by Nicole Lynn
A canoe sits empty on black water. It’s not far from the end of the dock, close enough where I can see everything through the blur of mist. The tackle boxes are kicked over, and two fishing rods dangle off the sides. Worms rot in their plastic cup. I can smell them from where I stand as they bake in the summer heat. The canoe turns in slow circles as if the wind is blowing, but the air is still. Stagnant and wet. It clings to my shirt. The fog is so thick that I can’t see the treetops or mountain cliffs on the other side of the lake.
by Eva Schultz
There once was a little girl named Ada who lived with her aunt and uncle in a cottage near the woods. Sometimes when she was sent to bed, Ada would cry because she was afraid of the dark. Her uncle would shout, “Stop that crying!” and her aunt would snap, “Brave little girls do not cry.”
by Jeff Ronan
First week of the job, they always make you stay late. What are you gonna say, “no”? Good luck with that. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, and – oh yeah – wouldja mind holding that door open? Your replacement is already there trying to get in past you.
by Ashley Weaver
The judge has passed the death-sentence upon you. The sorrow of your dead child weighs upon your soul. The eyes of your neighbors linger upon you as you mount the scaffold. You say the words you believe will be your last. The floor drops beneath you. You struggle against the rope that tightens around your neck. And then…darkness
by Trevor Newton
Like a lot of writers coming up during the Internet age, I’ve had quite a bit of writing advice bestowed upon me. One of the most common topics for such advice is how to deal with rejections. After all, it’s a huge part of writing for anyone willing to submit. We all go through it at some point or another. I’ve never specifically searched for advice on dealing with rejection, but I always seem to stumble on it—sometimes from reading a memoir, blog post, or article from someone I follow, or a video essay online. Some of the advice is useful, such as, “Just keep writing!” or “You’re not alone. We’ve all been there!”
by Carys Crossen
They hadn’t observed the marks on the oak beams before they’d moved into the old house. Or if they did, they’d attached no importance to them.
That first night, in their familiar bed in an unfamiliar room, Ella kept kicking out at something. After she’d kicked him for the second time, Robin switched on the bedside lamp.
by Kelli A. Wilkins
Emily woke with a scream, still kicking and fighting against her attacker. Her heartbeat pounded in her ears as she sat up and peered into the shadowy corners of the bedroom, searching for a sign of him.
After a moment, she dared to look at the white French doors. She breathed a sigh of relief. The glass wasn’t smashed in. There was nothing to be afraid of.
by Vanessa K. Eccles
Here’s how most of my weeks begin:
I sit down to my coffee on Monday morning and write out a list with everything I hope to get accomplished that week. Many of the items have some sort of deadline or include correspondence (emails) that need to be sent that week. Others have no hard-fast deadline other than my own hopeful dates to accomplish them. Week after week, the same thing happens. I get the things I have to get done, but not a lot of the things that don’t have a deadline.
by Colleen Anderson
Laden wooden carts carved with arabesques flowed toward ships filigreed in gold and silver that awaited in the harbor. Mist swirled in the distance obscuring the Tuatha de Danaan’s retreat.
“It is of no use, Tavaril,” replied Callandal, his dark locks shading the sadness in his eyes. “The humans will never learn and have destroyed the land again."
by Vanessa K. Eccles
The whole world is shifting—the incessant flow of information on the global pandemic, the politics, the fear, and everything else vying for our attention—it is all too much. Lately, I’ve found myself avoiding the news, defiantly refusing to submit to the negativity in which we are surrounded. Instead, I’ve focused on cocooning myself inside, locking away to spend time with books, my ever-true friends.