No Need to Conceal

Tuesday night, post-shift beer in hand, prodding my phone with the other thumb to see what Alanna’s up to. Looking up, I see I’ve emerged from phone fog in time to take the shortcut I usually miss. The cut-through runs behind some empty shops....

Dirty Dancing

They danced until midnight. She kissed him full of hunger. Her chaperone watched from afar. “I have to go,” she said. He walked her to the car. “Who are you?” Dave whispered into the neon. “Where did you come from?” He watched the lights...

My Monsters

What is it that grips onto the edge of a shadow in the too-close distance and peers around its corner with yellow pinprick orbs and a spiky grin? Who is the ethereal figure in the night that I scan for outside my window as...

Casting Runes

The old woman cast the runes and frowned. “She mustn’t go on the voyage.” My grandfather nodded and helped her up from the floor. “Thank you for the advice, Sigrid. We will heed it.” Grandfather saw her to the door. Sigrid paused and looked...

Dear John

You said to meet under the clock at 12; just like in the Hollywood films. I can see you, but you can’t see me; gripping a large box of cheap chocolates you’ve bought last minute from the petrol station. I wonder if you’ll sneak...

A Good Day

The rain had finally stopped. At seven a.m. the sun was already shining and trying to eradicate the water left by the night’s storm. It had been extraordinary. They didn’t remember cracks of thunder like that in a very long time; it shook their...

Unification Day

“HAPPY UNIFICATION DAY!” The room is bright and joyful as a family gets together to celebrate Unification Day. A very special day for any family in Ebenefsi, for that day was a random occurrence. Unification Day is the day that a spirit reaches the...

LIFETIME WARRANTY

Paul never liked the refrigerator. His husband had been the one who wanted stainless steel. “But fingerprints wipe right off this one,” he explained when Paul pointed to an eggshell model across the showroom. The refrigerator had drawers for everything from vegetables to meat...

KANGSHUNG

Hello. Please… sit. Relax. See? The snow’s not so bad a seat. How high have you climbed? You don’t know? Well… neither do I. When did you start? You don’t know? Well… it doesn’t matter now. What a wonderful view. I’m glad I brought...

LIFE IN HELVETICA

Her menu was written in Helvetica. The standard black font paired against off-white paper in a contest of monotony. Cleverly named breakfast options and well thought out puns added colour to the menu choices. She debated between the aptly named Holy Crepe! or the...

THE COLLECTOR

Inside the poem was safe and quiet, but the word knew its time was limited. Even here, amid the heady chaos of surrealism tinged with psychedelia, staying still for too long could be fatal. Peering out from between two random anapaests, the word couldn’t...

Alarming

My next target would be the Crown Jewel of Dubai. It was on exhibit and valued at 3.7 million dollars. The challenge of obtaining it was just as important to me as the money itself. I had intensely studied the layout for several weeks....

Number 7

Mickey Mantle hid his limp as he walked from the on-deck circle to home plate. Richardson and Berra were on first and third. Two outs; time for a hero. Yankee Stadium roared its approval as Mantle stepped into the batter’s box, flexing his bat....

The Giant on the Cliff

Once, there was a giant. He would bound around the countryside, playing and laughing, exploring and learning. He was happy. Sometimes, villagers would complain. “Your feet shake the earth; your voice hurts our ears!” The giant didn’t care; the villagers were a small part...

BLURRED

The chain rattled against the door as it swung open, revealing the matted green carpet and mustard bedsheets. Lights above the two queen beds filled the room with a steady hum, casting a dim glow against the faded and stained wallpaper behind them. “After...

The Paint Box

A paint-box full of colors and yet she couldn’t decide which one to choose. Andi was exasperated both with herself and with the picture in front of her. She’d chosen such a simple subject and yet it consistently eluded her; would she ever get...

SCRIBBLES

It started out with a scribble. As she dragged a blue crayon across a crumpled sheet of white paper. The messy scrawl was an abstract piece. But like all art, it was a mark from the artist — I am here. When she grew...

Unexpecting

There were two of them when she walked in. Teachers never went in those toilets normally. The doors to each stall, like using a hand towel to get changed on the beach. And they stank. But it was before school and she had no...

Perspective

John was a very successful businessman. Some would say at the expense of spending time with his only son. One day John decided to forego going to the office in order to take his son fishing. They spent the entire day together but did...

Dead Girl’s Keyboard

Thrift stores provide an emotional journey, from discarded Father’s Day mugs and toys cast aside as kids grow up, to the items that get donated when someone dies. On that day I was shopping for a computer keyboard and spotted a good one for...

REMEMBER

You’ve come here to see— To see. To see her. That’s right. Ethel. Your wife of sixty-six years. You remember her: hair that was always in rollers, an apron knotted around her waist even though she stopped baking once she became ill, who put...

Pockets

I heard the world from pockets. Minted in 1964. I was at JFKs inauguration. I heard the ‘dudes’ and ‘mans’ and ‘heads’ in Frisco. Ginsberg dropped me one day but Kesey picked me up, flipped me, and put me in his tattered denim. I...

The Diagnosis

With a deep sigh, Dr. David leans a weary shoulder against the exam room wall and lets his gaze slowly meet his patient’s. Frank Swanson stands in the corner next to his wife, her arm wrapped in his. “I’m afraid, Mr. Swanson, I only...

Friday Morning

Friday morning. Counting up. Another week of submissions. Another week of acceptances. Another week of rejections. The sum total calculated with a formula known only to the muses. And yet a hint of glory in the ratio. Or was it simple the self-glorification created...

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