jargon.


by Jenny Halper
90 words

Why do fireflies light only at night, the girl asked her mother, who was swirling a tube of dust into a glass of wine. When her mother didn't answer the girl took a jar from the highest shelf, a jar her mother used to store jam they ate on cracked wheat bread, and went outside to capture fireflies. Later, the house was filled with candles and clinking glasses, and the girl stayed in her room with the jar buzzing black and the light off, hoping that no one would notice.

Jenny Halper's fiction has been published in Smokelong Quarterly, Juked,
Helicon, and New England Fiction Meetinghouse, and her stories have been finalists in contests run by Glimmer Train and the Sonora Review. As a journalist she’s written for papers including the Boston Phoenix, amNewYork, and examiner.com (http://www.examiner.com/x-8509-NY-Film-Examiner). She recently earned an MFA at Emerson College.


Race Me?

by Caitlin McGuire
86 words

I decided it was time for a race around the world, so I dared you to meet me back here as fast as you could. You must be really fast, because when I came back in three weeks, you were sitting on my couch watching TV, with a container of kung pao on your lap. You told me Hong Kong was nice in the springtime. I conceded defeat, and sat down next to you, ignoring the receipt from the Chinese restaurant downstairs stuck to your foot.

Caitlin McGuire is a student at UC Berkeley. She has been published in the First Kiss Project and Ruined Music, and is an Assistant Editor at the Berkeley Fiction Review. She writes short stories because they fit her five-foot frame.

My Heavenly Bride

by Tom Lassiter
100 words

My bride-to-be lived as a modest woman and I as a good Christian man, so it was not until our wedding night that I discovered she had three breasts. I prayed on the matter, and like only God can make clear, the answer revealed itself starkly.

I took in each of my hands one of her breasts rising from the familiar places, caressing, and with my lips and then mouth fondled the unusually placed third. Thus I served all, and so was blessed with the heavenly sight of not two but three engorged areolas and as many erect nipples. Amen.

Tom Lassiter lives in South Florida. His work has appeared in Tropic magazine, New Times, many newspapers, and at verbsap.com


by Dave Erlewine
74 words

Now that we’re fighting all the time my wife insists I take our son to his weekly appointments.

She’d love me to call her on it. She’ll get that look on her face and say since you brought it up I do think it makes sense for you to take him. Don’t you?

And perhaps I’ll reply well who pushed me on the bed and whispered in my ear that stutterers deserve kids too?

David Erlewine’s stories appear in Tuesday Shorts, elimae, The Pedestal, SmokeLong Quarterly, and a number of other journals. He blogs, weakly, at http://www.whizbyfiction.blogspot.com/

bleeding words

by Matt Leibel
94 words

I started bleeding words. I went to a doctor and tried to explain my situation, but my linguistic arsenal was shrinking by the second, plus I was losing a lot of blood and feeling lightheaded. The doctor disinfected the cut (which seemed, at least, to keep me from losing more dirty words). He told me not to worry about it, language is overrated—words just end up causing problems, getting misinterpreted. Besides, not having words meant never again having to say I love you or I’m sorry. I’d kill for that, the doctor said.

Matt Leibel's has published work in Quarterly West, DIAGRAM, Failbetter and other places. He has more stories at http://web.mac.com/mattleibel

Charity Begins at Home

by Scott Wilson
76 words

Volunteering to collect donations for a charity called. ‘Homeless Christmas Goblins’, you vow only to eat food that you can farm; meaning Christmas dinner is hamsters and marijuana. Due to the mistake of revealing your holiday plans to relatives, they plot to destroy your genes.

Because of this, you are fired at the end of a holiday text message and a powerful Deity decides to smite you with poor E-bay feedback and a creepy dating rating.

Scott has been writing for half as many years as he's been breathing now. Over thirty of his short stories and flash fiction have been published by various ezines and publications.


by D.C. Porder
63 words

Sarah drowns in the sky. I stand on the earth and throw life-preservers at her but they turn into words and in the stratosphere they lose their meaning. I steal an airplane and sail it towards her, though she is infinitely far away. I realize I am a line in calculus, edging forever towards zero. When I arrive I am still not there.

D.C. Porder is pursuing his BA in creative writing at The New School. His work is forthcoming in decomP and Word Riot. Read more at www.dcporder.blogspot.com.