down for recent stories
Why All The Jellyfish Are Dead
Copyright 2018 by Taylor Petty
was the Christmas I was 18 and I had never seen a real-life jellyfish
grandparents bought a week’s worth of beach for the seven days
surrounding Christmas each year. It was their gift to the rest of us,
the adults at least; instead of spending one morning exchanging
presents, we all drove down to the ocean and stayed in the same
enormous house. The morning of the 25th, it was tradition for the
grown-ups to sip mimosas while my siblings and I made out like
bandits with our piles of new clothes and decadent gifts, grinning
like loons all the while. I could scarcely remember a single
Christmas not spent in a stranger’s home while we, together,
watched the tides rise and fall, snuggled close under downy blankets. . . .
A Special Pilgrimage
Copyright 2018 by Tony Delvin
is the account, in diary format, of a pilgrimage to what we Irish
Catholics call the Holy Land. It was something that my wife Mairéad
and I had aspired to for many years. But busy lives, family
commitments and the pressing need to continue to put bread on the
table had impeded us until, finally, in our 60th year, we
to do it. . . .
A Puppy on Steroids
B. K. Stubblefield
Copyright 2018 byB. K. Stubblefield
story was inspired by my dog, Harper. My husband and I adopted him as
a ten-week-old puppy. On this day we didn’t know that our lives
were about to be turned upside-down. He was a puppy on steroids.
challenged everything we knew about dogs. He wasn’t our first
dog, but he was the one who made the most significant impact. Harper
was the reason I began writing, and he continuous to inspire me. . . .
Copyright 2018 by James Salt
couple words on heartbreak from the perspective of a boy who knows
the meaning of losing everything important.
was at a close friend’s theater performance a couple weeks ago.
I was watching the cast and crew moving props after the show when I
saw the lead of the play and realized that she looked like my ex.
From the audience, she had just appeared to be any other Asian girl.
Up close, the resemblance was slight, but there. A profound,
deep-rooted horror shot through me, a mixture of trepidation and
primordial infatuation that I wish had died. I managed to mask my
surprise when she introduced herself to me, and throughout the cast
dinner I stared at her eyes and tried to identify what exactly it was
that reminded me of her. I never figured it out, and left the Denny’s
feeling unsettled and disconcerted. . . .
One Life, Cherish It
Danielle Chioma Irechukwu
Copyright 2018 by Danielle Chioma Irechukwu
have one thing, I can’t get another and I have no other choice but to
make the best out of it or else I would have to bear
the fact that I made the worst decisions till I take my last breath.
Before any story begins, there has to be an introduction. This is my
go by the name Danielle Chioma Irechukwu. I am thirteen years old and
I’m a native of Igbo land, a major tribe in my country,
Nigeria, which can be spotted in West Africa. . . .
The Leaving Playlist
Copyright 2018 by James Costigan
piece is about my experience evacuating during this past year's
historic fires in Southern California. During one of the most
memorable weeks of my life, I learned about how lucky I am to be
alive and surrounded by loved ones.
Led Zeppelin fills
the air like smoke. Heads bob, and boys form a pack on the back stair
of the dormitory, an ebb and flow of bodies like an ever-changing
herd of wildebeest. Study hall is over—this Monday it has
lasted all of a few minutes.
know?” someone asks. “Should we tell them?”
email,” another boy interjects. “They said keep studying
and go back to your rooms.”
Heads nod. I turn up
the volume on the music. Later we’ll know whether or not school
will be cancelled tomorrow. Either we’ll have to evacuate, or
we’ll have to do our homework. No matter what it’s going
to be a late night. . . .
First Come The Bananas
Copyright 2018 by Anker Fanoe
tale chronicling the average experience of a customer service
come the bananas.
yellow rack of fruit moves slowly down the belt, undeterred by the
overhead loop of Toto’s Africa.
Bruised, soft and mushy: clearly, last choice on the shelf. Behind it
follows a large navel orange, and behind the navel orange an avocado.
94012. 4225. Real rookie stuff. I punch in the codes.
up, common grocery. Canned tuna. Chocolate chip cookies. Condoms.
Easily scannable but boring. . . .
Pills Don't Cure No Depression, Honey
Copyright 2018 by Sebenele Shongwe
you ever woken
up to a deep pain in your heart, like you dreamt somebody had plunged
a dagger through your chest and actually woke up with that feeling,
but you actually had no scars? That is what I would personally
describe depression as. It is a physical feeling, for your own
information, cutting deep through every sensory nerve in the body,
making you feel like crap every day. . . .
Crossing an Ocean of Dreams
Copyright 2018 by Gayathri Santhosh
is an account of how a 15-year-old came to understand the truth
behind Gustave Flaubert’s wise words, “Travel makes one
modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” In
a way, traveling teaches you a lot more than that.
it’s a dream, or something terribly wrong is going to happen
during this short twenty-minute journey to the airport. After all,
HOW IN THE WORLD am I going there alone? I am fifteen, I have never
been away from my family, yet, here I am. Alone (not exactly). That
can't be happening. Either a dream, or an obstacle is going to cut
short our trip.” . . .
The Road Less Travelled
Sarah Ann Hall
Copyright 2018 by Sarah Ann Hall
|When I travel I like to
see the recommended sites, but enjoy more the hidden treasures –
the restaurants where the locals eat, nature in all her beauty hidden
just out of reach.
My first holiday in ten
years was a trip to see my recently emigrated brother. He met an
Aussie girl at the Glastonbury Festival. They lived together in
London for a few years until she had a hankering to go home. My
husband and I sent them off with love and a book of favourite recipes
collected from all living family members. They’d been in
Victoria for a year before we headed to colonial Melbourne for family
reunion and introductions to the in-laws. . . . More...
Our School Inter-Houe Drama Competition
Copyright 2018 by Nuthara
This is an account of something in my life that seemed simple, but made me feel alive.
went to the auditions because I was tired of being a nerd.
of being alienated from everybody else when the exam results came and
pushed away from their last-minute studying because I was,
apparently, too smart… so smart I would never belong with
they believe it if I told them that the feeling of belonging was all
I ever wanted? . . .
Crystal D. Reynolds
Copyright 2018 by Crystal D. Reynolds
to my precious sister, Carla D. Price and her precious little friend,
the home. It’s a haven away from the outside world, be it 1600
Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. (The White House) for four years
or a country cottage for a lifetime. Home is “where the heart
is,” our “sanctuary,” where we can lock ourselves
in and everyone else out. Where else can we lounge in pajamas, watch
TV, and eat cold pizza for breakfast? Where else but home, that
special place that reminds us of Mom’s home-cooking in winter
and catching fireflies on summer nights. Yes, “a man’s
home is his castle.”
of course, he lives with Cricket. . . .
Child abuse is
a curse, a slap on the face of humanity. If parents or care giver
hurt a child physically or mentally they make him or her upset/psychic.
Child Abuse is a Curse
Copyright 2018 by Musarrat Zaidi
brutal and inhuman acts of beating, pushing, taunting, kicking,
striking, shouting, slapping or any other brutal way, like pushing
hair, keeping hungry, ignoring, calling with bad names etc. are all
different forms of child abuse. . . .
On a chilly,
Wednesday evening, I clogged our toilet. Refusing to wait until the
morning to fix it, my husband called a plumber. Around 9
o'clock p.m., Jon showed up at our door. He was the
chattiest plumber I had ever met. After unclogging the toilet, which
took about fifteen minutes, he stood in our kitchen chatting away
about anything and everything. Instead of pushing him out, I embraced
his extroverted personality, and asked him the top five craziest
things he had seen while on plumbing calls. What came out of his
mouth was hilarious. The stories were so funny, I knew I had to write
a book about him. And that's how "The Poop Diaries" came to
be. . . .
The Poop Diaries
Copyright 2018 by Abby Ross
The True Story of Me and Rambo, Headman of the
Copyright 2018 by Paul Waddington
Headman of The Sphynx." Who is he? Can you even believe that
such a man exists? Is he a secret Hollywood style solider of
fortune, a guardian of one of the true Wonders of the Ancient
World or what is he?
he does exist and his and my encounter will unfold for
you below. With a tale of the maelstrom of madness and
danger that is Cairo, thrown in, it will take you from the tombs
of the pyramids, to taxi journeys to which the phrase' A Magical
Mystery Tour' is an utter understatement. Find out how I escaped from
being locked in a room next to the Sphynx with Rambo, and how you may
think twice if you ever order a Pepsi in the shadow of the
this is a true story. It happened. It happened
to me. Read it and believe it. It will take a minute or two of your
time. It is a story now ready to be told. It is a story that involves
the dark Tomb inside the giant Pyramid of Khufu and its hidden
mysteries. It is story about the Sphynx, a story about being held
against my will by a monster calling himself “Rambo Headman of the
Sphynx”, (yes you may laugh) a man whose name you would think was a
joke….until you met him; and why hiring a Hertz taxi in Cairo might not
be the best idea. It is a day that will not be forgotten. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Paula Drake
This is a true story.
Jackie and I are now seniors, but often laugh and shudder at what we
did when thirteen.
behind the hedge, now!” I yelled plunging right behind her into
the mud. At about 3:00 a.m.
sailors in a car were circling the empty four lane street yelling out
the windows at us. . . .
I Believe In Santa
Copyright 2018 by Lorrie Wolfe
past sixty. I'm Jewish. But I still believe in Santa Claus. He is my
past decade, my husband, who is not Jewish, has been Santa at the
center of what has become the quintessential symbol of American
Christmas — the shopping mall. He is there for more than simply
raising money for the mall. This is a job he undertakes seriously,
although his demeanor is light. He knows that he is responsible for
delivering the loving, accepting, kind heart of Christmas to both
children and their parents. . . .
As far back as I can
remember, every year in mid-December, my father received a
mysterious, special package. Back then, in the late 1950’s, any
kind of package would have been noticeable because our mail consisted
of a stack of window envelopes and his magazines –
Architectural Digest, Modern Photography, Audiophile, and Time —
with only the last being shared territory with my mother.
Boxes were an
altogether different story. We weren’t the kind of family who
ordered things from catalogs. There was no box-of-the month club.
Presents, if they came in boxes at all, were generally bought on deep
sale and placed in a box that had previously held something
completely unrelated, so that you had the dubious pleasure of
unwrapping gift wrap (also previously used and carefully ironed) and
then wondering what possibly might emerge from your brother’s
sneaker box, or the one labeled “Quantity 6,200 ml”
addressed to the nearby pharmacy. . . .
The Christmas Box
Copyright 2018 by Lorrie Wolfe
Healthy Living Is The Longer Living
Copyright 2018 by Musarrat Zaidi
living is simple, managed, planned and acknowledged living. One must
have knowledge of ways and means of living healthy. Life should be
disciplined; there should be a schedule of all works from rising
early in the morning, leaving home to go to work or college, come
back, rest, house hold chores, evening walk or exercise, etc. up to
going to bed. In this way you will save your time and energy, will
feel relaxed, healthy and more productive.
. . .
Copyright 2018 by Angali Dangwal
heard You, I know what you are going to say . Nothing , nothing
happened it’s alright , you can handle it and you are strong .
I hate that word it changes the sense of my pain , I too have feeling
when they are crushed I bleed . do you know how it feels when you
are treated like a kind a monster when you are just a human . being
ignored , no one listen and your voice is lost and when someone push
you just cry or sometimes end up faded and then completely gone.
Everyone humiliate you in every possible way . . . .
Mukachevo on $5,000 a Day
Copyright 2018 by Howard Englander
about the travel experience two decades hence I marvel at the
positive reviews of tourism in the Ukraine found in Trip Advisor and
similar travel sites… when I visited the country a working
toilet was a technological marvel.
Joke: An old man is being interviewed. He tells the journalist that
he was born a Hungarian; then he became Austrian, then German, then
Russian. "How lucky you are to have traveled so much," says
his interviewer. "I never left my village," the old man
replies. . . . More...
Bailey and I
Karen Whitney Maturure
Copyright 2018 by Karen Whitney Maturure
came a few days after I got pregnant and a few days before I knew it.
Tiny little black thing. I fell in love with her instantly. She was
about just two weeks old or so and could hardly open her eyes or
walk. She fit into the palm of my hand perfectly and lay there in a
bundle. This was the first puppy to ever come to the house. I was
thrilled. I knew an exciting journey had just begun.
first night she was to sleep in a box in the dinning room and would
soon be sleeping outside in a small shed I'd been told. However as
soon as everyone was asleep I sneaked her into my bed. Poor thing had
been crying for her mother. This was the beginning of many more
nights of sharing the bed. I didn't know it at the time but the times
she woke me up in the middle of the night for her potty time were a
training for a future routine. And so was the cleaning after her as
she popped in all corners of the house, the feeding and all the care. . . .
Passion Ignites Our Purpose
Copyright 2018 by Florie Barry
“I need to see my daughter,” a grieving mother said
to Josh on the phone. She was
crying.” The Medical Examiner won’t let me see
her.” My son Josh is a funeral
director. He learned that the woman’s daughter, Ava,
had been a victim of a violent death. He comforted the mother
and promised to speak with the Examiner, and doing his best to help her.
Medical Examiner said, “It’s one of the worst cases I have ever seen.
We can’t let her see her child this way.” Josh
agreed it was very bad. Her ex-boyfriend stabbed
this beautiful young woman multiple times in the
face. “I don’t care how awful she looks,” the woman
had told Josh. “I need to see my daughter one last
time.” It was important to Josh that Ava’s
mother finds closure, and keep her beautiful memories of her daughter.
“I can do this!’ Josh told the Examiner. “Ava will be as beautiful as
she was.”. . .
I Had a Home on a Branch of a Tree
Copyright 2018 by Shweta Dubey
Childhood has always been that dizziness
for me, which I
forgot to feel while I was small. And now, all I could do is to
reminisce it into these words. I thank God for a good memory which
lets me stare in the past. It only takes a moment to get lost
somewhere out there and it feels good. So at times, in the middle of
a weary schedule, when the present glares at me with heap of work and
responsibilities, I stare at her, falling in awe.
One of those memories took me back to my
Which is surely mine too. A summer morning, when the sun is at its
zenith, she comes running to the swirling sound of the peepal tree. A
well grown peepal standing like the hand of the King in front of this
huge Mansion. The water of the well was always cold since sun never
got the opportunity to smile at it. And the spaces outside the
Mansion was always soothing and cold enough for us to play even in
the hottest noons. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Jesus Deytiquez
is a story about how I met the sparrows and their nest, and how I
learned and remembered several precious lessons of life from them.
writer has a favorite spot: a place to write his or her stories,
poems, or articles; a place where he or she somehow can gather more
inspiration, or where words seem to just flow out of his or her
being. My favorite writing place is the old and unused kitchen table
where I can see the lonely street, the trees, the vast rice fields,
the tall transmission towers, and even the far away clumps of trees
and blue mountain ranges covering the horizon.
large and brown wooden table covered with tempered glass where I
write is cluttered with many books, papers, pencils, and other
curious stuffs. My mother always tries to bring order and cleanliness
to my workplace, but after she cleaned it, the prior chaos will just
return hastily no matter how hard I try to avoid bringing it back.
But that table is my nest, and many eggs of thought and imagination
was incubated and hatched there. . . .
Has its Time Come – and Gone?
Copyright 2018 by Judith Nakken
D.C. in 1951: My dad slapped my face when I answered a classmate’s
question – who was the Mary we mentioned? “She’s
our colored elevator operator,” had been my reply. “Negro”
was the proper description, he yelled. The Black Power era arrived a
generation later, and I didn’t have much trouble switching the
racial description, should I have to use it, to Black with a capital
B .. although I grumbled that I didn’t get a capital C or W for
being white. But I drew the line when again the switch was made to
African-American, especially for those who are born here, and
continue to do so. Am I a Danish-Welsh-Pennsylvania Dutch –dash
– American? Should an editor recently have declined a story
she really wanted to buy, because I wouldn’t change my ‘Negro’
to African-American, describing a crowd of teenagers in Harlem in the
late 50’s. “I’m so sorry,” she said, “but
the magazine has to remain politically correct.” Correct? I’ll bet my
bottom dollar not a one of those 1958 kids knew
they were African-Americans, because the PC Police hadn’t yet
informed them. . . .
The Road to a Safer Future
Copyright 2018 by Eesha Zainab
sat in the corner with my little sister, surrounded by the cries of
hundreds of children as they begged for their mothers. I sat quietly,
still stunned by what happened last night. The more I thought about
it, the stronger my hatred grew for the world.
had been about 8:00 pm, our usual bedtime. But Daddy persuaded Momma
to let us stay up while he read to us. Sitting on an old stool while
drinking tea, he told us stories which took us away from this
nightmarish place, away to a land of peace and happiness. I remember
Daddy teasing Momma, making her laugh and forget that she was
supposed to be scolding us for sleeping too late. At that moment, I
felt that we would be okay, in this desolate, hopeless world full of
terror and blood and cries of anguish as bombs fell everyday on parts
of Syria and Iran from the past 5 years, each day hoping that they
would take mercy on us. But this moment of happiness was not to last.
story was interrupted by the wailing of the sirens, signaling another
air attack. I saw naked fear in my parents’ eyes, whose faces
grew pale. Trying to be brave, Daddy told us to grab our emergency
packs which Momma had made for us year ago. In 5 minutes, we were
standing outside the house, shivering in the cold. Daddy did not join
us but Momma assured us that he would join us later. . . . More...
Copyright 2018 by Kristin Owens
am originally from New York, so camping causes me great anxiety...
air mattresses, moose, and mess-kits, oh my! I contend mankind has
not evolved enough to revert back to living outdoors. But since
living in Colorado (and with practice,) I now enjoy the peacefulness
and solitude of nature. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to upgrade to a
yurt and invite good friends along. This essay describes my journey
and the hiccups along the way.
After five mind-numbing hours at Sierra
Trading Post and
REI, my husband and I acquired all the necessary gear scribbled on
the list. I had no idea the cost of roughing-it equated to purchasing
a small Mazda. Three different water filters, assorted weightless
pots and pans, flashlights of every shape and size… the pile
of equipment was astonishing. We owned tools for any plausible
emergency. No, it wasn’t for an expedition to Nepal, but for a
brief stint in the Colorado woods. Surprisingly, as the cashier
totaled our wares and tried to locate larger shopping bags, I was
calm. . . .