Issue 9 / January 2018

“If you can write about how you feel, you can publish it. No dream is too big and no story too small.” – Farrah Fray

Brian Lombardi

The Houseman

Every morning Harry scrubbed the kitchen sink. Dishes were carefully rounded with a sponge, massaged clean and dried quickly. He brushed at an old stain, hunched over, pushing into the ceramic with window light behind his ears. He tried to wash away the little birthmark in his imperfect kitchen. He’d make a second cup of coffee after neglecting the first, replaying memories in his mind. Each memory was something to ...

Lauren Diethelm

Small Comforts

Okay, she says, with only a little sigh as she shifts her weight around on her tired knees, turn around, let me see. She touches the small of my back softly, softly, propels me in a circle so I am facing her. The quiet, familiar touch of a parent. The instinctual response, son obeying mother. Her hands rest for only a moment on my tiny shoulders, one on each side, ...

Ian Packham

Rose-Tinted Spectacles

He yearned for the onset of winter, a real winter, a winter from his childhood in the Normandy countryside with snow and rain and wind so strong it threatened to steal away the tiles from the roofs and the very breath from your lungs. There was none of that here in the white city, the Algiers of the holiday posters and steam packet boat advertisements. Here there had been weeks ...

Jared Varava

Road To Nowhere

God, you haven’t even been out five minutes and you can already feel the sun burning your shoulders. That’s got to be cause for concern. Six miles of this kind of exposure and you’re probably looking at some serious, lasting damage. Really, what good is running if, in the end, you’ve got melanoma. There’s not a single cloud in the sky, and your mom’s SPF 200-something is apparently worthless. Look ...

Maria Savva

One Chance

As Hilda stepped off the train, it caught her eye, gleaming like a star misplaced on land. She felt drawn to the gold pendant, as if an extrinsic force were compelling her to pick it up. It was shaped like an insect—not quite a beetle, more of a scorpion without the tail. Commuters hurried past, no one appeared to be searching for anything. The pendant seemed strange but familiar, as ...

Kabir Mansata

Of Pinot Noir and Shams of Tabriz

It was midnight and Katju was exhausted. He owned a quaint little Italian restaurant at Ashwem beach and had spent the entire day waiting tables. Raju, his only waiter, had been dipping into the till and Katju had recently sacked him. With a glass of Pinot Noir and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich at his elbow, he opened ‘Forty Rules of Love’, a book that described the relationship between ...

Timothy Smith

Gangsters and Wise Guys

Blood was spurting all over Lenny “The Bruiser” Gigliotti’s clothes. He was not happy about the blood, but he was even less happy about Ray “Skippy” Delano having his knuckles crunched and twisted with pliers. Ray had been holding out on the boss, Vinnie, and Vinnie wasn’t happy. That was what brought about Vinnie ordering Nicky “The Claw” Ragoni to twist Ray’s knuckles with pliers in the first place. Vinnie ...

Reyna Marder Gentin


May, 2015 There was always a moment, right before she entered the clinic, that Hannah had an almost unbearable urge to turn and run. It was some combination of revulsion for the neediness of the women and dread of taking responsibility for their welfare that nearly propelled her in the opposite direction each day. It wasn’t rational. Hannah was relieved when she saw that all the chairs in the waiting ...

Aunya May


“Wakie-wakie, time to get up sunshine.” A husky voice is present in the room. A door slams shut. The sound waves vibrate through the entire room making the inside of my head spin. Keys jingle as they thud against something firm; getting closer the jingle suddenly stops very near to me. There’s a tapping above my head. It gets persistently louder. Every sound is like a needle to my eardrum. ...

Amy Jones Sedivy


Today I decided to read Waiting for Godot. I read four pages. I believe it runs about eighty pages. Perhaps I need someone to read it to me. Or with me. Or I need to watch it performed on stage by a couple of actors who really know how to read lines. Chances are slim that I will read seventy-four more pages. Ever. Today, also, Wren came to see me. ...

Tristan Durst


January in South Korea, without enough snow to close schools but just enough icy pavement to make walking treacherous, broke my spirit. For three weeks, the sun never cracked through the grey cement of the sky. I visited a tanning salon adjacent to the U.S. Army base in the hope that some vitamin D might break my foul mood. My co-worker Katie, from Wales, handled the frigid dishwater sky better ...

Anna Doran

How to Be a Writer

If you want to be a writer, distinguish yourself as the last child in your first grade class to read. As a kid, you must reject every printed word that your parents dangle in front of your face and shrug your shoulders in response. Your parents will worry, and they’ll question whether your inability to read is related to your hearing loss.