Archive for the ‘2011 — 3.2 (Spring)’ Category

Coffee, Tea, or ?

23 Apr
by Charlene Pratt
            I missed my taste of you this morning.

When I taste you, warmness fills my mouth,

                             Glides easily down my throat, careful not to

take too much, overflow may stain clothes.

              To have you every morning, would I tire of your


                               Lips touching the rim, an afternoon delight,

coming of early evening, wisp of an after dinner drink.

Late night taste, oh how could I tire?

            I missed my taste of you this morning,

                   I woke a little too late.

Charlene M. Pratt a.k.a. Summer Harp is a self-published author of two poetry books, Notes on Thoughts, Stir-fry Poetry and chick-lit Conversations with Women…thoughts you didn’t want anyone to know you had. She also loves to cook and read cookbooks as well as experiment with different recipes. She is working on writing erotica a romantica series.

Crystal’s New Friend

22 Apr

By Anna Maldzhiev

She thrust her hands into her jeans pockets, and bent her head against the cold, windy rain. Should have worn my jacket, she thought to herself. She’d been warned before moving here that no matter what the weatherman said; always bring a jacket or umbrella. When she arrived at the bus stop and got under the covered protection from the rain, she shivered and huddled into herself.

A young man, about her age, hurried into the small shelter to stand next to her, and he shook off a little. She met his intense gaze and gave him a polite smile. In return, he smiled widely at her. A smile, she guessed, that had broken many hearts. She quickly averted her eyes, but not before she felt herself blush.

He greeted her and said something about the rain. The usual type of statement everyone in Portland makes this time of year. She smiled at him again. He lit a cigarette and rubbed his hands together as if to warm them.

“I’ve only been here for a couple of weeks,” she started, “I’m beginning to wonder if there is a sun in Oregon.”

“Only 2 more months of this, and then the sun comes out again and it all dries up. During winter, people seem to forget about the sun, and during summer, everyone tends to forget about the rain,” he shrugged with this reply. “I’m John by the way.” He extended his hand towards her.

“Crystal,” she said shyly, and shook his hand as her father had taught her.

“You live around here?” he questioned.

His directness made her nervous, but before she had time to question it, she found herself answering, “Yes. I live in the apartments down the road.” She fiddled with her backpack, absentmindedly rearranging the contents, not quite comfortable with making eye contact.

“Where you headed?” he asked. He shifted his weight and leaned against the plexi-glass wall, taking a drag from his cigarette.

“Um, actually, I’m going out exploring. Have the day off work, thought I’d see what I could find.” She turned her eyes skyward; no break in the dreariness that hung over head in any direction. She realized that she’d picked a bad day. Damn weatherman, she thought.

His attention on her was flattering, though she was a little uneasy about telling this handsome stranger so much about herself. She hadn’t had a conversation with anyone other than her coworkers at the sub shop since moving here. “And what about you, where are you headed?” she inquired, trying to turn the conversation.

With that same contagious smile, he said, “I’m a freelance photographer. I work with a buddy downtown, he owns a large studio.”

“Neat.” She wasn’t sure what to say, and when she realized this sounded lame, she tucked her damp, long hair behind her shoulders and continued, “What do you take pictures of?”

“People mostly. I like to go to Pioneer’s Square and watch and take pictures. There is so much going on in our lives, it’s fun to capture some fleeting moments and lock them in time.” He finished his cigarette and threw it into the soggy street.

Before she could think of a response, the bus slowly pulled up alongside them, the loud brake whoosh seeming to end the conversation succinctly. He motioned for her to go first, and she hurried through the drizzle and hopped up the steps. She showed her bus pass to the driver before taking a seat near the front. Figuring he only talked with her at the bus stop to pass his time while waiting for the bus, she was surprised when he came and stood in front of her. He indicated with a look that he’d like to sit next to her, and she gave him a slight nod. With all of his charisma, she didn’t get why he was interested in someone so clumsy and plain.

He persuaded her to join him for coffee, and to let him show her around downtown since the rain had stopped. His eyes were the iciest blue she’d ever seen, and they seemed to seize her most inner thoughts. The whites of his eyes were tinged yellow, but this thought didn’t register in her mind. His jawline was strong and had slight stubble. Every time he smiled at her, she felt blood rise to her face, while her pulse quickened.

He picked a small café and after insisting to pay for her coffee, they sat in the back and talked for a while. She was amazed at how easy it was to talk with him, how she kept going on about herself and the events leading up to her move to Portland. All dreams and ideas came flowing out of her mouth when he turned those fierce eyes upon her. This was not like her, she was usually very guarded and kept to herself unless with family or good friends.

Then they began walking around downtown, while he pointed out certain places and told her some interesting facts about the history of the city. They passed an old homeless couple cuddling under the overpass, and he stopped to take a picture of them. The woman’s gray and brown dreads hung over her face as her head laid on the man’s shoulder. His head was bent towards hers, and his eyes closed, he appeared to be weeping silently. Maybe it was what John had said earlier about capturing moments in time, but she couldn’t help but feel that this couple was infinitely frozen together like this. She imagined their hands intertwined under their large wool blanket, grasping onto each other for all time and eternity.

Crystal and John ended up at the warehouse where he worked. Standing outside of the large building, she tried to think of an excuse to go back to her apartment alone as her nervousness mounted. But she’d found a friend, someone she felt she had connected with, and didn’t want to be rude. His charm and quick wit were enchanting, yet she now had this feeling of uneasiness that she couldn’t put her thumb on. 

He showed her around the large workplace, and the tour ended on the third floor in a small loft. There was a man, sitting facing the wall at a computer.

John tapped the man on the shoulder and said, “Hey Man, show some respect, this our new friend Crystal.” He said her name with a chuckle she noticed. With a glance at her, he said, “Crystal, this is Daman, one of the best photographers in all of Portland.”

Crystal caught the phrase “our new friend”, but wasn’t sure what to make of it. That musing was immediately dispelled when Daman turned around to acknowledge her and stuck out his hand towards her. His eyes were deep pools of dark brown, and his face was sunken in, reminding her of a skull with skin stretched taut across it. Those dark brown irises swam in a sea of yellow, he had no whites to his eyes. His skin had a strange pallor, and she thought momentarily that perhaps the lighting in the loft was messing with her eyes.  As she took his hand in hers, she fought the urge to pull away with repulsion. His fingers were cold, bony and clammy, also seeming as if they belonged to a skeleton. It was like she briefly held melting ice cubes in her hand. His face showed no emotion, not even registering this new acquaintance.

“Hi,” she said politely to the man, but found herself slowly edging closer to John for comfort. Without a word, Daman turned back to the computer.

“So, you like to party?” John asked her.

“Sure.” She shrugged slightly, not quite certain where he was going with this.

Another fear calming smile was shot in her direction as he walked over to a small fridge and pulled out three beers. When he placed one in front of Daman, he tapped the man three times on the shoulder and sniffled. With a slight nod of understanding and a small cough and sniffle of his own, Daman wheeled the computer chair to the small table on the left of the computer desk. From the top drawer, he pulled out various paraphernalia piled on a hand mirror. A thin rectangular  razor, a tiny baggy, and a thick card. Crystal heard herself give a sharp involuntary gasp.

John was next to her, holding the open beer out to her. “Not what you were expecting?” he asked.

She shook her head mutely, and tried to find an expression of indifference to put on her face. In high school she’d snorted coke a couple of times, and figured it really wasn’t that big of a deal. But then she saw Daman shake tiny, slightly purple, shards of glass onto the mirror and confusion set in.

“Its dope,” John said in answer to her unspoken question. When he saw that she still didn’t comprehend, he said “You know, crystal meth.”    

A spontaneous shudder started in her mouth and spread down through her toes as she watched the man’s practiced hand crunching the little oily shards with the card and then chopping the substance with the razor. The girl glanced towards the exit, but felt it was already too late, because she’d invested time and emotion, and had finally been accepted. Somehow she knew that if she made the decision to stay, her life would never be the same. Her throat felt swollen, and she couldn’t even swallow as she turned back to face the thick line of powder.



My Son is Dead

22 Apr

By David Drapeau

The wind blew into the house as I stared upon my desk. My wife, Helen walked in the room upon fixing her apron.

“You know honey, I can’t think while you look at me like that.”

She turned away and gave me the eye, and her feet sounded like cement on the wood floor. Then I heard a low sound that distracted me. My cat Jasper was purring and looking at me with an eye too.

“Okay Jasper, you just need me to keep you company?”

She purred some more and then jumped off the desk into our parlor. In the parlor my son was laying down. He was cold and a smell came from him. I couldn’t bear him anymore I had to do something with him, and I can’t wake him.

My son is dead.

My son is dead, oh so he is.

“No, that’s not right. Honey can you com help me with this thing?”

Helen walked into the room, looking as glum as usual with bloodshot eyes, a wet jacket, and a tired bruised face.

“No I can’t help you. You have to do some thing’s yourself.  I have to go out, I can’t bear to see Andrew like this anymore, get rid of him and make sure whatever I say, how much I beg for it that you don’t bring him back inside.”

Helen walked out like the tramp she was. I couldn’t stand the thought of her.


The western state of Arizona under new Outlaw Law.

Under commission of Baker T. Bradley the union officials….

What am I doing? I can’t write this either!  It’s too controversial and most of the townsfolk wouldn’t appreciate a story concerning their state. Dam bastards!

My son is still dead.

Time passed rather quickly and my senses began to lose it. I had a few too many shots then I felt dizzy and tired; I yawned and moved around in my chair. I drifted off into a dream state and had thoughts of the new phonograph models.

Just then, I heard a couple of strange sounds that emerged me from my daydreaming.


Nobody replied except my cat. I looked over and saw her purring next to me. I also took another shot.

“I hate pussy! I hate you cat!! Why on dear earth did Helen ever want me to pick you up?”

Jasper just purred and purred, then purred some more and then purred again. She looked up and her big green eyes brighter. She jumped off and run away, but this time something scarred her.

“I know that look Jasper! Stop being a pussy! We both know the only person to scare you like that is Andrew!”

My son is really dead.


I turned around and thank god nobody was there. I looked into the parlor and saw Andrew still lying down. Odd how I thought Andrew was behind me.

But my son is dead.

Time passed by some more and a small breeze would blow in from time to time. I felt the cool air of my house on my face which gave me a point for my next great idea.

“I got it!”

I jumped right on the type and started typing my next big move.

“W! H! O! R! E!”

“P! O! R!”


The words flumed out of my mouth and on to the type.

White Horse phonograph, the next big era of music.

“YES!!!!! I GOT IT!!!!”

I jumped up and down with joy. My newspaper chief will love my story. I ran all around my house. I even ran into my room and jumped on my bed like a kid again. I ran into the parlor and kissed….wait.

“Oh my god!  Andrew where are you!”

I panicked and looked all around the house.  I looked outside and saw some townsfolk’s looking at my house. Why did they stare at my house? Was I too overjoyed with my story?

My son is dead I think.

I looked back at them, and some ran off with disgust. I’m starting to panic, and it’s almost three. My dear Helen will be back soon. She will freak out that Andrew is gone! Then I’ll get yelled at and won’t get any sex tonight!

I paced backed and forth, down the hall and into the parlor.

“Where are you Andrew?”

I saw Jasper walking by and I grabbed her. The poor thing looked scarred and tired all at once.

“You’re tired of my game aren’t you? We will see how you like it”

I lost all my patience with that hairy pussy and I kicked the cat into the metal furnace. It made a loud thud and a moan.

My cat might be dead.

“That shows you! I know that you got Andrew to pull a trick on us!”

Just then, I heard a knock at the door. Was it Andrew? NO! It was a woman; I think it was Barbara Sheen my Landlady.

“Are you in there? I hear yelling and animals sounds coming from your house. Is Helen back yet?”

I opened the door and just looked at her.

“I’m in the middle of a crisis, BARB –ARA!” I mocked her.

“Well is there anything I can do to help you with it?”

“NO!! Never! I don’t need help!”

“Well then what were you doing?”

“I….” I shuddered for a moment thinking maybe I was having a bad dream and I could get away with saying this.

“I was having sex”

“Well, how is that? Helen isn’t home?”

“I was having sex with Jasper!”

“Oh so you must be one of those homosexual men?”

No this dumb whore didn’t realize my dilemma. I had a dead son missing, I injured my cat, and I can’t write anything because my story was made up, and my job requires real stories.

“Listen, Barb. Jasper is my cat!”

“Oh, well you can’t have”

“Yes Barb, get it through your head, I can.” I interrupted.

My son might be dead.

Barbara just looked at me in confusion then ran off my step and into town. I slammed the door to find the smell and odor gone.

“OKAYYY!! You little rat!! I’ve had enough with your problems!! I can’t stand the fact that you insult our family and that you can hide from me. Andrew!!”

I got so tired of this nonsense and my procrastination that I grabbed my revolver and then grabbed my cat. I put my revolver up to my cat and began to interrogate it.

“I know that you and my Andrew set up this plan to torture my thought and valued time, that’s why I’m going to take it easy on you!”

BANG! BANG! BANG!! I shot the gun off to the side and Jasper shivered in my hand. I began to cry and think of Andrew as I dropped my cat on the ground. She ran off into the bedroom and under the bed.

“OH! No you don’t! I won’t let this happen!”

Click. I reloaded my gun as I walked to the bedroom. I came closer to my bed, and then I creped down and saw Jaspers little face. Her eyes were so big and green, glossy and ready to die.

I heard another knock. So I ran over to the door thinking Barb was back. But as soon as I opened the door,

“You’re coming with us”

“Don’t grab me you bastard!”

The sheriff grabbed me and tied me up. I heard him talking of how I was going to jail for not paying Barb the rent for last month.

As I got dragged off I saw Helen walk in front of the house in dismay. She turned at me and then stepped aside.

“What! I was so stupid! I can’t write anything!!!”

What was I thinking, I can’t write anything. I should have done what I was told to and stopped messing around. Maybe if I didn’t create such a wasteland of made up stories and stuck to reality.

I looked back and saw Andrews’s corpse lying in front of the house. The small breeze knocked him out the window into the front of the house.

My son is dead.


I’m David Drapeau and I have written a very funny and interesting story. It’s about a writer and his struggles to write an article. Meanwhile, he hurts his cat blaming it for the sudden disappearance of his son’s body.

One Windy Morning

22 Apr

By Joel Hanson

 Stepping out the door, Brock was immediately disturbed by the wind in his face. He checked the weather application on his phone. Brock hated wind more than rain, more than snow, heat, hail or sleet. Wind ruffled your clothes and sent you hat or newspaper flying. Wind got up your sleeves and gave you a chill. Wind messed up your hair. They’ve made hair gel that can stop bullets, but not one that stops moving air. Brock dug the bulletproof hair gel, though. It was also exceptionally bright out today, but he carried sunglasses for just the occasion. You could wear a windbreaker, but they don’t completely stop the wind, they just lessen the sensation. Wind. Right?

Noting that he needed a better weather application, he silenced his phone before putting it back into his pocket in exchange for the silver aviators waiting there. He took his phone back out to snap a picture of himself for Facebook’s sake. “Lookin’ sly, my man.” he said as he uploaded it. Great new default. For all of wind’s downfalls, it did make you look badass. If only he’d had a cigarette dangling from his lip, he’d be a real Steve McQueen, but who could light one in this stupid wind?

“Oh, shit.” he thought, realizing that while fooling around on his phone, he’d been unwillingly heading toward work. He tried to enjoy the few moments he got between stepping out the door and arriving, but it didn’t take any time at all to get there. Once he took that first step out of the door, it was just natural. He couldn’t stop if he wanted to, maybe just slow down. If he did though, who knows how late he’d be? At the end of the week he would joke with his buds over a few beers about going postal. Just running in and shooting up the place. Ha. Ha.

His thoughts were interrupted when his coworker Cheryl approached him. “Hey there Brockie.”

“Oh, morning, Cheryl.” he groaned.

“What?” she yelled.

“Oh, I said good morning! But who can hear a damn thing in this stupid wind?” Brock yelled.

“Ha! Sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays!” she yelled back over the breeze.

“Only every Monday.” he muttered under his breath.

“Well I’m going on in, see you in a few!” she yelled, waving as she continued on to work.

Cheryl was okay, if not a little too bubbly. He could never maintain a conversation that wasn’t work-related with her, but that’s fine. Brock kept work at work. He didn’t really want anything else getting into his job, or his job getting into his private life. Noticing how close he was, he began to ready himself for the grueling say ahead. Brock tugged at the cord.

“Something wrong, Magnus?” yelled Bill, clapping Brock on the back.

“My parachute won’t open, sir!” replied Brock.

“It’s probably just snagged on something, keep pulling on it! The backup’s easier to see! Don’t use it unless you have to! Afghanis don’t like to see parachutes! What are you carrying?”

“M4A1 sir!”

“Have it on standby if you use the emergency! See you on the ground!”

“Sir!” he saluted Captain Briggs as he drifted away. Brock hated Mondays, but someone had to bust up those terror cells, right?


Joel Hanson is a mediocre writer and amateur cowboy. He spends his spare time golfing, at the beach, napping in his hammock, wooing your little sister, making cocktails, playing PlayStation, cooking things he sees Emeril make, and bowling. His favorite television shows are Archer, Rescue Me, How I Met Your Mother, Jersey Shore, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, and Dragon Ball Z. Joel dreams of someday starting one of those giant bar brawls that you see in old western movies, pulling a gun on an attacker armed with a knife, rewriting Jaws to star the ocean’s real apex predator-the orca, and retiring to someplace exotic with a petite blonde to do his laundry. In the meantime, Joel is content to take long naps, drink tall beers, and cook short orders.

Even Ducks Grieve

22 Apr

by Nina D’Andrea

For many months, a Muscovy duck couple has visited my yard day in and day out without fail. They come to feast on cracked corn and bread. Once full, they leave together. Always together.   Inseparable.  I have observed and even remarked to myself about the male duck’s protective behavior towards the female. He was constantly on alert for predators that might harm his mate.

On Easter Sunday morning, the female duck appeared in my yard alone. I had a feeling that she was upset and maybe even a bit frantic which was quite a departure from her otherwise calm behavior. I greeted her with her usual treat of cracked corn and bread. Once full, she departed for the lake. At dusk she returned again, alone. My sixth sense knew something was awry. Her constant companion was nowhere in sight.  Always together.   Inseparable.  Again she appeared frantic; darting around the yard looking for her mate. She finally gave up and flew off to some secret sanctuary for the night.

She appeared again on Monday morning, alone. That gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach persisted as I realized that her constant companion for the past months was probably gone – never to return. I greeted her with the usual daily sustenance. She ate quickly and left for the lake. I watched for many hours as she swam up and down, up and down – searching. Later that evening my neighbors confirmed what my sixth sense had been telling me for two days – her mate was dead. Earlier that day they had found the male duck floating in the lake.

Several weeks have passed since the loss of her mate and the sweet female duck still returns to my yard each morning – alone. She feasts on cracked corn and bread. However, instead of searching the lake, she lies down under my tree to rest or catch a nap for a few hours. While she is resting, I often sit a few feet from her and talk. I share the sorrow, anguish and loneliness in my heart about the difficulties of losing a mate, often wondering and hoping if he will return home at any moment. We were also always together. Inseparable.

Over the many months of my journey through grief, I have somehow drawn comfort from the daily visits of the ducks.  Always predictable.  Always together.  Inseparable. Her daily visits now remind me that life goes on regardless of my own loss. My intuition tells me that she understands what I am feeling. We bring comfort to one another in an odd sort of way. We are forever kindred spirits on the journey through grief. Even ducks grieve!

A New Beginning

22 Apr

by: Angela Berryman

After she finished with feeding the last of the animals in the barn, Katie headed toward the main house to get the girls ready for their ballet class.  Katie is a stay at home mom, with more chores than your typical housewife. On top of keeping the home clean, caring for her two children she shares with her husband, she also runs their mini-farm. With all her daily chores she also has an ungrateful husband that treats her horribly. She grew up on a farm so she didn’t look at that as the hard work, dealing with her husband Joe is the hardest job to her.

If you were to ask any of Katie’s friends and family, they will tell you that she has a heart of gold, she never gets mad or angry, never yells and will do anything for anyone even without being asked. But her husband tells her the exact opposite making her feel less than nothing. Anytime she gets a chance alone she cries to get some of her frustration out and   almost every night she cries herself to sleep.  Joe never notices though. If he does he doesn’t say anything, not like he cares. She makes sure on a daily basis she tries to keep it together for her children.

Joe is not a typical guy that will have a bad day then will take it out on his wife when he gets home. He calls her mean horrible names on a daily basis, he never shows her any affection, much less tell her that he loves her. Katie knows he doesn’t love her. Why else would he feel the need to cheat on her all the time? He loves having his “women on the side” and he even calls them that right in front of her. He will say things like, “Going out with my girls tonight be back later.” She knows he isn’t just talking about regular girl friends.

After finally reaching the back door she sighed, wiped her feet and tried to think about her girls so that she wouldn’t be so down in front of them. When she walked in the back door she saw Meadow sitting at the kitchen table doing her homework. She walked over to the kitchen sink and washed her hands and asked her, “You about done with your homework Sweetie?”

“I have one more problem,” she told her mom without looking up from her paper.

“Look! I’m a buttafly!” Laura her three year old cried hopping into the kitchen in her tutu.

“Ahh, honey! Look at you! You are a beautiful butterfly. But baby butterflies have wings so that they can fly not hop.” Katie told her as she pulled her into her lap to brush her hair.

Her smiled faded and whispered, “That’s why I hop, because I don’t got the wings.”

Just as Laura finished her sentence, Joe swung the kitchen door open and screams, “What the fuck is your problem?”

“Honey, please not in front of the girls,” Katie pleaded with him as Laura jumped out of her lap and ran out of the kitchen. Katie squeezed Meadow’s hand and quickly told her, “Don’t worry about that now. We’ll finish that in the morning before I take you to school. Go get ready for

“Hey bitch, I am talking to you, what the fuck is your problem?”  He screamed at her again.

“I don’t know what you mean honey. What’s the matter?” she almost couldn’t hear herself talk she wasn’t even sure if he even heard her. She cleared her throat to say it again, “I don’t-”

“I heard what you said you stupid bitch! Where the fuck is my dinner at? I have somewhere I have to be tonight!” He screamed cutting her off.

“Please don’t yell, you are scaring the girls,” she pleaded with him.

“Don’t tell me what to do and answer me already.”

“Joe it’s Tuesday night, I take the girls to ballet class and you know I don’t have the time to cook dinner until I get home. I’m going to take the girls to Wendy’s and get some dinner. If you want I can bring you something home, or you can have something while you are out if you can.” Katie spoke quietly.

“Sure whatever, you are worthless and so are your two brats of children that you have.”

Katie felt her face get hot and grow red. It was a different kind of feeling than she was used to. This time it wasn’t from being embarrassed or being shy. She felt anger growing inside of her. Joe knows as well as she does, that both of those wonderful girls belonged to the both of them.

“How could you say such horrible things about the girls? You know just as well as I do that those beautiful children are yours as well as mine!” she screams at the top of her lungs, grabs her purse and runs out the front door.

The girls were standing at the SUV waiting patiently for her, “Are you girls ready?” she asked them, helping them into the SUV. When she got behind the wheel she sat and thought a minute, how could he say such a horrible thing?

As she drove the girls to their class after getting their dinner, she sat and thought to herself all the horrible things Joe does and says to her. She actually yelled at him! She has never yelled at anyone her whole life.

“Will you please stop screaming at the top of your lungs girls?” Katie asked when they were almost to their class. Even though Katie was still upset with what just happened with Joe she still never gets upset with the girls, no matter how much they carry on.  She can’t stand the fact that they always witness his temper.

“Sorry mom,” Laura apologized.

“Yeah mom we are sorry,” Meadow said. Then Meadow turns to her sister and whispered, “We don’t want to make mom angry with us.”

Even though she thought she was whispering Katie heard her daughter’s sarcastic remark. She could feel her face turn a little red. Even her daughters knew they could get away with anything and that they couldn’t make her mad enough to really get upset.

“Here we are girls,” Katie said giving Meadow a kiss before she hopped out of the SUV.

“Okay Mom,” Laura exclaimed happily, giving her mom a kiss.

“See you at eight Mom,” Meadow said while helping Laura out of her seat.

“Bye girls, have fun and I love you too.” Katie drove away after watching the girls bound up the stairs and into the studio. She loves it when they have their ballet lessons. It is the only chance Katie has to be alone. She always tells Joe that she stays and watches the girls practice, but she never does. She uses this time to be alone and to think, something she so desperately needs.

To kill the time, she sometimes goes to the mall to shop, just walk around, or go to the movies. Her favorite place to go though is the dock. After the way Joe had been to her earlier tonight she felt the dock is where she wanted to be. She loves going to the dock to watch the water, waves, and night boats that floated by. It was such a peaceful way for her to spend her nights alone. When she pulled up to the empty dock, she felt a sense of disappointment. She kind of hoped to see someone there, so that maybe she could be the one to have an affair. Give Joe a taste of his own medicine. I’m so tired of him treating me this way. If it wasn’t for the girls I would have thrown him out on his ass long ago. But would they even miss him? What’s the matter with you of course they would miss them, he’s their father.

Just then she saw a car with no lights pull up.  “Great,” she said aloud, “someone is here to join me after all.” The car stopped and parked right next to a boat that was off to the side.  When the person climbed out of the car, it appeared to be a man. Maybe I can go try and strike up a conversation. Just as she was going to get out of the SUV to see if she could get a closer look at the guy, she noticed that the man was pulling something out of the trunk of his car. She leaned on her steering wheel so that she could see as far as she could. She couldn’t believe it, is that a body he is carrying? She couldn’t be sure and she knew she couldn’t leave without being seen; or him getting her plates and possibly come and find her and the girls. So she sat and watched the man in black pull the body out of the trunk. After he struggled with the body, he finally got it out on the pavement he closed the trunk and dragged the body to the boat sitting at the edge of the dock. When he got to the boat he slung the body over his shoulder and threw it on the boat. He then climbed in the boat himself and started the engine up.

Am I really seeing this? Just as soon as he appeared he was gone in the night with his boat. She quickly drove off and pulled into an empty parking lot to think about what she just saw. How could someone do something so horrible? Could that man really have killed someone and was just going to simply dump them into the ocean like garbage? That’s a horrible thing for someone to do. I can’t believe I just left like that I should have called the cops or something. “Why though?” she thought out loud. It had nothing to do with her why should she get herself into a situation that she’d have no control over? After sitting for a few minutes, she had a crazy idea.  What if I could get away with something as crazy as that? Kill someone and just dump them off into the ocean? What’s wrong with me, how could I think of something so horrible?

After sitting and thinking for quite some time she realized that it was time for her to go pick up the girls. She started the SUV and drove back to the studio, finding the girls waiting outside. When she pulled up they ran out to the SUV, and helped them climb in. “So how did it go girls?”

“It was super fun mom, the best time I have had yet,” Meadow exclaimed. “Laura was having a little trouble tonight though.”

“Oh Laura, honey, you will get the hang of it soon enough,” she told Laura as they started driving home.  When she pulled in the driveway she saw Joe’s car and a car that was unfamiliar to her. He better not have brought some hussy home like he did the last time, she angrily thought to herself. He just recently started bringing them home, and she couldn’t believe that he may have done it this time knowing when the girls get home. She could actually feel a sense of anger growing inside her. She is started to feel sick and tired of the way Joe treats her. If that is a woman in my house…

“Girls we’re here. It looks like your dad has a friend over, so let’s go through the back door so we don’t interrupt them.” She said interrupting her own thoughts. She directed the girls as she pushed her keyless entry button to turn on the alarm.

“Okay mommy,” Laura said happily. If there is a girl in there she didn’t want the girls to see that, she also didn’t want them to see the anger she felt growing inside of her. They have never seen Katie get angry or yell, and she didn’t know how they would react to that.

When she opened the side door to the kitchen nobody was sitting at the table, and Katie felt a sigh of relief when she saw the kitchen was empty. “Go on girls let’s go up stairs and put on your jammies.” She followed the girls up the stairs to get them ready for bed. She did not want them to see or witness anything that could ruin them. Knowing that Joe had a woman with him more than likely she knew the girls would be confused. After getting them in their jammies and tucked them in bed she gave them both a kiss on their forehead and told them goodnight.

After getting the girls into bed, Katie stood at the top of the stairs and listened. “It’s okay baby, she doesn’t care, she is upstairs with her bratty children putting them to bed,” she heard Joe say to someone. At that point she knew it was a woman in the house after all. She could fell the anger growing inside of her again. How could he say I am the one that has been with other people to say that about our children? Now he has the nerve to bring some hussy into my house and treat her so sweetly when he can’t do that once with me or the girls?

Katie felt she had enough, twelve years of Joe’s horrible actions and attitude towards her, she just couldn’t take it anymore. She crept into the kitchen so that Joe and his hussy wouldn’t hear her. She then stood over the knife block that held her biggest knives. I can’t take this anymore; I will just get rid of his ass the same way that man I saw do tonight, what a perfect idea. She pulled out the meat cleaver and stared at it for a minute. Expect I won’t need to take them to the pier I will just feed them to my hungry little animals outside. She couldn’t believe where her thoughts were coming from, but she no longer cared anymore. She ran into the living room with the cleaver raised in her hand and screams, “You no good son of a bitch!” landing the cleaver down on his spine, and striking four more times until he lay dead and bleeding on the tile floor. The woman that was sitting next to him was in horror her mouth wide open, as she brought down the cleaver on the woman’s head, and she too lay bleeding on the tile floor.

Katie stood in horror at the two dead bodies lying on her living room floor. She had to act quickly before the girls came down and saw what had happened. Katie knew she couldn’t carry the bodies out to the barn to feed her pigs unless she made them into smaller pieces. She then started chopping at the arms and legs of both of the bodies, then putting them into a wheel barrel she put up against the house earlier in the day.

After walking out into the barn, she called to them, “Come on pigs, I brought you an excellent snack, I hope you enjoy.” She said as she dumped the remains into the pig pen, watching them furiously eating away at the remains. Tired and exhausted Katie went upstairs to get herself cleaned off so that she could get ready for bed.


The next morning Katie went downstairs to make some coffee, she felt a sense of relief over her. Joe was no longer there to yell, scream or put her down and she couldn’t be happier. But what would she tell the girls? Just as she thought what to tell them they came running down the stairs.

As they sat down to eat their breakfast she said to them, “Girls I have to tell you something very important. Your dad is no longer living with us. Last night he decided he couldn’t take living with us anymore. I am sorry, but we will be just fine.”

“Really?” Meadow asked very excited, “I am so glad to hear that. Daddy was so mean I know I won’t miss him.”

“Me too I am glad he is gone,” Laura said.

That was all Katie needed to hear, that they wouldn’t miss him after all. She then went to the stove to start cooking the girls some bacon and eggs for their breakfast.


Fiction — Spring 2011

22 Apr


Angela Berryman, “A New Beginning”

David Drapeau, “My Son is Dead”

Joel Hanson, “One Windy Morning”

Leeland Hindman, “For a Minor Fee…”

Anna Maldzhiev, “Crystal’s New Friend”

Justin Oberg, “Time”

Michael Rodgers, “Dempsey’s Redemption”

The Blue Moon Café

20 Apr

by Charlene Pratt

The air wasn’t saturated with smoke, drinks were

in colorful glassware filled with the taste of sweet,

bitter, dry and sour.

            Chairs without iron, or lightly padded, but filled

with spaciousness, comfort of a folder paper in a

number 10 with a window view.

            Lights were soft, not a darkened room,

aromas of fine cuisine, service of luxury.  Colorful walls

with washable painted menus, changeable like a

piece of clothing.  Continuous seats of comfort

surrounded an outer brick layer, with light splashes of


            The line of silks, linens, cottons,

colors blending, some bouncing off each other.

            Draping bodies always out

the front door with feet in stylish

comfort,.  Couples, single, a party of

four, group of eight, reservations

            should be made for an hour and half wait,

no matter the time.

            Pings of steel drums, violins, long

Strings of a cello rise and fall of

                        the tempo, increase the inner pace of

eating, conversations with a hidden

quickness…slow, quick, slow.

            When it rained never knew when,

if it did no one was ever wet, nor believed of

            Florida heat, days, nights, Chicago cold, wind.

                        No one gets enough, at least once a

month, surrender to yogurt lunch for a

            week or so, an easiness of a habit

without pain.  Others with papers of

green a weekly scene.

            This place I love only opens during

the blue moon at The Blue Moon Café.

Charlene M. Pratt a.k.a. Summer Harp is a self-published author of two poetry books, Notes on Thoughts, Stir-fry Poetry and chick-lit Conversations with Women…thoughts you didn’t want anyone to know you had. She also loves to cook and read cookbooks as well as experiment with different recipes. She is working on writing erotica a romantica series.

Feel Like Winter

20 Apr

by Kelley Egan

The snow is slowly melting
and I feel my soul drifting away.
My eyes are growing tired
and I realize I am not here to stay.
The trees are growing taller
as my body is growing older.
Soon my skin will crack
and my blood will turn colder.
The moon seems closer
as my days on Earth are numbered.
The rain falls so much harder
like my tears that roll like thunder.
When will
it be?
The last
breath I take?


20 Apr

by Emily Yandell

The moon and sun meet for the first time.
Day and night no longer fight to shine.
The sun tells the moon to hold on tight, as
The sun takes the moon on a marvelous flight.
Day and night fade into one and love is the only light that is shone.
Even star crossed lovers could not beat this love,
This is the kind of love only meant for up above.
The moon so small and frail kisses the sun.
This is proof that the eclipse is almost done.
With a last look they say good bye,
And go back to their places in the sky.