ARCH BISHOP There was a hole in the fence that echoed the rent in Bishop’s soul. He inspected it closely, noticing that it had been chewed through, but he refused to accept that the dog, his dog, would resort to such desperate measures. Someone must have cut it, or gotten their own mangy mutt to tear it apart. Bishop’s dog had everything here it could ever need –why would it want to escape? It all amounted to the same thing in the end – the dog was gone. Bishop had already lost so much, he wasn’t sure he could cope … Continue reading MCQUIGGAN S – STEPHEN MCQUIGGAN

Arnold S – Sheila Arnold

Breath “Is he breathing?” She asks the question without panic, without fear, much like she’d ask, “Is it raining outside?”             “Is he breathing?” she asks, but in that pregnant question, she sees more than 50 years of life. She sees the olive green military Army uniform that he was wearing when she first met him. She hears his voice and his laughter. She feels his strong hand on her hip at night as she curls into their familiar cocoon to slumber. She smells his Old Spice aftershave and again feels the irritation she would get when he would track … Continue reading Arnold S – Sheila Arnold

Courtney D – Deb Courtney

Receiver of Pineapple Iftar Fredrickson was in love. With me, apparently. It was the most absurd thing I had ever heard. Yet here I was.  In a gallery. In LA. The noise from his entourage grew. His name hadn’t been Iftar when I knew him. A yearbook check put him as David Frederickson. Same hair as I had seen in recent paparazzi shots though. Long and crazy and curly. It suited him far more now than it had then. Then people had made fun of him, the weird theater kid who stared at people too long, too intensely.  We had … Continue reading Courtney D – Deb Courtney

Bassin A & Blickley M – Amy Bassin & Mark Blickley

LUNAR LAMENT At night the wind blows without great force but the slight, constant breeze makes it necessary for her to wear the cloth overcoat.  It is a fine old coat.  A happy coat given to her by a happy mother.  She cannot pull the sides of the coat together to button it up any more.  Yet every night she tries.  The coat is worn and shiny and she likes how the moon sometimes reflects off the worn material.  It makes it sparkle and gives additional luster to her words. She folds her arms across her chest, covertly tugging at … Continue reading Bassin A & Blickley M – Amy Bassin & Mark Blickley

Carr S – Steve Carr

 LISA Lisa was looking out the window, staring at the placid gray lake, at the small boats slowly crisscrossing it.  I was focused on her every movement, or lack of it. We didn’t talk, not about what either of us thought at that moment, or of any moment preceding it or of anything to come. She was motionless except for the occasional blinking of her eyes, the sudden expansion and deflation of her chest, and the slightest shifting of a strand of her red hair, moved by a random breeze. If she knew I even existed in those moments other … Continue reading Carr S – Steve Carr

Diamondopolous DC -DC Diamondopolous

Blonde Noir Kit Covington sat on the sofa in her Pacific Palisades mansion with a cigarette lodged in the side of her mouth. A cloud of smoke floated around her head. She adjusted the oxygen tube in her nose, then brushed ash from her dog Muffin’s champagne-colored curls. The miniature poodle dozing in Kit’s lap startled when the camera crew from The Great Morning Talk Show banged equipment into Kit’s antique furniture. “Watch it! You scratch anything, you’ll pay for the restoration.” Since her left lung had been removed, Kit’s husky voice had a rattle that lingered between words chaining … Continue reading Diamondopolous DC -DC Diamondopolous

McBreartyJ – Jenean McBrearty

Patricia  “Does Prez Prado perform just for you?” That’s what the Scarecrow said that afternoon in Warner’s Music Store, and Patty blushed the way all fourteen-year-olds did in 1958 San Diego. She wasn’t familiar with Navy guys. Her dad had worn an Army uniform in the war ⸺she barely remembered it the day he got home. As soon as he came through the front door, he went to his bedroom, took it off, stuffed in his olive drab duffle bag, and hid it away in the attic. Now, here was this six-foot skinny guy wearing dark blue bell-bottom trousers and … Continue reading McBreartyJ – Jenean McBrearty

Shabkhez H – Hibah Shabkhez

AMENO AMENO AMENO   When first I climbed out into to this Land of do-as-you-please, it was an Inkdeath that I would fain have guarded against, for I deemed it quite inevitable: how can the Inkspell fail, thought I, when you spend more of your life within it than without? Lorenzaccio … but it was not so. This land remains the half-dream it always was, a Middle Earth one steps into for adventures, while that Land of the Lost scarce-glimpsed now from the top of the Magic Faraway Tree remains so starkly real, so starkly mine.   Every time I … Continue reading Shabkhez H – Hibah Shabkhez