Together We Cry – By Jan Campana
Micro Fiction / August 25, 2009

In the back of the room, covered in artificial light, my eyes squeeze tight like a fist. This isn’t the first instance I have waited too late. My mind races through the long list as if my whole life depends on this moment. After forced repentance, I pledge to be compassionate, humble, even giving, if only my prayer would be answered. Apprehensively, a staunch nurse brings me the tiny pink bundle. Through strained blurry eyes, she glows magically, the essence of my dearly departed wife. The understanding staff gives us an hour alone. I hesitant, for this is the first and last time the baby will ever see her mother; the knowledge is straining my already crushed soul. Sadly, the family moment cannot comfort the wails of my hungry daughter or ease my crippled heart. Together we cry.   About the Author Jan Campana Jan Campana lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and two sons. She recently discovered flash fiction and is passionately reading and writing all she can. Her previous works can be found at The Californian, The News and Observer, and at postcardshorts.

Hope for Change – By Scott J. Clemons
Flash Fiction / August 23, 2009

“‘I’m pretty confident that things are going to be different.” “How so?” “It’s obvious, isn’t it?” Her eyes squinted, her brow furrowed; she didn’t get it. “You know,” he said, “the leg thing.” “Leg thing?” “Come on. Do I really need to spell it out for you?” “Apparently so.” “Fine, sit down,” he pointed to the chair. “I’m going to need some paper though.” “Paper?” “Yes, paper,” he said. “Flat, white, made out of trees.” He reached into his backpack and pulled out a pad of paper and held it up to her. “Recognize it now?” “I know what paper is, smart ass. I just don’t see why you need it.” “It’ll be easier to explain what I mean if I draw it out for you.” “If you say so.” He flipped back the cover of the notebook but stopped suddenly. “Do you have a pen?” he asked. She nodded. She started rummaging through her purse and pulled out a black ink pen. “Consider the facts,” he said. “What is the common trait of every single guy that we’ve elected into office? I’m talking all the way back to George Washington.” She tapped her finger against her chin. “I dunno….

Confessions of a New York City Street Peddler (Part 3 of 3) – By Dr. Howard Karlitz
Offbeat Writings / August 16, 2009

This is the final part of a three part series. To start from the beginning, here is part one and part two Epilogue: A Play in Three Acts Act I: It’s a week after David quit for good. He’s on the corner Fifth Avenue and 42nd street talking to a hot dog guy about then Mayor Koch backing down on his attempt to eliminate food vendors. “Too much Greek clout,” the vendor says, “especially with Dukakis on the way up.” Suddenly a police van pulls up and three cops jump out and arrest a peddler for selling her photo¬graphs of New York in front of the library. She’s cuffed, miranderized, and led into the back of the truck. Meanwhile, across the street, a three card monte game goes on undisturbed, with a large group of French tourists being bilked out of hundreds of dollars as pickpockets work the periphery of the crowd. Next to them some dope dealer is selling crack, another quaaludes, another loose joints. It’s not the cops’ fault. Evidently they’re being told what to concentrate on. It’s the city’s doing, the result of the “crackdown of the month club.” It’s all part of what they consider to…

Confessions of a New York City Street Peddler (Part 2 of 3) – By Dr. Howard Karlitz
Offbeat Writings / August 9, 2009

This is part 2 of the 3 part series. Part one can be found here But it would be impossible to close this chapter of the story without some pain. There were two periods during that summer when David thought they had him. The first was during the Democratic National Convention, which happened to take place in New York that year. Word came thundering down from the mayor’s office to sweep the midtown streets clean of vermin, especially around the museum where each conventioneer’s agenda would include a trip to the Picasso exhibit. He particularly didn’t want them in contact with vendors. Little did he realize, however, that out-of-towners love peddlers, and consider them to be just one more vibrant element in the city’s personality. The peddler detail sought to temporarily suspend peddling operations and warned every street vendor in the strongest terms not to work midtown that week. The other T-shirt people stopped immediately, but David was getting greedy, and the next day opened up, business as usual. He was hit four, five, six times a day. Gus told him he was making “enemies on the force,” the ultimate threat. Sergeant Laverty, head of the detail, cornered him in…

Trophy – By J.B. Smith
Flash Fiction / August 9, 2009

Cleaning out a bureau drawer, Jill discovered the key in a labeled baby food jar beneath her mother’s lingerie. For the rest of that day and much of the night, she struggled with her conscience. Her mother had been so adamant. But next morning, she arrived at the old farmhouse determined to go through her father’s things. The large, cherry-colored cedar chest was sitting next to a full length, floor mirror. Jill stared for a long time at the locked container recalling the last fight she had had with her mother. It had been about this chest. For years, every fight she and Jill had was about the chest. Since her father’s death a decade earlier, Jill found her mother’s coolness toward his memory confusing. When she tried to have a conversation about it, her mother shutdown, refusing to comment beyond, “There are some things best kept between a husband and wife.” “Mom, please, go through that chest with me. Dad’s war stuff is in there, but I don’t know about any of it. When the time comes, I just don’t want to throw out something that was important to him.” It didn’t matter. The answer was always the same….

January 11th – By Serina Ruggeri
Micro Fiction / August 9, 2009

It’s coming up. The anniversary of her absence. The day my earth stood still. How much I can remember the moment it all took place. I watched those wretched words as they slipped out my mother’s mouth. As much as she wanted to tell me in loving and sympathetic words, they all sounded the same to me; like a thousand little knives aiming for my heart, all at the same time. Bulls eye. My God, what a relief, I thought as I peered out my bedroom window, a lonely smile spread across my face. I had not imagined anything more heart wrenching, more uncontrollable; an itch that cannot be scratched. Everything around me was strangely serene. The rain, echoing her laughter, trickled gently on the roof. The movement of the clouds had formed a pattern of her face. My tears slid, one by one down my red cheeks. If I could bottle them, I would show her how much she was deeply loved and missed. The day she left, I felt my innocence had been stripped away. Like Eve, taking a bite of the apple. Like, Delilah cutting Samson’s hair, my strength withered. My best friend. My distant sister. Gone….