ABC3D

by Marion Bataille



6S

Marion Bataille is graphic and book designer who lives in Paris. The above video shows a hand-made mock-up of her new book, which publishes in October. Keep in mind, it takes 26 letters to make six sentences. Remember also to be creative and have fun. Test the limits of your imagination. Make time for your passions.

The Monster is Loose

by Adam J. Whitlatch

Gnashing teeth and ripping claws signal its arrival; the Beast that lives inside each and every one of us. The monster that usually only comes out when you drink, forget to take your pills, or when you've had a particularly bad day at work. He's really pissed off today, the pulsing of my beating heart against his skull sending him into heightened fits of murderous rage. Call him what you will – Mr. Hyde, Freddy Krueger, The Boogey Man, Willy-Fucking-Wonka for all I give a shit. His growling rants are growing louder inside my head as he claws closer and closer to the surface; he has only one word on his lips... your name, my dear. I'm losing control, succumbing to the same murderous beast that consumed men like Ted Bundy and Jack the Ripper, but the thing that scares me the most of all... is I think I like it.

6S

Adam J. Whitlatch is the author of numerous horror and science fiction short stories. He lives with his wife and two sons in southern Iowa where he continues to work on his second novel "E.R.A. – Earth Realm Army." His work has also appeared in New Voices in Horror Magazine. (Adam's full 6S catalog can be found here.)

Hindsight

by Michael Brooks

I wish I had known how to read her signals, how to interpret the hair touching and smiles from across the crowded party. I wish I had known she was waiting to pull me aside while everyone gathered their coats and prepared for the frosty night. I wish I had known she would grab me by the face and thrust her slippery soft tongue into my mouth, imparting the taste of cheap beer and adolescence. I wish I had known her hands would guide mine, under her shirt then beneath her bra, up the intoxicating roundness of her flesh to the pink and pointy apex. I wish I had known she had a boyfriend. And I wish I had known he was standing in the driveway, waiting to deliver the beating of my young life.

6S

Michael Brooks, author of Patience, lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife, dog, and two cats, and owns a new, sealed copy of Mannequin on VHS. He has perfect vision yet considers getting black-rimmed glasses to improve his credibility as a writer. His blog is called Penis in a Rowboat.

Evocation II

by Darcy Rasmussen

When my then-lover had a job with a business dress code, and a pair of black shoes, he would shine the shoes in the living room of our apartment. The first time he did this, I smelled Kiwi black shoe polish and was transported. Dad is seated on the trunk at the foot of their bed, framed by the bamboo printed wallpaper and floral draperies. I am with him, watching him work - swish swish... swish-swish - polishing his boots with a brush, military style. I had forgotten that smell. But in that haze of sweet, oily odor, my memories came rushing in on me, like the spring tide, sending me to swim in my childhood.

6S

Darcy Rasmussen, whose full catalog is here, can swim in nostalgia with the best of them.

Nitwit

by Brian Wask

Ninth Street. Cody Ovitch leans against the lamppost and whistles at the night. He considers one last drink at a small place around the corner, serves popcorn and hotdogs. His heart’s been cracked like a sidewalk and his attempt at a novel reminds him of a past better forgotten. Love is a dark secret frozen in the snow. Then the dogs carry him home.

6S

Brian Wask's website is here.

Bad Day of Fishing

by Kaydi Johnson

An angler seining at the water’s edge needs a finny tribe - at least one denizen of the deep to call it a day. No pickeral, no pike, no blenny no shad. Not a goby or loach, let alone muskellunge, smelt, hake or gar. The silver and tribeless sheen is empty water, baiting, casting and catching only one. Reflection. A face on its knees pining for prey.

6S

Kaydi Johnson, author of Gutter-Bound, is a New York based singer/songwriter. She has an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and writes whenever she can find a pen. Check her out on MySpace.

Reading List

by Ben Ashwell

Things fall apart, or so I just read. Maybe that’s why I don’t sleep anymore. Maybe that’s why friends say I’ve changed, both physically and mentally. Mainly mentally, I think. Maybe that’s why when I told her she looked like Scarlett Johansson she turned away and uttered genteelly, “I don’t see the resemblance.” Maybe I should start reading Ben Elton books.

6S

Ben Ashwell is a student at Kingston University. Another of his stories can be found here.

Evocation I

by Darcy Rasmussen

At the time my grandmother died — after years of severe clinical depression (think lithium and electro-shock) — she had not been the woman I thought of as “grandma” for a long time. As we sorted through the detritus of her life, I came across an all-but-empty bottle of Charles of the Ritz Revenescence Liquid, her face cream. Some say that our most evocative memories are sparked by a long-forgotten scent; that a chance encounter can unleash hurricane-force emotions. I opened the bottle and the forgotten smell knocked me on my emotional ass; evoking images of warm cinnamon rolls, illicit roller skates, and Gallo salami (but that is another story). Nearly 25 years later, I still keep the obsidian black bottle in my top dresser drawer. Tonight I took it out and gently opened it for the first time in years, breathing her in, accessing my memory of her... a surprising muse for 6S.

6S

Darcy Rasmussen, whose full catalog is here, runs between raindrops at Easter egg hunts.

On the Gallows

by Joseph Parslow

On the gallows you remember a story your sixth-grade English teacher told you, about a man who, on the southern gallows of the American Civil War, fell through the trapdoor and straight out of the noose so that he stood as alarmed as the crowd before he fled down a nearby creek. But this is South America, not the American South. Through the black hood they tossed over you the Amazonian faces cringe and cackle. You see their brown eyes explore your body, which you know is still covered in mud. As the executioner slips the noose over your head and brings it snug against your throat you wonder if all the minds behind all these sets of eyes will remember your final six breaths the way you remember the tale of the hanged man. Between the time when the trapdoor opens and your neck breaks you see the mouths and eyes of your final audience yawn and dilate, and through their blackness you see and feel the way the hanged man felt when he learned in his final moment that slipping from the noose was mere fantasy.

6S

Joseph Parslow writes from a very small room in Albany, New York. He has travelled to 18 countries, consumed both wild boar and reindeer, and has lived on a boat. He is the editor of the Holy Cuspidor.

Boxes, Tape, Markers...

by Lisa Chau

I have a shopping addiction. Buy, buy, buy! Unfortunately, I also move, move, move from residence to residence. So, it's another marathon packing session. How am I going to fit it all into my much smaller apartment without thousands of dollars of shelving?! I'm absolutely terrible at throwing things out.

6S

Lisa Chau is a blogger who is currently blogless. While you're waiting for her next project, check out her portfolio of photography here.

Through the Heart Slowly

by Kevin Michaels

Margaret parks in front of the house on Philadelphia Avenue, turns off the Toyota’s engine, and feels that old familiar pain as she remembers the boy who had lived there years earlier. Even now she can recall so much about their time together in vivid detail – hours spent talking about the strength of their love and the way the boy could make her tremble just by rubbing his fingers in gentle patterns above her knee while telling her how much he loved her. But there was that cold winter’s night with their breath hanging in the air, like the words between them, when she misread her heart and through the tears said it was over. They had parked in that same spot on the street in his dirty white Mustang and she told him that she needed something more than he could ever give her; something she still hasn’t found with the man she married. It has been years since the boy moved north, and although she reads his words from time to time in books and magazines, they don’t fill the emptiness left inside or the longing that consumes each day. She is desperate for that kind of loving touch to make her feel alive just once more – alone in her car no one can hear the sobs caught in her throat or see the tears inching down her cheek as she wrestles with a loneliness only she knows.

6S

Kevin Michaels, whose full catalog is here, is the author of two upcoming novels (BOUNCE and STILL BLACK REMAINS). He lives, breathes, and writes at the Jersey Shore.

Far Too Good for Ordinary People

by Thane Thompson

The maître d' at the upscale tea room gave the man a glare that threatened to crack his tuxedoed and bespectacled façade; but he snapped his finger at the waiter who was hovering nearby like a tremulous hummingbird and stomped back towards the kitchen with the faux bone china cup firmly in hand. "Considering that he attempted to sell me an $8 cup of God-knows-what made from second-rate, bag-derived leaf fannings that were doing a miserable job masquerading as a quality Darjeeling," the would-be connoisseur blustered, "I thought I was well within my rights to return that over-brewed cup of dishwater." He went on, saying, "I suppose I may have gone a bit far," acting like he was holding court with his overly-loud voice, "by asking him if he would know a well-cured leaf of camellia sinensis if it bit him in his bony ass; but if he's going to try to fob that dreck off onto me, I might as well just stay home and brew a cup of PeeGee from the hot water tap." When the waiter returned, I sat back in my chair, hoping that the movement would distance me from the petty, disgruntled little man as the other clients darted angry glances at him; though what may have kept us from acknowledging and even supporting his little... scene could have been our frustration and self-blame at over-paying for a commodity that we knew too little about. The waiter placed the man's new cup on the table with a flourish, then rasped out in an icy, French-derived hiss, "As monsieur has requested; a cup of hand-harvested, Competition-Grade Makaibari Silver Tips, graded 'Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe.'" The snooty little man gave the waiter an ingratiating nod and then began to "ooh" and "ahh" to himself, mumbling about the heady floral scent, the bright coppery liquor, and the lively muscatel finish, though, more and more quietly, until his hand finally went to his throat and his last breath came in a strangled rattle; making me realize that I wasn't just imagining the not-so-subtle scent of bitter-almond that was wafting over to me from his dainty white cup.

6S

Thane Thompson, author of Contemplating Kant and Trophy Wives, writes literary prose and poetry, fantasy, and science fiction. His work has appeared at The Writer's Eye Magazine, Pen Pricks Micro Fiction, and is forthcoming at Tiny Lights "Flash in the Pan." He lives in Ohio with his wife, daughter, and two highly opinionated cats. He freely admits to liking cheap wine, expensive movies, and hand-blown glassware.

Destroyer

by George

Today I exhumed your body to see if I could breathe life into something long dead and buried. Part of me expected to find you in the perfect form you worked so hard to maintain and preserve. Instead I found you decomposed and unattractive. I examined you like a coroner with only scientific fascination, then realized how upset you would be to have anyone see you in this fashion. So I wrapped you in green moss, tucked Mr. Henry under your left arm, laid Anne of Green Gables open on your chest, and returned you to the ground. I suppose I could have cremated you and put you to rest on the same wind that blew me into life, but was afraid a gust might carry you back ‘round.

6S

George is writing to relieve the pressure in her head, because the Advil isn’t working, and a gun is out of the question. She is the author of Christmas Eve 2007.

Tomorrow I'll Try Again

by Munday

I hate her. I stare at her, unnoticed, while she arranges a pile of papers. My anger rises frothy and hot and I serve it indiscriminately. I imagine it being poured, boiling, down her throat and all the throats of whom I hate, and although I don't think it would make an effective exorcism like the medieval priests believed, it would at least shut her the hell up; it would shut everyone up and leave me some peace. She looks up; I smile, but not wanting to lose my anger, I nurse it along with my third morning screwdriver on what should be a workday, with tenderness, care and self-loathing. I hate myself.

6S

Munday is not a writer.

Old News

by Nathan Logan

A twelve piece glam metal band in Muncie, Indiana is trying to recruit me to play lead guitar. I don’t understand why they are doing this, because I do not, nor have I ever played lead guitar. If this were a game of telephone, all twelve of them would be losers. I could imagine it started something like, “Nate really enjoys playing his ukulele and accordion; don’t ask him if he has a favorite though, that’d be like deciding between a fine vintage wine and sirloin steak.” How does something like that get twisted into playing lead guitar? I don’t know, but this is old news; you probably want to hear if I chose the wine or the steak.

6S

Nathan Logan was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana (zooooom!). He is an MFA candidate at Minnesota State University, Moorhead. Some of his work has appeared in/is forthcoming from Literary Tonic, No Posit, North Central Review, Red Weather, and The Subterranean Quarterly.

His First Wife

by Patrick Civiello

Every morning Dad got up and took his nerve pill so he didn’t yell at us all day. His first wife, Jeanette, stepped out of a shower dripping wet and turned a short-circuited switch he’d installed. Ten years after her funeral my Mom looked over at me as she worked the cloth on the ironing board and said, “They had to take Uncle Louie’s voice box out.” Smelling of fresh gauze and cigarettes that Christmas Eve, his first family welcomed us as if nothing had happened. The adults laughed and joked and I secretly ate pink Canada Mints as they smoked 'til the kitchen was a fog bank. Then, I heard Louis use his machine voice as he walked from the fog; he coughed from the hole in his neck and I saw the skin under his bandage was as red as Dad’s little pills.

6S

Patrick Civiello has lived in Maine most his life. He works in education and health care by day and aspires to write his life story after dark.

Metastasizing

by Belinda Furby

I have come to the conclusion that I am metastasizing into my mother. Two mornings ago, in the mirror, I saw her ice-blue eyes staring out at me. Stopped at a red light yesterday, I glanced down at the steering wheel and wondered how her hands got there. Today, words dropped from my mouth that I swear she must have packed in the back of my throat while I was sleeping, knowing years later they would fall out at just the right moment to catch in my own daughter’s ear. I vainly grabbed at the air where they floated, trying to pull them back inside me, trying to keep them from doing harm to her. Then I realized no matter how hard I’ve tried to deny and ignore it, I am my mother’s daughter - and the older I get the more thickly her blood seems to be flowing through my veins.

6S

Belinda Furby, whose full catalog is here, has “mother issues." She writes, wonders, considers, muses, and ponders on her blog.

Edit

by John Mutford

I edited this once. I went back and tried to make it less self-aware. I took out the word “victimization” because it didn’t seem to fit. I saved it at that point. It’s hard to read now. Or it’s hard to read this now.

6S

John Mutford hosts The Book Mine Set. Check it out.

100 Years

by G.M. Hakim

Peanuts, getcha peanuts, beah heah, BEAH HEAH! Ahh, the tantalizing sounds of spring, when the world begins to awaken, the plants start to bloom, and life starts anew. And there is baseball, mirroring the seasons, coming alive in the spring, with the roar of the crowd, the crunch of peanut shells underfoot, and the crack of the bat echoing throughout the park. Just as spring gives us hope for the new year, baseball provides a welcome respite from the doldrums of ordinary life, and carries us through the long, hot summer. But we know that all things must come to pass, and we are aware that a few months from now, the autumn chill will set in, and we'll prepare ourselves for the long haul of another winter, though we'll still have the memories of the summer to carry us through. Baseball does that: it gives us hope, provides lasting memories, and helps us all relax - all of us, that is, except Cubs fans.

6S

G.M. Hakim is a middle school English, Journalism, and Drama teacher who LOVES baseball, and would be a Cubs fan if the Mets ever disbanded. He was just too young to remember the Mets' last World Series title, but not young enough to say they've never won during his lifetime. As a result, he's pessimistic about their chances every year, except this one! You can read and practice your writing skills at his writing blogs: Five Word Monologues and If A, Then B.

Six Sixes by Adam J. Whitlatch

an Online Magazine from Six Sentences



Adam J. Whitlatch, be warned, is not for the feint of heart. To view the magazine (and it's recommended you do so with the lights on), just click the blue “OPEN PUBLICATION” tab above. You’ll be taken inside, where you can turn the pages by clicking the arrows to the left and right. To view a “full screen” version, once inside, just click the diagonal arrows above the document (located to the left of the little envelope). Enjoy!

6S

Six Sentences urges you to write. And when you're finished? Write some more.

Christmas Eve 2007

by George

I watched you twirl at the party – like the dance scene in The Age of Innocence, shot under Scorsese’s direction from above. Ms. Olenska, how you were in your element! Graceful movements and gestures as you snaked your way through the crowd to compliment the girl still madly in love with him; to huddle with the gay boy who was all too happy to share the intelligence gathered about him; to whisper with the former trollop to who shared details of sexual escapades with him; to galvanize the energy between you through awkward hello and sideways glance with him. All stepped to with grand finesse so no one realized they were being manipulated, including him. I left that soiree to sit alone by the Christmas tree in the house I will never return to; the house you will no doubt share with him. Later when you arrived, and like everything else, you took that from me as well.

6S

George is writing to relieve the pressure in her head, because the Advil isn’t working, and a gun is out of the question. She is the author of 1112.

Three Weeks Gone By

by Brian Wask

I turn violently under the blanket among the leaves and the high trees shielding the sea; in my dream the same sea, darker than night during the moon’s absence, moves like a fast river, but it’s bigger and wider with no banks to contain its fury. My hat floats like a kite behind me, attached to a string hugging my throat, while the bow of the boat carves through the dark reflection of stars flickering beneath, and there beyond the edges the moon waits, its mouth wide. I can see the ocean parted by the slick wedge of the bow’s hull... suddenly falling into nothing but black as the stars above linger and the world below mysterious, absent and gentle. Her brown eyes remind me of the last few weeks together, running off midday, hiding behind trees, settling into soft dirt, moist grass. Her nose fit perfectly in my ear, and I showed her I loved her. Not so bad, I thought, holding my hat on my head.

6S

Brian Wask's website is here.

Perfect Pestilence

by Anthony Teth

The skull of a rat held gingerly by idle fingers; peered at through cupped hands in the sunlight; bleached white, brittle, dry, and whispering to me. Its soft squeaks tell me of the comforting darkness and the social nuances of rodent politics, for when they move, they move as one, unlike certain other mammals. I am told about generation upon generation of disease, squalor, might, power, comfort and loyalty; empires fallen, kingdoms destroyed, all under our noses or beneath our feet. Scurrying amidst the shadows and feeding upon our sloth and gluttony; a mimic and mockery of our mighty fortresses, our lush comforts, and our concrete playgrounds, yet, seemingly adhering to a more moral existence than that of the "civilized" simian kind. Come, little skaven ghost, we shall walk and talk a while. Teach me the wisdom of your disease-ridden lust, your pestilential concepts of comfort and security, and how your friends gnaw happily on the fat and gristle left in the gutters by my wasteful brethren, and I will show you how our respective races have more in common than they realize.

6S

Anthony Teth, when not petting the dogs of strangers, enjoys consuming Chinese green tea, Mediterranean food, and your soul. He is the author of Silentium Est Aureum.

Traffic Jam

by Maura Campbell

There's a traffic jam on the tip of my tongue. The pile up is at least a mile long snaking down my gullet clear to my toes. At least it feels that way. Ideas, names, numbers that used to move with ease and clarity from head to voice box to tongue to lips are now a jumbled pile up causing heartburn, anxiety and self doubt. Am I losing my mind? It feels as if I am on a perpetual detour in danger of being late to my own life.

6S

Maura Campbell, author of Testosterone, usually writes for other people - putting words in the mouths of (and on the page for) assorted public relations and marketing clients.

Under the Moon of Love

by Rachel Green

I met my lover under a waxing gibbous moon. With three or four nights left before it was full, it didn’t occur to me that she might be a werewolf. Whoever heard of a lycanthrope that came out to play every night? Nobody, not even Selene. Of course, Selene didn’t even know she was a werewolf. The poor bitch had no memory of the three nights a month she changed into a woman.

6S

Rachel Green, whose full catalog is here, is an English woman who spends far too much time writing about demons.

6S Art of the Day!

April 25, 2008



6S

For a chance to have today's 6S Art Piece sent directly to your mailbox, just leave a comment! Today's piece is marker on paper, and measures 4 x 6 (click the photo for a closeup view). One lucky commenter will be selected at random to receive the piece. It will arrive along with a free gift, and a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. If you love the piece, use the envelope to make a donation to 6S! Now get in the game by leaving a comment... and Good Luck!

New Fallen Snow

by That Grrl

A snowflake fell past the window, softly, like a teardrop. Beyond her dark silhouette, reflected on the window, the motel room was quiet. The man on the bed, silent, like the snow. Only the good die young; she could expect to live a very long time. Outside the snow flew past the window, faster, becoming a blizzard. She picked up her coat and left, a fire breathing dragon disappearing into the snow.

6S

That Grrl, a Canadian rural explorer, writes less than she'd like to. She blogs to make it up to herself.

5 Ridgeway

by Sarah Pace

Last night was one of those long nights of the soul in which one hour was spent feigning sleep and the other seven were spent on the floor of the bathroom. The smell of urine and hair product filled my lungs, already black from the smoke of one thousand stolen cigarettes hidden in the bushes of our backyard. The faux-hardwood floorboards press into the vertebrae of my spine and I have never felt anything better than the rocking of bone against pine, save the inhalation of cancer through poison wrapped in paper. Luckily, the contents of my belly and the creamy chicken casserole for dinner decide the stomach is a better place to take up temporary residence than the cesspool of local water purification, and for the next few hours I am saved. My only hope is that the sounds of my body writhing stretch no further than my ceiling, and that you welcome the night visions of naked women and pleasure after seven long years of never sleeping next to the soft breasts of a woman. My body shakes, pain quickly crashes through my veins while memories of your ex-wife - my pseudo mother - flood the tunnels of my mind: it gets like this whenever I remember why we killed her, but I refuse to ask God for forgiveness.

6S

Sarah Pace, author of nothing but the contents of her unpublished, angst-filled moleskin, lives in Fanwood, New Jersey, and is convinced that she is a forgotten member of the Royal Family. So being, she plans to find a nice bench on the River Thames at a time well suited for her independence to pursue her dreams as a silent, maladjusted literary critic and egotistical food buff.

57 Minutes

by Louise Yeiser

"What does ketchup taste like?” asks a heavily accented woman’s voice. “Well..." (and there is a long pause) "...it tastes like ketchup, of course." Of course ketchup tastes like ketchup I think, burying my face in my menu and trying not to laugh. How could it be otherwise? I decide on the scrambled eggs after I glance at the full bottle of Heinz, lying upside down on my table next to the salt and pepper shakers with their shiny, silver tops; so I close my menu and motion to the server. My flight leaves in less than an hour.

6S

Louise Yeiser, whose full catalog is here, is a freelance writer and student of Creative Nonfiction who likes to take liberties with other people’s conversations.

The Discovery

by Chris Wasil

The moment her mind landed upon the idea, her heart ceased to pump blood and in its place pure dread rushed through her veins. The idea was that she had figured him out. And with that, scandalous images poured into her mind by the gallon and quickly filled the gaps where for weeks things hadn’t made sense. An overheard conversation, the indescribable look on his face, meaningless inconsistencies in his stories, that strange phone call. The impact of the tidal wave crashing down on her heart seemed to have no physical effect on her. She simply stood, frozen, staring right through the hotel receipt he had left in his coat pocket.

6S

Chris Wasil, currently in his second semester of law school, is a die-hard Mets fan. He's the author of To Die Not Laughing.

Long-Distance Love Affairs

by Megan Detrie

I'd already earned 1,400 frequent flyer miles in silence before you thought to apologize, and even then, it was just a postscript to the painful break-up (the one where you called me worthless and matched my humiliation with hauteur). As a gesture of good faith, you attached your latest manuscript to the e-mail and asked me to read it, buttering me up by calling me your "favorite critic," praising my honesty and good teeth. I waited a few days before opening the file and then I clicked straight to the final page, page 86. It was blank. There was no hidden message at the end; no grandiloquent love letter; no cloying goodbyes; not even an explanation for why you gave up the moment I boarded the plane after wanting "us" to "work" so fiercely; no insight to what made you so mean, and worst still, there was no hint that you'd changed your mind about me and would fly here immediately. Stripped of your bombastic gestures, I've come to accept you would only behave rationally when it was too late, and by then have nothing to say.

6S

Megan Detrie lives in Cairo, Egypt and is known for flurries of passion followed quickly by a failure of attention span (or a red-eye out of town). Her latest project can be found here.

6S Art of the Day!

April 24, 2008



6S

For a chance to have today's 6S Art Piece sent directly to your mailbox, just leave a comment! Today's piece is marker on paper, and measures 4 x 6.5 (click the photo for a closeup view). One lucky commenter will be selected at random to receive the piece. It will arrive along with a free gift, and a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. If you love the piece, use the envelope to make a donation to 6S! Now get in the game by leaving a comment... and Good Luck!

Two Offices

by Too Young

Dean Richardson has two offices in the Dean’s suite on the eighth floor of the Wolfe Hall building on central campus. One office is the kind of office one might expect a Dean to have; a large corner office, one wall made entirely of windows, overlooking the bulk of the rest of the campus, with discouraging oversized antique furniture, as if inviting the guests to be intimidated by "The Dean." The other office is tiny, messy, has no windows, and contains all of the most important parts of his job, including the phone and his computer. He spends most of his time in the smaller office, I think, to make a statement to the rest of the department that nothing he does is really all that different from what the rest of us do. Everyone in this department knows, however, when he does wander over into his larger office — usually with a blank stare, deep in thought and lost to all of the rest of the world — that something different is in fact going on. The last time I caught him in there, eyes glazed over, hands clasped holding up his chin, was the day before he announced that he would be leaving the school after twenty-seven years as Dean.

6S

Too Young is an aspiring business woman, slowly rising to the top and learning what the business world is all about. She’s been writing since she can remember, and hopes to one day make known (to more than just family) her secret passion for the art.

Things You Do for Love

by Kristen Tsetsi

On New Year's Eve, when Dan told Jenny he knew the world would end, she said, "What, you think the hand of God is going to reach down and crumple the planet into a ball and toss it into a galactic recycling bin?" He said, "I don't know," and then he told her he was in love. When he lifted his hand to touch Jenny's face, she backed away, climbed off, muttered, "You never loved me," and then laughed. She snorted, bending with the spasms, each rack of her body making the ends of her long hair sweep the floor. "The last day of my life," she said between bursts, "and you tell me you don't love me." She dropped to the floor with a bounce and laughed harder, then said - when she saw the look on his face - "The dirty truth is, Dan, there's a body left over when somebody dies."

6S

Kristen Tsetsi, whose full catalog is here, is a Connecticut news writer and the author of Homefront, a literary novel exploring with raw and honest intimacy the effects of media and politics on a woman whose lover goes to war. (These six sentences are a paraphrased excerpt of the new novel she's working on, "The Year of Dan Palace.")

DNA

by Dirty Blonde

Depression. Alcoholism. Suicide. Anorexia. I cannot have a child knowing what they could potentially inherit from all that lurks in the shadows of my DNA. Can you blame me?

6S

Dirty Blonde, author of Anniversary, doesn't need you to know her true identity, but swears that she's a real writer and a real blonde.

The Great Wide Open

by Gina Perry

It rained all the way through last night, and when I pulled back the curtains this morning, your speakers were still there, lying there, between the bin and the curb, one on its side and the other on its back. Even from where I stood I could see the water that had collected in the cones, the sun made it glisten and the wind whipped across it, as if it were a tiny Lake Windemere outside our front door. I ran outside in my bare feet and picked up your green Adidas trainer, it was soaked wet through but I took it anyway. I thought about the speaker, that perhaps it was in the way, that an old lady with a walking stick might trip over it and break her hip, or a gentleman in his wheelchair might have to change his entire route to the shops to circumnavigate this blockade. My feet got cold standing there, so I went back inside, with your shoe but without the speaker. I miss you, come home.

6S

Gina Perry, author of Tales from the Household, is a writer and storyteller in Manchester, England. She likes to entertain herself in pubs / bars / cafes / parks by asking strangers to tell her stories, true or otherwise.

Always an Excuse

by Debbie Mason

He is moody and aloof only because he’s a loner and prefers to be by himself. He grunts and scowls at the paperboy and mutters obscenities under his breath at the postman, but he means well. His verbal belittling and chastisement of neighbors are an indication only that he’s simply misunderstood. His sudden, angry outbursts frighten and intimidate the patrons at Willie’s Bar, but he’s never actually hurt anybody. The folks in the small town make excuses for his intimidating behavior and lack of civility, but they never mention the war. He’s not a bad guy, they say, just misguided.

6S

Debbie Mason works and writes in southwest Ohio, but dreams further away. She enjoys high mountains, stony creeks, and bluegrass music. She does not enjoy idiots who take more than 15 items into the 15 items or less lane. She blogs here, and her poetry will appear soon in Illuminati and fragments.

6S Art of the Day!

April 23, 2008



6S

For a chance to have today's 6S Art Piece sent directly to your mailbox, click here to bid! Today's piece - a tribute to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and a nod to the importance of free speech - is watercolor marker and colored pencil on paper, and measures 8x11. (Click the photo for a closeup view.) If yours is the winning bid, the piece will arrive along with a free gift. If you're not completely satisfied, feel free to return the piece for a full and speedy refund. That's a lifetime guarantee!

Gestures Not Made

by Thom Gabrukiewicz

Hair cascades down fingers that cover her sleeping face; crumpled covers bunch at her hips, where she's kicked them free. He watches. The soft rise and fall of her ribs; the freckles, the birthmark he liked to kiss. They'd argued. He reaches out to touch her but she rolls, mews a whisper. His hand hovers; in that instant, he pulls back.

6S

Thom Gabrukiewicz, author of Cornered, is a working journalist on the Left Coast who wishes someone would notice his other musings and offer him a big, fat book advance. He blogs here.

Rod

by Alan Bardsley

Rod was awake long before the alarm and long after it sounded he sat unmoved, legs crossed under his faded flannel robe, smoking and coughing in the dark room until Frisco whined at him; then he slowly pulled himself up and shuffled toward the door. “I’ll be god-damned if she’s gonna get the dog,” he announced to the empty yellow kitchen as he shoveled coffee into a makeshift paper towel filter and pulled the last cigarette from a crumpled pack. Out of matches, he was bending toward the blue flame of the stove when the phone rang, “Rod where the hell are you, we got two loads showing up in twenty minutes and I’m all alone here?” “I’m not coming in Larry.” “Rod, it’s been over a month now, and it’s not like you’re the first guy that this has ever happened to, and well, hell, it’s not even the first time this has happened to you, so let her go man, they’re not even your kids – and I need you in here.” Rod coughed hard and replied, “Frisco wants in, I gotta go,” and he bent face-down to greet the flame.

6S

Alan Bardsley, author of The Scene, was introduced to 6S by a friend. He likes it.

The Haunting Memory

by Zulema Flores

As I awoke from the horrifying screams, millions and millions of particles filled the air. I could not see the rest of my body, but I knew it was still intact. As I tried to follow the voices which had startled me, I fell immediately to the ground; trying to make my way to the door, I felt the hot flames trying to make their way to my room. My house had never seemed so strange to me, I could not even remember were things were placed, as I bumped and crashed into them. I knew that if I panicked, I would no longer exist and that fear would swallow me up, so I tried to stay calm and took a deep breath, but it hurt as the smog entered my lungs. While crawling on the floor, my eyes watered and tears rolled down, not knowing if the others had made it; I made my way out of the maze - I had never been so happy in my life to see light again, and my family waiting for me.

6S

Zulema Flores, author of The Hobo, is a student at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon.

Contemplating Kant and Trophy Wives

by Thane Thompson

Their shrill screeches echoed around my cramped newspaper kiosk, straining to carry over the throb of their iPods as they performed bitchy-sounding gossip at each other; only getting louder as an impatient queue grew behind them before finally taking a moment from their overacted pantomime to shout "Cosmo!" and "People!" and "Us!" at me. The tall, chesty, blonde-haired one, with a few less smoke lines above her tight brittle mouth and pale lanky fingers made for hand shakes and hand jobs, handed me a C-note and turned back to her friend faster than I could point to the "No bills larger than a $20" sign or ask her for something smaller. I stood there for a minute, weighing the possibility of them pitching a full-blown hissy fit and scaring away my other customers, then dug under the register for my only $50, added three crumpled $10s and a still-crisp $5 to the top of the stack, and then handed the pile over to them. They didn't even notice my hesitation; standing there juggling the change, the magazines, two cups of Starbucks half-caf frappa-whatevers and some over-schmeared whole-grain bagels above the kids in the color-matched Bugaboo strollers. Her daughter cringed at an especially loud epithet and then peered up at me – reaching with her eyes from the wells of her soul towards a real live human rather than a walking, talking blow-up doll with too-tight spandex jogging shorts that showed all the wrong things to all the wrong people. I deferred turning back to The Contest of Faculties to smile at the girl and give her a friendly little wave, which she was in the process of returning when her mother noticed me and whipped the stroller around, hiding her from my sight and stabbing me with a "pervert" glare for good measure.

6S

Thane Thompson writes literary prose and poetry, fantasy, and science fiction. His work has appeared at The Writer's Eye Magazine, Pen Pricks Micro Fiction, and is forthcoming at Tiny Lights "Flash in the Pan." He lives in Ohio with his wife, daughter, and two highly opinionated cats. He freely admits to liking cheap wine, expensive movies, and hand-blown glassware.

Scrabble in the Psych Ward

by Jason Jordan

I visited a friend at the hospital today. Her mom was there, too. We played a game of Scrabble during which I spelled “formerly, jig, nut, nutso, up, yum, zap,” and a few other words that totaled 155. Even at nearly 25-years-old, it was only my second time playing, but I won the game. Why is it that Scrabble makes you feel like an idiot no matter how well you do? I don’t know either.

6S

Jason Jordan is a writer from New Albany, Indiana, who always says he's from Louisville, Kentucky, because people actually know where that is. His fiction has appeared in The2ndHand, Pequin, Pindeldyboz, VerbSap, Word Riot, and many other publications. Jordan is also Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine decomP. He is currently in the MFA program at Chatham University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he is working on his first novel. You can visit him here.

6S Art of the Day!

April 22, 2008



6S

For a chance to have today's 6S Art Piece sent directly to your mailbox, just leave a comment! Today's piece is marker on paper, and measures 4x6 (click the photo for a closeup view). One lucky commenter will be selected at random to receive the piece. It will arrive along with a free gift, and a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. If you love the piece, use the envelope to make a donation to 6S! Now get in the game by leaving a comment... and Good Luck!

London Town

by Rachel Green

To call London "a town without pity" was to do it a disservice. It was the loneliest city in the country, where you could starve to death within sight of the great cathedral of St. Paul’s or be cut to pieces by a group who didn’t like the way you dressed, or spoke, or held a cigarette. It was also my city, where a chance encounter might result in a spiral of such depravity that the angels would shy away. Cobbled back streets would reveal treasures of shops and houses virtually unchanged in a century, where a fiver would get you a hand job and a tenner enough crack cocaine to make you believe you could fly. And fly they did, those fortunate few who plummeted to die upon uncaring concrete, photographed by passing tourists on their way to the Tower. London thrived upon pity, it filled column inches.

6S

Rachel Green, whose full catalog is here, is an English woman who spends far too much time writing about demons.

The Hope We All Hold

by W.H. Rice

They sawed my left leg in half first, and then followed with the right a few hours later. The surgery was dragging on past the ten hour mark, and while I lay unconscious wrapped in layers of milky anesthesia, my family paced the waiting room. Now, pins, staples and various other shiny metal potpourri held my lower appendages together. Weeks later, my mother showed me the shredded piles of thin cafeteria napkins she went through waiting for me to come out. In the end, I will walk straighter. At least that's the hope we all hold.

6S

W.H. Rice, 30, lives with his family in Detroit, Michigan and writes mostly humor and satire for "the internets." In the past, he has been a musician, published poet, short story writer and general slave to the advertising industry.

1112

by George

“I’m just going to run down to J’s, he wants me to see some things at his place, it’s not a date," you said; "he’s going to bring Emma by to spend time with Max, and then I guess he will bring me home." Brilliant you waited until after dark, and until after the rain started; only his truck parked in his drive so the neighbors, more specifically, Mark & Janet, wouldn’t get any ideas, or worse pop in on your “see some things, not a date” evening. Did he light candles, pour wine, cook dinner, and did you insist on talking about The Fountainhead? You said I sounded funny on the phone. I spent a glorious evening planning my departure, and dreamed of moving into my new brownstone where you have never been. I would have shared that with you to put your mind at ease, but you didn’t come home from your “see some things, not a date” assembly.

6S

George is writing to relieve the pressure in her head, because the Advil isn’t working, and a gun is out of the question. She is the author of Certified Mail.

Six Sixes by Juliana Perry

an Online Magazine from Six Sentences



Juliana Perry joins the "Six Sixes" lineup. To view the magazine, just click the blue “OPEN PUBLICATION” tab above. You’ll be taken inside, where you can turn the pages by clicking the arrows to the left and right. To view a “full screen” version, once inside, just click the diagonal arrows above the document (located to the left of the little envelope). Enjoy!

6S

Six Sentences urges you to write. And when you're finished? Write some more.

Hermit Bar

by Sarah Holland

Deep in the woods, there is a small hemlock nightclub with one stool, and a surly bartender with a piece of burlap to wipe down the bar's only glass; he knows better than to ask "What's ailin' ya, Joe?" Tonight the stool is occupied by a man with a forked beard and a twig-infested vest, nursing a concoction of goat's milk and juniper berries. The wooden window slats are closed so that he need not be troubled by his own reflection in the night-glass. Two dozen other hermits are standing outside, spaced along the hillside at respectful distances, their breaths clouding the air; but they'll have to wait. Only one customer is allowed in at a time. Hermits do prefer solitude.

6S

Sarah Holland, author of Werehome, lives in Maine. People who read her fiction often go on to lead very normal lives.

Wittgenstein Was a Hack

by Erin Pineda

Wittgenstein argued that there is nothing beyond words - that words do not simply create reality; they are reality. I think of him like a brother. Those were my words. But that was before the night we got caught in the rain, and the bartender winked at you from across the table. Before the morning I woke up, hungover and tangled in your sheets. I think of him like a brother - I can hear my voice saying it, months ago now, but not even Wittgenstein can make it sound true.

6S

Erin Pineda likes philosophy a lot, though she admits much of it contradicts her experience of the way things are. Erin is the author of How I Remember It.

6S Art of the Day!

April 21, 2008



6S

For a chance to have today's 6S Art Piece sent directly to your mailbox, just leave a comment! Today's piece is marker and colored pencil on paper, and measures 7 x 2.5 (click the photo for a closeup view). One lucky commenter will be selected at random to receive the piece. It will arrive along with a free gift, and a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. If you love the piece, use the envelope to make a donation to 6S! Now get in the game by leaving a comment... and Good Luck!

Mathplexity

by Daniel S. Irwin

In my early years of school, advanced math proved to be most perplexing as, somehow, the whole deal with ratios and proportions totally escaped me. It was kismet, something dictated by the gods, that I would never catch on and was destined to spend my entire grade school career in the second grade as nothing more than a total failure and a disgrace to my family. That is, until one afternoon when, on the way home from school, Marvin MacMichale, a moron of an oaf three times my size, sat on me and repeatedly, brutally pounded my head against the sidewalk. Three times my size? Yes, dear reader, day of days, I, at last, understood the concept of ratios! Unfortunately, my math woes were not completely over as, later that night, while watching a horror movie about a madman with a chain saw, I was instilled with a lifelong fear of division and subtraction.

6S

Daniel S. Irwin, author of The Breakup and a 1980 "Write-In" Presidential Candidate, was abandoned by gypsies and raised in a capitalist commune. His work has been published in Krax, Moodswing, Zygote in My Coffee, Spin, and several other places.

Missed You

by Harry B. Sanderford

Luke reached down and switched on the pickup’s radio, erectile dysfunction effects one in... cringed and gave the knob a twist, MY MONEY, MY BITCHES, MY... then one more again half-spin... take another little piece of my heart now Bay-Bee! Janice worked for him, he gave a sideways glance and detecting no objection, thumbed the volume up a touch. Returning his attention to the road Luke was dumbfounded to see illuminated in his headlights what appeared to be an Indian brave in buckskin and war-paint, clutching the reins of his rearing pinto in one fist and thrusting his befeathered lance into the night with the other. The truck bore down fast, in the time it took Luke to move his foot from the accelerator to the brake they were nearly upon the wayward warrior. Lightning flashed and Luke braked hard yanking the wheel right and avoiding a collision so narrowly he made eye contact with the now electric brave. Even as he fought for control of the careening vehicle Luke’s mind etched a surreal image of the warrior on horseback, his lips peeled back in the gaping grimace of his war-cry, "..Whaa-Hah uh TAKE IT!.."

6S

Harry B. Sanderford, whose full catalog is here, is a Central Florida surfing cowboy who'd sooner spin yarns than mend fences.

You Found What?

by Darcy Rasmussen

It’s finally happened. It’s been coming for nearly 20 years now, so I don’t know why I’m surprised. It started in college with a few strands at my forehead, no doubt spurred on by lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and too much—well, just too much. And today, looking at my nakedness in the mirror, I discovered it... a short ‘n’ curly gray. My God, the end is nigh! I wonder if I should pluck (ow), Brazil (OW!) or simply mail-order a merkin?

6S

Darcy Rasmussen, whose full catalog is here, revels in the fact that life is embarrassingly funny sometimes.

Patience

by Michael Brooks

He strummed his fingers on the worn steering wheel, noting how each impact traversed the faded vinyl down to the steering column, through the ignition, terminating in a pleasant clink as the keys momentarily asserted their space before crashing back into line. She was always making him wait. The new radio, a lemon, sat dormant in the dash beneath the analog clock which decreed 8:41 as the end of time, the two hands nearly aligned yet forever distanced. The boy listened to the wind carve across the boxy panels of the car, falling off the hood and scurrying across the dry ground, grabbing leaves and flinging them onto the dusty porch. He checked the rearview mirror, again, anxious to go before her father's tumbledown truck came up the dirt drive. The screen door opened and she stepped into the late summer, her white dress and auburn hair fluttering flirtatiously in the scorched breeze, and the boy smiled, remembering her to be worth the wait.

6S

Michael Brooks lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife, dog, and two cats, and enjoys reading books both with and without pictures. He also enjoys taking the other side of the argument, just to make you mad. His blog is called Penis in a Rowboat.

It's Good to Stalk

by Rob Marshall

I was stalking before it was considered fashionable: an angelic schoolboy with the devil on my back and binoculars in my satchel. You never forget your first victim: well, Dear Reader, I married her. Traumatized for years by the man in the ski mask hiding in her room, knife against soft flesh, punching holes where no holes should be. She dropped out of school, found salvation in drugs and hope in me – ten years married, baby on the way, complete picture of domestic happiness. She’s feeling a bit delicate tonight, so I’m taking her a nice cup of tea as she rests in bed. It’s pleasantly surprising that the ski mask still fits after all these years.

6S

Rob Marshall, author of The Railway Children, is the 18th pale descendant of Jane Austen and wants to be stalked (applications on a postcard).

Water's Edge

by Louise Yeiser

An old woman, arms swinging, and an old man, feet shuffling, are moving up the beach, with her leading the way. Once they are closer to my window, I can see that he cannot keep up, but she cannot wait. I resist the urge to run out and join them. “Go on at your own pace and let me walk with him,” I would say to her, shooing her off with my hands. While she exercises her newfound freedom and hurries down the beach, taking deep, cleansing breaths and looking out for dolphins lazing by and swiping at the schools of small fish they slice through, he and I could peck through the sand for coquinas, who present themselves in infinite patterns in infinite color combinations. I like the plaid ones best.

6S

Louise Yeiser, whose full catalog is here, is a freelance writer and student of Creative Nonfiction, who spends as much time as possible in Naples, Florida.

Man on the Waning Moon

by Rod Drake

The ghost of Lenny Bruce watches intently from the wings. It’s 1979; Saturday Night Live is halfway over, when Andy Kaufman launches into his breathtaking Elvis, captivating the studio and television audiences as the impression always does. Andy has the King down; hips sway just right, lip curls perfectly, the body language is authentic, the attitude real. But the key is that this isn’t a comedy bit or a goof – Kaufman is Elvis, every nuance and movement an exact recreation of the King, not the funny little blinking Foreign Man or even Andy Kaufman anymore. Lenny Bruce recognizes a kindred spirit (and one that would soon be in the ethereal sense) – someone else who gives a performance as art, and art as the performance. The ghost of Elvis appears next to Lenny then and nods, saying “That boy’s crazy, but he gets me and does me right.”

6S

Rod Drake, whose full catalog is here, lives, observes, thinks and writes in the neon capital known as Las Vegas. Check out his longer stories in Flashes of Speculation, Fictional Musings, Flash Flooding, Flash Forward, MicroHorror, and AcmeShorts.

Damned If You Do

by David Gianatasio

What's that scraping sound outside? I'm probably safer in here, but I can't stand it: I'm riddled with angst and the need to know. So I climb into my heaviest coat, work gloves and knee-high boots, grab my Louisville Slugger and take a deep, bracing breath. I open the door and quickly step out into the moonless night; damn, I can't see a thing, better go back for a flashlight... What was that? What's that scraping sound coming from inside the house?

6S

David Gianatasio's first book of fiction and commentary, Swift Kicks, was published last year by So New Publishing. His full 6S catalog is here.

6S Art of the Day!

April 19, 2008



6S

For a chance to have today's 6S Art Piece sent directly to your mailbox, just leave a comment! Today's piece is marker on paper, and measures 3.75 x 4.25 (click the photo for a closeup view). One lucky commenter will be selected at random to receive the piece. It will arrive along with a free gift, and a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. If you love the piece, use the envelope to make a donation to 6S! Now get in the game by leaving a comment... and Good Luck!

The Hobo

by Zulema Flores

Lying out on the street, with nowhere to go. The old man would stare as people tried to walk around him. He caught the eye of a little girl, who immediately ran up to him to give him a hug. As mom tried to pull her back, tears ran down the old man’s face. He remembered at once what it was like to have a family. Too bad his gambling took him to where he’s at, and with no way of turning back.

6S

Zulema Flores is a student at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon.

The Coming of the Light

by Robert Clay

You must have seen it, that early morning sunrise. A bright white dome peering over the horizon, the eye of life scattering the cold dark shadows of the night. I stood up and breathed deeply, glad to have another day, but something was wrong. The sun shouldn't rise into a mushroom shape. Some invisible unforgiving monster was racing toward me, sweeping aside trees birds and houses in it's path. I opened my mouth to rage against the coming of the light, but the blastwave struck and turned me to dust.

6S

Robert Clay, whose full catalog is here, is a Seafarer now stranded on land. He lives in Cornwall in the UK.

Hanging Up Laundry

by Irene Sieders

It was supposed to rain yesterday, but it actually turned out to be not such a bad day and I was able to hang up the laundry to dry outside for the first time in a long time. When I went outside, all the animals came with me and they acted like they were a bunch of little children on a school outing. It was as if they had not been outside all winter. The cats took up strategic positions on various items on the patio and watched me at work and Jesker peed on everything that was somehow connected to the earth. It seems that we are a united group and that we must all move in unison and do all things together. When I was done hanging up the laundry, the whole herd followed me back inside and we all went to sleep on the king-sized bed together.

6S

Irene Sieders, whose website is here, is a Dutch woman living in the Netherlands. She's an amateur writer, a housewife, an English literature reader, a daily blogger, and a dog walker.

I Don't See Dead People

by Madam Z

Sadie was only six years old the first and only time she saw a dead person; it was Mr. North, the old man who lived next door. Sadie had been playing ball outside in the yard and the ball rolled over to Mr. North’s driveway and stopped next to his car, so she ran over to get it and saw that the car door was open and Mr. North’s leg was sticking part way out of the door. She said “Hi Mr. North,” but he didn’t answer, so she went right up to the door and saw him lying down in the seat and he wasn’t moving at all and his mouth and eyes were open and there were little white worms crawling all over his face. Sadie screamed and went running back to her house and told Mommy and Daddy what she had seen, and she felt so sick, she thought she was going to throw up, but she didn’t, and then Daddy went over to Mr. North’s and then came back and told Mommy to call the police, which she did, and pretty soon some men came in an ambulance and took Mr. North away. For a long time afterward, Sadie had bad dreams about dead people with worms coming out of their eyes and nose and mouth, and she told herself she would never, ever look at a dead person again, and she hasn’t, even though she’s been to lots of funerals over the years. She never goes up to the coffin for the viewing, and she tells the other mourners that it’s because she would rather remember the person as he was when he was alive, but the real reason is that she doesn’t want to see the maggots crawling around on the face.

6S

Madam Z, whose full catalog is here, loves six and isn't afraid to admit it. Do yourself a favor and check out her blog.

What She Couldn't Say

by Christy Peterson

Stop it. Just stop it, she wanted to say. Stop having such low self worth. Pleeeease. You're killing me here. And then she managed to say everything but that.

6S

Christy Peterson is a computer programmer and a mother of two precocious daughters. She enjoys writing as a hobby. 6S provides the perfect outlet for the amount of free time she has each day.

6S Art of the Day!

April 18, 2008



6S

For a chance to have today's 6S Art Piece sent directly to your mailbox, just leave a comment! Today's piece is marker on paper, and measures 5.5 x 3.75 (click the photo for a closeup view). One lucky commenter will be selected at random to receive the piece. It will arrive along with a free gift, and a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. If you love the piece, use the envelope to make a donation to 6S! Now get in the game by leaving a comment... and Good Luck!

Leaving

by C. Edward Anable

He lifted the drink with the swift, easy motion of a blacksmith; "Belly of the beast," he exhaled, pounding the empty shot glass onto the counter of the bar. I matched him, though with some effort. "That's Detroit steel you got parked out there, it'll get you where you need to go;" then he hollered for the bartender and said, "Two more for my son and me." The bartender poured whiskey from a bottle that was shaped like a potbelly stove. We drank in silence. His hand felt like hammered steel when I shook it for the last time and he watched me walk towards the car from the doorway; the gravel underfoot matched his voice when he yelled: Be safe, now.

6S

C. Edward Anable does not like summertime. He crosses the hemispheres to avoid them. (Cambridge, England - Lima, Peru.) C. Edward Anable has recently published a short fiction piece in "Johnny America." C. Edward Anable does not vote, though he supports all candidates with equal aplomb.

RIP

by Catherine Van Alstine

There was no denial of it, there was no covering it up, there is only the raspy, labored breaths and the harsh reality that all that lives must end one day, and bitterly underneath that was the fact that I cannot change it, I can only witness it. My husband is driving like a bat out of hell and talking but I do not hear him because I am lost in my storm of desperate and maddening thoughts while Boo stands in the backseat trying to balance himself in the middle, sticking his Bulldog face up between the front seats. He is drooling like never before and now there are secretions coming from his nose, as I wipe at them I wonder if this is how it ends, drowning in his own fluids? I look out the front window crying like a child for a moment, in an attempt to escape this ache in my heart but then sucking in a deep breath and unbuckling my seat belt I kneel on the passenger side seat so that I am facing into the back where Boo looks at me, stops pacing and for the first time in 24 hours lays down. I put my hands on him and he is still breathing as I begin to softly talk to him of how I love him and how wonderful he is, I plead for him to hang on a little bit longer, we are almost there I tell him, attempting to reassure myself. Within less than a minute, I realize he has stopped breathing, he won’t respond to me, not my voice, not my touch, he is gone and I am changed forever.

6S

Catherine Van Alstine uses writing as a tool to learn about herself, people, and the world around her.

I Should Know Better

by Slowly Understanding

I saw other girls talk to you, laugh with you, and thought smugly, I know him better. Which was true; I did know you better – we were best friends full of daily conversations starting with Just wanted to say hi and Guess what I just saw, and ending 40 minutes later with why you were scared when your mother dropped you off at your first dance in seventh grade. I had the key to the inner workings of the guy every girl wanted. And then before we could control it, after fights and reconciliations and fights and resignations, there was pretense and old habits and an imperceptible change and longing – I long – to go back. But you, as the "key holding inner working knowing girl" knew you would, moved on - the winds blew and carried you to a new best friend, another girl who gets to just say hi and guesses what you just saw and learns that you fought with your mother yesterday. Another girl who then sees me talk to you, laugh with you, and thinks smugly, I know him better.

6S

Slowly Understanding is understanding much too slowly.

Six Sixes by Lizzy Tish

an Online Magazine from Six Sentences



Lizzy Tish joins our "Six Sixes" parade, and injects a pulsing beat. To view the magazine, just click the blue “OPEN PUBLICATION” tab above. You’ll be taken inside, where you can turn the pages by clicking the arrows to the left and right. To view a “full screen” version, once inside, just click the diagonal arrows above the document (located to the left of the little envelope). Enjoy!

6S

Six Sentences provides more Vitamin C than six full glasses of orange juice.

Vibrato

by Adonia

There was a man playing tenor sax between the train tracks today. I don't think I'd ever heard a tenor sax between the trains; it's a sharp sound but also smooth. It was all flourish and upanddown and whirring, like windmills, and his fingers climbed like a spider rushing from a stream of water chasing him down a wall after the rain. He leaned back like it was sucking all the air out of all of him but he still smiled, a confident smile but a humble smile, like I should not be here, playing for your quarters, I know I am too good for them but thank you for them anyway, more please and I will smile bigger. A little girl dropped into the begging case by his feet a handful of change that her dad had handed her, she probably tugged on his shirt and said "Daddy, what is he doing?" and Daddy didn't have the heart to tell her, sweetie, you don't want to be like him though yes he sounds good or support him though, oh, oh, hear that note, it brings back memories of that time when and don't look at him, he's what I hope you never will be, but please, learn an art, honey, sometime in your life, yes please, find something so beautiful and get lost in it, honey, escape, for a minute, this ugly world, but don't get too close, so he put the change in her hand, "Here, now come back quickly." Every few measures he would hold out a note and do a little vibrato... and I hadn't heard a vibrato - the wonderful, slow and painful shakeshakeshake - in a while and I held it on my tongue until the train came.

6S

Adonia, author of Home for the Holidays, is a senior journalism student at the University of Maryland, a reporter for American Journalism Review, a blogger, and an aspiring novelist.

In the Mirror

by Kevin Jones

The two of them, unbeknownst to each other, had been sitting side by side, hitting hard on a bottle of something brown and for sure the call brand. When the bottle they had jointly polished off was removed, a portion of mirror was exposed that had not been exposed before. The faces they saw were not their own but each other’s. Within the hour, sperm had hit its mark, which is how fate sometimes works in collaboration with alcohol. And for this I am lucky, I guess, for it is how I came to exist. Or so I’ve been told.

6S

Kevin Jones is a writer living in the middle of Texas.

6S Art of the Day!

April 17, 2008



6S

For a chance to have today's 6S Art Piece sent directly to your mailbox, just leave a comment! Today's piece is marker on paper, and measures 4x6 (click the photo for a closeup view). One lucky commenter will be selected at random to receive the piece. It will arrive along with a free gift, and a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. If you love the piece, use the envelope to make a donation to 6S! Now get in the game by leaving a comment... and Good Luck!

Too Late

by Rachel Green

She stared at me, a perplexed look on her face, as if she expected me to remember her. I didn’t of course. I have perfect memory control and have been deleting selected memories long before I ever realised what I was doing. Certainly long before I ever met her... whoever she is. What does she mean, we lived together for five years? I’d remember someone that important to me, wouldn’t I?

6S

Rachel Green, whose full catalog is here, is an English woman who spends far too much time writing about demons.

This is How I Do It

by Victor Lembrey

First, I leap out of bed and shout “HELLO DAY!” Then I sprint to my full-length bathroom mirror and admire my awesomeness. Then I wash and dress and hit the streets, lookin’ to spread some good cheer. I pack my own lunch (because everyone over-charges) and I’m always nice to kids and old people. I keep things simple – if something’s complicated, I either avoid it, or punch it right in its stupid-ass complicated face. I shower before bed and wear comfy pajamas, and right before I snore, I remind myself that life is short.

6S

Victor Lembrey once filled us in on The Six Laws of Suburban Children.

The Sixth Batter

a 6S Promo Short



6S

Six Sentences wants to know – are you using yours? Or is it collecting dust? NO DUST – don’t let that happen! Brush it off, shake it out… let it get its groove on! Wait… what is “IT,” you ask? Watch the video and find out!

Looking at You

by Sathyanarayanan Chandrasekar

You have reached the same junction, the ticker is at thirty two, and there is a red light; your head moves upwards to that billboard standing above that nondescript building, and she's staring into your eyes. She seems to be asking a question, you try a bold face and try to look into her eyes, you can't. You don't have an answer. You can't look away. You bow your head, and wait for the thirty one seconds that remain. The next junction would be a different story, you tell yourself.

6S

Sathyanarayanan Chandrasekar is a coding monkey, working out of Bangalore. He rues the large number of trees being chopped down in Bangalore in the name of road expansion, and the number of characters wasted on spelling his name. Left to himself he would want to be referred to as the "Kaiser." He blogs here.

Dawn

by Emily Rapoza

When the sun stretched its fingers over the world, we were still awake. The night was a blur in my mind: laughter, kissing, music, tears. I slept until noon that day, and when I woke up, I realized I had never been happier. I heard you in the kitchen, and the smell of eggs floated through the house. Three months later, you were gone. Out of all the fading memories I have of you, the ones I dream about, the ones I think about when I'm driving alone, I'll never forget the way you lied to me.

6S

Emily Rapoza has written stories since she could hold a pencil. She's a girl from all over, but currently lives in Pendleton, Oregon.

Valuable Curse

by caccy46

The young woman was a master at reading people through observation of minutae, tiny crumbs that led her to split second, accurate conclusions. Intuition had nothing whatsoever to do with it; her craft had been honed when early childhood robbed her suddenly, tragically, of one parent, leaving a mother only able to operate in shut-down mode. It became the young woman's means of survival; her protection from anything else valuable being stolen while she was unaware. Her uncanny ability to sum up situations in such thin slices sometimes frightened her because she was always waiting for another axe to fall. She never trusted her acquired strength. Ultimately, it led her to seek out men she knew would eventually sabotage her.

6S

caccy46, whose full catalog is here, is a mother of two who's been married for 32 years.

Certified Mail

by George

I was 15 years old when the postman knocked on the door and handed me a certified letter bearing my name. I collapsed on the floor in front of my mother holding the $10,000 check sobbing, "It’s over... it’s finally over." I signed the inheritance over to her as a final balloon payment, in exchange for the deed to my life. She cashed that check and held me hostage until the day she died, nine years later. At the hospital, I collapsed on the floor in front of my dead mother sobbing, “It’s over... it’s finally over." Now, 30 years later, I realize it was only the beginning.

6S

George is writing to relieve the pressure in her head, because the Advil isn’t working, and a gun is out of the question. She is the author of Roof.

How to Make Love to a Nun

by Uncle Charlie

First, make no mistake: you’ve just booked passage on an Express Train to Hell. Next, make sure your thingy is ready. Then, using a flipping motion with your pinkies, tweak the nun’s nipples. She’ll dig it. Then lay a big smooch on her, open-mouth style. Then let nature take its course… and soak up the holy rapture, bo-yee!

6S

Uncle Charlie always has candy in his pockets.

Six Sentences, Volume 1

a Publication Announcement from 6S



6S

Six Sentences, Volume 1 – our exciting collection of original fiction and non-fiction – has finally arrived! Click the photo for a closer peek! The book is currently available at CreateSpace, and will soon be available at Amazon.com. THANK YOU to each and every one of our talented writers for making this fabulous collection possible. What can WE say in six sentences? You’ll have to get the book to find out!

Moving

by Kathryn Gregorio Palmer

Sneezing among dust-covered boxes and piles of memories, she stares down thirty-six years of living in the big blue Victorian on West Mill Road. Four children raised, launched, and re-launched, two weddings, four grand-babies and, wedged in amongst all that living and growing, seventeen years spent caring for her dying mother in this house. Months of conversation about which son or daughter would find a home for what items; Mom-Mom's dining room buffet to Virginia, the Hummel plates to Oregon, who wanted the wingback chair / who has room for the side tables? Scattered thoughts combine with lists and post-it notes to meet the overwhelming and generally chaotic task ahead. Closing approaches much too fast after this long wait to sell, the pieces begin to fall into place, the piles start to make sense: it will get done, it must get done. There's no turning back now, but she's got plenty of looking back left to do.

6S

Kathryn Gregorio Palmer, author of When You’re a Parent with Diabetes, learned everything she needed to know while growing up at 27 West Mill Road. This piece is dedicated to her parents, who move out today - April 15th, 2008.

Soul Mate

by Robert Clay

I was perhaps 10,000 years old when I first met her, yet I was still young, for that is the lot of an immortal. But despite all those lifetimes I have lived, from birth in the caves at Lascaux, those long treks with Alexander’s phalanxes, to the technical wonders of this strange age, I never knew love, until now. She is the one bright flower on that great slope of time I have lived, the love I have sought for more than one hundred centuries. That was yet another lifetime ago, and now her long red hair is gray, the once silken skin wrinkled with memories, the shining eyes sad now, because she knows my secret. I cannot age, but when she goes, I will follow. I would sooner be with her in oblivion than live forever without her.

6S

Robert Clay, whose full catalog is here, is a Seafarer now stranded on land. He lives in Cornwall in the UK.

If Only

by Jennifer Weber

She is in many ways the perfect lover he thought as he lay beside the delicately lovely Tiffany in the grainy light of early morning, watching her dewy shoulder rise and fall with each even breath. She not only knows what to give, but how much to give and precisely when to give it. Her grasp of the concepts of tension and resistance and the ways they are applied with the greatest efficacy in romantic / erotic situations is innate, uncanny, and a bit disconcerting... but wholly delightful. She is always gloriously willing but never fails to put up a soupçon of a struggle - more than a token but much less than even a gentle rebuff - just enough to maintain the all-important fascination factor. He turned away from her and gazed with no small amount of dejection out of the window at the deepening day as his heart lurched in his chest with an ache that he recognized as soul pain and his next thought sundered it. If only I could love her - my wife, the mother of my children - the way I love Amber... her sister, her best friend.

6S

Jennifer Weber, author of Breakthrough, is a court reporter occupying an empty nest in South Carolina. When she grows up she wants to be a writer.