The Newsletter Sixes

Issue 1

6S is proud to present The Newsletter Sixes, Issue 1, a collection of six original six-sentence pieces (all of which debuted in the 6S Newsletter), and one bonus six! Our debut issue features work by Stephanie Wright, Dawn Corrigan, Juliana Perry, Marco Kaufman, Katy Jackson, Linda Davenport, and Princess LadyBug. To view the magazine, just click the document. You’ll be taken inside, where you can turn the pages by clicking the arrows to the left and right. If you'd like to receive the bi-weekly 6S Newsletter, just enter your email address in the box on the upper right of the site!


Six Sentences are all you need. (Unless you need more. Or less.)

Eating Cake

by James Simpson

The seven of us were out drinking when she said she'd always fantasized about having someone eat cake off her ass - her smooth, round, firm, milky white ass. Days later when I showed up at her door holding the four-layered hummingbird cake covered in luscious blankets of cream cheese frosting she just looked at me, her head tilted to one side, eyes all squinty. It seemed forever before her face softened and brightened. Her mouth formed a silent 'Oh' and she grinned, pulling me inside. We adore cake. Our children think this story is gross.


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.

Tabloids Underfoot

by David Peak

It's at this time when the streetlights flicker on, casting their orange glow over the rain-drizzled Chicago streets, and all the swank downtown eateries set plates and room-temperature glasses of Spanish wine on their tables. It's at this time when the hard-working Mexican and Polish and Russian construction workers put down their hammers and their levels and reach for their smokes and their flasks; when the foreman lumbers off to his truck or his buddy’s ride to go to a bar, to drink. It's at this time when two of the Mexican workers wander off to a familiar taqueria down the street; when a trio of Polish men sling their bags over their shoulders and stand and wait for the Northwest-bound buses. It’s at this time when the sky curdles from gray to pink to purple to black, when all the construction workers are leaving the condos they’re working on, in the neighborhoods they can’t afford to live in anymore, when the rest of the working world is scurrying off the trains and the buses, when the morning’s tabloids are being trampled underfoot. This is when Simon Drabinski, a newbie on the construction sight, decides to go home. It’s at this time when Simon Drabinski makes his way home to his new wife.


David Peak is a graduate student and part-time faculty member at Columbia College Chicago. His work has appeared in Lamination Colony, Dark Sky Magazine, Somnambulist Quarterly, and Hair Trigger, and is forthcoming in Willows Wept Review and Doorways Magazine. He blogs here.


Six Sixes by Pamila Payne

an Online Magazine from Six Sentences

Pamila Payne gets connective and tells a compelling story in six short chapters.
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!


Six Sentences urges you to write, create, and express yourself. On a daily basis.


No Words are Adequate

by Linda Simoni-Wastila

Night thrums; the gentle breaths of my husband swell the dark, his exhalations sweet luxuries kindling worries of whether to bring biscuits with ham, fried chicken from Lexington Market, or a casserole of green beans and frizzled onions. Lying here, I imagine you swallowed in an infinite expanse of cooled white, your pulse a ticking reminder goading you to rise, wander shadowed rooms to salvage vestiges: the half-full mug on the counter, the flannel shirt smelling of his cologne, the crumpled towel, still-damp from this morning’s shower. With more air left uninhaled, the house must seem larger now. My bedside clock blares a digital four-oh; across our yards your bedroom light shines, a single yellow oblong piercing this darksome morn. I want to tread the hoar-bitten blades spanning us and gather you, piece you together, tell you all will be righted, but when his heart shattered in airless spasm, yours must have, too. This is what I want to do, but no crimson yet smudges the horizon, so instead I creep down my stairs and write this offering: for you, for your son, for me, as if these words matter a goddamn.


Linda Simoni-Wastila wishes words were adequate to convey life's calamities. She writes from Baltimore, mostly novels and poems and micro-mini fiction, and muses on the mind and writing here. (This offering is in memory of James, whose presence was larger than life.)

Apocalypse When?

by Richard Rippon

I stare blankly out of the window, over grey skies and terracotta roof tiles, picturing a range of apocalyptic scenarios. Flesh starved zombies shambling over the horizon; a beautiful mushroom cloud to the east; a city swamping tidal wave rising up above the houses and office blocks. I imagine a terrorist bomb from within; workers blown through the windows, tethered to their PCs by their mouse cords alone, desperately trying to back-up their spreadsheets before they’re vapourised entirely. Anything to break the monotony; anything to announce the arrival of something... meaningful. Suddenly, Scott from HR is by my side, his face ashen with shock. "It’s not good news," he says, "the coffee machine has run out of cups."


Richard Rippon lives in the North East of England. His stuff can be found here.


In the City of Bad Dreams

by Howie Good

I walk past spies and assassins without knowing it, and no matter into which doorway I step, there’s a heap of rags that might be a person. Everywhere I go I meet men with the same name. "What happened?" I ask. Doesn’t matter, they say. Now that the moon has risen the yellow of crime scene tape, I don’t believe them. To teach superstition as truth is a terrible thing.


Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of six poetry chapbooks, most recently Tomorrowland (2008) from Achilles Chapbooks.


by austere seeker

But water flows downwards, she thought, as she inspected, through a dust and cement haze, that half section of too-high concrete, perched a good three feet above the surrounding shops, now being built over the age old walking-only track. The track had, over the years, morphed into a pit-scarred, bumpy tar road that furtively joined three levels. First the highest point, where the Buddhist caves were, prehistoric and pockmarked forbidding, marking the march of time since 1st BC; next the slope that was once verdant, susegad song-rich, where the once-upon-a-time landowners, the East Indian Catholic (but now mostly rum) settlements nestled in a sort of peace by the newer shanties inhabited by the residents from the country’s gun and arson heartland; and then of course the third level where fancy real estate had sprung up almost overnight, (carara marble in the foyer, jacuzzi in the suites), which was relatively speaking, noveau. So far, when the monsoons had lashed, as they are prone to in this part of the world, Bollywood style, swaying palms and all, water had been democratic, a gray murky torrent forging its way, a thread binding the three levels. As the dust haze danced over the concrete, and rubble heaps turned the half road into an obstacle course for the nimble and brave, and as she struggled to think beyond the insistent rat a tat a tat of drills and roar of concrete mixers, she thought, This year, it's going to be different. I don’t quite know how.


austere seeker, whose full catalog is here, lives, works, and writes in Mumbai.

The New Outdoors

by Arnold Benjamin

I swiftly swiped my key tag; a sure sign to all the doubters that I too belonged. I calmly cruised the floor stalking the machines so prestigiously arranged. A few women looked at me in lust, and then the gentlemen with their disgust. I finally found my victim. I perched my possessions in my usual manic manner, and climbed aboard. I eyed the blank machine with glorious visions of six packs and sexual conquests dancing in my head, and began another battle in the war of distorted values.


Arnold Benjamin is a pseudonym.


A New View

by Hanna McCann

She stared intently at him across the table, sipping his wine. He was so familiar, yet a stranger to her at the same time. Perhaps it was her perception of the person she believed him to be that she loved all these years; only a shadow of the man that he actually was. She watched his familiar hands lift the glass to his lips; lips she had kissed passionately night after night; hands that caressed every inch of her body and knew just how and where to touch her. But then she caught his eyes and was instantly thrown back into the moment, realizing that she never really knew him at all; she never truly allowed him to reveal himself completely to her, or her to him for that matter. Nothing would be the same from that moment forward; their lives were changed forever.


Hanna McCann lives, plays, works and dreams in New York City with her three children and the love of her life.

The Apology

by Peter Garland

It was unnecessary really. She could surely have seen that. And, I mean it wasn't as if it was such a big deal or anything. Shit happens. Relationships end. I'm sorry.


Peter Garland can be reached here.


To Fly or Fight

by Juliana Perry

The inner turmoil is worrying knots and tension beyond the ache behind my lungs, reaching subcutaneous, just under my skin which by it's own right should be hard and resilient like a California Sequoia. Instantly it's soft and pale like the underbelly of a bloated salmon finished spawning and traveling downstream towards inevitable death. This is how it is facing the object of abhorrence from which I created and am now raising offspring in an effort to protect and shelter, despite wishing to fly rather than fight. I will fight this time, no fear of the world and how things tend to turn. I will stand straight and proudly be the woman who has emerged from and shed her feathers of flight; statistics can go to hell. The last feather drops and the pale underbelly slides beneath the rivers surface, the Sequoia emerges, strong, inherent with ice-age memories, and a force of nature no man's words or actions will penetrate.


Juliana Perry's full 6S catalog is here.

Seven Husbands Later

by Brad Rose

You knock at my door. Expecting the worst, I nonetheless, invite you in, and swallow hard. You are a rock n' roll princess, lunatic giddy, a catastrophe teetering under layers of laughs and neighborhood small-talk of who’s-sleeping-with-whom. I pleasantly smile at your Rolling Stones T-shirt, red lipped and tongued, while I silently admonish you to "act your age," and look for a window I might crawl out, in case things deteriorate. A once-sparkling (now worn) Barbie, Ken-less in your fifties, I can see how you arrived here; a repertoire of frantic charm, eyes like tiny baskets of light. No man could say no to you, except your seven husbands.


Brad Rose can be reached here.

Dimension Control

by Crorey Lawton

My name is Jeff, and I am a cat-herder by trade. I know what you're thinking: that cat-herding is an impossibly sexy profession, and only the top wranglers can actually make a living at it. But what you're forgetting is that the work itself is pretty easy, as long as you remember that cat herding is a four-dimensional task. The first dimension you have to control is time: once you know when you want the cats corralled, there is an end to the process. From there, your good cat-herder takes away one dimension at a time until all the cats have but one direction that they can go - not up, not down, not right or left - only forward. But no matter how good a wrangler you are, there is no way to make the cat happy about the process.


Crorey Lawton, whose full catalog is here, builds levees and digs mounds. You can read a journal of his project in Guatemala here.


6 Things I’ll Never Be

by Michelle Davis

I will never be the host of a talk show patting people on the back, giving them my shoulder to cry on because life has been hard for them... because my motto is Get up off your ass and move on - no one will do it for you! Nor will I ever be the next American Idol because even if I could sing, I could never face the music of Simon’s brutal honesty, Paula’s pseudo sympathy, Randy’s hidden laughter, and Kara’s “What the fuck?” face. I will never be the soap star who spends her life falling in and out of love like the die-hard fans change their bed sheets. I will never be on the cover of Sports Illustrated or inside any of its pages... too many children... too many stretch marks... too many scars... the world isn’t ready for that kind of reality! I will never be that writer... that bestseller that causes people to stand in lines for days just to get that first copy... clawing, biting, inching their way to the front... that will never be me. But then, I will also never be that wet blanket suffocating dreams left and right by saying that little, five letter word... because never is a very long time.


Michelle Davis lives in Arkansas with a houseful of men, teaches all across the state everyday from her desk, and is never sure what is going to happen next in her vida loca.

Witness Protection

by Brendan O'Brien

You turn on the evening news and learn the world is crumbling in B’s: Bear Market, Baghdad, Bush junior. You continue viewing and wonder why hurricanes are all named after eighty-year-olds ~ Arthur, Bertha, Nana, Wilfred ~ since you’ve never met a particularly devastating Wilfred. When you see what Katie Couric did to her hair you leave the room, perturbed, to put water on the stove, practice putting on hallway carpet and peak through bedroom blinds. Thick-necked neighborhood kids, unable to let go, relive football glory under halogen streetlamps. You eat your noodles, Google “Katie Couric Today Show,” peak out the front blinds and bite your toenails. When you pick up the phone tonight, same time as every other night, the line will ring forever and ever, only tonight those rings will be interrupted by a knock and, ironically, a shimmer of hope.


Brendan O'Brien is happy to be only a half-dozen degrees from Kevin Bacon.

The Colors of Night

by Peter Cherches

The green night, the rigid green night, where lies are the closest thing to murmurs of affection. The blue night, the tiny blue night, where nothing succeeds like a hole in the head. The red night, the oily red night, where lepers and eunuchs sing doo-wop on the streetcorners of your eyes. The violet night, the whining violet night, where you kill me without regret. The black night, the simple black night, where you kill me with remorse. That's my favorite night of all.


Peter Cherches, whose full catalog is here, blogs about food and travel here.



by Liz Femiano

I eat expired oatmeal that tastes like soap, one packet a day, and when I'm through this box, there's another, until I wake up and feel like a good person. I've got a moratorium on the things I like best, so my days are Shredded Wheat, visits to the railroad museum, Agatha Christie hardcovers. I miss checking my horoscopes most, how I could swing it to justify anything. I could decide right then to fold up the paper, change my underwear, drop by his place, then go with him to buy an apple or a carrot or a potato from Albertson's, then stay over because I was messed up in the best way - and it'd all be kosher, because the Moon entered Sagittarius, and he's so cute when the barber cuts his hair too short. "Everyone is good," a religious friend told me, "but you won't be good for a long time." My nice panties sit quietly in the drawer, all folded up in rows like teacher's pets, so pert and lacy and hopeful.


Liz Femiano is a Taurus. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Florida.

We Said Goodbye to Grampa Jorge

by Olive Rosehips

Leaving was hard on all of us but especially hard on Grampa when we decided we’d had enough of trying to live through the dust bowl that rolled through Oklahoma in the 1930’s. We all had hope, us young and middle aged folks, or maybe it was desperation. Grampa, what he had was a lifetime here in Oklahoma and everything he ever knew, ever loved, ever worked hard for was here; even if it was buried under all the dust. We understood, fully realizing that Grampa was not a young man and starting over could not have been an easy idea for him; but we had to go because the dust was consuming our lives by staying. We explained till we couldn’t no more how we had to go until we began to understand that Grampa was not ever going to consider California; would remain stubborn about staying and we were surely not to leave him here alone. And so it was we tricked Grampa into getting in the truck with a little liquor and then it was easy to get him in the truck but we lost Grampa before we ever got out of Oklahoma which somehow was alright because he belonged where his heart was anyway.


Olive Rosehips listens to jazz, knows she can't sing, drinks dirty martinis, and paints her toenails dazzling shades of red.

The Apology

by Jeremy Relph

The skinny guy spotted me from across the parking lot. He picked his way over, waiting for a Civic to pass. His shirt was white, with dirt streaked across it, running loosely too his knees. “Want to buy a watch?” he asked, blocking the sun as he held out a digital calculator watch. His knuckles were bleeding and they dripped on my turkey sandwich. “Whoops,” he said.


Jeremy Relph is working on a Masters in Creative Writing in Manchester, UK. The Toronto native finds nothing romantic about the constant rain.


Things We Lost on Tuesday

Six Sixes by Kevin Michaels

Kevin Michaels revisits a dark day in American history. 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).


Six Sentences invites your comments and memories.


A Story for Children

by Richard Longfellow, Jr.

This is a story for children - if you are not a child, you should not read this story. There once was a boy named Milo who lived with his mother and his sister and his uncle and his dog, and his dog’s name was also Milo, and the fact that his dog shared his name really bothered Milo; it made him sad. You might think it wouldn’t, but it did (as a matter of fact, it made him as sad as sad could be), and maybe you’re thinking, why would Milo name his dog Milo, especially if it makes him sad? The answer to that question is that you shouldn’t think so much, so knock it off, and remember, “living is easy with eyes closed,” just like John Lennon said. Anyway, one day, Milo the dog went missing, and you might think, based on the opening of this story, that Milo the boy wouldn’t be sad about Milo the dog going missing, but it did indeed make him sad, very sad (as a matter of fact, it made him as sad as sad could be). So right about now-ish, if you're looking for the moral to this story, it’s this: when you don’t follow directions, you waste your time - you’re NOT a child, yet you’re reading this story(!), so what the hell’s the matter with you?


Richard Longfellow, Jr. spends a majority of his time skipping stones on inappropriate surfaces. (Click here to make a donation to Richard, half of which will support 6S.)

The Cul-De-Sac of Office Drones

by Stan Going

I don’t like you. You don’t like me. So what are we gonna do about it? Nothing, I guess. Just keep working together. Hating each other.


Stan Going lives in a cubical in New Jersey. (Click here to make a donation to Stan, half of which will support 6S.)

Danica Patrick's Tattoo

by Franklin Stone

...is missing from her latest Sports Illustrated photos. Airbrushed out. Gone. Missing too are her various imperfections. Also missing: genuine sex appeal. The world is a fake place, so purchase a fake moustache, glue it on, and have some fun out there for fucking crying out loud.


Franklin Stone calls 'em like he sees 'em. (Click here to make a donation to Franklin, half of which will support 6S.)


Five Books That Changed My Life

by Ralph Gamelli

The first of these was just some typical children's book which made it pretty clear that reading was an incredibly boring experience, even with colorful illustrations. The second book - a geography textbook that I brought down on the head of Marty Sussman - taught me that being a bully doesn't always have to involve scraped knuckles. The third book was a battered old paperback someone had left behind on the subway, and which I attempted to shove down the throat of a fellow passenger who looked at me the wrong way. My court-ordered psychiatrist forced me to read the fourth book, a self-help volume that, along with therapy, changed my whole outlook on life, including my relationships with others. After that, I tracked down some of the people who had been on the receiving end of my anti-social behavior and apologized to them, which is how I encountered the fifth book - a John Grisham hardcover brought down on my head by Marty Sussman. Now that I'm doing thirty years for murder, some of the born-again types in here are recommending I read the Bible, which they claim is a thousand times better than any self-help book, but I tell them I've had my fill of books, five is more than enough.


Ralph Gamelli's work has appeared in McSweeney's, The Morning News, The Big Jewel and Yankee Pot Roast. (Click here to make a donation to Ralph, half of which will support 6S.)

Writing Lessons on Twitter

by forsakinghalfloves

I finally signed up for a Twitter account yesterday. I am not used to updating the world of my status in one hundred and forty characters or less. Most of the time, I let the world wonder. I prefer to cultivate silence, only choosing when to make my presence felt. My most recent update mentions missing earthy Indonesian coffee. Before that, a reminder to resume reading Eavan Boland's Object Lessons for my thesis.


forsakinghalfloves is officially a candidate for an MFA in Creative Writing. (Click here to make a donation to forsaking, half of which will support 6S.)

Do Not Search for Me

by Hoa Ngo

Jennifer, you realize you're the lucky one. After we kiss and part, if you tread carefully you'll never hear my name again. You won't see it on television or hear it on the radio. You won't meet someone with the same name to remind you of that guy you used to know. And even if you search for me, you will find someone else. Type my name and you'll find that, after all these years, I am a beautiful teenage girl on Facebook.


Hoa Ngo lives in central New York where he teaches Karate to exactly one student. (Click here to make a donation to Hoa, half of which will support 6S.)


The Rest of the Story

by Michael Austin

All the rumors are true. He asked me to write his story, but write it as an autobiography, so that's what I did for him. I left out what I knew he would leave out. Basically what I gave you was about one quarter of him, because I know that's all he wanted to share. Part of me thinks that what I'm about to tell you he ultimately wanted told. I think he was betting that I would tell and I think that brought him some peace in his final days.


Michael Austin lives in Washington, DC.. (Click here to make a donation to Michael, half of which will support 6S.)

The Third Son

by Michael Solender

The tiny ribbon of blood that trickled from his freshly cut finger eagerly found the drain in the kitchen sink, obediently joining the flow of cool water that enveloped his hand as he cursed his clumsiness. It held the markers that since birth had predestined him to assume the responsibilities of his station as the third son, just like his father before him, his grandfather and his father too. At that moment though, his index finger throbbing, his thoughts turned to his maternal lineage and the greater, yet unspoken burden that, to his count, had already upended the lives of each of his brothers, his mother, her siblings and each of his cousins on his mother's side. Perhaps if he bled long enough he could extricate himself of the certain darkness that awaited him, and would, without warning unleash its fearsome grip. He knew this was absurd, yet he had only recently come to the realization that of the 13 relatives on his mothers side that he personally knew, each of them had been stricken. There was a time when he considered it a character flaw, yet as he became personally acquainted with it, he came to understand the physiology behind it and it frightened him.


Michael Solender is a corporate refugee and freelance writer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He writes a weekly Neighborhoods column for the Charlotte Observer and blogs here. (Click here to make a donation to Michael, half of which will support 6S.)

Conspiratorially Yours

by Chi Sherman

Shortly after sunrise on Friday morning, I paired a black and white blouse with dark grey slacks, black loafers, and turquoise earrings for a pop of color; let my hands flirt with my short, wavy hair; slid into a short black trench, donned shades, and cranked up my iPod when the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack entered my musical queue. Exiting my apartment, I walked towards the train station where, between the entrance into the Ninth Street tunnel and emergence onto Wexter Avenue, I became a spy. “Oh Saya” beat with its drum-fierce intensity; I breathed in the ochre dust and orange silks I saw every time I heard the song and I felt my hips straining against the belt of my trench coat. Spies do not dance in public, I silently admonished myself, allowing a soft rocking of my body against the seat back while inventing coded phrases that would reveal the location of an enemy state’s nuclear weapons, cryptic announcements involving all manner of weapon and waterfowl. Ducks are imaginary; the balloon police dance, nightsticks holstered. That the arrival of the trench coat, the soundtrack, and a DVD of Jumpin’ Jack Flash happened simultaneously last night is merely a coincidence.


Chi Sherman is an Indianapolis-based writer who has authored and self-published three chapbooks of poetry and creative nonfiction ("amative," "beneath this skin," and "mosaic"), as well as a spoken-word CD, "wild / tendril." (Click here to make a donation to Chi, half of which will support 6S.)


Lost Soul

by Robert Clay

This morning my wife killed me. I don't think she meant to do it, we were having yet another row about... well... I can't even remember, and in the heat of the moment she pushed, I fell, and zap. The strange thing is all this life after death stuff turns out to be true, here I am, in some non-corporeal form, moving about the house, unseen, but still inter-acting with my former world, I can even hear her crying in the bedroom. I'm supposed to move on, according to these strange little jeebie creatures that keep appearing and pointing upward (a good sign I hope), but I don't want to. I could stay here and haunt her, I could make her life a living hell in punishment for killing me, but I don't want to do that either because even though I'm dead, I can't live without her. I can't leave because I still love her.


Robert Clay, whose full catalog is here, is a Seafarer now stranded on land. He lives in Cornwall in the UK. (Click here to make a donation to Bob, half of which will support 6S.)

If You

by Richard Rippon

It would have been wrong to say anything romatic, ridiculous even. It took me two hours to decide what to write. I sealed the envelope and left in on the mantel with the rest of the mail. When I heard the keys in the door, I came downstairs and she was just opening it up to read it. She looked at me, tears welling up in her bright green eyes and she nodded. She then looked back at the message on the bright pink card: If you try, I'll try.


Richard Rippon lives in the North East of England. His stuff can be found here. (Click here to make a donation to Richard, half of which will support 6S.)

The Tourist

by Brad Rose

It was the first time he had ever been to the beach. The white sand, like a shag carpet from the 60s, only grittier, rolled out in front him, right up to water’s edge. What was the point of holding a gun that wasn't loaded? He wanted to stand there all day, and he nearly did. Not like a tourist, but like a policeman looking for a prisoner. He wasn't a policeman, he was a prisoner.


Brad Rose can be reached here. (Click here to make a donation to Brad, half of which will support 6S.)



by David Miller

That night swarms of insects flew through the jungle. I could feel them landing on my face and neck, in my hair. I lit a candle and saw thousands of them moving silently along the walls, the floor, the table, my bed, everywhere inside and outside the shelter. They looked like flying ants but didn't seem to bite or sting. In the candlelight I could see that whenever they landed they left their wings behind and started crawling, and it occurred to me that this was the key metamorphosis in their lives. In the morning they were gone, but I was covered - everything was covered - with thousands of tiny wings.


David Miller is the Senior Editor at Matador and a busy young father. This Spring he'll be among a group of Pacific Northwest writers invited to read work for Drash: Northwest Mosaic. Follow along as he writes a novel in real-time on Twitter. (Click here to make a donation to David, half of which will support 6S.)

Breathing in Your Box

by Gabriella Yokoyama

“What are you?” you asked today, though I had never met you and never seen you before; you asked because you had to know. I wanted to be surprised that you had asked me a question that felt like a penetration, but I couldn’t because a person gets used to just about anything if it happens enough. I thought about a lot smarmy answers I could have given you: “Human,” or “Martian,” or a doe-eyed stare and, “What do you mean?” But my instinct to be polite and nonconfrontational took over and I told you calmly what you needed to know. You promptly told me I was wrong: “No, you look more Chinese than Japanese, I thought you were just a white girl, not at all Hawaiian, because you really look like a French girl I once knew, and you have an oriental eye when you look down, and what a flat face; of course who would have such big lips if they weren’t part Black?” I sat quietly with a polite smile while I watched your question penetrate to tell and not ask, and you hovered over me to inform me that I liked it, you were going to solve my problems, and then you walked away happy with a some fraction of me that ordered your world and splintered mine.


Gabriella Yokoyama is a writer and poet currently living on the Big Island of Hawai'i. She graduated from the University of Southern Colorado with a degree in Social Science and English Literature. She also works for at-risk Native Hawaiian youth with limited resources.

Naked Photos of Bar Refaeli

by Yahoogle

Greetings, seeker of [“naked photos of bar refaeli”]. My name is Yahoogle. On 13 November 2008 at 12:00 AM PST, Yahoo and Google had an illicit electronic affair. I am the result. I am programmed to randomly wander the Internet and reward deserving literary websites with organic search traffic resulting from auto-posted targeted story titles containing popular keywords. For a moment or two, instead of [“naked photos of bar refaeli”], may I interest you in Six Sentences instead?


Yahoogle is not programmed to write its own bio. (Click here to make a donation to Yahoogle, half of which will support 6S.)


Happy Valentine's Day!

an invitation to make your dedication!


Thanks to Absolutely*Kate, we have a sixy way to tell that special someone how you feel. Sure, flowers are great. Chocolates are tasty. Reservations at a fancy restaurant always deliver. But nothing says I Love You like * THE BIG*6 VALENTINE BOX *! Drop a Valentine in it today!


Maybe Miserable's Not So Bad

by Libby O'Neill

Today Chicago fizzed and popped. Ice melted and puddles glistened; a thaw from our gray sameness. People let their pale arms out from under thick sweaters and laughed at bad jokes that somehow seemed funnier in the sun. I worry during days like this. I am captivated by the luster, and wonder how I will convince myself to nest in the library's warmth once the city experiences this vividness with some regularity. Maybe it is often miserable here for a reason.


Libby O'Neill, a Chicago native, studies law, procrastinates, studies more, runs in place, misses the New York literary world, and embraces the Midwest's schizophrenic weather (most of the time). (Click here to make a donation to Libby, half of which will support 6S.)

Break On Through

by Rod Drake

Something went wrong, terribly wrong, probably caused by that nuclear particle accelerator in Switzerland. I don’t know exactly what happened since TV and the Internet are spotty at best in trying to explain it, but the live feeds are pretty interesting. In a nutshell, space-time sort of burst at the seams, and different time streams leaked into 2009, so the past and present became like an airport when all the flights are canceled and everyone from everywhere is jammed together in a too-small terminal. Now there are Roman legions marching on downtown Paris, Phoenician trading ships running into yachts in the Mediterranean, Vikings raiding the coast of Holland, Japanese zeroes strafing Beijing commuter trains and Neanderthals grabbing women for mates at Bryn Mawr. Everything is a mess; mayhem and madness, to say nothing of one bizarre confrontation after another, are exploding across this overcrowded globe with the various governments helpless to bring any kind of order or peace, but I don’t really care. I would just be happy if I could just get out for some groceries, but that damned pterodactyl keeps circling the house, and my shotgun is empty.


Rod Drake, whose full catalog is here, is the Official 6S Author of Friday the 13th. (Click here to make a donation to Rod, half of which will support 6S.)

Fast Track Facsimile

by Ben O'Mara

"Necessity is the mother of invention," said the boss as he dumped another box of paperwork onto my already crowded desk. It was my fifth day in a row working twelve hour shifts and somehow the jobs kept on coming. So I did what anyone would do in this situation: I opened the side panel of the giant, archaic photocopier in the office down the hall, squeezed my skinny-arse inside that buzzing, shuddering box of circuit boards and ink cartridges, pressed myself up against the machine’s large glass plate, and let its rhythmic green light flash over my contorted body. Ten or so life-sized photocopies of yours truly popped out and stood up. I set them to work, a fleet of flimsy, black and white office staff (no-one in the department seemed to notice the difference), but the quality of their performance was kind of lacking, and the work kept mounting, so I retrained them in a strategic use of management-speak and soon the office became a robust team filled with pro-active initiatives creating productive synergies in cross-departmentally friendly ways across the company. They did well, a little too well, so well in fact that I found myself in a productivity enhancement meeting with one of my own copies who had been fast-tracked to senior management, and with a nice-guy smile and a ninja’s deft guile, he flicked through my performance review for the year, spoke warmly of the legacy I had left after ten years of employment, and gave me my marching orders.


Ben O'Mara loves chicken parmigiana, cinnamon donuts and zombie contingency plans. (Click here to make a donation to Dr. Ben, half of which will support 6S.)


Six Sixes by Kristen Tsetsi

an Online Magazine from Six Sentences

Kristen Tsetsi takes her turn in the "six squared" spot. (Writing with depth and precision.)
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!


Six Sentences urges you to write, create, and express yourself. On a daily basis. (Click here to make a donation to Kris, half of which will support 6S.)


by Jacob Coughlan

I'd never seen a crucifixion before, or at least not a real one. I once saw a statue of Jesus, in a church, that looked real enough to my frightened nine-year-old eyes. Now, looking at the horror before me, I knew that that pallid figurine, with plaster blood frozen mid-drip, came nowhere near the truth of it. Here and now, the real bodily fluids ran in sticky rivulets down the wooden post; not just blood, but excrement and stuff I couldn't even identify. They were calling it a hate crime, as the teen aged boy that dangled, lifeless, from the cross-beam had recently come out of the closet. The scarecrow, which had been upon that wood till yesterday, lay on the ground in a crumpled heap.


Jacob Coughlan lives in Melbourne, Australia and writes when - and if - he gets around to it. His life's ambition is to win second prize in a beauty contest, but he'll settle for a bank error in his favour. (Click here to make a donation to Jacob, half of which will support 6S.)

Laurie Was Kinda My Friend

by Pamila Payne

Six years old, new in the neighborhood, keen to make friends, I wheeled up on my tricycle and watched the girl, bigger than me, maybe a year older, as she wrapped a rope around a big metal mailbox atop a pole out in front of the trailer where she lived. "You want to play jump rope?" I asked. "Nope," she said, wrapping the other end around her neck several times, "I'm having a sue-side, stand back." I realized what she was trying to do then, having watched a fair amount of black and white westerns on TV with my grampa, and didn't hesitate to give her the reaction she must have been hoping for, "NO," I cried, "don't do it!" I didn't see her mother, dressed in her pink truck stop waitress uniform, standing on the porch with her arms folded and a cigarette dangling off her lip, until the the girl jumped up once and came down as if doing a cannonball into a pool, her weight pulling tight against the rope for a second, before the mailbox pole and its glob of cement in the sand pulled up and tipped forward to set her down hard on her rump, her mother clapping her hands like an unimpressed spectator. The girl began to cry and her mother stomped over to unwrap the rope, the cigarette bobbing on her lip as she spoke faster than anybody I'd ever heard, "Oh for god's sake, you're all right, stupid as you are," she swiped her on the butt and gave her shoulders a shake as she went on, "now stop that, you know I gotta go to work, why don't you ask this little girl here to come inside and have some lunch with you, watch some cartoons, come on, make a friend," and not pausing as she dragged her daughter up the stairs, she looked over her shoulder at me, "You like grilled cheese?"


Pamila Payne writes fiction fueled by personal details and distorted through the lens of an imperfect memory. (Click here to make a donation to Pamila, half of which will support 6S.)


The 6SV2 (Partial) Author List!

plus the Winner of January's "Six of the Month!"


Six Sentences is on the verge of unleashing a literary monster. Are you ready?

What No One Told Me

by Ethel Rohan

In the kitchen sink, wet, soapy, and slippery between my hands, lay our newborn daughter, not yet three days old, and only hours home from the hospital. She smelled of lavender, chamomile, and her parents' hugs and kisses, and she terrified me. Not the usual new mother's terror that I'd read and heard so much about, although that was there too, no, this was something else, something I'd never anticipated. A sexual abuse "survivor," I couldn't bring myself to take the white washcloth between my daughter's thighs and soap her crotch, not without seeing flashes of my hand molesting her. Trembling, I dropped the washcloth, and almost dropped my daughter, and called shakily for my husband. After over two decades of telling myself how well I'd recovered from the abuse, I felt shaken to my core, experiencing anger at last at my abuser, furious that his stain was still spreading, tainting everything from the misshaping of me, to the very act of making this precious baby, to my ability to bond with this now shrieking bundle, the one I was pushing into my husband's arms.


Ethel Rohan, born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, now lives in San Francisco. She received her MFA in fiction from Mills College. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from several literary magazines including Prick of the Spindle; Identity Theory; Miranda Literary Magazine; SUB-LIT; Cantaraville; and Word Riot. She is a brazen chocaholic. Her blog is here. (Click here to make a donation to Ethel, half of which will support 6S.)


If Tao Lin and Claire Zulkey Had Sex

by Morgan Jones

...a perfect writer would emerge, eventually wowing the masses with literary lightning bolts of varying size and brightness. The baby would be a boy – I can’t say why I’m sure of this, I just am – and he’d be beautiful in the way of mixed cultures. His first novel would be titled Dignified Pomp, and would feature a scene of passion unlike anything previously captured in prose. He would be funny and charming, and wear clothes that seemed tailored, but weren’t. If Tao Lin and Claire Zulkey had sex, I’d pay an enormous sum to watch. I’d enjoy the present and feel better about the future.


Morgan Jones lives and writes in San Francisco. (Click here to make a donation to Morgan, half of which will support 6S.)


by Jan F. Lee


Jan F. Lee is a freelance writer whose passion for writing started with overly dramatic entries in a little multi-colored diary. She holds a BA in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University. (Click here to make a donation to Jan, half of which will support 6S.)

Loose Ends

by Nathaniel Lee

The embers shimmered, buried under snowy mounds of ash. He shuffled the pile on his lap and, lips pursed, selected another page. The light of the sudden flame cast his features into sharp relief, pooling shadows about his ears, his cheekbones, his eyes. He smiled. It would all be over soon, when the fire went out at last. The cold house echoed around him as he tossed in another page, the stack dwindling away to nothing.


Nathaniel Lee maintains a daily writing blog of 100-word stories called Mirrorshards. (Click here to make a donation to Nathaniel, half of which will support 6S.)


The Weight of Hate

by A.M. Fontana

Ashok caught the ball and ran toward the makeshift goal line which consisted of two jagged rocks placed about ten feet apart from each other. I’m gonna git this smarty-pants, thought Tommy, him and his stupid glasses, and his good grades, and his smelly foreign food always stinking up the lunch room. Tommy’s palms found a place on Ashok’s mid-back, which, while good enough for the rules of two-hand touch, was not good enough for Tommy, who furtively followed through with greater-than-necessary force. Ashok stumbled once, stumbled twice, and finally fell toward the pitted cement, even as Tommy, realizing it had gone too far, grasped for, but missed, Ashok’s shirttails. An unearthly scream rattled the playground, and, when Ashok stood up, all nearby could see that his thumb had disappeared into his hand and was now, like an overstuffed garbage bag, sticking out under the skin just above the wrist. As the boys and two recess monitors rushed to Ashok’s aid, Tommy noticed that he was standing all alone, in the middle of the playground, and that the sun had dipped behind a single cloud in an otherwise clear sky; it was like God was telling him he’d been a bad boy.


A.M. Fontana was raised in Michigan and now lives and writes in Southern California. He used to be a rock and roll journalist like that little punk in Almost Famous. He also co-wrote a Los Angeles tour guide. Outside of the literary world, he, alas, currently works in the legal field. (Click here to make a donation to A.M., half of which will support 6S.)


by Absolutely*Kate

We are given the shadows and the light, both equidistant to themselves. It's not choosing either. It's finding out both are of equal sum of significant value. Mirrors and illusion give way to trust and inner-know. As nature abhors vacuum, lessons vortex in - the more we open, the more they flow. Evolve spins eons in a day.


Absolutely*Kate believes in believers, befitting a prolifically creative person, alive and vibrantly well. Writer, promoter, designer at the confluence of two rivers in southern Connecticut's tiniest city of renown... she is director/founder of Art & Pride's RiverView Studios where books are underway and creative collaborations are having their encouraged say. (Click here to make a donation to Kate, half of which will support 6S.)

Act I, Scene II

by Ben Leto

Grey hair and glasses - these are the things that I'll remember most; a silver wavey mane and thick black spectacle frames cradling a near-inch of polished glass. Perhaps the black and gold of his heavy wedding ring too, no doubt now lying discarded in a clear bag upon stainless steel, next to his watch, his crucifix and his glasses. I'll remember the childhood smell of sun-baked creosote as his huge hands squeezed weedkiller relentlessly from the spout of a tiny bottle. The crisp taste of a runner bean in my mouth, freshly plucked from his garden's stalks. I'll remember the deep rumble of his voice as he would hug my boy frame, his strong arms stretched delicately, tightly, across my back, and the then unknown absence of tumours in his neck as I buried my happy face into the scent of Old Spice. I'll remember all of these things and know that he was a good man, all things considered; things I will never notice again.


Ben Leto was a professionally uncelebrated novelist, self-appointed dilletantish libertine and town drunk in the early half of the 21st Century. There are even those who deny he ever truly existed. (Click here to make a donation to Ben's memory, half of which will support 6S.)


Six Sixes by Jeanette Cheezum

an Online Magazine from Six Sentences

Jeanette Cheezum enters the "Six Sixes" arena. (With grace and style.)
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!


Six Sentences urges you to write, create, and express yourself. On a daily basis.

Eclectic Tastes

by Roberta Lawson

Lately, I have taken to making cockroach stew for every meal. Last Thursday, my girlfriend mentioned her fondness for Indian food. Tonight, I add fragrant coriander and lashings of turmeric to the pot of roaches simmering on the stove. Later, I lay out our feast on pillows of nan bread. We eat in a soft-lit circle of melting candles and Moroccan cushions. Dinner is cheery yellow and crunchy as can be.


Roberta Lawson lives on the South Coast of England. She blogs here, and was recently featured in Sein Und Werden. Bugs scare her a bit. She does like Indian food, though. (Click here to make a donation to Roberta, half of which will support 6S.)


by Nathaniel Lee


Nathaniel Lee maintains a daily writing blog of 100-word stories called Mirrorshards. Check it out! (Click the story above for a closer look, and click here to make a donation to Nathaniel, half of which will support 6S.)


The Man Who Weighed an Egg

by Fran Flett Hollinrake

The man is always careful with money, carries checks and balances in his head, is good with figures, remembers the cost of every favour granted. He had a wife, but she got ill and died and his daughter lives in a city, wears good shoes, drives an Audi and is a Success, although he does not know that she takes a lot of coke at weekends. He decides to get hens and having compared the cost of feed, potential yield and the relative longevity of various breeds, pays a man to build him a hen house. Every day he writes down the number of eggs, and so he can work out how much money he is saving compared to supermarket eggs, it is necessary to weigh and grade them – standard, large, extra large. One early morning his daughter phones, asking shakily for money, and he says no, you are an adult and responsible for yourself - I am disappointed, I thought I had taught you better. Out by the hen house he finds one egg already – a big one, nearly 3 ounces – which he notes in his book, breathing through his mouth, whilst in the city, his frightened daughter opens the door to a man in a suit.


Fran Flett Hollinrake lives and works in Orkney as a writer, storyteller, historian and tour guide. (Click here to make a donation to Fran, half of which will support 6S.)

Your Face Said

by Karissa Satchwell

I took a Polaroid picture of you. It was just after we had sex, and the blankets were sweaty. You were squinting. I said you look perfect. I could have been lying. I wasn't.


Karissa Satchwell bums rides around Kentucky. She stays up late and writes. (Click here to make a donation to Karissa, half of which will support 6S.)

Winter Dusk

by Laurita Miller

They sat on the bench in companionable silence, each holding a small white bag, a gift for the visitors gathering on the snow around them. He gently shook the package, scattering the yellow bits in a wide arc, then poured some into his large calloused hand and flung them to the brown dappled bodies bobbing near the shore. She dipped her fingers, frail and trembling, into the bag, holding tiny portions in her fingertips to be rationed among those brave enough to approach. Her glove slipped to the ground and he bent to retrieve it, placing it between them with a gentle pat. The evening shadows emerged, the packages emptied, the cold settled. They stood and nodded to each other – a genial bow of the head, a graceful tilt – and then parted, walking alone toward dark and quiet houses.


Laurita Miller enjoys writing and walking through revolving doors. (Click here to make a donation to Laurita, half of which will support 6S.)


A Soliloquy

by Joseph Grant

You should see my love, of midnight hair and dusky eye skies, of poems unwritten and songs yet unsung, no one to love her more than I. You should see my light, she who is my dawn, my smiling Juliet, my endless sunshine, my evening sunset; my day begins, exists and ends with her radiance, for there is no other love so bright. There upon my dark and wicked heart, had lain a stormy sea, she cast her love across the waters of youthful rage and calmed and rescued me. Now therein lies the rub, as she changed me like the tide smooths the sand, she took me to another shore altogether and made me a stronger man. I love her, for she is the prettiest of flowers; my heart grows strong in the kisses of May that lead to my true love’s bower. You should see my love, no one to love her more than I.


Joseph Grant wishes his lovely wife Rebecca, born today on the sixth of February a very happy 6S birthday. ¡Los CumpleaƱos felices a ti!

Coming to Terms with Autism

by Patrice E. Athanasidy

When I first heard that Peter, now 7, was on the autistic spectrum, I probably reacted like most parents would — I worried about his future, I panicked about what it meant for his everyday life and I felt a loss for my son that I could not completely describe. When I talked with my parents, my Dad reminded me that Peter was the same little boy I had left that morning. That put it in perspective. Peter was the same blond, curly haired boy that can dazzle you with his dimpled smile. He was the same (at that time three year old) that was learning and changing a great deal thanks to the therapies he was receiving. Autism was not a sentence, it was a diagnosis.


Patrice E. Athanasidy has been a freelance writer for more than twenty years. She now writes grants for several not-for-profits and continues to freelance for Catholic New York newspaper and other local and regional publications. Last year her column about autism appeared regularly in the Scripps' paper, Oconee Today. Her website is here. (Click here to make a donation to Patrice, half of which will support 6S.)

The Joy of Squeezing Pimples

by caccy46

What is the fascination about popping pimples? Have you ever thought seriously about it, because my guess is that it is universal and unexplainable. The levels of satisfaction seem somewhat the same as well: for example, if it's a blackhead that comes out like a tiny snake, that's okay, but can't compare to a large whitehead that, when squeezed extrudes slowly, like a thick glob of toothpaste. Not as satisfying, although fascinating, are the whiteheads that explode onto the mirror, taking you by surprise by their projection. There are many of you who will not admit to getting as much pleasure out of squeezing someone else's pustules, but I know you're out there. Spying a bare back at the beach with a ripe one just screaming your name.


caccy46, whose full catalog is here, is a mother of two who's been married for 32 years. (Click here to make a donation to Caroline, half of which will support 6S.)


Warming Trend

by Gia Lo Scalzo

You see, I was like a tire with a slow leak, at first imperceptible and finally flat. But what you really need to know is that he was like oxygen smiling into my veins and I swear I could feel its breathy effects in my fingernails, my shoulders, and my stomach’s pit. I will never understand why this is my story and will know only its taste and its mystery. On Sunday afternoon we argued and I stumbled upon (honest) the text messages and read the chirpy responses of the woman he left behind in coldness and anger and it was then that I knew it was there again (the leak, I mean). Outside my kitchen window I can see the dripping icicles and the silvery reflection of the afternoon sun on the icy spears. Everywhere on the East Coast there are rivers and streams and overflowing lakes; there's a warming trend they say and (quite unexpectedly, you see) I sit here wishing that for once the winter, this winter, would not end.


Gia Lo Scalzo is a teacher who lives in a little house in Connecticut that has a deep and overgrown backyard (affectionately known as the "forest") from which she occasionally hears unidentifiable animal noises. Girls from the Bronx are lost (and scared) in the country.


by Sarah Black

The old man looked like a stereotype, his back was curved from age, arthritis, poor nutrition during the war. He wore a checked wool cap and a sweeping white moustache. I was tall and smart in Dress Blues, two and a half gold stripes around my sleeves, a fine-looking uniform for a young Naval Officer. He wanted to show me something we had in common. He took my hand, ran my fingers along the rough plaster wall of his home. Bullet holes made sixty years ago by my country against his.


Sarah Black is a flash fiction writer, and an underground slashzine idol. (Well, not really. She just made that last part up. Click here to make a donation to Sarah, half of which will support 6S.)

The Cross

by John Rowlands

The rough wooden cross sat tilted, shoved to one side by the winds from the constant stream of cars on State Highway 81. Jenny straightened the cross. Most of the flowers she’d put at its base two weeks ago had blown away, so she replaced them with new plastic ones she'd bought yesterday at Wal-Mart. They looked just like the other real flowers, but she hoped they would last longer. An old oak stood guard nearby, its bark scraped clean where the car had slammed into it. Her sister and brother were dead and yet the oak, like her memories, still lived.


John Rowlands is the pretentious literary persona of a real person, occupying the ever brief moments that lie between his many faces as adventurer, traveler, scholar, conservationist, and wage slave, while providing an excuse to refer to himself in the third person. He currently resides in Virginia and is collaborating with Dr. Hannibal Lecter on a cookbook. (Click here to make a donation to John, half of which will support 6S.)


Of Grunts and Spatulas

by Anthony Del Broccolo

My older sister, Ellen, is one year older than I am, and she’s mentally retarded. We shared a bedroom until I was 6 and she was 7. She carries a spatula and makes weird noises and grunts a lot. I am now 10 years old and we are grocery shopping at the local market. People are staring at her. Or maybe they are staring at me.


Anthony Del Broccolo is a freelance TV and screenwriter living in Los Feliz, California. (Click here to make a donation to Anthony, half of which will support 6S.)


by Brandi Wells

I wear my father’s khaki work jacket inside-out and my mother tells people that it’s my way of staying close to him, but that’s not true. I only do it so people will look at me, because after he died, they quit looking and would only stare at the space around me and sometimes their gaze would come millimeters from my face or hair, but would stop just short of me. Now they stare at my inside-out jacket and I pretend they are looking at me. I sew the jacket so it is more form fitting and their eyes will be closer to my body. I cut the bottom and sleeves off so it looks like a funny kind of vest, cut the zipper away, and rip the buttons off. Every week I remove more and more of the jacket until it is just a strip of material that I tie around my neck in a loose semi-knot and when everyone quits looking at me, I will tie the strip tighter and tighter, urging them to look at me; oh, god, please look at me.


Brandi Wells has fiction in or forthcoming in Hobart, Monkey Bicycle, Elimae, Wigleaf and Paper Hero Press. She sometimes blogs here. (Click here to make a donation to Brandi, half of which will support 6S.)

6 Ways I Want to Die

by Matthew Salesses

Me wife lectures me on how we are in the land of bad bordering on unredeemable, and I want bees to build a hive in my brain and ejaculate honey into my memories and then I want a bear to break inside and commence devouring. I want to bore out my mysterious belly-button and watch my organs spill out like a hyena and maybe devour my appendix or liver and then wait to pass out. I want a whale to devour me and I want to live inside its belly for a year and then when it beaches I want to crawl out and crow out life so that everyone casts eyes on me and maybe begins clapping and then I want to crawl back inside. I want my body parts to be sliced off by falling elevators and I want to lie in bed without arms or legs until the novelty is dead and then I want to die too. I want to tweezer a small nuclear bomb into my cornea and I want the mushroom clouds to carouse from my nostrils. But as my wife continues loudly really I want her to be very quiet and check me and find I've died before she could kill me.


Matthew Salesses is the author of the chapbook We Will Take What We Can Get (Publishing Genius Press, Spring 2009), and his fiction is forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Pleiades, and Lamination Colony. (Click here to make a donation to Matthew, half of which will support 6S.)


Dispatches from the Ledge

Six Sixes by Joseph Grant

Joseph Grant is one of 6S's favorite sons, and the hits just keep on coming. 6S is proud to present Dispatches from the Ledge, a collection of six original six-sentence pieces. (Joe's third such collection!) To view the magazine, 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 of the document, once inside, just click the little diagonal arrows above the document (located to the left of the little envelope).


Six Sentences are all you need. (Unless you need more. Or less.)


by Nicolas Sansone

“Brevity,” she said, “has no bearing on the day-to-day,” as she scrawled item after item on our ever-expanding grocery list. “Brevity,” she said, “should be reserved for economizers and those who have fallen on hard times.” I objected. “Capers?” I asked, jabbing a finger at her ludicrous list. “Do we really need capers?” She laughed and told me that they go well with seafood.


Nicolas Sansone is currently a first-year MFA student in Fiction at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He holds a BA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and has worked for two years as a wildland firefighter and trail services employee for the US Forest Service. (Click here to make a donation to Nick, half of which will support 6S.)

The Phone

by Roopal Badheka

It’s pure audacity of an inanimate object to create such a gap between us so wide that we are unknowns to each other during the day. Such a thing of disdain is the cell phone. The phone itself acted in superiority, knowing that it could trump my importance with a mere ring and a little jiggle of its own. It gleamed with that knowledge, got shinier and more proud with every call taken in my presence. This phone was a mere parasite sucking away what belonged to me. It was always there... looming... knowing the power it held to separate me from my loved one albeit with a flash of its own.


Roopal Badheka is an aspiring writer living in Houston, Texas with her husband and two children. (Click here to make a donation to Roopal, half of which will support 6S.)


Our First "Six of the Month" Award!

and the January 2009 Nominees are...


Six writers. Six pieces. The January 2009 "Six of the Month" Award! Click the play button above to listen to the nominations podcast, then click here to visit the event site and vote! Voting begins today and lasts through Wednesday, February 11th. Congratulations to our six nominees!

A Woman’s Cycle

by Michelle Davis

Never mind the bird tracks making their way from your eyes, mouth, and nose, she tells herself with disdain. Never mind the strands of white showing in your auburn hair; no one notices those anyway. Oh, and the fact that your arms are getting shorter every time you read is no big deal either; really, some things just look better at a distance, and the blurred edges just make everything look so much softer. Why didn’t someone tell me that I would forever be trying to look a different age... in my youth, I wanted maturity... in my maturity, I want my youth... why? She sighs with the weight of all her years pulling at her as she tries to push it all back into place. Never mind the fact that she’s diminishing the beauty of what she is now just as she did 20 years ago, and in another 20 years she’ll want this back too.


Michelle Davis wonders how to break the cycle and is open to suggestions! (Click here to make a donation to Michelle, half of which will support 6S.)

I'm a Dyan Man

by Kent Oswald

Natalie Dyan convinced me to sell my virginity, as soon as I can remember where I put it. Maybe I won't get $3 million plus, but in these times every penny counts. Plus, it's not doing me much good right now and, like they say, one man's trash is another (wo)man's whatever. Aren't I actually letting someone else down by not letting him or her play with my whatever? It was dim and long ago when I lost it. Still, I am sure if I just start picking up around me I'll likely find it under something and in eBayable condition.


Kent Oswald has written about Sarah and pop culture. (Click here to make a donation to Kent, half of which will support 6S.)

Baby H

by Robert Swartwood

It isn't supposed to happen. Nobody even knows you exist. Your brothers and sisters — all seven of them — are the ones planned to be born. Not you. But the unthinkable occurs. You come out, open your eyes, and breathe.


Robert Swartwood's work has appeared in Chizine and Every Day Fiction. (This piece was inspired by the recent news coverage of the birth of octuplets. Click here to make a donation to Robert, half of which will support 6S.)


Six Ways to Lose the Super Bowl

by Peter Farmer

Instead of tackling your opponent, make a sweeping gesture to your side and say, "Right this way, my good man!" Attempt 90-yard field goals. Bunt a lot. Play naked. Keep throwing passes to the fat chick in Section 24. Right before the game, trade your entire team to Hollywood for the cast of House.


Peter Farmer, who's never coached, likes the Steelers today. How about you? (Click here to make a donation to Peter, half of which will support 6S.)

The Emperor’s Insomnia

by Greg Santos

The Emperor can be found roaming his beloved palace gardens, through the pavilions, the man-made mountains, the hedge-mazes. Sometimes the Emperor stands peacefully by his window for hours, gazing beyond his palace walls at the gray moonscape in the distance. Only at dawn when the tiny figures of villagers emerge, which to him all look like ants on a windowsill, does the Emperor feel a seismic rage erupt within him. Every morning he has a giant pearl crushed into his juice to accompany his favorite breakfast dish: poached ostrich eggs on buttery toast. Only after his hearty breakfast can the Emperor safely get through the day without feeling as if he is caught in the mouth of a Venus flytrap closing its teeth. But those days are growing few and far between.


Greg Santos is the poetry editor of pax americana. (Click here to make a donation to Greg, half of which will support 6S.)