his rage knows no bounds
Five a.m. Wood splinters, a window breaks, the smell of petrol floats downstairs. We cower naked in bed. A nephew’s revenge – we’d squatted the old lady’s flat upstairs, after she died. We didn’t know he cared; he’d trashed the flat, taking the valuables, leaving a box of fake jewelry, her collection of dolls wearing flamenco dresses, dusty bottles of alcohol strewn across the floor. Zina moved in. We drank the alcohol.
When the petrol doesn’t light, the nephew fires a gun. He’s arrested, the police interrogate us, inferring a crime. He walks free, laughing, the gun miraculous in its disappearing properties.
Rachel Wild lives in London. She spends a lot of time walking in the local graveyard. She was brought up in the north of England, where she learnt to pogo and was in a punk band called The Epsilons. She is an editor at The Forge. You can find her on Twitter @politicsofspace - Words in Ellipsis Zine; The Honest Ulsterman; The Nottingham Review
Ivy intertwines around bone, filament severs nerves, vines unfurl into limbs, controlling hands and feet. Flesh is difficult to navigate, impossible to seem natural as the hefty legs carry it through the crowd.
What replaces the heart is heavy against its dermal sternum, weighing it down and forward. The city’s center is dense with people, like foliage of its home before they arrived.
Legs give out. Arms fail as it falls. Its insides tear through, quickly burrowing into the pavement. Closing its eyes, the body comes undone. When it wakes in its true form, it will be home once more.
Micah Castle is a weird fiction and horror writer. His stories have appeared in various magazines, websites, and anthologies, and has three collections currently out.
HIDDEN IN THE MARGINS OF A GIDEON'S BIBLE
The rollaway cot in our motel room is broken so my kid sister and I top and tail next to Momma on the bed. We take turns to check she’s still breathing. Tenderised, fluid seeping from her swollen-shut eye, her body reminds me of the tied beef joints she used to roast on Sundays.
Dinner of Trail Mix and Cheetos cupped in her palm, my sister asks if Daddy can find us here. I don’t answer but think about the pistol nestled in the nightstand drawer, beside the bible, where God help us is scrawled in Momma’s scratchy, curving script.
KEELY O’SHAUGHNESSY is a writer with Cerebral Palsy. She lives in Gloucestershire, UK. She has writing forthcoming in the Bath Flash Fiction Award anthology and Emerge Literary Journal. Her work has been published with Ellipsis Zine, and Reflex Fiction, among others. She often finds herself drawn to the dark and gritty. When not writing, she likes discussing David Bowie with her cat. Find her at keelyoshaughnessy.com. Tweets: @KeelyO_writer.
i can't miss you if i'm gone first
She completed me, the way a buckle finishes a belt, the way a spear tips an arrow, the way a noose finishes a rope.
Cole Beauchamp has been a misfit on three continents. She now lives in London with her girlfriend, two children & an excitable Maltipoo. Regular bouts of insomnia mean you can find her on twitter at all hours at @nomad_sw18
carrefour for three
Spring broke again, leaving a remainder of three in frat-house divided. I had no ride to hitch, nor much want then, and they rather preferred their quiet hours after an easy day's work. I became a lap less dog, guarded to amity, beholding a burnished desire for a love beyond brotherhood. An unseasoned night derived how weary of waiting he'd regressed, as he slammed derelict doors like an undergrad jazz percussionist, and stuck a fork to his wrist, hungry again for their requital. I carelessly wrenched it towards mine. A motley family after all- shall we not suffer nor feast together?
Brian Alvarado (@wrdsrch) writes and occasionally sings. Some of his recent work is featured and/or forthcoming in Thimble, FERAL, Trouvaille, Cajun Mutt, Squawk Back, and Ekphrastic, among others. He stole a BA in Creative Writing from Susquehanna University. He won't be found. https://brianalvarado.com/writing
wednesday last call
He smells like motorcycles and blood. Those eyes two glossy lakes. He’s all booze. When he gets me out of here, he says, this squalor with the light pollution and filth and grout cracked tiles, I’ll be queen of somewhere mint. Green so lush it’ll be beds of grass, hills sprouting lime, bathing in emeralds. Life all clovers. No more beers on trays in liquored light glowing across damp bills of Washington’s face. But I don’t need a tub with peridots, I say. Fill it with sand. Make me heavy. I want to feel something. Make the days tar.
Belicia Rhea was born under a waning crescent moon in the Sonoran Desert. She writes prose, poetry, and the spaces in-between. You can find more of her work published in or forthcoming from Nightmare Magazine, Miracle Monocle, and Ghost Orchid Press, among others.
Cumulonimbus Clouds Creeping Closer
Cumulonimbus clouds are black banks on the horizon like angry brows; raindrops run across a rooftop and down unsuspecting faces; lightning colors scars across the shaded sky like marks no others see and thunder cracks like a voice shattering the silence in a waiting room.
Matt McGuirk teaches and laughs at his puns by day and scribbles somewhat coherent words nightly. He lives with his family in rural New Hampshire. Words in The Daily Drunk Magazine, Goat’s Milk, Idle Ink, Literally Stories, New World Writing, Sleet Magazine and Versification. Twitter handle: @McguirkMatthew and Instagram @mcguirk_matthew.
Mother tried to buy me a real Cabbage Patch doll, but all she could get was a knock-off cauliflower kid. Her warm limbs came like parachutes in the night. She taught me how to make stews and slice pearl tarts to the correct diameter. I taught her how to sew pants from cocoons and wear them proudly in the hench rains that took over our town. As we smoked cigars on my porch, she whistled as she would never die, but I now can't recall where I packed her away.
Don’t you love that blue air blowing through the open window, that silver light splintering the blinds, that pillow pushing down on your blacked-out eyes? When little hairs arise on the back of your neck, does the mouse under the bed also feel the fear, or does it feed into the mounting menace? When that phantom smile of yours alights like a fairy on a branch of Millefiore will you prove more companionable? Alas, neither honey in the tea nor singsong will sweeten the evening. Just listen to the bats zipping through the courtyard, what they click between drips.
Salvatore Difalco resides in Toronto, Canada. Recent work has appeared in Cafe Irreal, Brilliant Flash Fiction and Everyday Fiction.