It must be love – By Rosemary Bach-Holzer
Offbeat Writings / July 11, 2010

She is such a vixen. Who is? My car! Is that why ex-husband says she reminds him of me? Hmm… must remember to ask next time I see him. Anyway, back to this particular vixen in question. She’s a real pedantic always-has-to-be-something-wrong-with-her automobile. Take this morning for example. She was low on petrol… all right! She was running on fumes but still that is no excuse as to what happened, to what she did. Having noticed the petrol tank was approaching the dangerously empty stage I turned off at the next available petrol station. I pulled up in front of a pump, jumped out the car… ha ha – in my dreams! I heaved my always-has-to-be-something-wrong-with-it body out of the car, grabbed the pump, replaced it and promptly slid back into the car exhibiting a bright shade of red that covered my entire face. They could make those hoses longer that might be a step in the right direction, you know. Never mind about the cocky comments coming from all directions such as, “Here, love! Those pumps are made of rubber not blimin’ elastic!” Hadn’t quite judged the distance accurately that was all but did she have to make such…

A Little Pinch – By David Aquila
Flash Fiction / July 11, 2010

“You might feel a little pinch.” That’s how it starts and I turn my head to the right. I never can watch the needle go in, but I look back as soon as she snaps the band free of my bicep and tells me to unclench my hand. The blood fills the glass vial in steady waves of thick pumps. It’s so red, so final and I know. This test will determine it. Pass or Fail. Live or Die. Like the thumb of an emperor, it comes down to this. “I didn’t even study,” I try to joke with the nurse but her eyebrows wrinkle. She’s working, changing vials, not looking at me. “For the blood test,” I try again. “I didn’t even study.” Now she gets it with an, Oh, and a short, Heh, and her breath smells like tuna and mints. I wonder how many times she’s done this before? If she knows how much is riding on the blood in those vials. I feel the sweat coming. I bring a finger to the top of my lip. Five years free and I’d really thought I was clear, life or death? And not a quick death but one…