Displaying items by tag: fiction

Prologue

“Hey, Cara, could you check on Sydney? I don’t want her light on all night,” Momma said as she yanked open a kitchen drawer and fished around inside. She was running late as usual. That made her rush around and drop a lot of things and cuss a little under her breath. She worked all night taking care of old people at the nursing home. I was her helper. I was eight years old. That meant I was big, so I got to stay home and take care of Sydney by myself all night. I didn’t turn on the stove or answer the door while Momma was at work.

I left Momma to make her lunch in peace and went down the hallway of our tiny apartment to our bedroom. I left the light on for Sydney and me every night, but Momma said electricity was expensive. I shouldn’t leave a light on unless we were awake, even though the dark was scary. But I always did; I just didn't tell Momma. Right away when I opened the door, Sydney turned toward me and smiled her big, silly smile.

Friday, 19 July 2013 18:46

How to Make a Girl Smile by Robert P. Hiatt

I’m not crazy about Sundays to begin with, and this particular Sunday, with me being awkwardly in love didn’t help. Every Sunday, all day long, I keep thinking about having to go back to school on Monday, and how I’ll have to wait until baseball practice on Wednesday to see Betsie Newton again. So there I was, lost in my same old Monday-is-tomorrow, Sunday evening funk-mood, walking home from my friend Alex’s house, when I heard someone calling me in a sing-song voice: “Rob–ert…” 

I barely heard it.

“Rob–ert…” I looked behind me and I saw someone riding a bicycle toward me. She was pedaling slowly. Soon I could make out that it was her: Betsie Newton. “Well, now I don’t have to wait until Wednesday after all,” I thought.

And I smiled.

How to Make a Girl Smile by Robert P. HiattBetsie is my little league coach’s daughter. She started coming to games and practices with her father and brother a couple of weeks ago, and things have gotten progressively more complicated for me ever since. I should have known that it was her, since she’s just about the only person that ever calls me “Robert.”  Most everyone else calls me Bob. My mood improved significantly, and I tucked my shirt in.

I turned and waited for Betsie as she eventually, finally peddled to where I stood.

“Hey, how’s it goin’?” she said. She smelled like strawberries.

“Okay, I guess. I’m just hoofin’ it home for dinner.” I looked vaguely in the direction of my house. Alex’s dad had invited me to stay for dinner, but I didn’t even bother to call my mom and ask her if I could stay; I knew she would probably say yes and then torment me later with subtle, soft psychological torture designed to induce maximum guilt, so I declined. You see, Alex’s mom pissed-off my mom for an undisclosed reason, and even though Alex’s mom didn’t even live there anymore, I guess it became a kind of ‘guilt-by-association’ kind of thing.

Published in Issue 4 July 2013
Saturday, 20 July 2013 00:00

The Echo of My Voice by Alice Kennedy

The Echo of My Voice by Alice KennedyThe hot Texas air filled the bathroom with a humid smell of cattle and tobacco; Tanya’s lavender scented bubble bath barely knocking a dent in the heavy atmosphere. She absentmindedly flicked the purple bubbles with her pinkie finger, watching them explode from perfect spheres into nothingness. The smell of nicotine began to drift up the stairs, signaling that her mom’s new boyfriend had lit up a smoke. She pictured his brown hair and side burns, his pale blue eyes, trying to remember what his name was. Henry? No, that wasn’t right… maybe Joey? Wait, that wasn’t it either. Her mom had broken up with him a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t really matter anyway; none of the men mom brought home were around for long. Her mom didn’t seem to notice this ever-present cycle, but it was there. The man would be brought home from some sort of bar or club. He’d then be introduced to Tanya as “yer new daddy.” When Tanya had been real young she had sometimes called them that, “daddy”. She always wanted a dad; but ever since she was old enough to understand the cycle, she’d realized it wasn’t worth getting her hopes up. Now she just nodded curtly, then waited a week or two for her mama to break up with the man and find someone new. That was the system, the way her life worked.

Published in Issue 4 July 2013

 

Over the Top by Richard Fay

ILLUSTRATOR BIO: Richard H. Fay currently resides in upstate New York with his wife and two cats. Formerly a laboratory technician-turned-home educator, Richard now spends his days juggling numerous art and writing projects. History, myth, folklore, and legend serve as inspiration for his creative endeavours.

 

Bumper Sliders (an Albert Story) by Michael Osias

 

Bumper SlidersMom looked at us as if we had just said her favorite soap opera had been cancelled. She wasn't happy.

"You boys have been fighting again, haven't you? Who was it this time? Can't you walk home from school just one day without getting into a scrap?"

Which was a major exaggeration. I quickly calculated that actually we averaged two and half  fights per week. Which is quite acceptable when you consider we had to walk past the front doors of the Protestant School 4 times a day, twenty times a week (except for Catholic Holidays of course) which works out to just over ten percent. I decided not to bring this up to Mom, at least not at that moment. By the way, I got an A+ in math. Grade six was a cinch.

The thing is, we hadn't been in a fight. Our torn and muddy winter jackets, missing mittens, scrapes, bruises, and cuts were a result of something much worse. Something  we could never admit to. Something that would surely get us grounded right through until after we were dead. No, it wasn't a scrap at all.

We had been bumper sliding.

Published in Issue 2 May 2013
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