Miracle Ezine and Nostrovia! Poetry present...(A... →
For your information, yeahwriters: Nostrovia! Poetry and Miracle Ezine are excited to present you with another publishing opportunity and chance to get your name out there, especially through this particular publication. This is a micro-chapbook/contest/anthology hybrid. The anthology features the winner and short-list of a micro-chapbook contest. The winner is published in his/her own Nano...
I broke down in the hotel room shower last night. I could not figure out how to switch the flow from tap to showerhead, and as I held my hair under the tap, crouching down in this fucking business hotel, I just started bawling. You see, I figured it was the flight, schlepping the bag up those Roman hills, but as I wailed on my knees in the tub I got an inkling that maybe I was merely unhappy.
You bring the sandwiches, and I’ll bring the neediness.– Youth Pictures of Florence Hend, “Hearts & Consequence”
“Hey, let’s go to the theater and watch ‘Harold and his brothers!’” Nate grinds his teeth. Alex’s smirk is all over his face, all up in Nate’s face. It’s unbearable. That’s just great. All Nate needs right now: yet another fucking play about somebody fucking somebody else’s wife. That grin! He starts screaming: “Got another stupid suggestion like that, asshole?” And screw everybody...
I have seen that sequel, too
I wasn’t sure what the right answer would have been: “This isn’t the first time,” or better: “This time it’s special.” Your face was difficult to read in the dark. Interception: the grisly lights exploding on stage. Breaking points: Outside, the air is still too cold, inside the phone keeps luring you away. Declaration: Let’s all lie for a change. Take note: That one would commit murder...
Excerpt: On Tiffany and Ada
Note: feedback welcome. Feel free to drop me a line. When Tiffany masturbates these days, she doesn’t have Jake in mind. His constant working late and her constant dealing with the children have no room in her sex dreams. She had met Ada at her new escape route: a weekly book club. “Are you serious?” Jake had asked incredulously when she told him. “I haven’t seen you read anything in, well,...
Let's use these words: rigor samsa
dictionaryofobscuresorrows: n. a kind of psychological exoskeleton that can protect you from pain and contain your anxieties, but always ends up cracking under pressure or hollowed out by time—and will keep growing back again and again, until you develop a more sophisticated emotional structure, held up by a strong and flexible spine, built less like a fortress than a cluster of treehouses.
C is for ...
Caruthers is a horrible first name, she thought, but they had made a pact at 21, and when she found herself pregnant the only way out was through. Baby boy Caruthers had a lot going for him: the pale blue eyes. The long eyelashes. His tiny toes. His father was smitten from the start and had a rattle engraved with his name and birth date. And birth weight, just because. She stared into his eyes...
A beginning, a journey
The place had never been mentioned in any guidebook, not even local ones. Not on the bicycle maps with elevation markers and blue-green infrastructure symbols. You’d have to turn right behind the sea of shrubs next to a sand dune that really is just remnants of the kindergarten’s sandboxes. Discarded after Chernobyl blew radioactive particles all over Europe, spoiling sandboxes for an entire...
Fictional Musings: Sometime in the Distant Past,... →
So what’s the use? We are all temporary. pfpc: In some fanciful locale, a creature not unlike you and I is gleeful at having discovered the nature of itself. Still, replete with sparkling wine and creatures of the opposite sex attracted to the construct, he falls into disarray once more. “What’s the use,” he mutters one morning awoken by the…
I counted the facts and then voted maybe
I tried, very hard even. I kept my secrets. How I shift uncomfortably in my seat and once rubbed my butt raw from fidgeting. How your eyes twitch before you lie. That I know how to forge your signature. Ah, the lies we know. It does not matter if I tell them, too. When I signed over all your stock and turned you from prosperous to lacking the means of contributing to your 401(k), it was not...
Please feed the bear →
I am leaning over the wooden crib in the dimly lit children
The priest likes to talk, the ladies like to listen. We stand because the priest is old, we offer a seat while we wait. He won’t take it, the empty chair too close to his body now for us to reclaim it. Its uselessness takes up space in the overcrowded hospital room. Mass would have been free to watch on the television, but she thought she’d have to pay for it. The rows of women carrying more...
erikadprice: Editing Tips for Fuckups →
erikadprice: As an academic and an incompetent amateur writer, I spend a lot of time editing written work — maybe more time than I spend actually writing shit. I’ve torn my own work to shreds and given feedback on dozens of undergraduate and graduate papers, personal statements, and applications; I’ve edited…
Indeed, the great paradox of the writer’s life is how much time he spends alone...– Betsy Lerner, The Forest for the Trees (via dlanadhz)
miniaturefiction: Don’t they have band-aids here? The red blotches have spread since she last checked. Regardless, she has no problem throwing the first stone. - Melanie Follow this guest on twitter @m_ian, and also on tumblr at Oh My
The poem in your pocket?
Dispatches and Sketches: How to Write a Story →
Congratulations go out to fellow writer grouchomac, who currently roams a number of continents and still managed to convince “the man” of his talents. I here give you a piece of his sought-after advice, so that we may all win awards and the likes in the future. grouchomac: The exceptional works of fiction are not about people, for characters – not matter how developed,...
Views of the Eurocrats
Failing to procure an official invitation is a faux-pas that leads to an earl lunch. In the square opposite the parlamentarium we assemble. We flash our badges and order drinks, beer, mostly. There is always more beer if needed. “You seen the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum yet?” He shakes his head. “There is always too little time for excursions.” The homeless man sleeping in front of the...
What matters: to always, always stop what you’re doing and look at a river should you happen to pass/cross/see one. To always order one special extra with your coffee or tea: be it syrup, soy milk, a tea you don’t have at home. To always wear one clothing item you truly love. To always take a moment to try and decipher someone’s handwriting on a letter before peeking at the return address.
I know I wasn’t supposed to open that letter. It had been clearly addressed to you, to be delivered pronto and in secrecy. I understand that I wasn’t even supposed to know you had recently fathered that child, and who am I to judge what you’re doing with your sperm. Granted, I might have overreacted when I tore said letter, then googled your baby mama’s name and downloaded...
A story of Bristol
The brisk air lends itself to yelling out frustrations, but as long as rays of sun illuminate the squirrel graffiti we can deal. Opposite the cooperatively-led café cum restaurant, Nikita shops at Lodak’s Polish groceries. Later he will write a postcard with a fox wearing a watch on it, because really, what else is there? There is always that.
Apples and oranges
The first time we met I cut my hand. That should tell you something. I have carried a scar with me since that afternoon when I did the dishes and broke a glass that belonged to you. I would move on to break a lot more than that glass during the following months, but I’m not sure that matters much now. A curious lack of words characterized those months, and not because there was no need for...
When I picture her I see a bicycle. A green bike, a Dutch women’s bike like they ride in the Netherlands. They never wear helmets there so she doesn’t either. She is not fit, and when she bikes she breathes heavily and starts sweating. Biking reeks of sex these days. I once asked her whether she also thought that all life was suffering and that to never have been born would have been...
With age you see vulnerability in everyone. They are all fragile in more than two characteristic traits. Holding out is futile. Some touches find you squirming. Your weight is too heavy for him to carry. He is ashamed about the shape of his genitals. Her eczema ruins the moment. Flaws stacked upon the other until all you see is this wall of infamous.
An add-on to this vignette by pfpc. Granted, things have not been going so well between them. Previously smooth conversations were marred, she feels, with his stubborn refusal to acknowledge the hurt she is causing. Why does he keep asking personal questions only to act betrayed when she tells him the truth? Always the truth. The truth is never pretty. Of course, he had known all this when he...
24 hours of internet fame →
Shameless self promotion: My story ‘Home’ is published TODAY in Smashed Cat Magazine. It’s free and online, so please support my writerly ambitions and visit the site.
News from the waterfront
The “fruit” tea turned out to be nothing but earl grey and fake fruit add-ins, its bitterness causing Nikita to swallow hard and look around him for a sip of water. In the Netherlands, he had gotten used to pouring sugary cake toppings on his toast and call it breakfast, but the addition of black tea to every meal was more than he could handle. To Nikita, food, drinks and experiences should vary...
Before all that there was the leftover garlic spaghetti, and the dollar bills, and that text message they failed to trace back to its sender. There were bracelets with turtles on them, and a number of other obscure fertility charms. There was evidence of a clean-up, two instances of a mess. There were stains, laundry, telephone calls on answering machines and a broken typewriter. Before everything...
theincrediblemeeow: They meet at dusk behind the red brick building that resembles a shed more than a house. Yes, it has been made of stone; but it carries its age on its surface. Like a canvas stretched too thin and now wrinkled and worn out, a number of bricks have come loose, have fallen out, have cracked. The…
Sketch from a Samba Carnival
In this cold, rainy Northern town the 40-year-old woman draws a heart on her cheek and starts dancing. Hot cider plus drum rhythms plus tambourines plus rattles plus whistles, multiply by twenty. Add thirty wigs, one hundred people stomping their feet. One group is dressed up as flies riding pink pigs on sticks. The performers route cuts you off if you plan on going from A to B, from the library...
In the movies motions slow down in these scenes. Voices get distorted in slow capture, the protagonist stares at the physician’s mouth but is unable to make out what he (or she, but rarely) is saying. “You have cancer.” Or: “You may have cancer.” It is supposed to be lay person speak, but the brain is scheming and plotting and tries to mess with you. It doesn’t compute. “There is surgery, and...
They meet at dusk behind the red brick building that resembles a shed more than a house. Yes, it has been made of stone; but it carries its age on its surface. Like a canvas stretched too thin and now wrinkled and worn out, a number of bricks have come loose, have fallen out, have cracked. The door hangs crooked on its hinges. This is where the pastor used to take them to feed them on Jesus Christ...
He has a landlord, she does not. They have argued about the correct position of the moon in an astronomy kind of way, but they have never set foot in each other’s abode. There is no point to his whining about that. “I promise I’ll stay calm,” he had told her, but she knew: with the number of dollar bills that represented the distance between them, she’d never get him off the tennis court again.
It's January, but that's ok
So.much.snow. Autumn plows through the piles of white slush on her way to the metro. In no hurry she lets the first streetcar pass by: commuters’ schedules. Wait - what? Due to bad weather our trains are running irregularly. Only 25 minutes until the next train. That is warm. And filled with bodies of students and teachers and businesswomen and grandfathers and homeless (new! They can ride for...
So this is the story, a meeting and sex on the first date, and the one calls the other and we hang out, at the movies and in restaurants, bars and more nights than not together in either one’s bed. I suppose this is dating. I lend books from his shelf and always have coffee in the cupboard. We fight about Woody Allen and music. We have breakfast in bed on weekends. Then I go on a vacation to...
Blame the system
The day was filled with anger and frustration, mostly. Being left hanging with the metallic taste of “this could have, would have, should have been.” Next time she really needed to manage to grab the last jelly donut.
If I absolutely had to say whose fault it was, and I don’t really have to says my lawyer, then I’ll have to say it was Marisa’s own fucking fault. She was always up in our business at camp and always concerned about what we were and weren’t allowed to do. And we were like “Hello? who the fuck cares what is allowed and what isn’t. This isn’t kindergarten, we ‘ll do what we want.” So we did. But she...
processproduct: Recommen-god-damn-dations, part I →
processproduct: I’ve been tripping over shockingly good Tumblr writers for a while now, and I can only feature these folks on Tumblr Fiction periodically, since I try to keep the selection on there varied. So, it’s high time I throw down some formal accolades. These are in reverse-alphabetical order rather… I’m honored to be in such good company!
Recipe for nothing special
Her: wearing jeans, sneakers and a T-Shirt. Wearing a pencil skirt. Wearing a green dress for the event. Him: Wanting to touch her arm. Showing her off to his best friend. Attraction only hinted at at first, but at the same time enhanced owing to it being out of bounds. And their time together is limited. “Before Sunrise” -esque. Running off to Scotland together.
Sketch of a people
We are the impatient, those who stumble over their own legs and feet entangled in the process of history. Entangled in the events sequencing, events strung like silvery pearls on a string one right next to each other, then twisted until tiny hooks went into skin and their order is suddenly messed up, confused. We are the hopeful still, uselessly enthralled with our own ideas and lacking...
Oh, Ophelia. At first, I try to overlook your presence and stuff my face with falsehoods all the same. A funny thing, these agreements: one has something in writing, but can’t bring himself to show that piece and be granted rights. The other has it all in words on air only, they traveled from mouth to ear and burrowed themselves in brain. What good can they do there? The metamorphosis from sound...
Through mutual acquaintances, Eliza and Dan had met Corrado at the pre-game dinner. “You into basketball?” he had asked Dan, who shook his head. Eliza had laughed and Corrado had been stumped on how to proceed with the conversation. After everybody had paid and moved on to different pursuits, he couldn’t help feel shortchanged in that encounter. Still, Dan’s dark hair had seemed to shine under...
What a surprise! Or, in French, “quelle surprise!” Is what he probably would have exclaimed, had he not been taken aback by actually seeing the clouds so low that day. On his way to work he had to stop and take a moment to reconsider. Where was I going again, and in which direction? “Yeah, you’d like to know that, wouldn’t you?” a sweet, soft, yet slightly ironic voice asked. He turned around,...
So what if she had really passed the defense and was legally called a doctor (of neurosciences?). Staring at the modern art painting at the gallery, she sighed and felt ill prepared for dealing with anybody not a lab rat, not confined to the cage as big as a shoe box, and the fMRI images so freaking expensive she was scared to mess up every time. “Interested in this particular one, Madam? It is...
Further excerpts from his letters because damn,...
I fucking hate the snow, I am burning up in here with the heater on and where did they bring all that tea? There is only so much sweet Turkish apple tea I can swallow before I am taken back to Europe where the languages mingle and crossing borders is easy in cars, on trains, only they don’t get what I am saying. And every day is spring break, maybe, because topless beaches and schnapps abound. ...