Hitman Visits the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

by Brad Rose

I overhear a teenage girl say to another teenage girl, "I didn't tell Mom we were the ones who killed the cat." The cherry trees are blooming pink bombs. It's early Spring. The day is sunny as an egg. Aimless as a stray bullet, the wind blows past me. I wonder, "Have I chosen the wrong career?"


Brad Rose is the author of Pink X-Ray. His website is here.


Naval Clash

by Tomaz Schalk van der Merwe

My heart sank along with the thousand men on the aircraft carrier when the fifth torpedo struck. I blindly ordered to return fire. I had no idea where the torpedoes came from, but we managed to hit them. Although not a second time. Another one of my ships was hit and I could see the water pouring in. "Let's play chess, I hate this game."


Tomaz Schalk van der Merwe is a student of Creative Writing & History at the University of Chester.


Greenville, 1989

by Patty Scull

On tired Spring afternoons, my mother would pull up to the Trinity United Methodist Church playground my brother and I would occupy after school; it rained a lot in those days. On the way home we would lean our heads against the cold, smooth windows that enclosed us in the back of my mother’s silver Honda Civic. We’d pretend the raindrops were racing, and we’d trace them with our fingertips and take bets as they stalled suddenly in their rain-made tracks. Then, just as fervently they would slide downward on a diagonal until we could no longer see them in the pane of our apocryphal race track. We’d trade sidelong glances, and my brother’s feet would dangle above the carpeted floor, his favorite green and white striped shirt crumpled under a mass of long blonde hair. We’d close our eyes and only when the car’s shaking and slowing reminded us of the worn gravel of our house’s driveway would we open them and all of a sudden, we were home.


Patty Scull is a New York City based writer. Her work has appeared in The Scarlet Sound and The Other Herald.


Better Get Going

by Tom Evans

He'd say that every morning as he left behind nothing more than a light peck on my cheek. Each evening as he logged off at 18:23pm precisely, he'd say to himself, Better get going I suppose. He was always the last to leave. I was constantly telling him to slow down but would he listen? The irony brought a smile to my face, quelling my tears, as his coffin was lowered into the ground. On his headstone, I'd had engraved, "He decided he'd better get going."


Tom Evans wants you to unleash the book inside.


Reptile Girl

by Virginia Schmidt

I still remember lying on my little brother's bed as I flipped through the pages of the book about the boy who collected reptiles. Stroking the soft scales of a Ball Python featured in Chapter Two, I had an epiphany: I too would become a collector of reptiles, and eventually grow up to be a very professional and daring female herpetologist. Her name was Samantha, and she was a native of Jackson Hole, Wyoming before she underwent her official induction ceremony into my reptile collection in the front seat my mom's Suburban on the drive back to Cody. Sam, only a baby Ball Python back then, was my first and always most-treasured reptile collector possession (every collector has her favorite piece); I loved her from the moment I felt her forked tongue tickle my ear as she wound gingerly around my neck. Later would come a King Snake, a Milk Snake, two Green Iguanas, a Leopard Gecko, an African Fat-tailed Gecko, a Bull Snake, and various wild Garter Snakes and Horny Toads caught from the acres of sagebrush ridden public land behind my house. I had to give them all away and let their memories go eventually, when I found out most people are extremely repulsed by a person who loves reptiles, and Sam, oh sweet Sam, she was the last to go; I can still feel her gentle constriction around my neck even as her memory squeezes love blood from my heart. 


Virginia Schmidt is a Wyomingite now dwelling in Austin, Texas.



by Christina Martin

She sits bathed in sunlight for the last time, the warmth of it keeping her from feeling like a ghost. Tomorrow's the day for that, for others to see nothing but a fragment of a girl surrounded by comfort and family and feeling lost all the same. Tomorrow she'll be elsewhere, in a place where numbers and calculations are no longer suffocating in their displacement. Tomorrow she'll have a purpose beyond superficial satisfaction and for once she'll feel challenged. For once, she'll be happy. Tomorrow's the day for that, today's the day for the sun.


Christina Martin is a poor college student with far too much time on her hands.