by Robert McEvily

I crave her. Want her. Need her. Love her. I've forgotten my life before her; can't imagine a future without her. (I've asked my heart surgeon friend and tattoo artist friend to combine their talents by inking her initials on my left ventricle, but they've both slapped me and told me to shut up.)


Robert McEvily, creator of Six Sentences, wishes Jill a very happy Valentine’s Day.

A New You

by Kellee Francis

Forget the past, I say, and create a future that is better. Take it, love it, make it yours. Easy to say, you say, well yes, it is. Now doing it is an entirely different matter. It’s difficult, they say, but giving up only leads to death. So good luck to you, you have the rest of you life.


Kellee Francis, author of World of My Own, is a kid born and raised outside of her generation.

The Bet

by Maryelle Hayward

At the stroke of midnight she steals through the window like a cat burglar and tiptoes over the gravel - white stilettos under her arm - to quiet the noise. By the time she reaches the convent gate she is hot and giddy, her feet mucky. The young man who is waiting for her in his Morris Minor speeds towards the border, where the Miami Show Band are belting out Beatles tunes. Much later, she races against the red rays of the dawn; slips back inside, washes her feet with cold water in an enamel basin before falling into bed. In the morning she yawns and dozes her way through mass. The large love bite on the right side of her neck is all the proof she needs to collect her winnings.


Maryelle Hayward lives in County Derry in Northern Ireland with her husband, obese cat, and three adult sons (who move in and out at will). She's had stories and poems published in anthologies, newspapers, and broadcast on radio. (She's a late developer - she started writing at fifty, so she has a lot of catching up to do.)


by Crystal Folz

Pleasure, a thought, then the slow drape of my leg over his belly. In the morning, physical pleasure isn't misused or attached to emotions charged by time, but passes lazily between us. We work in the garden throughout the afternoon. Side by side, we pull weeds and pinch herbs. We speak of bills or the kids. Because of love, because of time, we spend the rest of the day holding the morning under our tongues.


Crystal Folz lives in rural Indiana with her husband and two sons. Her work has recently appeared in The Guild of Outsider Writers and Lit Up Magazine. She blogs here.

Talk Pollution

by Emma Hardy

On and on she goes. Words and more words: travel, weather, television, work, news. Some people you can listen to forever; their voices absorb you like you’re a toast soldier breaking into the yolk of a freshly boiled egg. I know someone with a voice like yolk. I want to think of that person now but all I can hear is her barking every line like a monosyllabic dog. She’s filling this room with her noxious gas, creating talk pollution, and I can’t open a window to clear the air.


Emma Hardy, who you can follow on Twitter, recently moved to Scotland.

Tack On Another One

by M. Courteau

I recently went on a date. Apparently I was funny because she told me I should be a stand up comedian. I went deadpan. Something about the comment. I stood up, fished out my half of the dinner, walked out, lit a cigarette and strolled home alone on a pleasant fall evening. A few days later she called to apologize, for what, she did not know.


M. Courteau can be reached here.

Blue House

by Eileen McCluskey

We watch Poppy Sweet’s Cadillac purr down Blossom Street, stop in front of the blue house next door. Royalville’s real estate broker minces out, chats up the landscape painter and her husband who ties fly-fishing lures, while ushering them up the concrete steps. They love the river roaring parallel to the lumpy road, love the solitude grown out of dying sawmills, furniture makers, American Woolen Company. Long ago, Poppy tells them, those factories polluted the Millers River, but now their mossy foundations dissolve slowly in thick woods, and beavers work the river with orange teeth and leathery tails. We run out to say hello, hoping for nice neighbors -- not like those Buckmans, good riddance, who tossed tires into the Millers, planted car bombs on each other’s rusty wrecks, molested teenage girls. Today the blue house keeps its mouth shut and, hoping to distract Poppy’s clients from noticing rot in the foundation, we lure the couple back into the sun, point out ice formations on the Millers where big rocks hold somehow onto flying water until thin arcs freeze into wings.


Eileen McCluskey writes with an upward slant, loves her daughter and tries not to miss her too badly (off at college). She also loves her dog and poetry readings. Eileen's works have been published in The Boston Globe, Ibbetson Street, Main Street Rag, and other publications. Her first book of poetry is Topless.

Slow Radio

by Marco Santos

He shrugs out of his wet coat and drops his keys into the dish, the noise jarring his senses. Stumbling down the stairs his head is spinning from drink, he wipes his eyes, grabs the chair, sits. He flips on the radio, and stares out the window into the night. The shipping forecast. Waves choppy, four to five feet, visibility poor, visibility poor, visibility poor. His shoulders start to shake as the tears flow, and his thoughts turn to her.


Marco Santos is practicing putting words in order, until the day they grow up and move out of the house to start a life of their own.


by Peter Warnock

The harpoon struck just below her eye. She flipped and lurched, letting out a horrible, booming moan. The ocean transformed into a foamy red soup. The crew cheered but he could not. He pulled his trembling hand away from the trigger. That majestic, black hole eye always before him as he turned the boat around.


Peter Warnock lives and writes in south-west London.


by Daniel Ray Parker

I work in the same building as my lovely wife, so we ride in together every morning in her car to save on fuel costs. When we arrive in the parking garage and say are daily goodbyes she heads to her office and I usually head to mine, but not today. I go out the back way, catch a bus home, and install three hidden cameras in our bedroom that feed directly to my smart phone. Every Tuesday and Thursday at noon my perfect wife and her handsome boss meet at my home for their secret filthy rendezvous that takes place in our bed. Today is Tuesday, just after noon and I am quietly sitting in my bedroom closet, painfully listening to another man pleasure my loving spouse of twelve years. Thirty minutes later as I stand crying and hysterically laughing alone in the middle of my bedroom as I send the amateur porn video that was just made to every email address at the building that we all work at!  


Daniel Ray Parker deals with personal issues in personal ways.

Describe the Color Red

by Chris Wasil

Let me get this straight: all we’ve got are sights, sounds, feelings, tastes, and smells? There has to be more than that. No? Just those five? And we’re absolutely certain that we know things... merely because of various combinations of those five? To be perfectly honest, I’m not convinced.


Chris Wasil is a die-hard Mets fan.

Watchful House

by Angela Burgess 

Pulling up outside the huge Victorian House, Alice and John let out a long sigh; at last their new home.  They danced up the imposing front steps, loudly singing "we're coming home".  Finally inserting the key in the ruby coloured front door, they could not contain their happiness; a place of their own.  The watchful house had other plans; who were these children running through the maze of rooms.  A loud bang sent Alice and John running into the street; surely they should feel safe, what had just happened.  Mabel sat back smiling, as once again, she was left along in her watchful house.


Angela Burgess is a Director at SE Magazines Limited in London.

Reptile Girl

by Virginia Schmidt

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


Virginia Schmidt is a 23-year-old Wyomingite now dwelling in Austin, Texas.


by Allison Renner

My fingers smelled like the orange I peeled that morning. I inhaled the scent as I sat across from you, chin propped on my fists, nodding like I understood why you were leaving. My heart was breaking even while yours wasn’t, so I breathed deeply and focused on my center, balancing on the bar stool. The one after you is a painter who uses Fast Orange pumice to remove chemicals from his skin. He comes to me after washing up and tenderly touches my body. It’s enough to make me cry, him loving me while I’m still loving you, smelling that citrus on hands like before.


Allison Renner is a wannabe-writer who tries to be really funny in her blog.