Volume 1 Issue 32

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The saints surely have come marchin’ in with this issue. We have thirteen different stories from around the world, defining the word ‘saint’ from a wide spectrum of meaning. We see “saints” who beg, who suffer, who give everything away (including their last scrap of clothing…). It is a beatific collection to read this week, following on the heels of All Saints Day. In this issue, you will read the following heavenly stories:

(p. 2) Amazing Pleasure Kelli J Gavin
(p. 3) Sunil Sharma
(p. 4) Thomas McDade

(p. 6) deb y felio
(p. 7) Louis Kasatkin
(p. 8) Riham Adly
(p. 9) Cary Crossen
(p. 10) Kathy Sanford
(p. 11) Karyn Powers
(p. 12) Debjani Mukherjee
(p. 13) Annie Bien
(p. 14) Karen Petersen 

Also, don’t forget that nominations for The Pushcart Prize are still being accepted until next week. Please know that the nominations are anonymous so if you happen to nominate yourself, that is between you and yourself. It is your opinion, after all.

The podcast for Issue 31 will be up later today and I will be contacting the selected authors for Issue 32’s podcast later very soon.

I am also working on the printed edition that will be released next month. It is coming together nicely and will include a Mercurial Stories tote bag. Very exciting (for those of us who collect tote bags)!

Also, I have an idea about putting together a bilingual/multilingual issue in the future. This is just a seed right now but if anyone is interested in discussing it with me, you know where to send your thoughts: mercurialstories@gmail.com


Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Volume 1 Issue 30: Podcast

For Vol. 1, Issue 30, the random number selector chose John Sheirer’s “Change is Good?” and Kira’s “Out of the corner of my eye”.  Congrats to both writers. I was pleased with how compatible these two pieces were when combined in the podcast.
I hope you enjoy listening.

Volume 1 Issue 30

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Listen to the podcast episode for Issue 30.

In this week’s issue, we have seven different visions of scenes just out of the corner of the protagonists’ eyes. Through these stories, we see that these incomplete sideways glances afford clues that our imaginations feast upon, confirming hopes as well as suspicions. (And among all the insight we gain from these indirect views, perhaps one lesson is that one should be a little more cautious regarding the tilt of the screen.)

This week’s contributors include: John Sheirer,  Sunil Sharma, Kelli J. Gavin, deb y felio, Kira, and Jenny Birch.



Change is Good?
John Sheirer

She sat in her favorite overstuffed reading chair in the early light of a Sunday morning at home. He peeked over her shoulder to see her cell phone. Their bad-tempered cat perched just behind her head atop the chair back, blocking his view of her phone.

She wasn’t reading today–just clutching that damned phone six inches from her nose.

“Finished the book for book group?” he asked, sauntering behind her chair to try for a better view of her phone while pretending to look out the window into the backyard.

She drew the phone down almost imperceptibly, tilted it just a few degrees away from his line of vision.

“Yesterday,” she replied. He hadn’t noticed her reading yesterday, something she usually did most of Saturday afternoon. He couldn’t actually remember what they did yesterday afternoon. A movie? No. Walk? No. Late lunch? No.

The cat wasn’t really bad-tempered. The cat just didn’t seem to like him, instead preferring to snuggle near her head on the chair back and stare at him. Judgmentally? he wondered. Maybe.

Her phone emitted the tiny whoosh of a text message launching into the mysterious world of cyberspace. He never texted. He couldn’t remember seeing her text before either.

He craned his neck to see her phone screen. When she got that phone a year ago, she had taken a photo of him and installed it as her background photo. She said she liked the blank look on his face. “Not smiling, not frowning,” she at the time. “Just being you.”

He thought about how she carried his image close to her in her purse or, better yet, in her pocket, thin layers of fabric between his face on the phone screen and her skin.

The texting screen evaporated from her phone just before he could focus his eyes on the tiny words there. He recognized the home screen with her icons arranged into all four corners of the glowing surface. But his face had been replaced on her phone screen. Instead, there was a photo of the cat spread across that same chair back.

“Why is the cat on your phone?” he asked.

“Hmm?” she murmured. “Oh, no reason. Sometimes change is good. You know?”

He didn’t know.

The cat stared at him simultaneously from the phone screen and from the back of her chair.

Then she held the phone’s power button down until everything went dark.


Bio:

John Sheirer lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with his wonderful wife Betsy and happy dog Libby. He has taught writing and communications for 26 years at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, Connecticut, where he also serves as editor and faculty advisor for Freshwater Literary Journal (submissions welcome). He writes a monthly column on current events for his hometown newspaper, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, and his books include memoir, fiction, poetry, essays, political satire, and photography. Find him at JohnSheirer.com.




The Exchange
Sunil Sharma

A quick exchange of smiles but could not escape him.

They sat on the sidewalk café. She wanted to catch the early-morning glory of the ancient city.

—I love the way sun paints Venice in gold! She exclaimed.

He nodded, adjusting the camera.

—I want the best shots. He said to the woman.

—Me, too.

The shoot began.

He asked her to tilt her head a bit against the bridge in the back. The Cathedral shone brightly. The waters sparkled. A gentle breeze blew across a slumbering street. The view was magical!

She walked with certain poise. Stopped. Bent a glance and smiled!

Setting his heart on fire! That Mona Lisa smile. The very quality was ethereal.

Then he realized it was not for him—but, maybe, for someone else. For a second, her eyes wandered, face lit up and lips formed into a grin, faint but sublime.

Out of the corner of the eye, he saw her fleetingly smile at a stranger clad in red T and blue denim, holding up a long stem of red rose. He smiled back. The tall rival stood inconspicuously among the American tourists and when the photographer looked back, the competitor vanished in air.

Afterwards, her face became serene.

Action in a jiffy!

Robert Browning echoed in an agitated mind;

…she liked whate’er 

She looked on, and her looks went everywhere

Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt, 

Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without 

Much the same smile? 

Am I reading too much into a smile? He thought.

After some time, they went down to the bridge. She posed by pouting like Marilyn Monroe. She radiated joie de vivre that was infectious—waving at the kids, gondoliers; the Vietnamese waiters; Asian and Chinese tourists; nuns; old lady residents with small dogs; in fact, everything. Even he got affected and smiled at the world, forgetting a competing suitor.

She wanted to capture the famous spots.

Some poses were solo; others, in crowded plazas, train and bus stations, museums, and, the  water taxis.

—I want a bit of Venice for posterity! She exclaimed, this beautiful French woman, hardly 24, with a lilting voice.

He followed as pet. Both sought immortality. He, from photography; she, modeling. Their worlds were different, yet converged in Paris apartment full of ambition where ethnicities hardly mattered.

While returning to the hotel room, she was a bit tensed, glancing back, often.

His peripheral vision registered these sideways movements of a person in perpetual rebellion.

For a sec, he saw a familiar figure but turning around, only a blur of action—a spot of red fading in a side alley.

They slept heavily after lunch.

When he woke up, she was not there.

A scrawled note: Sorry! Email the pictures.

Hit him hard!

Going through the pictures, he got the vital clue: In a frame, outer edge of the scene, a blurred figure, in red T, holding up a long-stemmed red rose…


Bio:

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 19 published books: Six collections of poetry; two of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.

Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA:

http://www.setumag.com/p/setu-home.html

For more details, please visit the blog:

http://www.drsunilsharma.blogspot.in/




What I See
Kelli J Gavin

I see more than most people
Maybe because I am always watching
Knowing that if I pay attention
At some point it will happen
Out of the corner of my eye
I see exactly what I need to
The smiles as I turn to walk away
The joy of my kids when I say yes
My husband’s look of adoration
My friends wiping tears in laughter
Of course I see many things when
I am face to face with other people
But it is that afterthought
That sinking- in feeling
That emotion that isn’t always shared
That is what I look for
That is what I see
Out of the corner of my eye
I see exactly what I want to


Bio:

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company.  Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice, The Writers Newsletter, Writers Unite!, Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Rye Whiskey Review, Spillwords, Mercurial Stories, 121 Words, HerStry, Ariel Chart, The Basil O’Flaherty, PPP Ezine, Southwest Media, Otherwise Engaged, Pleather Skin, Paper.Li, The New Ink Review, among others.                                                                                                                                                                      Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin

Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com



Looking Both Ways Before Crossing
deb y felio

Out of the corner of each eye, her only vision of world events, Her world of narrow views and half formed opinions about what she thinks she sees. Half exposed, half hidden, sideways glances and steps keep her adjusting to cracks in her perspective.

She once believed looking inward toward the other corners would offer a balance — the two extremes in the middle, but the middle was only a nose trying to sniff out the truth.

She often wishes for eyes operating from a focused straight ahead and forward approach. An approach providing more certain and collaborative witnesses verifying and affirming a common rather than an exceptional reporting.

Once considering operations to bring her eyes into a more popular and accepted form, the surgeon rolled his stool to her side, looked her in the eye and asked her, if not she then who would bring to the public forum another, often overlooked, view of the world?


Bio:

deb y felio is a witness poet exploring and writing on the mundane, the miraculous and the under-represented sides of historic and current issues. deb lives and writes in the hills of Boulder Colorado and is active in the Denver Lighthouse for Writers and the Stain’d art community. Her work is published in multiple online sources) and in the print anthologies Hay(na)ku ( Eileen Tabios, editor) and in Minnie’s Diary, A Southern Literary Review October 2018.



Out of the corner of my eye
Kira

Out of the corner of my eye
I can see you’ve sent a reply
My blood pumps, quick!
I must take my phone and… blink!
Another notification appears.
Distracted, the thought of you disappears
And I’m lost in a firework of stimulation.
Yet, I quickly realise who should receive my adoration
And, out of the corner of my eye
I wish I could see my favourite Gemini.


Bio:

Kira is a writer and blogger as well as a languages teacher. She creates short stories and flash fiction, and is in the process of writing her first book. She also writes about mental health, video games, teaching, and likes to show off her photos.

All of this, because she aspires to make a difference to those who stopped seeing the beauty in this world.

Onwards to her writer’s den!
http://www.jackofwritingtrades.wordpress.com
http://www.facebook.com/JackofWritingTrades



By the End of the Day
Jenny Birch

She couldn’t look directly at them, or the whole thing would be ruined.

Paul would have a fit if he saw them, cloistered behind the new drapes they’d spent all weekend hanging.  But she knew as long as she didn’t look at them, they’d stay in one spot, more or less quietly.  She just wanted to sit.  Just for a minute.

“You can’t see us!” someone squealed, rustling the sheer fabric.  Maybe less quietly, then.  But at least still in one spot.

“Where on earth did my precious babies go?”  She tipped her chin to the ceiling and arched her neck so that she could scan all parts of the room – except the windows.  “They were just here a second ago!”

Four tiny eruptions of joy.  Her skull echoed with the reverberation of it and she resisted the urge to tip sideways, bury her head in one of the throw pillows.  She almost gave in, but then noticed the jelly splotch she’d land in, remnant of the rainy-day picnic she’d granted at lunch.  She’d have to wipe it up before Paul got home.

The oldest jostled the younger ones.  “Shhh!  Not too loud, or she’ll find us!”

She tipped her head so that she could just barely see them, piled like stacking cups in the too-small space.  She knew what Paul would say: They’re going to hurt themselves!  Or rip the curtains! 

But she would have gladly sacrificed the drapes a hundred times over for these precious seated moments.  There wasn’t even anyone on her lap!

“Let me think,” she sing-songed.  “Now a few minutes ago, they were in the kitchen having a snack, and then –“ she tapped her chin – “they were gone!  Like magic!”

The baby, truly a baby no longer, laughed and then snorted, which set the rest of them off.  They collapsed in a heap, the drapes tangled around them.  She wished she could turn her head, make sure they weren’t pulling the rod from the wall.  She hesitated, then turned away.  It wasn’t worth the gamble.  The drapes were probably fine.

The garage door rumbled unexpectedly, a full twenty minutes earlier than she’d been expecting.  She shifted, flipping the pillow jelly-side down and fluffing it up.  There was nothing to be done about the mess in the kitchen; no use even trying now.

The kids started pulling away from one another.  “Daddy!  Daddy!  Daddy’s home!”  Just as Paul’s footsteps reached the top of the basement stairs, there was a great, roaring rip, and the drapes tumbled to the floor.  He was opening the door into the family room when the rod, with a groan, followed it, clattering to the floor and scratching the hardwood.

Paul surveyed the scene with a frown and furrowed brow.

She rose and went to the children, smiling her apology at Paul.  At the windows, she draped herself in her children.  They nestled into her, wiggling against her chest.  Loud, chaotic, but at least all in one spot.


Bio:

Jenny Birch is a middle school ELA teacher and freelance writer who writes primarily contemporary and YA fiction. She hails from Pittsburgh, PA, where she lives with her wonderful husband and two crazy-awesome sons. She is an active member of the SCBWI and Penn Writers. She can be found on Twitter @TheRealMrsBirch




Volume 1 Prompt 30

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What was that?
Just there out of the corner of your eye? Was it the girl you have a crush on, looking your way? Was it your husband, checking illicit text messages? Was there something there in the shadows, waiting for you to pass? Your partner checking his gun before getting out of the patrol car to investigate a strange man, laying on the sidewalk? A moth fluttering around a streetlamp?

This week, dear readers, I want you to look at what you cannot see directly. Explore your character’s peripheral vision, what is possible to discern and how they infer that sideways information.

As always, 500 words or less due by Thursday at 8 pm EST.

 

Volume 1 Issue 29: There was no other way.

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Listen to the podcast for Vol. 1, Issue 29.

“There was no other way.”

How do you read that? Do you think of it as the truth, in the way a determinist might? Does it make your existentialistic heart rage?

Or do you get all swoony for stories of fate and destiny?  Soulmates and fortune tellers?
Do you look at the palms of your hands as maps that you must follow?

There was no other way, no choice. How many times have you been in a situation where you thought that there was only one option, one door to open?

This week we have six stories that explore these very questions from Karen Schauber, deb y felio, Francine Witte, Kelli J Gavin, Debjani Mukherjee, and Sunil Sharma.

Enjoy! And please come back tomorrow for the (first ever!) podcast featuring two of these stories, read aloud by yours truly.



 

Conscious Uncoupling
Karen Schauber

Harold drums his fingers on the gummy Formica tabletop. The thumb leading the procession picks up the pace. A second cup of coffee now cold, stale, and thin, sits untouched. Donna, he grumbles, late again.  He tries convincing himself she’s not worth it; no sense inviting further humiliation.

Time to blow this pop stand, he murmurs. He digs his aluminum chair’s heels in, scraping the mustard yellow linoleum and drives back hard into the wall. The metallic screech raises hairs all around in aggravated protest. The woman with the bouffant updo seated at the adjacent table turns away as if to signal her displeasure. Harold pushes up out of his seat; a loping simian asserting dominance.

At checkout, he twirls a handful of silver coin on the counter. They glitter like whirling dervish. The cashier’s eyes light up with delight. His hand waves away her adulation and the receipt, before slamming the heavy glass door of the diner behind him. There will be no reconciliation today.

Flashing a quick look up and down the street, Harold surveys the oncoming traffic for Donna’s pink Declasse Tornado. He bid pretty low for the beauty at Dixie’s auto auction last June and got her for a steal. Now she’s been forked over in the settlement. The optics are not good. He shields doubt and embarrassment behind cobalt blue Ray-Bans and stands fidgeting in tired cowboy heels a while longer.

He’ll give her a few more minutes. Truthfully, he has nowhere else to go.

Across the street, he slides into the parked dusty brown Chevrolet slumping low into threadbare upholstery and pushes up the visor for a good sightline to watch her arrival. She never does show.

He will say nothing. Bringing up her defiance would be like inviting two bobcats into a burlap bag. Instead, he will call the lawyer in the morning. Another 300 bucks down the drain. There is no other way.


Bio:

Karen Schauber is a seasoned Family Therapist practicing in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her earlier writing is non-fiction and details three decades of psychosocial and analytical cases. Flash Fiction is a new and welcome adventure for her. Karen’s flash fiction is published and forthcoming in 25 Literary Magazines and Anthologies including Brilliant Flash Fiction, Bending Genres, CarpeArte, Ekphrastic Review, Fiction Southeast, and Poems for the Writing: A Textbook. The upcoming Group of Seven Flash Fiction Commemorative Anthology celebrating the Canadian modernist landscape painters is her first editorial flash venture http://GroupofSevenFlashFiction.weebly.com. In her obsession with flash fiction, Karen also facilitates http://VancouverFlashFiction.weebly.com. She can be reached directly at http://karenschauber.weebly.com



 

Hidden Discussions
deb y felio

We thought about this carefully
before setting out the plan,
despite the numerous casualties
we assumed people would understand.

How to spin the message
give it a proper reason
without all the baggage
that didn’t sound like treason.

The profits that were gained
came at a price of course,
the progress we obtained
required a little force,      

That’s the story we are telling,
the press we are releasing,
the product we are selling,
the palms we are re- greasing.

We cannot admit that we ignored
the data from the experts
who begged us and implored
not this!  children will get hurt.

Was there something more philosophic,
something else we could have done
maybe less catastrophic
and still we could have won?

Perhaps but then there wasn’t time,
immediacy was the essence —
there were other hills to climb,
give the ratings extra presence.

When someone asks what’s going on
what’s causing all the chatter
reassure them nothing’s wrong
and the issue doesn’t matter.

So set aside the could have beens
and what we’ll never say,
the official statement to the crowd –
“there was no other way.”


Bio:

deb y felio is a witness poet exploring and writing on the mundane, the miraculous and the under-represented sides of historic and current issues. deb lives and writes in the hills of Boulder Colorado and is active in the Denver Lighthouse for Writers and the Stain’d art community. Her work is published in multiple online sources) and in the print anthologies Hay(na)ku ( Eileen Tabios, editor) and in Minnie’s Diary, A Southern Literary Review October 2018.



 

Love has rules
Francine Witte

Love has rules

and you can’t change ‘em. I tell this to Harley again and again.

Been like this forever, I say. He ignores me, but still I try.

I sit him in his favorite chair. all fluffy pillows and doilies where the fabric quit.

I say, Harley, you gotta start bringing me flowers. Daisies are my favorite. You can pick ‘em out back.

He is already shifting his shifty feet, big clunky boots that are waiting to walk him straight back to Loretta.

Who I know all about, and the spell she cast over him. With her big brown eyes, her fingers quick as a bluebird. Harley once told me that the first rule of love is to obey your heart and that’s what led him to Loretta.

Well, I gave him that. At least, that time he listened. But if he was gonna stay with me. He would at least have to act sorry. And sorry meant flowers.

So right now, that’s all I want to know. Where the hell are my flowers? He finally says, they are busy out back, and not ready to pick. And I needed to give them time to grow.

I remind him that the rules of love say that time has no meaning. How it seems too long when you’re away from the one you desire.

Speaking of which, are we done here? This is taking forever, he says.

Not for me, I tell him. Time just flies when you’re around.

And that’s when he gets up to leave. Leave me for the very last time.

Days later, at his funeral, I strew his sorry casket with daisies. Nice, big plump ones they sent from the store. I squeeze out a tear, but no one believes it. Not Loretta, who is still angry about the stabbing, not the policeman over there in the corner waiting to take me to jail, and certainly not the newspaper guy, who named me Crazy Daisy and chuckled when I said that I was just obeying the rules of love, and when it’s clear that a love thing is over, you need closure or something, and if only Harley had listened for once, it might have been different.

But since it wasn’t different, really, there was no other way.


Bio:

Francine Witte is the author of four poetry chapbooks and two flash fiction chapbooks. Her full-length poetry collection, Café Crazy, has recently been published by Kelsay Books. She is reviewer, blogger, and photographer. She is a former English teacher. She lives in NYC.



 

No Other Way
Kelli  J Gavin

When she left him, it wasn’t a moment too soon.  She had stayed for far too long but couldn’t imagine her life any other way.  She felt stuck. Stuck where she lived. Stuck in this situation. Stuck with him. She needed to get away, but where would she go?

5 years together was a long time. A lifetime. An eternity when you didn’t want to be there. 5 years was never something to brag about. 5 years meant nothing except for 5 years of insults, 5 years of assault, 5 years of beatings. He raised his hand to her 4 days after they were married. 4 whole days. But of course he didn’t mean it. He was a passionate man, and she had upset him so much when she wore that short skirt and too much makeup for his liking. She was told she was married and didn’t need to dress and look like that anymore. She was told that if she ever did it again, she would have more than a busted lip.

When stitches were needed the first time, it was because she was a half hour late getting home from work.  A half hour. She stayed late to earn some more money to pay for a nice birthday gift for her husband. She did it for him. And how was she repaid? With a gash three inches long splitting her eyebrow.  She told her friend she tripped and ran into the open front door. She smiled and tried to joke about her clumsiness. She was anything but clumsy. Didn’t she use to be a graceful dancer? Her friend knew she was lying. This was the first of may lies.

She lost the baby when he kicked her so hard in the stomach after she decided she wasn’t cooking dinner that night.  She felt so sick all day and had no appetite to eat. Maybe a few crackers later if she was up to it. She had plenty of leftovers to serve him, but leftovers were never good enough.  How dare she feed him “food that shouldn’t be served to animals!” She ran when she saw the rage in his eyes and balled fists that were never going to relax. The running made him more angry. She didn’t want to make him angry. She realized that too late as she was running from him. Running to save herself. Running to save the baby.

The baby was not saved. But she was. That night, she told the doctor in the ER how many times he had hurt her. She knew it was the last time. That night, her mom and friend packed up all of her belongings. She would never return to him. She was ready to leave town, if only for a short time. But she knew she had to leave. She would create distance. So goodbyes were said and tears were shed. There was no other way.


Bio:

Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company.  Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice, The Writers Newsletter, Writers Unite!, Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Rye Whiskey Review, Spillwords, Mercurial Stories, 121 Words, HerStry, Ariel Chart, The Basil O’Flaherty, PPP Ezine, Southwest Media, Otherwise Engaged, Pleather Skin, Paper.Li, The New Ink Review, among others.

Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin

Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com



 

 A Lesson**
Debjani Mukherjee

From a very early age Kritika was attuned with the admiring looks in the eyes of her fellow male classmates. A blooming rose always gains the attention of the bumble bees. Kritika understood this fact right in her early teen but never indulged those bees in her life. When she walks through any public place, few heads always turns following her motion just like the sunflowers which turn their head following the direction of the big bright fiery sun and why not!  Kritika’s beauty and charm is no less than the monarch of the universe. With Her creamy white competition, hazelnut eyes, rosy plump lips and perfect figure she looks no less ravishing than a star. She is now habituated getting love proposal almost every week which she obviously turns down. Her close friends have great fun times discussing about the number of new Romeo’s she earned till date. Kritika smiles at their comments but never indulges the discussion. She is more happy discussing books and music instead of these meaningless things.

Kritika is now twenty-one and studying law, nourishing the dream in her eyes to become a top corporate lawyer one day. Her fan following in the law school is no less than the past but her reserved personality leaves her male friends with no option than to whiff cold breathes into their chest. With age people develops ego and with the fear of getting humiliated they learn to act with patience and understanding. The male acquaintance of the law college thus refrain themselves from proposing Kritika as her reticent personality and quite nature bespeaks the message “not interested’ in bold letters.

But there are always few people in this queer world who believes in the never give up theory. Subhash is one of them. No matter how well the fact is acknowledged in the premises of law school that Kritika is not a girl to wish for, Subhash is not ready to give up. He is happy to act like some ambitious soul alluring himself with this impossible dream, which has every chance to get rejected in near future. He sets his voyage for the mission marry Kritika with the best whack of his. He is a CA, already running a farm successfully and joined the law graduating course to get more clients of big companies. He is elder than most of the students in the college and of course already successfully earning good money. So he has got some respect among the students. He is a little short in height and his eyes are ornamented with spectacles. His fair skin goes red whenever he becomes a part of a college canteen debate as he has a tendency to prove his point with utter conviction. He became a member of the same group in which Kritika dwells and keep finding ways to praise and support Kritika in anything and everything.

Kritika understands the meaning of every gesture Subhash performs from passing her the canteen tea glass before anyone else, paying all the food bills of the group voluntarily, talking always in support of Kritika, she surely understands it all. Subhash is not leaving any corner untouched but Kritika was nowhere to give in for any of his efforts. As somehow these constant endeavors of Subhash to impress her makes her feel very uneasy and embarrassed. One day he even visited their house by surprise and chatted with her mother for long which Kritika didn’t like at all.

Theirs is an evening college as many people like Subhash who are already established in other field intend to pursue the law graduation as an add-on qualification to enrich their portfolio. After the classes they walk back home in a group. Some of them who come from far walk to the bus stop to catch a bus. Some take the bus to the railway station to board a train and some like Kritika whose house is just at the walking distance walks back to her house. And here something Subhash does every evening which absolutely disgusts Kritika. Subhash who stays at the next town comes to college riding his bike and every day after the classes are over and the group starts walking together to a point where they gets apart for their respective destinations Subhash pushes his bike along with them saying that he want to be with the group for more. But the true reason is known to all which makes Kritika so embarrassed that she wants the ground to split and submerge into it.

That evening after everyone leaves for their own destination Subhash takes out a book from his bag and gave it to Kritika for a read saying “it’s a great book please read it. I know you will love it.” Unwilling in heart Kritika takes the book as it is not mentioned as a gift , though she could see the shining brand new cover of the book “Thakur Barir Andormohol” ( the inner life of the Tagore house) by Chitra Deb. But as it is not mentioned as a gift, turning down a good book like this seems illogical so she takes it without any word. After reaching home she opens the book to read and discovers a single line written on the empty page at the beginning of the book. “Gifted to the person I love” no to or from mentioned just a line which says it all but leaves her with no option to confront it. Kritika got extremely angry, after being an embarrassment for her every evening now this man got the guts to pronounce it loud too!! She is absolutely disgusted and wants to teach this educated idiot a fitting lesson for all his calculated steps towards this disgusting climax.

After few days Kritika gives the book back to Subhash, thanking him casually she proceeds to her class for the lecture. Subhash gets disheartened by not receiving any reply from Kritika. May be the message was too passive in manner he thought. He was going to put the book in his bag when a folded paper slipped to the floor from the folds of the book. Subhash’s heart started racing, he could almost hear the lub dub repeating wildly inside his chest like a hammer. He grabbed the paper and sat on the staircase at the end of the huge corridor of the collage and as he expected it’s a letter.

My Love, 

                 You are the most beautiful thing ever happened to me. I fell in love with you right at the moment when I saw you for the first time. I never believed in love at first sight but see it happened to me. The intensity of my love is at a constant raise. Increasing with the waves of time my days and nights are getting more consumed by your thoughts.  My imaginations come to an end when I think how my life would be, if it’s not with you! I could only weave the pictures of my future around you. I know you too love me with the same intensity so let’s paint a life together with the colour of each other’s life.

                                                                                Yours and only yours

                                                                                            Kritika “

Subhash is so happy that he couldn’t even realize where he is and all his emotions of the joy of victory got sketched on his face instantly . The best girl in the college is now his. He got what others never could. He surely is the best so the most beautiful girl in the college is now his girlfriend and may be the would be wife. When he will walk with Kritika the other boys of the college will burn their eyes with envy. Having a girlfriend as beautiful as Kritika is no less than a dream come true. He was always an achiever, minting money with both hands in so early edge he was always way ahead than others. So if not him, then who could win the princess of the college!! Certainly Kritika couldn’t have found a better boyfriend than him. Along with the high bank balance in this early age now he has achieved the most beautiful girl also surely he will be the talk of the town for the rest of his life. He thoughts kept dancing on his eyes but then something caught his eyes at the other side of the page. It’s just a short note of one line. “P:S- I Love you Subho from the bottom of my heart.”

Subhash felt as if he missed his heartbeats for a while. The happiness of achieving the best girl in the college and then discovering it’s just a myth left him as a stone on the stairs. Kritika who was watching him from far hiding behind the door of the class smiled a little. She hurried to Subhash as if she didn’t notice his previous happiness and now this acquit disappointment flashing on his face. She said “Oh! Subhash I forgot an important paper inside the book please can I have it back?” she said it in one go pretending to be worried losing the paper.

Subhash stretches out his hand holding the letter, with a bewildered look in his eyes which gave Kritika an indomitable urge to laugh out loud but she kept her face straight and came back to her class room with the mock letter in her hand which she wrote to some nonexistent Subho just for this purpose. She was content with the thought that she taught the self-obsessed man with huge superiority complex a good lesson. She never liked Subhash flaunting his money in the canteen as if none of them could afford the snacks and those high volumes arguments of his where he never cared to listen to others view absolutely irritated her like anything. What did he thought Kritika will be allured with his show off!! She went to her seat wearing the smile still on her lips. She knows she did it brutally but what to do there was no other way.

(**Note from the editor: This story did exceed the word limit but there are exceptions to every rule.)


Bio:


Debjani Mukherjee
is a MBA in applied management and also a poet and a writer. Her poems, short stories and articles are published in several international anthologies and magazines.


 

The monster slayer
Sunil Sharma

The  trail goes to the cave of the monster. Slay your father-killer there.

The Old Seer to Kelly, the reluctant warrior.

The man with the golden locks and eyes of a poet would have rejected the challenge earlier but priorities change.

Then the nagging question: Why did it happen to me?

He was determined to punish the elusive beast.

As per the directions of the Wise One, young Kelly undertook a long and dangerous journey; the Wide River and stars, only compass. There were craggy mountains and treacherous paths; swift streams and fatal falls. A misstep—you are dead meat.

Last part, most testing!

The warning sounded true.

As Kelly approached the final trail, things grew strange. The cave did not look formidable or dangerous but rather beckoned!

An outside garden with a murmuring brook. The trees were in bloom and birds sang merrily. The seductive aroma of the exotic flowers and the soft breeze lulled the brave quester into sleep.

Waking up, he found himself tied on a rough table.

And a host that announced most cheerfully: Welcome, my lunch!

Kelly had never seen such an odd creature. The huge and unwashed hybrid stank badly. Bones littered the entire floor. The kitchen fires blazed, giving some light and warmth in that damp place. Dismal sight!

The giant reassured the victim gleefully: Do not be afraid. I kill my victims without pain. Only problem, I am bit slow for their liking.

Panic.

The monster got excited by the scent of fear: I thought you were brave but I can sense terror. Mortals! Easily scared!

Kelly was repulsed by the hollow laughter.

—Not fair! Kelly was calm.

—What?

—This uneven contest.

—Life! Never fair!

—You are philosopher also.

—I reflect. Observe things.

—Like?

—Humans love to invent their own monsters!

Kelly was astonished.

—A thinking man’s monster. Not a complete brute!

—Fairy tales! Why do you create appalling images of the other species? Why this need for terrifying aliens?

—Because the unknown is dreaded. Part of evolution. Kind of processing threats in great images.

—Nice thinking, Kelly!

—Know my name?

—I can read the tattoo.

Kelly became quiet.

The fiend said: Monster is created to make you feel human, superior, master.

Kelly nodded.

They looked at each other for long.

— I like you, Kelly. Here is a game: Run for freedom. After an hour, I come after you. If you reach the border before, you win. Now run.

They agreed.

Kelly ran against the wind and crossed the border. Monster kept his word and let him live.

… Having survived the ordeal and returning home happily, Kelly remembered suddenly: Father killed by a beast-cum- cannibal.

He felt angry.

He was there to slay him, not escape.

Killing the giant, not easy.

Kelly knew he was to overcome fear and go back to the cave only.

There was no other way!


Bio:

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 19 published books: Six collections of poetry; two of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.

Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA:

http://www.setumag.com/p/setu-home.html

For more details, please visit the blog:

http://www.drsunilsharma.blogspot.in/




 

Volume 1 Issue 22: Yellow

yellow_ye

Hello and welcome to Week 22.

Yellow. The color of the sun, of dandelions, of jaundice, of a nasty bruise.

This week we have six stories of yellow from Kelli J. Gavin, Debbie Felio, Lesley Crigger, Sunil Sharma, Michael Sarabia, and Karen Petersen.  Guaranteed to add a splash of yellow to your day.

Happy reading!

P.S.
The next prompt will be posted on Sunday to make up for this week’s delay. 

 



Better Than Puke
Kelli J Gavin

My husband exited the doctor’s office and walked toward me in the waiting room.  He looked a bit flustered. We finished at the front desk scheduling future appointments. Josh has been ill for the better part of five months and he was seeing another neurologist, just to rule out “anything else”.  My husband suffers from Bilateral Vestibular Dysfunction with a complete failure of the Vestibular System. His days are filled with dizziness, fatigue and lack of energy. Most weeks it is two or three trips to the doctor or rehabilitation therapists. When you go to so many different doctor’s offices, you start to really take a close look at your surroundings.

Was the building easy to access from the freeway? Is parking free or is valet available? Can I locate the Medical Suite easily based on the directions I was given? Is the front desk staff welcoming? Did they ask about your physical comfort? How long is the wait until your name is called?  Have they read the lengthy medical records or will you have to start from the beginning? What does the examination room look like? – This might be the most important question.

My husband at his worst, will notice his surroundings. He could be struggling with the world spinning upside down, but will notice if the chairs are comfortable and if artwork is on the wall. “That was the most unwelcoming doctor’s office room I have ever been in. The walls were a weird puke color and the examination table was tiny and pushed up against the wall just so it would fit.  I had to get up and lay down and do it again because the doctor couldn’t walk around the table to do a full examination.”

As we returned to the car, we talked how the waiting room furniture and walls were the same ugly not quite brown, green or beige, but puke color.  I shared with him that I love a light blue or green wall. my favorite was a welcoming Yellow. The color yellow often makes people feel calm and happy. “Did you know in the bible, yellow often represents fire, and fire often refers to purification?”

“If yellow if purifying, paint the entire office yellow. Purify the heck out of that place.  Maybe the purification will make that puke color fade away. Hey, if there is a survey, make sure you remind me to tell them they should paint the entire office yellow.” My husband replied with a smirk. I loved that Josh is able to joke around and make fun of the horrible color pallette.

Josh has another appointment Thursday with the Neurotologist and a lab visit, we will be watching. We will look at the furniture and artwork and wall color or lack thereof. Let’s hope it is a beautiful light shade of yellow.  Let’s face it. Anything will be better than that God forsaken puke color.


Bio-

Kelli Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company. She enjoys writing, reading, swimming, and spending time with family and friends. She abhors walks on the beach (sand in places no one wishes sand to be), candle lit dinners, (can’t see) and the idea of cooking two nights in a row (no thank you).

Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin

Blog found at kellijgavin@blogspot.com




Once Upon a Time In the Future
Debbie Felio
There was a time in the distant future in the land of JoerJha, families huddled by the hot ice melting into their shoes and warming their feet, puddling between their toes, when stories would be told of an ancient time, and no one really knew with certainty if the tales were history or simply fables of a culture long gone. But the tales had remained unchanged for generations, some translated from a sanskrit like writings of a late 21st century simpleton left on a handsized tablet unable to be read with surety having #s which archaicologists believe substituted for some yet undiscovered addition to a centuries old alphabet, and letters scrambled as if a code also yet to be fully comprehended. The elder of the tribe, about fourteen, began to recite again this tale, familiar to those who had lived as long as he, and astonishing to those hearing it for the first time. A hologram filled the center of where they had gathered – the reproduction of that simple tablet tool. The young ones laughed, mocking – as so many generations had done – the cumbersome and primitive inventions of ages past.
They settled into the warm ice and the elder began to tell the story of a time that now no one had first hand knowledge or memory of. Each flicked their fingers for light and listened. “There was a time – yesterday or before – when ice would not warm you.”
Gasps. “How could that even be?”
“ice was something called cold – something we feel when we are not in the ice. It was also clear or white, not gray from the ash like we have now. I have been told this – but there is no proof as it has been gray for the last seventy years – maybe longer, but no one knows.
The elder continued, “It was also during this time there would be night and day very distinct from each other and no fingerlights would be needed for half the day.”
“What would they do with their fingerlights?” Qwerty was always the one with questions.
“There were no such things as fingerlights. They came much more recently after the Event.”
Everyone hushed. They knew the great mystery was coming.
“it had been predicted for years and years and few believed it. No one wanted to understand what was coming and what would happen. So they went living their lives using the tools they had – automobiles, electricity, cell batteries, water –  however crude they were, using up what were called natural resources.Until that fateful day when this bright yellow star began to flicker.”
“Great elder, what is yellow? We do not know that.” it was Uiop, Qwerty’s younger brother.
“You are right, Uiop. No one knows what that is. It was something not gray.”
“As it flickered, the day became dimmer. until there was nothing left at all but dark.”
Those familiar with the tale prepared for the ending chorus.
“For that was the day…

“The lights went out in JoerJha!”

About the author:
deb  y felio is a witness poet and essayist writing the underside or other side of historical and current issues. She is published in various online journals and will be in two anthologies to be released Fall 2018. She enjoys the opportunity to share some humor as a diversion from her more serious topics, believing laughter really is good medicine. She lives and writes in Boulder CO, USA.


Yellow
Lesley Crigger

“If that big ass yellow sign doesn’t grab your attention, nothing will,” James said. At least twice a day Brian and James pass the weather-beaten sign. Once on the way to school and once on the way back. On the days they bother with school.

“It’s not so much the color as the wording: Adult comics. What the hell does that even imply?” Brian imagines his fingers tracing the curves of a busty anime character as he flips the pages. Curves his virgin digits have yet to glimpse on a real female figure.  

“Exactly what it sounds like.”

‘It’s abandoned now, they might as well tear it down.” Brian’s heard his mother bitch year after year about the sign. An eyesore, she’d chant. Tourist won’t clamor to a town with a filthy glory-hole smack dab in the middle. Bulldoze over the lot, erect a Denny’s. like that’s what the town needs- another all-day breakfast joint for old fuck to congregate. They had the Dairy Queen. The words that pass their lips are every bit as filthy as anything you’d find in an adult superstore.  

“They tried. Place is haunted.”

“A porn store is haunted? Are you high or just stupid?” 

“I don’t know man, something about a rape… a murder. Place was shut down not long after that. Wanna check it out?” James asks.

“I sure as shit do not.”

“What else do you have planned? Drunk by noon again?” James has a point. Brian’s usual Saturday MO is being smashed by 12 o’clock. Not that either has ever minded, it’s what they’re doing on this part of the road anyway. Route 522 leads to one place, one place that matters. Dell’s minute market. Dell doesn’t give a rat’s ass what two 17-year-old boys buy as long as they buy it with cash.

James raises an eyebrow, pressing the question.

“I don’t know…” Brian’s hesitation is enough for James. The old Chey teeters between the double yellow lines before grinding to a halt. James throws the gear into reverse and speeds backwards, back to the looming yellow sign. 



Fragment from the Yellow Diary
Sunil Sharma

.

Adore yellow—reminds me of turmeric.

Of the Arles Sunflowers.

Of The Yellow House (The Street), 1888.

.

Vincent wanted to create a symphony of yellow and blue. He claimed sunflowers as his own.

I love Vincent.

Therefore, I, too, love these tender flowers that got the great artist’s special attention, in two series, and made them iconic across the world.

Whatever Vincent touched became gold.

Posthumously.

Shameful!

The painter died pauper, unsung.

Fate of a true artist.

Now— enjoys cult following.

.

Yellow.

Melancholic—like a wintry afternoon.

Magical also: The Yellow House is a landmark for fans. Vincent wanted to create a studio of the south where painters could live and work in a shared space. Gauguin was there as guest but things went from good to bad.

Rest is history.

Yellow House where a genius lived for short time. Resented by neighbours.

They found him a threat and wanted him to be sent to an asylum.

An artist as a threat!

Every great artist is a danger.

Society does not want them outside but inside a nut house, every age.

How funny!

Who is sane?

The bourgeois?

Or Gogh?

.

Why is yellow appealing?

Is it its lightness?

Or ability to blend?

Both.

It sits soothingly—on eyes and mind.

That is why a disturbed Vincent employed the yellow and rendered it vividly.

And made it famous as a medium.

.

Yellow signals jaundice.

Death. Decay.

Friendship.

A primary colour.

Have seen many dead with pale faces.

The face drained of colour—except an odd paleness that confirms lack of vitality, breath, life.

The paleness found on Vincent’s hollow face.

Perhaps, he was living and dying at the same instant—like an autumn evening.

.

In India, the weddings are incomplete sans turmeric (haldi in Hindi) application—the lotion applied to both the bride and groom. Called Haldi rasam, this ritual takes hours and involves cleansing amidst song and dance by the family in a room. After bath, it leaves the body resplendent.

The spectrum of yellow!

.

Fire is yellow. It too cleanses base material and purifies.

Baptism through fire.

.

I call my diary, a yellow diary.

It contains smudges of turmeric on the first and last pages.

Have drawn yellow lines across few pages.

Yellow and white background mix together and create a stunning visual.

Try that.

You will find your inner Vincent through such elementary sketching, doodling and drawing.

Art is about creating new patterns, visuals, artifacts, verbal objects.

By drawing a yellow line across a white art-sheet, I am trying to do a Vincent—and trying to understand his mental state in that Yellow House.

These few entries on August 16 of 2018 at 5.30 pm, in Mumbai, are random attempts at capturing the flux of that state.

And tribute to Sunflowers and The Yellow House that brought out the best and worst in a creative mind, mostly misunderstood in his lifetime!

.

Author-bio:

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 19 published books: Six collections of poetry; two of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.

Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA:

 http://www.setumag.com/p/setu-home.html

For more details, please visit the blog:

http://www.drsunilsharma.blogspot.in/




Yellow
Michael Sarabia

Searching foam for my daughters, I see only stone. I’ve returned to the shores of Colonia Norte, seeking Fátima and Deysi, missing their shadows. Rumored to be gone forever, I’ll continue my labors. I’ll find them.

We arrived four years ago seeking escape from Coca Gangster that grabbed Cajul, my Guatemalan village known for excellent Coffee plants. I left with my daughters catching Mexican rails north. Arriving at Colonia Norte, a sprawling cardboard encampment leaning against the United States, we sought American amnesty, desired her embrace. Told I needed to make money arrangements prior to applying for amnesty, I quickly learned that no amnesty fixer would accept Guatemalan Quetzals or Mexican Pesos, taking American cash only. Holding our last pesos, two-hundred total, I had nothing to sell, thus forced to stay in Colonia Norte, where we spent the first day learning rules.

Every word from the mouth of La Amarilla -The Yellow – is a lie. Agent for the Unseen, true rulers of Colonia Norte, she was everywhere doing everything always at a profit. Sanctioning my acquisition of a heated shack which included fifty gallons of water, two cases of vegetables along with several cartons of milk, La Amarilla tripled the price when she discovered I was manless, traveling only with two daughters.

“You’ll need an amnesty fixer to get to the other side. If you learn to satisfy all men’s cravings, you’ll acquire enough funds. I’ll teach you, provide immunity, take only one third of your transactions. You’ll soon afford a fixer enabling you to leave in two months minimum.

Our kiss underscored the deal. I followed her advice, saved money, contacted a prized amnesty fixer called Santos who took my money, attended papers properly, eventually escorting us across a weathered bridge into a gray building. Biding me farewell, Santos the amnesty fixer tipped his hat, handed over an envelope, silently walked away.

Whirlwinds followed. As we entered the building, my daughters were pulled away. I was searched, photographed, fingers rolled in ink. ICE soldiers questioned me, especially particulars concerning Guatemala’s Coca gangsters. Later I was thrown two blankets, taken to a huge room, told to sleep. I pleaded for my daughters, told they were learning English, singing to a flag, trying to be American. I cried for them every day.

One morning I was taken before a woman lurking behind papers.

“If you want to see Fátima and Deysi again you’ll sign this confession. I had not choice. I signed. That night I boarded a jet, woke up in Guatemala. Accused of harvesting cocaine, I was jailed two years.

Today I’m in Colonia Norte spying into La Amarilla’s house. I enter without knocking, desiring to again be her fierce lover. She smiles, reclines into my arms, wraps me roughly. As we embrace I thrust two steeled points into her heart, give a justified kiss, end her life.

I pause before a mirror, watch my face transform into yellow stone. I’ve become La Amarilla. I will find my daughters.



 

Consolation
Karen Petersen

She came into the diner almost every day. He saw her more than his wife, who was at home most of the time taking care of their house and land. He loved his wife, but one day he realized he loved this girl too.

He could not bear the thought of selling the diner and never seeing her after that.

Each time he saw her he found himself inching closer and closer to the cliff edge. But then he thought of his wife, his beautiful wife, who he’d spent so many years with, and of the shelter dog they’d recently gotten which had brought them close together all over again.

The feeling of guilt was overwhelming.

One day the girl came in, all bubbly and laughing, full of life, and he couldn’t help himself, he felt so happy.

“How are you today?” he said smiling.

She had sat down at the counter close to him, and he could smell her perfume. She was oblivious to the havoc she was creating in his heart.

“Oh, I’ve had quite the saga! I was in my garden and I stepped aside absentmindedly right into the needle of an agave! It went all the way into my ankle bone and got infected.  It’s very serious and I’ve been taking all sorts of antibiotics.”

He wanted to take her little foot in his hands and gently kiss her ankle where the puncture had been. But instead he said, “Well, you look gorgeous and I think you’ll be with us for a long time!”
—–
A loud buzzer sounded.
—–
The silver cover to the 69027 Recall Tank slid back. An attendant with a yellow robe stood by, smiling. “Did you have a nice memory visit, dear?” he asked.

She looked at him and sighed. Oh yes, and got out of the tank slowly. Her ankle still hurt even now from that silly accident with the agave needle so many years ago.

In the mirror just beyond she saw herself for who she was–a bent over, white-haired, wrinkled old lady–now a frail shadow in the noonday sun. The last survivor of an era.

But none of it mattered at all. She’d remembered. He’d called her gorgeous. Gorgeous.


BIO

KAREN PETERSEN has traveled the world extensively, publishing both nationally and internationally in a variety of publications. Most recently, her poems and short stories have been published in The Manzano Mountain Review in the USA, The Bosphorus Review in Istanbul, Antiphon in the UK, The Wild Word in Berlin, and A New Ulster in Northern Ireland. New work will be appearing in the Saranac Review in the USA and Idiom 23 in Australia. In 2015, she read “In Memory of W.B. Yeats” at the Yeats Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the KGB Bar in NYC. Her poems have been translated into Persian and Spanish. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Classics from Vassar College and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She teaches English Composition at NNMC.



Week 22: Prompt

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Inspired by the neverending heatwave…

Look forward to seeing your stories this week. And hey, how about inviting a friend to give it a try this week? The more the merrier, right?

See you Thursday!

Week 21: Prompt

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Hello and welcome to Week 21!

So this week,  I want you to use a nonsense word in your story but do not define it directly. Rather, let the explanation be in the context. For example:

“Hank, grab the sannibroet!”
“No, Martha, I really don’t think it has come to that. I mean, look at the poor thing, it’s trembling already.”
“Hank, do what I said,” Martha said, her voice low and firm. She was not a cruel woman, she loved animals; in fact, she just pulled over to move a gopher tortoise off the road that morning. Hank knew that she was scared, that it was the shock talking, not his sweet wife so he remained motionless.
“Hank.”
“Martha, I think you need to calm down. We can’t be hasty. We don’t want to do anything regrettable.”
“Hank, the sannibroet! Now!”

I really just ran my fingers over the keyboard to make up that word. And I still don’t really know what it is but I am sure if I went a little further with the story, I would figure it out. Have fun, be inventive, and get writing.

I look forward to seeing your stories.

500 words or less with a short bio (not included in the word count).
Due Thursday 8 pm EST via mercurialstories@gmail.com

 

 

 

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