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Have you submitted work yet for the big book? Cool. If not, there's still time! (In fact, you have the whole rest of the year!) Click here for more details, and good luck! Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Six Sentences hopes you'll keep on writing, keep on being creative, and keep on keepin' on! Join us for the wild ride of 2009!

The Pint of No Return

by Paul Brazill

Angie and Peter had been joined at the waist for just over a year before the cracks started appearing in what Peter had, until then, considered to be, at least for him, a fairly solid relationship, despite it’s sporadically psychotic episodes, which were invariable acerbated by copious amounts of alcohol. It was as winter melted into spring that the foundations of the house of love started to shake, a time that coincided with the reappearance of a blast from Angie’s past in the corpulent shape of her erstwhile fiance Billy Carr. As the months wore on, Peter’s temper was increasingly inflamed by Billy and Angie’s shameless flirting and so it was that one wet and windy night in May, after a particularly prolific drinking session, that he challenged Billy to what, once upon a time, would have been referred to as a duel and they both ended up in a dark and dingy alley, outside the Methodist church, stripped to the waist in the pouring rain, only illuminated by the light from a stained glass window. Billy bopped around like Mohammad Ali, albeit a fat white and wheezy Ali, as Peter took off his horn rimmed glasses and carefully placed them on a wheelie bin for safekeeping only to turn around and be sucker punched by a big pink blancmange which sent him hurtling into a pile of black bin bags that spilled their rancid contents across the alley. "And let that be a lesson to you," Peter said to Billy who was towering over him like a gloating Godzilla over a demolished Tokyo. "Wanker," replied puffing Billy before triumphantly waddling off, hand in glove with Angie, leaving Peter to light a cigarette, lay back, close his eyes and inhale deeply in a manner that he hoped was reminiscent of Jean-Paul Belmondo at the close of Jean-Luc Godard’s À Bout de Souffle.

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Paul Brazill is from Hartlepool, England and lives in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He blogs here.

Sixteen

by Idriya Morland

He looks at me, and I forget everything I've ever known. Holy crap, I keep having dreams about that kid. I start shaking just thinking about him, and a strange new emotion, warm and weird, washes over me. I've never felt this way before. Oh man, this is freaking me out. Holy crap, if he ever talks to me I'll probably die.

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Idriya Morland felt this way once. Or twice.

I'm Not Going to Be a Comedian

by Clara Morris

One nice thing about New York is that you get to watch your dreams shatter right before your eyes. And a year long lease paralyzes you so that you have to keep your eyes open and uncovered, always watching. You're unable to shield your face as the shards of your dreams ricochet toward you. The shards don't just scratch the surface or break the skin. They leave scars. Shards of broken dreams leave scars.

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Clara Morris graduated from the University of Maryland in 2008. She moved to Brooklyn to become a comedian. Her blog is here.

Dreamsicle

by Ian Rochford

When Augustus awoke, with a glassy tinkling in his ears, a fine sparkle of frost covered everything in his tiny room. Lying on the bed was a long, elegant crystal - it was his last dream, frozen solid. Shivering, Augustus carried the frigid fantasy to the garden by the orphanage wall, cradling it until the sun rose. The crystal faded and shriveled until Augustus was left holding the body of a large lizard with diamond eyes. Tearfully he buried it in the vegetable patch with the others. When it was warmer, perhaps his dreams could find their own way to the garden.

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Ian Rochford, whose full catalog is here, is an Australian screenwriter (ostensibly of comedy) who recently rediscovered the pleasures of writing short stories.

Not Playing

by Jane Banning

"So, you're supposed to be a writer," my associate lugubriously said, "come on, be intentionally unparsimonious with your prodigious vocabulary. Compose a gratuitous and veritable plethora of verbose verbiage. Show how obsequious, ostentatious, and obtuse you can be. Make us scuttle unceremoniously to the dictionary, furtively hiding our gormlessness. Besmirch us and bedraggle our intellectual acumen." "Nah," I said, "you go ahead."

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Jane Banning sometimes plays with words.

Haunted

by mgirl

For nights he has been invading my dreams. Sometimes appearing to drag me back to my younger years, other times making me feel like it is only yesterday. Always I am awakened with my heart racing, wondering why. Will I ever be able to forgive him for leaving, after all these years? In the darkness of my bedroom I can wake up and turn over, and eventually he disappears again. In my heart he will always exist and have a connection to me, a haunting stain always reminding me that he is my father.

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mgirl, whose full catalog is here, loves to read and write, and does both in Canada.

Two Penises

by Adam Humphreys

Last night I dreamed that I had two penises - a half inch apart, one beside the other. The right penis was slightly larger than the left, but neither looked very useful. Playing with them, holding them between three fingers like a man carrying two bottles of beer by their necks, I realized how massively incorrect this was. I thought of my girlfriend. Why had she never said anything? I felt gratitude towards her for loving me in spite of my flaws.

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Adam Humphreys turns 26 soon, lives in New York, writes a music column here, and keeps a blog.

Home Alone

by Linda Famous

Snuggled on the sofa under an orange fleece blanket wearing her old flannel pajamas and reading a book - that was how she spent winter evenings by herself when Jack, her tech-savvy husband, was traveling for work doing site support for computer systems across the country. Jenny was so involved in the latest mystery novel by her favorite author she wasn't sure what distracted her from the page-turning action that had kept her engrossed for the past hour; perhaps a gust of wind on the chilly January night had blown over a neighbor's trash can in the back alley? Padding to the kitchen in her worn red slipper socks that kept her warm in the drafty old twin house, she turned the oven burner to high under her tarnished copper tea kettle to heat the water inside and absentmindedly grabbed her blue mug from the cabinet and a tea bag from the box on the counter next to the oven as she thought happily about Jack. Their 15 years of marriage hadn't all been wine and roses, with the infertility problems, a few affairs (by Jack), a black eye (her mother never forgave him) and some financial trouble (from his pornography addiction), but since Jack had started counseling last month Jenny could feel things were really beginning to turn around this time; he'd even promised to paint the front porch and fix the broken basement window. Feeling a draft, she turned and saw Jack had left the basement door ajar that afternoon when he had gotten clean clothes for his trip; Jenny walked across the kitchen, but as her left hand reached for the door knob a man's arm reached through the opening and grabbed her arm violently. An hour later when Jack came in the back door to find the steaming tea kettle nearly dry he searched the house for Jenny, never expecting to find her lifeless, naked body at the bottom of the basement steps; his frantic call to 9-1-1 wasn't enough to convince the jury of his innocence, especially when the airline had no record of his ticket on the canceled flight to Cleveland and in his new effort to clean up his life he'd sat alone at the gate reading a discarded sports magazine instead of perched on a stool in the airport bar drinking.

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Linda Famous lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania and can often be found on Twitter.

Trying to Get the Bill

by Craig A. Platt

She had said some things that I wanted to blot out like wet ink on a new carpet. We were stuck there now, the glasses sweating, her eyes filled with tears and my face red with anger. It was always going to be like this. There were no two ways about it. But, this is what we loved about each other, the anger, the passion, the ease with which we shattered each other's hearts and then glued them back together. I kept signaling to the waiter with sweated palms and he kept on not noticing me; she fiddled with her phone, dug around in her purse, laughed a little bit, an angry laugh, and then finally locked eyes with me and smiled.

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Craig A. Platt spearheads The Los Angeles Fiction Experiment.

Post-Mortem

by Valerie O'Riordan

Well, it turns out that prawn crackers aren't actually vegetarian - there's honest-to-goodness prawns in there. He spent the entire night in the bathroom with his fingers down his throat, just in case any tough old crustaceans were hanging on in to pollute his moral system. Whatever. I drank two bottles of wine - on my own - and ate both the main courses, and a bowl of ice-cream, and then they gave me two of those little minty chocolates in green foil - you know? So even if we could find a restaurant for next time, I'd never fit into my second-date dress. I don't know, I guess he's still in there, flossing or something, probably.

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Valerie O'Riordan, author of Oh Baby, blogs here.

My First Day as a Teacher

by Joel Heffner

I regularly observed one of the finest social studies teachers in New York City, who was then the Chairman of the Social Studies Department at Hunter College High School, and I later was a student teacher at Stuyvesant High School, one of the most prestigious in the country. My first day as a teacher, back in 1969, was pretty scary and exciting at the same time. And then I encountered Evelyn, who was a bit talkative. When I told her that if she didn't stop disrupting the class, I would have to tell the Dean, she smiled (showing her eight missing front teeth) and told me not to worry because she only came in to see who I was. She never came to school again. Although I was trained by the best, they never prepared me for Evelyn.

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Joel Heffner, who taught us that You Never Know, is the creator of The Story Starter.

Weekend Visitation

by James Simpson

I tell my daughters that on every other Saturday in summer our father would pick us up in his gold Plymouth and drive us over the causeway to the beach, past palmetto and scrub pine, past blinding white sand to the old Spanish fort. He would set up the hibachi for hot dogs and pop open a beer while my brother and I played Conquistador with driftwood swords and palm frond shields, hunting among the dunes for imaginary Indians and hauling them to the fort. In the late afternoon he drove us home to our mother, dropped us off with hushed embraces. Alone in our rooms we would shudder and twitch between hot sheets, our skin aflame with the memory of sun, only to drift off to the crazy buzzing cicadas in the palm trees beyond the open windows. I tell my girls that by the end of the summer we were bronzed, hardened, white-haired creatures. With wide, staring eyes and parted lips they ask if he was lonely at night away from us, and did he miss us too.

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James Simpson is a freelance journalist and award-winning fiction writer. He is currently hip deep in his first novel and hopes to be up to his neck in it before long. Links to his writing can be found here.

Dusty

by Alan Kelly

We're coasting along the dust lane on our bicycles. The back road made me feel like those dreamers I saw after school beside the old gaol at the top of Wicklow town. Leafing through pages of dusty books in the community library. Like they are dreaming bout stuff in a quiet way. Their eyes never seem to fix on any one word. We’ve arrived at the watertank.

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Alan Kelly has written for Film Ireland, Streetwise, The City Guidebook, Pretty-Scary, GCN, Penny Blood, 3:AM, and ButcherQueers.

Other Rivers

by CKW

In the late winter of 1941 my sister Franny returned to Ferncliff. Even now, years later, I am able still to see her so clearly, as I did then on that February afternoon when from the window of my bedroom, with Rose (still just a baby) asleep in my arms, I watched Franny, sitting in silence, in the corner of that walled garden that was for so long all that remained of this place. And the river glimmered faintly in the afternoon sunlight like the slightly rippled surface of blown glass cooling while blackbirds gathered in the stubbles of corn stalks in the fields opposite. Franny, looking so much like a ghost or a figure from a familiar painting, gazed out over the river’s shimmering surface with eyes that seemed to see for someone who had been lost to the past. Hushed, quiet beneath the winter, Mother’s garden, neglected for many years, waits for spring to revive its tired roots. The snow beginning, falling lightly, and I imagine Franny sees this place through the succession of long summer shadows.

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CKW lives and writes and snacks in southeast Ohio.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Season's Greetings from Six Sentences!



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Six Sentences will have a Blue Christmas without you. (Special Thanks to Elvis for stopping by today!)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Moose?

by Michelle Davis

"Mama, Mama, you know what?" my four year old always starts every conversation the same way. "This girl at my daycare, she is a girl, and she says reindeer are mooses, but I know they are reindeer because I know about this stuff: Santa can’t fly with mooses, Mama." His tone was so certain, but his eyes belied the question behind them. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus... that was all I could think of as I stared at those big blue eyes. I didn’t answer right away because how do you answer that (?), but he must have found the answer in my own eyes because he said, "Yeah, I know this stuff, because Rudolph is a reindeer and he helps Santa drive the sleigh, and he is NOT a moose." Dispute settled, end of story, and all is well in the world tonight... I love it when I’m right!

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Michelle Davis (formerly Duvall) finds the spirit of Christmas not in the jingles in the air... but in the minds of all of her boys... five to be exact!

The House Next Door

by L.A. Craig

I’m all in favour of a little Christmas sparkle, but that’s taking it too far. You could see it from space. And what’s an illuminated Bart Simpson got to do with Christmas? “It’s for the kids,” they say. Sod the kids and the life-size reindeer grazing on the front lawn. They’re spoiling the tone of our street.

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L.A. Craig lives in Newcastle in the UK.

Soup and TV

by Meg Pokrass

I stand near the boiling stockpot warming my fingers while the chicken and vegetables melt, the smell making our apartment strong. Canned wind howls from the TV screen in the living room, omitting a cool glow. Marcus loves man against nature shows which are really just a buff looking model dude talking to himself (and his hidden film crew) before lunch which is probably catered sushi. I serve Marcus the fresh broth on a lockable tray, move his legs from couch to the floor, bend my knees to avoid using my back. He drinks soup with a special deep spoon - and though his fingers tremble, they are able to grasp. I sit with him, cheek against his warm shoulder, watching the man trapped between two icy mountain ranges build a fire out of sticks.

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Meg Pokrass lives in San Francisco. Her stories and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Keyhole, Pindeldyboz, SmokeLong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Elimae, FRiGG, Word Riot, DOGZPLOT, 971 Menu, Thieves Jargon, Eclectica, Insolent Rudder, Chanterelle's Notebook, Toasted Cheese, 34th Parallel, Bent Pin Quarterly, The Orange Room, and others. Meg has recently joined the editorial staff of SmokeLong Quarterly. Links to her work (and outrageous writing prompts) can be found here.

A Pleasant Time

by Charles Dickens

“Much good it has ever done you,” said Scrooge. “There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew. “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round – apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that – as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time. The only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

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Charles Dickens (1812-1870), one of the most popular English novelists of the Victorian era, authored “A Christmas Carol,” from which these six sentences are excerpted.

Untitled

by Tim Jones-Yelvington

Britney the master skipper raps her stone against the rock and says, "Whoever skips a dozen stones fastest gets the purple thermos." Janet fingers her zipper, knowing she is doomed and thinking purple would've looked so pretty with her yellow lunch pail. Britney's yellow pigtails bob in time with the buoys as she turns her back and traces a line in the sand. "Whoever crosses this line is out of bounds." Janet throws the purple thermos on the ground and crushes it with her boot. Later, the tide takes the purple thermos to meet the edge of the sky.

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Tim Jones-Yelvington lives and writes in Chicago. His work has appeared in monkeybicycle and is forthcoming in Mud Luscious.

A Brief Lonely Triumph

by Milo Stevens

I was washing the dishes and I knew he was going to come over for a minute to talk. He had told me online that he really needed to get away from his roommates, so I told him to come up. As I was scrubbing crust off a frying pan I heard a soft knock - immediately I imagined him trying the door, finding it open, and walking in and over to me, pan in hand, and looking at me. He breathes, "You're the most beautiful girl I've ever known or ever will know," and then kisses me like Clark Gable. Instead he came in, plopped down on my bed and farted all over my sheets. After he left, I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's and thought about tomorrow.

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Milo Stevens was raised in the wild shopping plazas of New Jersey. He is getting a degree, and sort of running a zine called Lo-Fidelity. Milo is made of poison.

He Sees You When You're Sleeping

by Robert McEvily

Six-year-old Wallace Partridge didn’t like Christmas. He was the youngest of four boys, the frailest, the slowest to learn. He liked to play by himself, away from other voices, their suggestions and demands. He frequently wet his bed, enjoying the release, hating the embarrassment. Santa was not his friend. Santa was a man with lists, a man who never wrote back.

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For some background on "He Sees You When You're Sleeping," click the play button below to listen to a brief podcast.



Robert McEvily is the creator and editor of Six Sentences. He lives in New York City.

Sometimes I See a Grin on My Face

by Dave Erlewine

My son shrieks Superman! as he points at the "S" on my shirt, which stands for “Savings," our bank manager’s idea. He squeals Up, up and away! as I hold out his toothbrush. I try not to picture my wife, barely a bump to her name, already in bed, milking the pregnancy. I’m Spider-Man! he yells, lightly jabbing my knee. “Brush your teeth!” I hiss, jamming the toothbrush into his hand. Sometimes, after a couple of beers, I see a grin on my face handing him that toothbrush, but it’s a thin one.

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Dave Erlewine has short stories published or forthcoming in Dogzplot, Elimae, Pindeldyboz, Smokelong Quarterly, Word Riot, and a variety of other print and web literary journals.

A Six Sentence Beer with Bukowski

by Scot Young

It was three in the afternoon and we were the only two in the Frolic Room on Hollywood Boulevard. I sat two stools down from him and studied his face in the back bar mirror through the bottles of tequila and whiskey. He nodded toward the mirror, held up a High-Life, downed it in one Chianski gulp, slammed it down and said, "Another." I whispered to the bartender, who looked like every other actor waiting to be discovered, Tell him I'm a poet. Bukowski emptied another one, tapped it twice and went to the john; I leaned in to the bartender polishing wet rings on the bar: What'd he say? "He said, 'Who the hell ain't?'"

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Scot Young polishes wet rings on old bars and often has trouble with whole numbers.

Holiday Season

by Kim Tairi

From the moment Marion walked into the room, Kevin’s pulse raced... then his eyes began to water, his nose began to run and his oesophagus and tongue began to swell; if she didn’t leave within the next minute he would be dead. He fell to the ground, flailing around, simultaneously she rushed over to him with terror written all over her face. Her very proximity was making it worse, much worse, he struggled to get the words out... “G..g...get out now, you’re killing me!” Kevin blacked out, the paramedics couldn’t revive him; shattered Marion stood in shocked silence. An allergic reaction they told her, something about her perfume and Kevin not being able to get to his epinephrine injector. She’d been on her way to ask him to her staff Christmas party, neither of them would be going now.

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Kim Tairi loves perfume and dancing in the rain!

Playing Time

by Richard Bissell

They gather by the thousands to cheer and scream, seemingly basking in the refracted glory of the stage. The sounds are so much better when created in the studio, one wonders why they even bother. Preening for hours before they leave the house as if they are somehow going to be noticed or even seen. Slobbered on and fondled by hordes of garlic breathed, large breasted men, surely they find this whole business sordid and base. I think of this as I tune my guitar and scan the mostly empty coffee house. Maybe I should have listened to my father and become an accountant.

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Richard Bissell is a part time author and full time health care practitioner who lives and works outside of Boston, Massachusetts. He has three children who are all the same age but are not triplets. For more information about his unique lifestyle, please visit him here.

Quintus

by Idriya Morland

It was everywhere and nowhere. It was consuming my life. I began to notice it in everything; every pattern discerned was merely a repetition of its beautiful simplicity, and every spoken word seemed to be a reflection of its elegant grace. It was a constant reminder, as pervasive as an incessantly nagging conscience. The number five became my primary obsession, and it was intent on making itself known to the world. After all, only someone with a heart as fathomless as mine would see a pentagon and weep in sudden appreciation for its true beauty.

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Idriya Morland often wishes this were Five Sentences. Her evil twin is a silver dragon from the celestial sphere whose magical abilities and enigmatic quirks will allow him to conquer the world.

What's In a Whim?

by Elle Matheuse

The passing whimsy fairy grants passing whimsies to passing strangers at random. He does so without consideration or malice and cares not for our history or plans. He is neutral, like Switzerland, and happy in his work, like Philip Schofield and Fern Britton. His love of bright lights and women's tights propels him towards shimmering commercial emporia and into our glow-at-night homes and he is busiest and dizziest at Christmas, the various New Years and also during birthdays, essentially all year round. If I could ask the passing whimsy fairy for a passing whim to be granted, I’d ask him to take a week or two off. It might do us all good.

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Elle Matheuse has much and little to say about everything and nothing.

The Absence of Fear

by Tess Dickenson

She sat quietly, wondering at the absence of fear as they drove through the darkened countryside, she and this stranger... this love who would soon be lover. His scent... pure, crisp, warmly enveloping... had first been inhaled mere hours before and yet he had carried her heart for innumerable ages. Now he would possess not only her heart, but her soul... the deepest secrets of a woman strong and fierce... yet now conquered by a mere glance. The shadowy landscape sailed pass the window as she opened her hand in surrender to this unknown... this stranger. Who would she be when it was finished? It mattered not.

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Tess Dickenson is just a normal (what is THAT?!) Southern girl who started writing when she was 10 (after being given a blank book as a gift). Decades later, she still writes.

Have Yourself a Merry Lil Christmas?

by Geri Birrueta

What happened to the most joyous time of the year? No more twinkling lights, no more houses decorated with Santa Claus on their roof tops, no more carolers singing from house to house, no more Christmases to come. A day, which was once so highly celebrated... has, in the last few decades, come to a spiritual end and a commercial beginning. An end that has been put here by so many narrow minded people that have no joy in their heart, only darkness. To think that at one point in time people cherished this day, had dinner with the ones they loved, gathered around the tree and shared special memories... that's now a day of the past. It's so sad to drive up and down the streets and only see one or two houses with lights and decorations - we are nothing but elaborately wrapped presents, empty inside.

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Geri Birrueta won't give up the fight. She wishes everyone a healthy and happy holiday season.

Denial of the Fittest

by Kristen Tsetsi

You take five people and you put them out by a high wall with a shovel, tell them there's no escape, even with the shovels, and then have them test the walls, the ground, so they see. You put two other people out there who come at them one step every ten minutes, and you tell the five at the wall that those two people, when they reach them, will shoot them in the head - certain death. What do you think those five'll do? You think they'll ask to be killed straight away to avoid the wait? No... they'll take that time, that last bit of life, to try to find a way out. They'll use those shovels to dig.

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Kristen Tsetsi is the author of Homefront and co-editor of Tuesday Shorts. Her full catalog can be found here.

The Cuckold

by Zeptimius Hedrapor

"He just left for work," her husky voice says over the phone, "and now I'm all alone in this big bed." Minutes later, he jumps out of his sloppily parked BMW and runs, undressing, toward the back door she left unlocked. He is as naked as she is when he enters the bed, and her. Halfway into it, he decides he wants to act like a dog. Throwing aside the covers to admire her as he pushes into her, his eyes read the words scrawled in black marker on her lower back: IF YOU CAN READ THIS, YOU'RE FUCKING MY WIFE. Then his ear catches a tiny, almost unnoticeable sound from behind.

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Zeptimius Hedrapor can be reached here.

6 Faces of Desscha (or Herstory)

by Joseph Grant

I have seen Desscha in the light of the early morning dawn of the Temple of Diana, tending to the Oracle, offering atonement for her transgressions, tearfully fleeing as the first cinders burned by the fire of Herostratus. I have met Desscha outside the fallen city, where she swore she'd wait in the field, only to turn away from me, the pillar of her love to be taken with a grain of salt. I have loved Desscha in the cities of the dead from Caffa to Moscow, where before the Renaissance; we painted the town black and red. I have failed Desscha in the dying patriotic gasps of Cannae, Agincourt, Antietam, Wounded Knee, Somme, Anzio, Iraq & Vietnam, only to find there is no glory unto death, nor in dying young. I have lost Desscha through hubris, drunkenness, broken promises, outward fuckery and my empirical ways for I am man. I have since searched for Desscha, desire of my youth, veneration of my belief in all things loved, holy harlot to the land of the setting American son, only to find heaven has passed me by and she waits for me adrift in eternity, the horror, the horror of seeing her nevermore... never more.

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Joseph Grant, whose full catalog is here, recently paid a visit to the White Horse Tavern.

Second Helpings

by Amy Simonson

"Food is my most favorite thing in the whole, wide world, and I dream about it every night!" the little girl exclaims at dinner. The mother ignores her husband’s sardonic head shake, and smiles at her eight-year-old cherub across bowls of creamy mashed potatoes, crisp sage stuffing and buttery glazed carrots. She thinks to herself, I’ve never comforted or rewarded with food like my parents did, so where does she get her infatuation with food? She glimpses a future where her chubby teenaged daughter sits home on Friday nights watching TV and cuddling up with bags of Doritos and packages of Tastykakes, rather than cheering on her high school’s football team and hanging out with friends. The mother’s broad smile morphs into a frown and tears moisten her eyes. She pushes her plate away, and surreptitiously slides her hand beneath the table to loosen the top button of her jeans.

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Amy Simonson is a wife, mother, and former Labor and Delivery nurse. She writes from northeast Ohio, and her short story, "Third Shift," was published this past April in the anthology Workers Write! Tales from the Clinic (Blue Cubicle Press). She's currently slogging through the third draft of her second novel.

My Honeybee

by Derrick Lin

My lover wraps me in her embrace and pleasures every bit of my flesh except for the risen wheal on the smooth skin of my forearm half way between my elbow and my wrist. Sometime during the night, a lady mosquito had pricked me with her sharp proboscis, sucking my blood, filling her abdomen. “It was not my fault,” I say. “But you enjoyed it,” she says jealously and I can not look her in the eyes because we both know she is right. Her wings buzz as she rises and turns and I wonder if she is leaving me, but instead she backs into me and her barbed stinger pierces my heart. Both of us find it difficult to breathe.

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Derrick Lin occasionally takes the stories buzzing in his head and smashes them onto paper to see what they look like. Previous splatters have landed in flashquake, 971 Menu and Bewildering Stories.

Sweet Sixteen

by Linda Davenport

My dad’s shotgun, his beloved Browning “Sweet Sixteen,” stands strangely quiet in the gun cabinet. I can feel Dad there when I walk by, feel his memories of cold mornings in the fields with his dogs and his friend Will, his pride and enjoyment when my brothers and I would shoot clays with him in the back yard, his love for hunting and us and my mother and that old gun. I feel his sadness, too, as his legs gave out and he couldn’t hunt anymore, and his renewed hope when an old Kubota lawn tractor freed him to hunt clay birds if not feathered ones and he showed us he could still outshoot us with one leg and bad eyes and perched on a tractor seat. I open the cabinet door, touch the stock, and the smell of his aftershave and coffee and Skoal flood my memory. My fingers instantly remember the feel of his neck and shoulders under my hands when he said, “Baby girl, can I talk you out of a neck rub?” For one sweet, fleeting instant I’m with my daddy and he is whole and well and alive and we are enjoying the afternoon together, with nothing more important to do than appreciate life and each other and a very fine old shotgun.

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Linda Davenport is a freelance writer trying to break the chains of corporate bondage in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She grows fresh herbs, uses too much rosemary in everything, Tweets to excess, and blogs regularly here.

La Cantina

by Joseph Grant

In the room over the cantina they made love. It was early afternoon now and Catalina stood at the window, naked to the world before her, she did not care, for she was proud of her body and each sinuous curve of it and her eyes trailed the uneven cobblestones of the courtyard to the bougainvillea that grew in bright Technicolor magenta bloodbursts against the ancient sun-blasted adobe wall. Her gaze was carried aloft to the Mediterranean-style orange Spanish-tiled roofs and the powder blue sky that was only interrupted by the hard brown sun-baked mountains that ended at the azure sea and the wharf where the fishermen would bring in the day’s catch of streamlined-looking silver tuna if they caught anything at all, save for the glimpse of her loveliness between the open shutters. She heard the shower turn off and wondered if Reynaldo truly loved her like he said when they were having sex or making love as he corrected her and romanced her in telling her that her body was an endless, sumptuous feast from the creamy nape of her neck to the sweet, ripe cantaloupes that were her breasts to the cinnamon of her inner thighs to the dusky sunken banquet between them. As in the case of any man, he dressed and split downstairs to La Cantina, telling her he was famished and asked if she wanted anything but she said no, she smiled to herself that she would like to linger in the moment a little while longer. After he had gone, she opened up the bureau drawer and found bibles and a gun and wondered what a bible salesman would be doing with a loaded gun?

6S

For some background on "La Cantina," watch the video below (which was shot last evening at the White Horse Tavern in New York City's West Village).



Joseph Grant's full 6S catalog is here.

Time to Reflect

by Louise Lane

My friends are not who I thought they were. My world has been turned upside down. Seriously, it’s hurting my ankles. If I look up I see the ground. If I look down I see the sky, partially obscured by a surrounding circle of grinning spotty faces. My world is going to stay this way until I hand over my lunch money.

6S

Louise Lane writes stories to avoid writing essays.

The Golden Apple

by Ivy Reisner

The problem isn't that Adam and I ate the apple, it's that we're the only ones who did. We learned everything in a moment - how to cure disease, how to end wars, how to live in harmony with the earth, how to dance amongst the stars, and how to bring forth new life - you, our children. We don't die - we knew the hidden paths to the Tree of Life too - but we're changed now. We come to you, now and again, and you don't recognize us, calling us instead Prometheus, Aristotle, or Einstein, sometimes listening, sometimes not. That's the real curse, to have the answers, and not be able to convince you to take them - I'm sorry for that. I suppose that's the fate of any mother, experienced in a world that her children are still discovering, to watch them stumble and fall, needing to make their own mistakes, learn in their own slow, sometimes painful way, and to always, always love.

6S

Ivy Reisner is from Brooklyn, New York. She blogs here and has a writing podcast.

Soft Lips in a Hard World

by Erica Moreno

There's a lady at work known as "The Bombshell." She's 5'9" and wears fuck me pumps, short skirts and has a spray-on tan that never spreads evenly on the webs of her fingers and toes. She has blonde extensions and gets preville silk hyaluronic acid filler with lidocaine pumped into her lips, yet they still wrinkle from years of smoking cigarettes. The skin around her glossy blue eyes is pulled taunt by cosmetic surgery. She works out twice a day for hours and her teeth are white as milk. She once told me I could be beautiful if I just made a few minor adjustments.

6S

Erica Moreno is on the brink of a quarter life crisis. Her blog, though, is under control.

Becoming a Snake

by Georgina Bruce

This man speaks with forked tongue. Becoming a snake, I slide around his body; skin slithering on skin and his mouth hissing into mine, his tongue flickering over mine. Some words are spoken with his hands and fingers, the sounds of vowels riding on our breath and the rasping of our bodies together. We are writing something, an old story, and we know the ending already. Tomorrow we will break open like the morning, cold and brave, smiling kindly. It is not love.

6S

Georgina Bruce is the bearded lady.

A Preference for Wolves

by Marilyn Monroe

I could never be attracted to a man who had perfect teeth. A man with perfect teeth always alienated me. I don’t know what it is but it has something to do with the kind of men I have known who had perfect teeth. They weren’t so perfect elsewhere. There’s another sort of man I’ve never liked: the sort that’s afraid of insulting you – they always end up insulting you worse than anybody. I much prefer a man to be a wolf and, if he has decided to make a pass at me, to make it and have it over with.

6S

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) was a film actress and iconic sex symbol. Her six sentences are excerpted from My Story, co-written by Ben Hecht, originally published in 1974.

The Most Recent 100

a slide show from Six Sentences


Find more photos like this on Six Sentences


They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. If true, this slideshow = 100,000 words! Pretty impressive! You’re looking at the 100 most recently uploaded photos on the 6S Social Network. Images added by Bob Clay and Jesse Phillips and Adam J. Whitlatch and many many others. Check it out today, and get to know the writers and readers of 6S.

6S

Six Sentences is happy for Bob Crowley, winner of Survivor: Gabon. Every good teacher is worth a million bucks.

Night Secrets

by Troy Wallace

She was wearing a sweater - I don't know the color, but I know it narrowed at her waist and spread at her hips - when I finally saw her, and it was perfect that she should be wearing one, because we'd always been the kind of people who come together when it's cold, who respond to fall the way animals respond to spring. Cracking leaves and chimney smoke had always made us want to kiss, would lure us outdoors to meet someplace and walk with our arms linked and our bodies huddled together. Her hair was shorter now, but the smile was the one I remembered from high school, the same one that made me fall in love with her before I could really have known what love was. She welcomed my wife first with a hug and a nice to finally meet you! before I got myself close enough for that touch. Her head rested lower on my chest than my wife's did, I noticed, and I restrained myself from touching her hair. She waited with us in baggage claim and drove us to her small apartment, spent the day guiding us around her Christmas-decorated and snow-frozen town, and told me while my wife slept soundly that she was happy to see me so happy.

6S

Troy Wallace lives in the Midwest and is very, very cold.

Neck

by Steve Edgehouse

I once had two married students from Romania, music majors on scholarship, in my freshmen comp class. She knew English better and at times would quietly, reassuringly whisper in Romanian to him when I drank too much coffee and talked too quickly about thesis statements or transitions or whatever. One day they stayed after class to tell me that the neck of his old, priceless viola had cracked a little (but just enough), and with a Toledo Symphony performance coming up that weekend, and as he wept into his large, shaking hands, she explained that they knew nobody who could give them a ride to Ann Arbor, to a specialist, to repair it. Up I-75 in my Hyundai we went that evening, and I watched him pace the music store for an hour while an old man with little spectacles on the end of his nose worked on it behind a pane of glass. When we got back to campus late that night, they went into their apartment for a moment and then emerged with a ceramic Heruzu plate her grandmother had painted for her mother years ago, and they insisted I take it, and I took it, and it now hangs in my office. I lean back in my chair and marvel at its intricate renderings of roosters and flowers every time a student in sweat pants asks me for an extension on a paper because he's hungover.

6S

Steve Edgehouse teaches writing, and the occasional writer.

Buh-Bye

by Jane Banning

I leave messages, hoping for the right tone of breezy and fun, mysterious, urgent, or poignant. I think, there, now she'll call, and I go on with whatever, but in the back of my mind is the hope of a return call and the silly conversations I don't have, living in my household of males. She's sorry, sorry, very busy, forgot to return the call, a lot of work to do, not one single minute to sit down. The lunches with the daughters and sons-in-law, the shopping, the dinners out, the collegiate basketball games. Yeah, I got it. It just takes too damn much effort.

6S

Jane Banning lives in Oregon, Wisconsin with a household of males, and has quite a few good women friends, actually.

Red

by Lisa Pepe

She was obsessed with finding the perfect shade of red lipstick. She read every beauty article she could find, compared skin undertones, chalked her wrists with dots of samples, consulted the lipstick technicians in white coats across brightly lit department store counters who assured her that she looked radiant. But tonight there was a new shade that had caught her eye; this red was perfect as it was vibrant, deep and smooth. It eclipsed any of the crimsons, cranberries, wines or cherries that had tempted her before. Her blank lips formed a smirk in the mirror as she glanced from her image to the bed where her husband lay sprawled- his eyes wide, a blond woman entwined under his heavy legs. She tucked the gun back in her bedside table, delicately stooped down and dipped a single index finger into a pool of blood, pursed her lips, dabbed the viscous red on her pretty pout and thought with grim satisfaction, "it really is the prefect shade."

6S

Lisa Pepe is also obsessed with finding the perfect shade of red lipstick, but thinks her skin undertones are too warm for a blood red.

Scribbling Calculations

by Michele daSilva

Everything is math. I write every dollar down in my notebook, line after line and page after page of scribbling calculations. Punch the smooth numbers of the calculator with my right hand and knead the knots in my neck with my left until my wrist feels like it’s going to fall off. I think there was a moment when everything was fine, when I didn’t owe anything, but it’s been five years since, and I have to get out of the house, so I go for a walk downtown and look for help-wanted signs stuck in big glass windows. I see the Salvation Army man standing on the other side of the freezing street, and I think about the t-shirts I used to steal from the thrift store in Poughkeepsie even though they only cost fifty cents each, and I have some money in my back pocket for coffee, but I walk across instead and slip it into the shiny red kettle. Maybe it’ll come back to me, and if not, oh well; what’s another five bucks?

6S

Michele daSilva is currently at work testing the theory of good karma.

Sawtelle Meadows

by Tracy Shields

She died on Tuesday. They buried her that Friday, lying on her side, sprinkled with dandelions, chicory and sundrops, just as she had asked. It was only a week before, she said, “Mommy, when I am in my coffin, I want it to be like when I slept that one summer in the grass, out by Sawtelle Meadows, near Henry's Lake.” The flowers were so fragrant and the mountain watched in the distance, still and high like God. Her tiny titanium lungs rattled with every exhale and seemed to crush under the weight of her inhale. "Shhh," her mother said, stroking her delicate child’s hand, 'you have a long way to go before you sleep with the flowers."

6S

Tracy Shields graduated from Rutgers University, magna cum laude, with a degree in English Literature and Journalism. She was Concept Editor of the Painted Bride Quarterly from 2001-2006. She currently works and writes from home in New Jersey and has two beautiful sons, Daniel and Julien. Her short story "Stay" is in this month's Word Riot. Please visit her here.

Forty Whacks

by Rod Drake

By the time I got there, blood was everywhere. Liz had had one of her spells again, and our neighbors had unfortunately suffered the consequences. They had seemed like a nice couple but now they were unrecognizable, even though Liz had tried to pose them sitting on their couch as though nothing were wrong, it was just another quiet night at home watching television. Of course, they had nothing resembling heads anymore. I had two choices: call the police or look for a new place to live. I told Liz to go wash up while I started looking through the newspaper at apartment listings.

6S

Rod Drake has just joined Facebook and is surprised that he has 9 friends. Check out his longer stories in Fictional Musings, Flashes of Speculation, Flash Forward, MicroHorror, Powder Burn Flash and AcmeShorts.

Love is Blind

by Iseult Murphy

The mental asylum let her out after three days, they said she could go whenever she wanted and they couldn’t hold her against her will. She sat on the park bench waiting for death, hoping that someone would end her misery soon. He sat down beside her. His smile was warm. He took her hand and offered to help her. Love crept in with the sound of his words.

6S

Iseult Murphy has never been in love, or blind, although she hopes to experience one of them before she dies. She writes horror, science fiction and fantasy stories.

New Shoes

by Arsalan Pirzada

Every time it happens, it leaves me stranded in outer space with sand in my pockets. I do not know the maybes and why-nots. I feel like people trying on new shoes in a shoe store, looking for the perfect fit. Every time I think I've found it, my feet start aching, sometimes blisters too. Out here, there is no "one size fits all." There is only you, me, and sand in our pockets.

6S

Arsalan Pirzada wishes people spoke music.

Amazing Journey

by Kevin Wilson

The boy sits on the sofa while Captain Walker sets up his puppet show. On the captain's hand, a glittering gown, a golden-bearded man. On the other hand, an Italian anarchist, awkwardly holding a shoe. "What should the punishment be?" the captain asks Tommy, who replies, whispering, "Fitted to the crime." The silver man lifts the anarchist into the air and drops him on his head. Inside the puppet, Captain Walker’s knuckles crack convincingly.

6S

Kevin Wilson likes The Who's Tommy, but doesn't have a firm grasp on what's going on.

Checkup

by David Gianatasio

You haven't been to the dentist in 20 years? Well, sit back and tell me what you're so afraid of. OH MY - no dentist would remove your teeth, gums or tongue and sell them! Well, we all have our secrets, irrational fears; no need to apologize. Now, breathe deeply... inhale... this will help you... relax. You know, your eyes are the most striking shade of blue...

6S

David Gianatasio's Mind Games is available from Word Riot Press. His full 6S catalog is here.

XYZ

by Patrick Daubert

I keep forgetting to zip my fly after using public restrooms, with mixed results. Sometimes my penis will peek out and get cold, because it's cold out now. A dude might say, "Bro, your fly," or some wary female will catch me mid-zip and smile, point and laugh. I forget in the mirrors; I'm stopped by the ghoul looking back, sucked dry and left pasty by the flat overhead lighting. I'll oftentimes forget to wash my hands, too, but I'm always ready with hand sanitizer and will remember to eradicate potentially devastating germs before I notice the open hatch. I'm not sorry about this habit anymore; I bumped into my true love today and she grabbed me by the pecker and tucked him in, zipping my fly so quick and deft that, had he been out, there'd be none of him left.

6S

Patrick Daubert attends the University of Rochester. He is just now starting to write - this is his very first published piece.

Anarchy

by Chris Wasil

No matter where I go or what I do, I can’t seem to get away from all this capitalism bullshit. I look around at this demented culture we’ve created, and it seems like everything’s for sale, and everyone’s a potential consumer. The so-called “free market” has enslaved the masses, has made us all cattle to the corporate prods. Me, I'm above all that. That's why I wear Anarchy® brand nose rings. Anarchy®: Show The World You Can't Be Controlled.

6S

Chris Wasil, currently buried in law school study, is a die-hard Mets fan. His full 6S catalog is here, and you can visit him on the 6S Social Network here.

long-term plan

by Adam Showalter

I'll write a book and publish it. I'll buy every copy of every edition of that book and fill a library with it. I'll burn that library down and write a poem about it. I'll call that poem "the most poignant thing I've ever written" and celebrate by instantly tearing it to confetti and showering myself with it. I'll enjoy a glass of champagne. I'll sit for a while and think, no one has ever had champagne that poignant.

6S

Adam Showalter feels autistic sometimes.

Delectably Lima

by Rowena Forbes

As I stepped out of Lima airport, the first thing I noticed was the air. I wanted to eat it. It smelt fragrant, succulent, like a rich, sticky marinade for barbecued ribs; slightly salty, slightly sweet and fortified with a generous sprinkle of spices. At first, I looked around for the street vendors that I assumed were nearby, permeating the misty surroundings with the aromas of their wares - but no. It was simply the air itself, Lima air. Gorgeous.

6S

Rowena Forbes is a copywriter, editor, freelance journalist and lover of all things words.

Six Sixes by Louise Yeiser

an Online Magazine from Six Sentences



Louise Yeiser returns to 6S, along with our now-famous Six Sixes series. (Excellent!) To view the magazine, just click the “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 are all you need. (Unless you need more. Or less.)

Untitled

by Nikesh Murali

"There," he said. The boy placed the ball at the spot the man had pointed out to with one of his crutches, and stepped back. "A bit further," he said. The boy pushed the ball lightly with his foot till the man confirmed the position with a satisfied smile. They gazed at the horizon, contemplating the distance the man could possibly clear with his phantom leg. Together, they imagined – the distance; the ecstasy.

6S

Nikesh Murali's poems and short stories have appeared in ebooks, ezines, anthologies, journals and magazines all over the world. His works have been translated into several languages. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2007 by Shalla Magazine. You can reach him online here.

Wednesday Afternoon

by Sian Evans

The kids were playing in the garden that afternoon, screaming with glee as they chased each other. She stood at the window watching them, the knife in her hand, her palm red with the juice from the apple peel. She sliced the apple, divided it onto two plates and placed them on the kitchen table just as the phone rang. Mrs Peters, it’s Joan from the home, I’m so sorry, your mother died an hour ago. The sun crawled behind the willow tree and the laughter continued from the garden. The apple slices browned.

6S

Sian Evans is currently undertaking a BA HONS degree in English Literature and Creative Writing at The University of Salford.

6S Photo of the Day!

December 9, 2008



Scarlett Rose, who recently snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, shared this great photo with everyone on the 6S Social Network. If you love 6S, do yourself a favor and check out the Network. You can meet your favorite 6S authors, write your own blog, share music & photos, chat live... the sky’s the limit! There’s always something cool going on, whether you’re reading Lucie’s “Cheater,” sharing what’s on your holiday reading list, or watching a video of Stephen King giving free writing advice. Stop by today, take a look around, and see what you think. Hope to see you there!

6S

The 6S Social Network wants YOU!

Dollhouse

by Stephen J. Davis

When Monica was four, she demanded — quite insistently — that she wanted a dollhouse, but not a prefabricated one like the other two in her playroom. No, she required an exact replica of our house, complete with details like matching furniture and décor. This was a request beyond reason, I felt, as the cost alone would’ve been astounding. Eventually, though, I gave in — her insistence was unnerving. I had everything built at a 1/12 scale and included matching dolls of the family. Our miniature representations eat, talk and play together constantly, just as we did before cancer took her mother away.

6S

Stephen J. Davis is an elementary teacher near San Francisco, California. He lives with his wife, daughter and two cats.

love (capitalize)

by James Hobin

She broke up with me, (;) I am sad. She would hate that sentence, not for its content, but for it's (its) "grammatical syntax errors." I guess she left me because I am a horrible writer. Even now I can imagine her, looking over my shoulder and sniggering at my countless errors (rightfully!). But, in the end, I will always be devoted, body and soul, to her (really?). I love her (I love you too).

6S

James Hobin couldn't think of a witty enough pseudonym.

My Time

by Zoe Storey

At the end of my first sentence I deliberate; I'm no writer. The white space cues my guilt and I consider preparing dinner, a really great dinner with roast potatoes and gravy and toffee pudding, or tidying the house, doing the bathroom and kitchen, or at least vacuuming the dead skin dropping over this keyboard. I should really scrub up my appearance, do my hair. Paint on a smile with Natural Rose, a little gloss. If I time it properly I can do all of this, even open the door with a shiny face and an apron on, a wife and mother all contented. Only an hour left of my time and right now I stink, have wiry hair and am trying to be a writer.

6S

Zoe Storey lives in London, and, alongside a sensible occupation, is also trying to write.

"I"

by Margery Daw

I ran my snowmobile up the side of a cliff. It fucking kicked ass. I ran my snowmobile up the side of a cliff. It fucking kicked ass. Avalanches start that way. I know.

6S

Margery Daw, a prizewinner in our first writing contest, is a pseudonym (and part of a nursery rhyme). Her full catalog is here.

Once Upon a Train

by Molly Gaudry

Kate eyed John in the meal car and, because he looked lonely, invited herself to a bite of his blueberry pie. It tasted like other people's smoke. After, she invited him to buy her Ketel after dirty Ketel until she was tired of eating bleu-cheese stuffed olives, at which point she invited him to race her to her room: "Ready... Go!" Smoke trailed them like a duckling. Finishing first, on top, she got off. It was like this that they lived happily for several days, sharing bowls of flakes with blueberries for breakfast, drinking blueberry champagne, eating blueberry-drizzled loins and flanks of pork and steak.

6S

Molly Gaudry co-edits Twelve Stories, solo-edits Willows Wept Review and Willows Wept Press, and is a recent addition to the Keyhole Magazine editorial team. Find her here.

High Five

by Stevan Milentijevic

I stepped off the train and went for the tunnel that connected platforms, looked down the stairs and was confronted with the herds morning stampede coming fast at me. Bewildered, I hugged the hand rail and took it one step at a time into the tunnel below. I crept around the corner and edged along the wall moving against the current of black suits, then up ahead I saw you with arms crossed, all fed-up, leaning on the wall in silent protest. You were blocking my only path through so I slowed my pace further, gave a you a sympathetic smile and leaned against the wall with you. Some strange moment of mutual understanding while a mass of zombies hurry past. Then you laughed, motioned to move on and raised your hand as you went by: "Give us a high five mate" - I obliged.

6S

Stevan Milentijevic wants to be a hermit.

Counting the Days

by L.R. Bonehill

It didn't kill him, didn't even make him stronger; just another day older and no closer to a death that would never come. He stepped from the smoking wreckage of the car and dusted himself down. He'd be sore and stiff for a few days, but that was about all. He wasn't sure why he still did it after all these years, but then he guessed that if the only thing worth living for was dying, he had to at least try. Times changed, people changed, the world changed, but he remained immutable and alone. He walked on into the cold night and time stretched endlessly ahead of him.

6S

L.R. Bonehill is not to be trusted. Some people made that mistake a few years ago, and... well... they paid.

Dear Diary

by Doug McIntire

Today I met the boy that I want to spend the rest of my life with. It’s somehow comforting to know that I’ve finally found him, in spite of the butterflies that tickle my insides whenever I think of him. His name is Todd and he has the most beautiful brown eyes and sandy, long hair. He is smart, and witty, and so much fun to be around. And I know he likes me too. I can tell by the way he pushes me down at recess.

6S

Doug McIntire likes to write from a lot of different perspectives. Some of them are even his own.

My Days in the Sun

by Matt Tyson

Memories plague me like greedy little children who won’t go away on Halloween. They live in the mirror, in the bent elbows of forks and spoons, and someplace deep within me... a forgotten me; remembered me. Songs, smells, a certain kind of sunlight, long trips in the car, and fleeting thoughts of stolen kisses with a stranger during a marathon back to school shopping spree in 1987 bring the memories racing right back to the forefront of my mind; ring ring ringing at my doorbell for more candy. Fat little bastards. I’ve battled them for the better part of two decades and now I fear I’ve lost the fight. To me or not to me?

6S

Matt Tyson lives in New York City and is the founder and editor-in-chief of the website EAR FARM.

Butterflies on the Rocks

by Scot Young

She has a nightly habit of dropping coasters and half damp books of matches between the tables. As a solicitation of higher tips she bends over knees locked and picks them up, putting them back on the tray always casually giving me a sideways glance. This routine inevitably allows me to catch a glimpse of just the edge of lace on her red panties stretched tight against her silk bronze skin. Like a downtown dancer after one revolution around the pole she spins, leans over the bar with her new breasts still sore from surgery and slowly adds ice to a drink. I study her calves as she leans forward and watch the bar clock slowly tick away seconds of Saturday Night Lonely. Quietly, I stir my drink and practice folding dollar bills into origami butterflies.

6S

Scot Young, back in July, took us for a ride on The F Line.

The Haunted Sponge

by Bradley Alan

It wasn't a "phantom waffle," but the syrup was somewhat haunted though, as was the sponge I used to clean up my waffle smudge after. Terrified of the possible outcome of possessing such a sponge, I locked the sponge in a metal box, buried it in the basement and turned in for the night. The next morning the sponge was under my pillow. I tried to send it back to the company, but that didn't work either as the manufacturer did not have an exchange policy. The sponge kept appearing in my jacket pocket, and as a matter of fact, I'd better stop typing now. I can see the sponge watching me from my patio and he looks a little bit nervous... but mostly just bloodthirsty.

6S

Bradley Alan writes, paints, and otherwise creates beauty in Phoenix, Arizona. He does not play the harmonica or have an ironing board, but he does make amazing Ramen noodles. For a visit to his ridiculous mind, check him out on MySpace.

Alpha and Omega

by Darlene Guetre

In the beginning there was nothing except the regular boom of waves on the rocky Newfoundland shore and black-crowned white-bodied murres in noisy colonies who quarreled with deep guttural growls that echoed amongst rock ledges. Julian crept to the cliff edge and watched awestruck as roller after roller swept in from an endless cold gray ocean expanse. It would be easy to plunge into this nothingness, a desolation that has existed since time immemorial, where no pain exists. He squeezed his eyes shut, inhaled until his diaphragm felt sucked against his spine and lifted his right foot. It occurred to Julian his inevitable howl of despair as he hurtled into space would frighten the murres to ruin the utter timelessness ritual of bird and ocean. In the end, he opened his eyes, exhaled and stepped back with mortal care from the cliff edge.

6S

Darlene Guetre is attempting to create a living from freelance writing and writes flash fiction to convince herself she's a writer.

Black & White & Red All Over

by Paul Brazill

When I think about it, my most vivid and powerful memories of childhood are in black and white. The monochrome of the Saturday morning Odeon’s Kidz-Klub, and the Hollywood films on afternoon television, seemed so much more vibrant than anything that real life could come up with. And, as you would expect of someone who grew up living more fully in his imagination than in the day-to-day, adulthood proved to be a series of disappointments and non-events. Nightclubs, for example, were, in my mind, bustling with tough guys in pinstriped suits, wise-cracking cigarettes girls and sultry Femme Fatales belting out torch songs on a Chiaroscuro lit stage. So, when I eventually stumbled into the grim reality of sticky carpets, overflowing toilets and beer bellied men with no necks and faces like blackcurrent crumbles staggering around a smokey, pokey dance floor with leathery, bottle blondes, while has-been DJs played has-been tunes, my heart sank like the Titanic. And now, every weekend, with Sisyphean resignation, I drag myself to work behind the bar in Astros Nite-Spot where only the splashes of blood that the regulars spill as casually as their watery lager brighten up an otherwise dreary and uniform night and no, the irony of this situation has not escaped me.

6S

Paul Brazill is from Hartlepool, England and lives in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He blogs here.

What's the Point?

by Amy Munday

I fall asleep at work everyday but instead of firing me, the boss suggested I get counseling; "You're depressed," he told me. On our first visit, the counselor asked me questions about my life, then told me, "All your problems revert back to an unhealthy childhood and I want to help you move on, therefore, able to live a better life, that is the point of seeing me." She didn't understand when I explained I like my life, I'm happy, work is boring, so I sleep. The counselor disagreed vehemently demanding, "You need to find someone to look up to if you're bored, perhaps less video games, call a family member, you are troubled, sir, not happy." I stood up and smiled at the poor woman, which confused her, then I walked to the doorway, turning slightly before walking out to tell her, Happiness is the only true rebel, thank you for proving my point. I continue to sleep at work, only now I have special medical benefits.

6S

Amy Munday, an American, lives in Verona, Italy. She has a professional writing degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Class of '04).

Real Life

by Jodi MacArthur

"In real life, Steve, people, like, really live their lives, and there are no twists and turns in the plot." Renee flipped her blonde hair away from her face. "Books are fake, and I'm not some character in those stupid stories you write. Those words you write, can't hold any truth, because in the end, I can burn that book and it all would be gone, but the words I'm speaking now are immortal - you can't burn them." Steve nodded his head, "But I can forget them." He penciled in his notebook, smiling, as she stomped away, her stilettos clicking on the sidewalk.

6S

Jodi MacArthur, exiled in deep southern Texas, is a Seattle author hoping to write her way back to the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time, she twitters at her beloved finches, Edgar and Emily, and drinks coffee - but never at the same time. She is the author of Zombie.

Alone in the Snow

by Sean Kennedy

It’s cold out here, standing in the dimly lit street with the gentle flakes of snow dancing around me. My whole body has gone numb, but it’s worth every icy second. I can see that old lady, the one who always comes into the shop around this time, buying another box of truffle delights; she must have a sweet tooth. What is it she says to you that always makes you smile like that? Seeing you that happy, on the other side of the road, warm and safe behind the shop window, always makes my heart flutter. If only I had the courage to walk in there and say hello; rather than standing out here like a lost soul in a frozen picture, dreaming endlessly of a love that doesn’t exist.

6S

Sean Kennedy, who recently won the 6S Halloween Contest, attends the University of Salford in Manchester, England. His full catalog is here.

Jumpers

by John Cabeen

Frankie and Johnny were jumpers. Johnny taught Frankie to skydive. Frankie taught Johnny to love. They were at the drop zone every weekend. Last Friday Johnny woke up and Frankie was gone. Johnny made one more skydive; he never pulled his ripcord.

6S

John Cabeen, who authored A Smile, jots down thoughts, and flew many skydivers in the past.

6S V2 - THE NEW BOOK!

An Exciting Announcement from 6S!



LAST APRIL, THE BOOK PICTURED ABOVE LITERALLY ROCKED THE WORLD OF PUBLISHING… AND NOW, THE TIME HAS COME… TO ROCK ON! The submission period for Six Sentences, Volume 2 – the highly anticipated, eagerly awaited follow-up to the original smash-hit (scheduled to be published in March) – is officially underway! If you’d like to be part of the coolest anthology in town, just send your work to the brand new, specially created 6SV2 email address (sixsentencesv2@yahoo.com), and make sure the subject line of your email is 6SV2 SUBMISSION (or 6SV2 SUBMISSIONS if you're sending more than one – you may send two, but not more than two). Your work must be previously unpublished, and the same 6S Writer's Guidelines apply. The deadline for potential inclusion in the book is Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 (at midnight EST), and a list of included authors will be published sometime in January. Volume 2 will pack a bigger, juicier, deadlier punch than its predecessor, and include a few surprises guaranteed to blow you away!

6S

Six Sentences, formerly a lit-scene infant, has grown into a full-fledged precocious literary wild-child. (Join the party! Get to work on your six!)

Once Upon a Time

by caccy46

I used to check the website every day, excited to see my name up, my latest six sentences printed. Next favorite thing to do was click on the comments and drink my compliments like my first cup of morning coffee. Now I forget to check in each day because it's much less often my name appears. Not because I write less, but now there are so many contributors. Being a little fish in a big pond sucks. I used to be a decent size, but everyone around me must be on hormones.

6S

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

Summer Breeze

by Laura Van Eeckhout

It hadn't been that hot for at least ten years. Even though the sun had gone down a couple of hours before, there was still a bunch of people on the beach. Boys and girls in bathing suits - dancing, laughing, kissing, as if it were the reason they were alive in the first place. You could tell from their tanned faces that the heat had found its way to every inch of their bodies, like a fire that couldn't be extinguished, even with buckets and buckets of water thrown over the flames. But only in the middle of the night - when a remarkably fresh breeze stole away a second or two from the airless summer - you could get an idea of how cold it was in her heart. For her, winter had never ended.

6S

Laura Van Eeckhout is a Belgian student in Communications at the VUB (Brussels University). You may visit her personal blog here.

Pregnant Pause

by Peggy McFarland

The pregnant pause filled the space with anxious expectation, words overdue. Just when the listener thought it might be another false alarm, or maybe just his own imagery and he could avoid their portent and the ensuing upheaval to his complacent life... the words gushed. He tried to catch them all, understand them, but they were too many; they littered the air with their foreign cries and hurt the ears. Still, he attempted to listen, and cared for the first few, mulled them over, doted upon those phrases, arranged and rearranged them until their language matched his own, let them evolve into slogans; yet, he never understood his revisions smothered their original intent. Exhausted, she tried to gather up the rest of her words, but so many spewed forth that the ones she could recall remained out of context, orphaned and misunderstood since their conception, so she cleaned the expressions she had and rearranged them until the abridged version satisfied her sensibilities. They accepted this edited story as their own rebirth, and so what if a lost phrase emerged to claim its original meaning when he watched the news, or when she read the newspaper... those were banished, lest a well turned phrase enlighten their new dysfunction.

6S

Peggy McFarland, whose full catalog is here, is most proud of Katie’s Six, is honored to have two stories in 6SV1, and continues to seek inspiration.

My Stand-Up Addiction

by Stevie G.B.

I will never forget the first time I tried stand-up comedy at an open mic night on Long Island. The adrenaline was rushing through my veins as the moment neared when my name would be called knowing soon I would find myself alone in front of a roomful of strangers, seeking approval for some unknown reason other than I didn't get enough from my mother. At the last second I thought this was the worst idea I ever had and started eying the exit doors thinking nobody would notice me sneaking out and, after a few seconds, the emcee would realize that I had chickened out and call the next fool up to the stage. Suddenly, it was too late, my name was called and my heart was in my throat. I went up there, holding the microphone in my sweaty hands, gasping for air as I began to speak, the red hot lights in my face, and somehow got through it, in robotic fashion, managing only small bits of laughter in between the noises of clanking glasses, coughs and sniffles, and whispers from waitresses to customers. Soon the longest five minutes of my life were over and as I left the stage, hearing only a bit of gracious (but forced) applause from the audience, I was glad it was over, but it wasn't, because - like a drug addict - I have not been able to stop.

6S

Stevie G.B. discovered his true calling (stand-up); unfortunately, they're not calling enough, so he has to keep his day job (accounting). Check out his mid-life awakening.

On Feeling

by Andrew Kaspereen

Today I will be serious. If you should happen to trip and fall and get a minor concussion on your way somewhere important, I will be helpful. If I hug you like a bear it will be with the utmost professionalism and civility. I will spend my day reading serious texts about the best procedure for using proper punctuation while drinking black coffee. When you come home, I will be waiting to tell you how I have balanced the check book, made your favorite dinner and washed the dog not forgetting behind her ears. Please don’t ever leave.

6S

Andrew Kaspereen lives in Northwest New Jersey and goes to college in the hopes of one day educating the masses. He has a blog and helps edit an online/print zine called Lo-Fidelity. He also likes snapping turtles and overcast days.

Spiffy

by Woody Allen

Now, we all know when someone is very dressed up, we say he looks “spiffy.” The term owes its origin to Sir Oswald Spiffy, perhaps the most renowned fop of Victorian England. Heir to treacle millions, Spiffy squandered his money on clothes – it was said that at one time he owned enough handkerchiefs for all the men, women and children of Asia to blow their noses for seven years without stopping. Spiffy’s sartorial innovations were legend – he was the first man ever to wear gloves on his head – and because of extra-sensitive skin, his underwear had to be made of the finest Nova Scotia salmon, carefully sliced by one particular tailor. His libertine attitudes involved him in several notorious scandals, and he eventually sued the government over the right to wear earmuffs while fondling a dwarf. In the end, Spiffy died a broken man in Chichester, his total wardrobe reduced to kneepads and a sombrero.

6S

Woody Allen, who today turns 73, is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker, writer and actor. His six sentences are excerpted from "Slang Origins," a New Yorker piece originally published in Without Feathers.