Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Drabble by Theresa A. Cancro

A Team

Jack was never a joiner, but this day would be different.  He'd left street life behind at the shelter.

Clippers snipped away now, stray hairs fell to the floor.  Smells of crisp uniforms, leather boots and shoe polish swirled nearby.

Throughout training, he'd kept his cool as shots were fired, showed his sharp focus.  Sarge had been impressed.

"Jack!  Over here."  Sergeant George's eyes lit up.  "Come on, boy, let's show 'em what you got!"  Sarge was one super guy.  He patted the German shepherd's back with a firm hand.

They moved together as a team toward the waiting helicopter.

Theresa A. Cancro writes poetry, fiction and nonfiction.  Her work has been published internationally in print and online publications, including Kind of a Hurricane Press anthologies and journals, Lost Paper, Haibun Today, Modern Haiku, The Heron's Nest, A Hundred Gourds, Presence, Shamrock, Chrysanthemum, Cattails, The Artistic Muse, and Leaves of Ink, among others.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Flash Fiction from Jim Harrington

A High School Reunion

It was her first time posing for our class.  Other females had sat naked before us.  This time was different.  I knew the model.

Her name was Melanie, and I'd asked her out on a date our sophomore year in high school.  She'd looked away and said she was busy.  I never got up the nerve to ask her out again.

The kids in school thought she was anorexic.  She was still skinny, her arms not much bigger around than the fat end of a baseball bat.  Green eyes, pug nose, and thin lips created a distraction for me.  She'd worn her hair longer in school.  I liked the new pixie look.  At least, new to me.

The instructor called time.  Melanie stood and put on a robe.

I finished adding charcoal touches to the assignment, leaned back for one last look, and felt a presence near me.  I looked over my shoulder to see Melanie, her head tilted to one side, perusing my effort.

"Not bad," she said, laying a hand on my shoulder.  Before I could thank her, she said, "Would you like to ask me out again?"

My mouth became as immobile as the naked female on my easel, until, taking a deep breath, I managed to squeak out a yes.

Jim Harrington began writing fiction in 2007 and has agonized over the form ever since.  Jim's Six Questions For . . . blog ( provides editors and published a place to "tell it like it is."  You can read more of his stories at

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Flash Fiction by Kirby Wright

The Mumps

Barry, my big brother, is darting around the house checking himself in mirrors.  He swears he's getting different reflections.  I tell him he'll always look like my dumb brother.  He says he has the mumps and that I probably have them too.  They're highly contagious.  He claims that if one person in the family gets them, then almost everyone gets them too.  I'm not sure where all this mump talk came from.

"Look," Barry says, pointing to a bump on his neck.

"Jesus,"  I go, "you need a doc pronto."

"Got swelling?"


He points at my forearm.  "What's that?"

"My left arm."

"Mind if I test?"

"Go ahead," I tell him.

Barry zeros in on my forearm.  He pinches with thumb and index finger, raising a hunk of flesh the size of a large marble.  When he quits pinching, the marble remains.  My brother has given me the mumps.  I run from mirror to mirror to see more and more marbles popping up.  We convince our mother to get off the toilet and drive us to Doctor Drueker's.  When we arrive, the doctor tells us we should cut way back on horror and sci-fi shows before our brains begin to swell.  Barry chuckles.  We watch Drueker walk over to a mirror on the wall and study a lump on his neck.

Kirby Wright's first play was performed at the 2016 One Act Festival at the Secret Theatre in New York.  He's checking his blood sugar right now to see if he's normal.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Flash Fiction by Barbara Tate

Kitten of the Forgotten

Richard cradled the discarded kitten inside his coat that had seen better days ten years ago.  He settled her in the inside pocket usually reserved for two packets of crackers he took twice a week from the soup kitchen and napkins they let him have.  For now it was home to a kitten no larger than a hamster.

He'd found her in the dumpster next to a discarded donut box with two stale creamsticks.  Richard squeezed the cream for the kitten, fed her from his finger, leaving the sandpaper tongue wanting more.

Snow fell on soft fur and Richard brushed it from her matted eyes.  "Good kitty, good kitty, no one's going to take you.  Richard's kitty now.  Forever."  he felt for his knife in the outside pocket.  "No one's going to take you from Richard."

He remembered a puppy he'd found once, remembered how three boys had beaten her with bats and laughed when he'd cried and begged them to stop and one hit him, leaving a gash and the puppy's blood on his face.  He still heard the echo of her cries and the silence, the deafening silence.

Richard patted his pocket.  "Good kitty, good kitty, Richard's kitty now.  No one's going to hurt Richard's kitty.  Go to sleep, go to sleep."  He sang his mantra patting the pocket, home to the matted eyed kitten he'd keep forever.  Richard patted his pocket, sat down on a piece of cardboard and didn't notice the purring stopped.

Barbara Tate is an award winning artist and writer.  Her work has appeared in StoryTeller, Arizona Quarterly, Santa Fe Literary Review, Modern Haiku, Contemporary Haibun Online, Frogpond, Cattails, Bear Creek Haiku, and Magnolia Quarterly as well as Switch (the Difference), Objects in the Rear View Mirror, Element(ary My Dear) and Happy Holidays anthologies.  She is a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association, Haiku Society of America and United Haiku and Tanka Society.  She currently resides in Winchester, TN.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Flash Fiction from Victor Clevenger

You’ll scratch the Urethane Right Off

“There’s not much of a crowd around noontime and they prefer it that way.” 

Sitting in the corner was a man that Jack only sees now on occasion.  The man was perched on a stool in front of the chessboard which was hand-burnt into the wooden top of the bar—sixty some squares charred and shaded, dark to light, and beautiful.  The man was rolling something around in his hands. 

“Put those rocks away, Brian,” Jack told him.  “Hello,” Brian said, “It’s good to see you again, Jack.  I just drank a beer.”  “Did you, buddy?” he asked him.
Brian and Jack had grown up together.  Brian lived only four houses down the street from Jack’s house, and his birthday was on the 6th of December, just eleven days after Jack’s.  Brian, his mother, and his sister lived alone for most of the time that they all lived on Winston Street—the only exception was for a few months when Brian and Jack were seven-years-old, and his mother let her new boyfriend move into the house with them. 

Brian’s mother worked in the utensil factory making spoons, forks, knifes, and scissors on the graveyard shift, and one night her boyfriend tried to drown Brian in an old washtub while she was at work.  When she came home that next morning, the sun was beginning to rise and Brian was still alive but he has never been the same.
“I caught a butterfly today,” he said as he continued to move the five rocks around in circles that he had placed on the bar’s top.  “Well done, Brian,” Jack told him, “Now put those rocks away.”

Brian placed two of the rocks into his right pocket, and the remaining into the other pocket of the gray cotton sweat pants he was wearing.
“Some are boys, and some are girls,” he said to Jack with a grin, “If I put them together they will make babies in my pocket.”

“Goddammit, Brian,” Jack said shaking his head.

“ANOTHER ROUND,” he shouted at Charlie.

“Can you handle another one, Brian?” Jack asked.

“Oh yeah, I mean yes, I mean sure,” Brian said, “Thirty percent, I like the thirty percent.”


“No,” Brian told Jack, “It seems that about seven out of ten times that I sit down on the toilet to take a poop, I get goose bumps on my thighs, and I don't like it at all.  I don't like it in the morning time, I don't like it in the evening time, and I really don't like it when mom is gone to work.”

“You’re a fuckin’ nutcase Brian,” Jack said laughing.

“No.  I am okay,” Brian told him, “I just really like the other thirty percent.”

“Okay, Brian,” Jack said as Charlie slid the drinks down the rail, “I think most people probably prefer the other thirty percent as well.”

“Thank you, Jack,” Brian as he said pulled the rocks out of his pockets once again.
Charlie walked over and sat down beside Brian. “I saw Margaret walking by about an hour ago, Jack” he said. 

“I'm giving up on that woman,” Jack told Charlie.

“It’s about time,” Charlie sighed.
Jack finished his drink and then left.  Brian and Charlie sat at the chessboard alone.  “Put those rocks away, Brian,” Charlie said.

Selected pieces of Victor Clevenger's work have appeared at, or are forthcoming in Chiron Review; The Beatnik Cowboy; Dead Snakes; Blink Ink; Zombie Logic Review; Rat's Ass Review; Lady Chaos Press; Your One Phone Call; Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc; Horror Sleaze Trash; UFO Gigolo, among several others.  His latest collection is titled, In All These Naked Pictures of Us.