Patches

By Terri Clifton Patches was born with his smile stitched on, if that is what you call being stuffed and stood upright. And even if his smile hadn’t been so carefully sewn, he couldn’t have helped having it upon seeing the sparkling eyes of the child, her curly head hanging over him as he wasContinue reading “Patches”

Desert Oasis

By Kaitlynn McShea March, 1955 The small town was tucked away into the rolling desert landscape. Dirt storms were more common than rain showers, and water was a more valued possession than gold. That’s what the three hundred residents had been told for generations, at least. The gold rush had come to their doorstep andContinue reading “Desert Oasis”

A Lion’s Love

By Kaitlynn McShea When Laura Henderson was eleven, her father came home with a lion. It was a California summer day, and blistering, stunning heat filtered through the front door. Laura remembered it being out of character for him: he never came in through the front door, he never came home before nine, and heContinue reading “A Lion’s Love”

Snow Princess

By Tracey Chizoba Fletcher There was a minute of stunned silence. It was soon followed by the sounds of muffled cries as Mrs. Okoro cupped her hands over her mouth. All the hurts and frustrations she had borne for the past fifteen years of marriage, flowed freely like a faucet turned on. She hadn’t daredContinue reading “Snow Princess”

Surfcasters

By Adele O’Grady Botticelli The SUV skidded on the sand, sprinkled like flour on a baker’s board along the tar road, as Jack braked to a stop in front of the grey shingled, rusty-red trimmed gate house. The July sun beat down on his truck as he leaned over to address the woman ranger, sittingContinue reading “Surfcasters”

Take a Stand

By Kim Bundy Paul finished his ham biscuit and drained his Bloody Mary, even though he wasn’t much of a drinker. He was standing in Gloria’s dining room on the morning of her funeral, hoping the vodka might tame his nerves. He tried to ease out of the room past Jay, Gloria’s older son, whoContinue reading “Take a Stand”

Double Dare

By Jen Pendragon CW: cigarette use “I double dare you”. When she said it, she crossed her arms, because this wasn’t a question or even an idea. It was a command. She stood her ground, like this was her new spot and she wouldn’t be able to move until the challenge was complete. I rolledContinue reading “Double Dare”

Spooky Season

By Tiffany Shull Peterson Darla loved Halloween. She waited for autumn equinox each year before allowing herself to drag out her seasonal décor. Spurred by excitement, she hauled boxes, bins, and bags from the cellar to the main floor of her 50’s style bungalow. They were meticulously organized and bore labels from ‘bats and spiders’Continue reading “Spooky Season”

A Lilac Year

By Christie Cochrell It was a lilac year, their last year of high school, the year Rosa’s mother was dying.  All that spring Franny felt lost, left out, unable to get close to Rosa, her oldest and dearest friend.  Worse still, she felt resentful too, for all the losses of things slipping past while herContinue reading “A Lilac Year”