Bounty, Ground

Miss Sandy is the kind of equestrian who requests the counsel of her gelding, Saul, on matters she involves herself in. “Saul,” she asks in a tiny voice that is compelled by the standing on her tippy toes. “Saul my darling boy, what should I say to the diggers?” She told him they’d been there this past afternoon, that they’d cupped their hands over their foreheads and looked out past fenced pastures and the stock dog pen, and said that they’d be back with instruments and warmer coats. “They said the purpose was to relieve any assumed debt and it’s wrong of them to assume anything.” She put her hand through the gate, resting her palm on his nose. “What do I do?” The horse ruffed his ears, bent down, sniffed the fertile ground, and thought of rain.

by Chase Eversole

Chase Eversole lives and writes in the Midwest. His work appears or is forthcoming in The Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, The Brazen Review, and others. He blogs on the weekly at

Dylan Fisher

Nuwara Eliya

We almost ask each other questions. Is there a curfew? At what time? Do we need to run? Do we want to? How many dogs make up a pack? How many smoking men make up a crowd? Is the pack dangerous? Sinister? Broken? Sad? What about the crowd? Why do the smoking men smell like fish? Why do they wear sarongs even when it’s cold? Why are they awake when everyone is asleep? Why is the cool air so tender upon my neck? When they yell out do we cross the street? Do we still look back over our shoulders and gently wave? Do we say hello? Do we bow? How do we say hello in Sinhala? Ayubowan. What do we say then?


Dinner is braised rabbit with fennel and mustard. The rabbit meat, Dad says, reminds him of Iowa in the winter. He removes his glasses and asks me to help him tell a story about a rabbit in Iowa snow. Is the rabbit pretty? I ask. Is his hair hapless? Stiff? Is there snow caught in his tiny eye? Do we cut off his feet to carry in our pockets? Like he is all ours? The rabbit looks like death, Dad says. The rabbit is just a metaphor, I say. No, Dad says, you’re wrong. The rabbit is just a rabbit.

by Dylan Fisher

Bobbing Heads

Let go of your thoughts, let go of your thoughts, your thoughts are a river passing you by. I’m next to a river watching my thoughts.

Those are heads floating by! Ten or twelve floating heads, what the hell was that saying—if you sit by the river the heads of your enemies will come floating by? That’s bull, you should get `em before they get—hey, that horse head scene in The Godfather was cool, who the hell was that actor?

Let it go, Bob. Oh, man, so many heads! Floating, bobbing like apples—who the hell bobs for apples? That’s a Golden Book thing, Little Golden Book thing, who the hell reads that crap? And who the hell brings apples to the teacher, even brown nosers don’t. God I’m fat. Man I’m fat. My arms feel fat on the arms of the chair—my sweet, wonderful chair—soft and sweet like me, cost me six–hundred bucks—man, it takes a real man to earn money like—

Breathe, dammit! Deep breaths, moron, your blood pressure needs it. Breathe in, breathe out—man, the old man’d cough his lungs out from that, dumb old fool, dead from smoking—I’m so ungrateful to say stuff like that! Dad’d whack me for such disrespect.

Candy cigarettes were good! All these dumb kids today, we’re so over– protective—like Sandi, dear god, just let the kids be! Man, it makes my blood—

Breathe in! Breathe out! Watch your thoughts float—what’s that? Jesus, Sandi, I said keep those kids!—

“Quiet out there! I’m effing meditating!”

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe



Jon Sindell

Jon Sindell is a humanities tutor and a writing coach for business professionals. His flash fiction collection, The Roadkill Collection, is scheduled to be released by Big Table Publishing in late 2014. Jon’s short fiction has appeared in over sixty publications. He curates the Rolling Writers reading series in San Francisco, and his author bios end with a thud.

The Survivor

Inspired by Carolyn Forché


What you have suspected is true. The girl at the counter was kidnapped. Her neck had a gash that was long and scabbed. It curved from her ear to her throat. Her boss counted baguettes, her lover tied on his apron, her co-worker swore at the register. There was a businessman ordering soup, a broken plate, a knife on the wooden block. The fire engines cried past the windows. In the booth was a bum. He was on his cell phone. On the receipt there was a code to turn the handle on the bathroom door. In the glass cases there were pedestal plates holding cookies like in Martha Stewart’s kitchen. You gave your order, Greek salad, potato chips, bakery item for 99 cents, a beeper was available to signal their readiness. The gash in the girl at the counter squirmed with the movement of her acquiescence. The man brought hot breath to her cheek, a palm to her mouth, the knife to her neck. You were asked if you wanted to stay or to go. There was a call of a name from the cooks. You tried to imagine everything. There was the lyrical sweep of the expert hand of a chef at a carving station. The girl told you your number. You raised your arms and stepped back. Your gut said her throat might open and spill out her pain on your hunger. The girl said to you with her gash: be somebody. The vision of her capture returned with a ravenous growl. Her trust bled out on the subway platform. The flaps of her skin were like raw coral. There is no other way to say this. She ran her finger over the scar, winced at the hard bumps, seared them into your brain. They writhed and exploded there. I want you to remember this, she said. As for your judgment of my gumption, serving you like this and holding it all together, you can go fuck yourself. She picked up the knife on the block and held it in the air. Something for your ego, no? she said. The saliva in your throat quivered with the breeze of her gesture and the glint of the blade. The saliva in your throat tasted blood.


Elizabeth Mastrangelo


During the day, Elizabeth Mastrangelo teaches English to ninth and eleventh graders. At night, she attends Emerson College’s MFA program in Creative Writing as a Dean’s Fellow. Liz also works as a freelancer, ghostwriting romance novellas and website copy. She lives north of Boston with her husband, daughter, and son, who support her dreams and provide her with funny and dramatic material for her stories. Liz has a short short fiction piece in the Spring 2014 issue of the Sheepshead Review and a poem forthcoming in Black Heart Magazine. She blogs about teaching, womanhood, and motherhood at her site,

Letting Go

In the wintery spring of 1945, World War II had ended but not the chaos and misery of its survivors. My mother received notice that her husband had been killed. She sought solace in the arms of the messenger, got pregnant, and remarried. The couple moved south looking for work. I was five years- old and left in the care of my maternal grandmother in the bombed-out city of Kassel.

These were the happiest times of my war-torn childhood. I never wanted to leave my grandmother’s side. Days were spent gathering twigs and branches for our wood-burning stove, source of warmth and light. We filled baskets with the white flower heads of chamomile, then dried them for brewing tea. We collected sugar beets in the fields, cooked and stirred them into syrup, a delicious treat over our watery oatmeal. But the evenings were the best. Warmed and protected by my grandmother’s ample body we snuggled as she spun stories of imaginary places and events.

Months later my mother called for me. My grandmother prepared me with allusions to a happy family life and as it turned out, I did thrive in my new environment. We arranged a meeting place where my stepfather waited in a horse-drawn wagon. The exchange was brief. I suddenly felt cramps in my stomach and barely had time to sling my arms around my beloved grandmother’s neck before I was hoisted onto the seat of the wagon.

That was the last time I saw my grandmother. She waved and then her hand covered her mouth as if to stifle a sob. She had to stay behind, war-weary and lonely, while I was ushered toward a fresh beginning. I still see her getting smaller and smaller, sinking into the shadow of the bright morning light.

Ute Carson


The Lucky Few

It was blasphemous and immoral; they submitted to the thrumming rhythm of the ethereal emotions that curled beneath their rhapsodic boughs; it filled the cosmos between them with embryonic passion—the steps they took were almost predestined, as if they had been there before; the breaths they took were almost too heavy to be healthy; the chances they took were reckless to the brink of all that was and will be tomorrow.

She pressed her lips softly against the warm, yielding lobe of his ear and whispered.

“How can flowers bloom as if they will never wilt? Do they know nothing of futility?”

He smiled.

“They know nothing of futility, those lucky few. We could only dream to be so blind….”


Danny Judge

Danny Judge is an emerging writer who is currently at work on his debut novel. A former Marine, he lives in Iowa with his wife and young son.

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