Paul Rabinowitz is an author, photographer, and founder of ARTS By The People, a non-profit arts organization based in New Jersey. Through all mediums of art Paul aims to capture real people, flaws and all. He focuses on details that reveal the true essence of a subject, whether they be an artist he’s photographing or a fictional character he’s bringing to life on the page. Paul’s photography, short fiction, and poetry have appeared in many magazines and journals including New World Writing, Pif Magazine, Courtship of Winds, Burningword, Evening Street Press, The Montreal Review, The Metaworker, Adirondack Review, Bangalore Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, The Oddville Press and others. Paul was a featured artist in Nailed Magazine in 2020, nominated for Best of the Net in 2021 for his Limited Light photo series, and also nominated for the Maria Mazziotti Gillan Literary Service Award. Paul is the author of Limited Light, a book of prose and portrait photography, and a novella, The Clay Urn. Paul is working on his novel Confluence, and has completed a poetry collection called truth, love, and the lines in between. His short stories, Little Gem Magnolia, Villa Dei Misteri, Indigo and Half Moon and Poems in Morning Light With Cat are the inspiration for 4 short films. Villa Dei Misteri won Best Experimental Film at the RevolutionMe International Film Festival in 2021. Paul has produced mixed media performances and poetry films that have appeared on stages and in theaters in New York City, New Jersey, Tel Aviv, and Paris. Paul is a written word performer and founder of The Platform, a monthly literary series in New Jersey, and Platform Review, a journal of voices and visual art from around the world. Paul’s videos, photography, and poems appeared in his first solo show called Retrospective With Reading Glasses at CCM Gallery in New Jersey. He is currently at work co-writing a television series with author Erin Jones called Bungalow.
A full moon turned the tops of the coastal dunes blue and shone silver off the Pacific. Alex sat next to Sophia, not touching, silent. They stared into the bonfire fueled by creosote bush and sage. Its smoke filled the air with a musky, earthy scent. Sophia’s shoulders shook. With her head bowed, her long blonde hair hid her face.
Alex turned, reached out and raised her chin. He leaned forward and lightly kissed each tear-filled eye, tasting the salt. Her trembling lips felt as soft as he remembered from months before.
“I’ve gotta go,” he said.
“It’ll get easier.”
“Easier for whom?”
Alex dropped her hand and struggled to his feet in the deep sand. “Goodbye, Sophia . . . sorry.”
He moved along the trail and into the nearby trees, using his cell phone light to guide the way. The eucalyptus rustled in the onshore breeze, their scimitar leaves rattling. Don’t look back. Whatever you do, don’t look back. Don’t look.
But he did.
Sophia sat cross-legged before the fire, still close enough for Alex to hear her sobs. She beat her legs with her fists and rocked back and forth. A night heron called. Alex stared at his cell phone screen.
With trembling fingers he texted, “Sophia, are you all right?”
Her cell buzzed and she dug into her purse and retrieved the phone. She stared at it for a long time before answering, “No.”
Alex’s cell buzzed when he received her reply. Sophia turned and stared toward the trees where he hid. She struggled to her feet, the curve of her belly mirroring the curve of the moon. She faced him across the darkness, a ghostly silhouette rimmed in soft blue. Alex felt that exquisite pain, that internal compression that can bend iron. He took a step back into the trees and breathed in their fragrance. The eucalyptus rattled even louder.
Terry Sanville lives in San Luis Obispo, California with his artist-poet wife (his in-house editor) and two plump cats (his in-house critics). He writes full-time, producing short stories, essays, and novels. His short stories have been accepted more than 440 times by journals, magazines, and anthologies including The Potomac Review, The Bryant Literary Review, and Shenandoah. He was nominated twice for Pushcart Prizes and once for inclusion in Best of the Net anthology. Terry is a retired urban planner and an accomplished jazz and blues guitarist – who once played with a symphony orchestra backing up jazz legend George Shearing.
Claire Scott is an award-winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, Enizagam and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and Until I Couldn’t. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.
Issue 106, published April 2023, features works of poetry, flash fiction, short nonfiction, and photography by Elizabeth Curley, Johanna DeMay, Alan Elyshevitz, J.V. Foerster, Lena N. Gemmer, Kimberly Goode, Ken Haas, John Robert Harvey, Gloria Heffernan, Ken Hines, Richard Holinger, Kate Hopper, Jennifer Randall Hotz, Michael Hower, DB Jonas, Eun Seo Kim, Cyn Kitchen, Mary Dean Lee, Paul Macomber, Victoria Melekian, Jahin Claire Oh, Hari B Parisi, Min Sung Park, Julia Poole, Paul Rabinowitz, Caroline Reddy, Lisa Rigge, Jim Ross, Yujin Suh, Ron Theel, Cristina Trapani-Scott, and Joan M. White.
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