Such A Lovely Dream – By A.L. Cerda
Flash Fiction / May 2, 2010

It was such a lovely dream, too. My first dream about Sadie, how could it be anything but? So rife for pseudo-Freudian psychoanalysis, everything a metaphor for my fears and desires, my excitement and my frustration. The dream started with me at work, caught in a playful argument with my fellow workers about whether or not my dream girl actually had any interest in me, especially seeing as she hadn’t shown much. Then to the amazement of myself and the others, Sadie appeared behind me, surprising me with her hands clasped on my shoulders. “Let’s go,” she said. “I’ve got something to show you.” Those who weren’t slack-jawed let out the type of “Woooo!” sound you hear on bad sitcoms. I followed her out of the office and suddenly, on a dime, as happens in dreams, the location changed to the university where she studies (though truth be told, it looked more like the one I studied at). She smiled at me and said, “I have a new dance routine.” The brazen confidence she exuded belied the meek insecurity she held inside. Sadie hadn’t danced for anyone in years. She didn’t express any of this, explicitly or implicitly. I knew…

Vanity – By J.J. Daniels

They were filthy, every single one of them. He could barely stand to look at them as they wandered down the grocery store aisles in their sweatpants, cut-up jeans, t-shirts and tank tops, carrying with them the unshaven, foul-smelling stench of poverty. Not a single ounce of self-respect remained among the lot of them; because of that, they had lost all respect from the rest of the world. Joe Dublin slid the iced-over glass door to the dairy case shut while he checked the expiration date on the milk carton. He glanced up, but tried not to stare at the miserably average men and women who walked the store like the futureless wrecks he knew them to be. He could not help but watch them as he walked up the aisle to the checkout, cringing every time one of them glared back at him. He knew they were jealous of his leather gloves and shoes, which had cost enough to feed their families for a month, or his suit, which was worth more than most of their run-down cars. Joe smiled in spite of himself; they must hate to see him so successful, especially given he was just half their…