Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Line at a Time (#alaat) #14

Look at the picture below and send me the first line you think of!(Check out the Submissions page for more details!)
It's the magic that's waiting, the mystery, the hope. . . the chance

Pic 1 k - March

Here's the deal. . . look at this picture and write a story 1,000 words or less and send it to me! Remember: "A picture it worth a thousand words!" - SO PROVE IT!
Here is March's Pic 1 k:


Here is Issue Two. . . ENJOY! Read - READ - RREEAADD!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Line at a Time #13 (#alaat) - The results!

Dry away - rust away - the swing now moves silent
A child has grown, the park is too small, the laughter is gone
Fallen leaves, sticky mud, waiting expectantly
No footprints in the murky pool of mud
Longing for squeals of childish delight
Empty seat, empty room, empty heart
THE CONTRIBUTORS: Dry away - rust away - the swing now moves silent (Jim Wisneski, A child has grown, the park is too small, the laughter is gone (Rebecca Besser, Fallen leaves, sticky mud, waiting expectantly (Michelle Dennis Evans, No footprints in the murky pool of mud (Cynthia Schuerr, Longing for squeals of childish delight (Cari Main, Empty seat, empty room, empty heart (ganymeder,

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010


by Michelle Dennis Evans Features forlorn Fright frantic Places unseen Promises unmet Dormant dreams Diagnosis unheard Image unmet Fret Flee Squirm Quiver Blink blurred Hazy horizon Humid heaven Blended behind Horrid holds Plucked Poked Pointed Pinned Deflated Emptied Over the rating Under the radar Burnt to a crisp Weathered and wilted.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Compassion's Duality

by Anne Tyler Lord Insufficient to reach, the depths of their hearts, broken with despair and desperation. Insufficient to comfort, the ripples of fear, reverberating through all who care. Insufficient in form, to relieve the suffering of Humanity, so close to our hearts. Sufficient in stillness, to hold the pain observed all around. Sufficient in Spirit, to sense the mystery beyond comprehension. Sufficient in peace, to accept what our heart is destined to be given.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Comment tracking week of Feb 15-21

Feel free to join any of these great conversations!

2/15/2010 - A Womans Rite's by Cari Main - 4

2/16/2010 - This by Carrie Clevenger - 8

2/17/2010 - The Tempest by Maria Kelly - 5

2/18/2010 - Time Fly by Jim Wisneski - 1

2/19/2010 - Love's Note by Anne Tyler Lord - 4

Meet Rebecca Besser!

Rebecca Besser lives in Ohio with her husband and little man. She's a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature, a member of Write-On Writers and the Ohio Poetry Association. Her writing has appeared in the Coshocton Tribune, Irish Story Playhouse, Spaceports & Spidersilk, joyful!, Soft Whispers, Illuminata, Common Threads, and she has multiple stories in anthologies by Living Dead Press, where she is now an editor. Her website:

I Wait For You

by Rebecca Besser Snow flutters from the sky, a blanket of white all around. The soft world lays in silence, peace and quiet finally found. I wait for you to come home, to hold you close and cuddle. In you I find peace and rest, from every day’s busy muddle. I long to lay beside you, and be with you at rest. When you’re close beside me, I always feel my best. I miss you when you’re away, out in the cold weather. I long for you to come home, so we can snuggle together. Come home and be with me, I am waiting here for you. Together we will brave the cold, and warm our love anew. Dedicated to my Husband.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Seventeen Syllables - NEW ANTHOLOGY!

ANOTHER ONE???? Yup. Another one. . . and again, thanks to Jenna Luckenbach for making this logo!
SEVENTEEN SYLLABLES anthology! Submissions open February 19, 2010 and close April 16, 2010 at 5pm EST. Anthology will be available April 26, 2010. This anthology is simple: we want Haiku’s. (Hence the name seventeen!) The subject of the Haiku’s are open – sad, happy, scary, whatever! Now, here’s the sweet part. . . the submissions are UNLIMITED! Got 1 Haiku? SEND IT. Got 100? SEND THEM!
This is how the Haiku should look:
Please make sure you read All the guidelines before you Send something in, k?
I know that was cheesy, but oh well. The formatting is 5-7-5 and there will be NO exceptions to this. I’m sure there are different styles of Haiku’s with different rules, but we want it to be 17 syllables broken into the first line having 5, second line having 7, and third line having 5 again. Formatting NEEDS to be 12 pt Times New Roman font.
When submitting, attach your work to email sent to In the subject line: HAIKU ANTHO. Without that, the filters won’t pick it up and it will be gone forever. Bummer.
In the body of the email, write a bio – a bio you’d want to be published if accepted. You retain ALL rights to your work. If it’s already published, COOL! We’ll take it as long as you own the rights.
There is NO money involved here – sorry – but with our anthologies, we try to have a prize. We’re going to pick the best two authors and send them something. What is that something? Not sure yet. We haven’t gotten that far. The reason why is because right now it’s cold, snowy, and winter. This anthology is going to come out just as Spring is in full swing and we want a “nice weather” prize to send!
Any questions? Send an email to Jim at

UN-Luck of the Irish - NEW ANTHOLOGY!

YES, another anthology! Once again a big thank you to Jenna Luckenbach for making this logo for us!

The UNLuck of the Irish anthology! Submissions open February 19, 2010 and close March 12, 2010 at 5pm EST. Anthology will be available on St. Patty’s Day – March 17,2010. We are looking for your scariest OR funniest St. Patty’s Day stories and/or poetry! When writing, please remember the title of the anthology – it’s the UNLUCK of the Irish. We’re talking evil leprechaun’s, four leaf clovers that bring bad luck. . . whatever! Make it fun, make it scary, make it green! There is NO word count limit for this anthology. However, please bear in mind this will be available only online.

For fiction: Again, no word count. Only 1 story per person please. For the formatting (and this is the BIG rule) – 12 pt Times New Roman font. SINGLE spaced with indented paragraphs and NO spaces between paragraphs. When ready to send, email submissions to SOFTWHISPERSSUBMISSIONS@GMAIL.COM with UNLUCK – FICTION in the subject. If you don’t do this, the filters won’t grab it and it will be lost forever. Bummer. ATTACH the story to the email. In the body of the email, write a bio about yourself. Go crazy with it! There is no word count for the bio’s either. This is your chance to brag and boast so enjoy it! For Poetry: No word count and any style you want it to be. Only 1 poem per person please. For formatting – 12 pt Times New Roman font. Spacing and where the words are placed are up to you but however you send it is how it will be published. When ready to send, email submissions to SOFTWHISPERSSUBMISSIONS@GMAIL.COM with UNLUCK – POETRY in the subject. If you don’t do this, the filters won’t grab it and it will be lost forever. Bummer. ATTACH the story to the email. In the body of the email, write a bio about yourself. Go crazy with it! There is no word count for the bio’s either. This is your chance to brag and boast so enjoy it! Now, the nitty-gritty: You CAN submit a story and a poem, no problem. You CAN submit work that has been previously published as long as you have the rights to do so.

If selected for publication, you retain all rights and you can send your story/poem out anywhere anytime. We are not here to steal your rights or even borrow them – we want to share stories and poetry, that’s it.

If you send something to us and out elsewhere and the elsewhere picks it up and doesn’t want to share, just shoot us an email and we will get rid of your story or poem UNLESS the anthology is out.

There is NO money involved here but there is a super special prize. And no it’s not just getting published. The authors of the best two pieces in the anthology will receive a keychain – it will be some kind of St. Patty’s Day/Irish keychain. Yes, I know that’s silly, but come on, it’s something! Any further questions, please email Jim at

Meet Anne Tyler Lord!

Anne Tyler Lord writes several genres of fiction. Anne is writing a romantic suspense novel, R-Evolutionary Nights, started during the 2009 NaNoWriMo, which she won. She is currently writing serial flash fiction on her blog and is featured on the serial fiction website The Penny Dreadful. She also writes poetry and short stories. Anne writes a regular feature on her blog, The Writer’s Life, that discusses the wild and wacky life of being a writer and what inspires creativity. When not writing, she spends most of her days playing with her twins and parenting her cats. She is a psychotherapist who enjoys working with children and families. She also writes non-fiction self-help about parenting and educating gifted children and presents at conferences. Anne lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and boy/girl twins. You can visit her website at Don’t Fence Me In and follow Anne on Twitter @AnneTylerLord

Love's Note

Anne Tyler Lord
Love’s Note was written, After thoughts, Between words, Without obsession.
Love’s Note was played, Between breaths, Outside sounds, Within embrace.
Love’s Note was sent, With wind, Around time, In gardenias.
Love’s Note was not read, Under sedation, Through desire, In enchantment.
Love’s Note was not heard, Inside hypocrisy, Around mediocrity, Over indulgence. Saturating with silent hypnotic bliss,
Love’s Note, always present. Awaiting Awareness in obvious sight, Love’s Note, yearns to be yours.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Tempest

by Maria Kelly there has never been pain like the clash of kindred spirits from a tempest so intense - a marriage of like minds connected between a thin thread of similar design, or a familiar pattern to be read, so comfortable and so blind then drawn suddenly taut and strained, trembling entropy, where passes blame - it snaps like thunder crashing; lightning reflects, eyes flashing and rages stabbing from each barbed tongue: our cages ripped wide open, but all of our traps have sprung and this is what the tempest left behind: there has never been pain like yours and mine

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Meet Carrie Clevenger!

Carrie Clevenger (also known as Carrie Cleaver) worships Maynard and dreams of cephalopods on trains and other oddities in Austin, Texas.

She doesn’t have to write the next great novel, but intends to leave a bloody print on her way down.

The hub of her evil network can be found here: or on Twitter as @carrieclevenger


by Carrie Clevenger I am a box of paradox so hard to be free gracefully to be who I am the lion eats the lamb and I see a peaceful eternity I am not money but power in each and every torturous hour a simple inoculation of revelation into the center of my gravity It’s hard to be mean as me and yet still have a heart. I’ll bet you never knew that I could kill so very kindly and that those words could tear apart your stolid beliefs A definite electrocution of pointed and repeated persecution A new disposition on my limited edition A snide remark played out between the sheets of music and me the worst drama queen I know you’ve never seen Someone as quite as contradictory and extraordinary as me. an apparition bestowed upon a grateful mind A perfect find to highlight an otherwise grey-streaked day— I don’t come any other way.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Comment tracking week of Feb 8-14

One of our loyal readers made a suggestion about suscribing to comments here with the site. I know some blog sites let you suscribe to a particular post where here I have it set so someone can suscribe to all the comments left. I should have done more research on my part before choosing a site to use for Soft Whispers, so I apologize to everyone for that. Now I know that if you have a Gmail address you can suscribe but anyone else can't. I personall think that's silly, but hey, the site is free so I better hush up! :) So here's my solution. Every Sunday night, my wonderful wife is going to build a report of the posts of the week before along with the number of comments left. Then I'm going to post it on Monday. This way you all can see what has been posted AND how many comments were left. Yes, I know this won't help with comments posted after the week's up or new comments, etc. . . but this is what I have figured for right now until I can get something else worked out! Also, if anyone knows a way to have ANYONE suscribe to certain post or has any suggestions to this, PLEASE let me know! I think it's great how many people comment on the work posted here and I would hate to see someone get a response and not know about it. With that said, here are the stats for last week: Listed as DATE, WORK PUBLISHED, NUMBER OF COMMENTS 2/8/2010 - Tears by Michelle Dennis Evans - 9 2/8/2010 - Track Us With our Calendar - 3 2/9/2010 - To Her Beauty by Mike Berger - 4 2/10/2010 - There Is by BD Hudison - 3 2/11/2010 - In Lie by Jack Roth - 3 2/12/2010 - It Snowed by Jim Wisneski - 3 2/12/2010 - My First Drawing by Derian Wisneski - 4 2/13/2010 - Deadly Love, Be Mine Anthology available - 12 2/14/2010 - ALAAT 12 Results - 1

A Woman's Rites

by Cari Main Dear Woman I fear you've lost your senses All because you're in your Menses Going under the knife to hide the truth To bask in the magic from the Fountain of Youth Your lines will vanish, your lips will swell Perky breasts – so full of gel! You'll slide into a Designer 8 Come on girl – you're sexy bait. But it's got you obsessing and lusting for more You've gone and forgotten your very core The battle was lost Long before all the cost - We're linear designed and every year Another birthday isn't – something to fear You're here on Earth, but not for long So STOP and celebrate your own sweet song Don't fight with gravity – its too strong a force Your parts will sag and expand on the course So braid your crown of silver and white Find a Global issue for which to fight Please don't erase The lines on your face Open your heart and speak your mind “The Journey” truly, isn't a grind.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Line at a Time (#alaat) #13

Look at the picture below and send me the first line you think of! (Check out the Submissions page for more details!)

Dry away - rust away - the swing now moves silent

A Line at a Time #alaat 12 - THE RESULTS!

There's a lady in a field, her silhouette dances with the single rose. . . waiting. . . Framed by orb's opalescent light - a beacon to the seeker Standing alone....the moonlight engulfs she waits The lilies stand tall as she twirls and side steps… pausing… Old man, in the moon, your shiny, bald pate backlights Mother Earth’s beauty But below velvet petals a thorn can pierce Endless, searching, the night creeps in with a soft touch She stands, bathed in the shrouding twilight, waiting for him to arrive She has never felt so empty…so hungry The contributors: There's a lady in a field, her silhouette dances with the single rose. . . waiting. . . (Jim Wisneski, Framed by orb's opalescent light - a beacon to the seeker. (marisa birns, Standing alone....the moonlight engulfs she waits (Cynthia A. Schuerr, The lilies stand tall as she twirls and side steps… pausing… (Michelle Dennis Evans, Old man, in the moon, your shiny, bald pate backlights Mother Earth’s beauty (Deborah K Bundy, But below velvet petals a thorn can pierce (Cari Main, Endless, searching, the night creeps in with a soft touch (Jack Roth, She stands, bathed in the shrouding twilight, waiting for him to arrive (Rebecca Besser) She has never felt so empty…so hungry (Deanna M. Schrayer,

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Deadly Love, Be Mine Anthology AVAILABLE!

YES! The Valentine's Day anthology is available! A big thank you all the contributors, Laura Eno for putting the bug in my ear about this, and Jenna Luckenbach for providing yet again amazing art for the anthology. Please enjoy! Dead Love, Be Mine Anthology

Friday, February 12, 2010

My First Drawing

by Derian Wisneski

Derian is a 17 month old baby going on 17 years old. He enjoys fresh milk, elmo, cookie monster, and curious george. He has five goldfish, a beta fish, a hermit crab, and two kitties. Besides sleeping and dancing, his favorite thing to do is take a tubby.

It snowed.

by Jim Wisneski It snowed. Shadows danced in the candlelight against the cold walls. (They don’t like fire. Ever.) In the middle of the floor, it creaks. It’s the only conversation in this room. (They don’t like talk. Ever.) It snowed. More.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

In Lie.

by Jack Roth Wherein lies the space – the open door the empty room. Color to black n’ white – to fade to dark. A spot on the wall. opens. . . cracks. . . welcoming to another. Cover it up. All of it. Change the locks (open your mind) Take new pictures (open your heart) Fill in the crack. All of them. All the lies. In lie.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There is.

by BD Hudison There is beauty in the -a metal post in a field- drop of dew (if you look) There is beauty in the -poke for worms- smile of her face (if you look) There is horror in the -pray for sun- carnival music -is there knowing- Where do hey come from? -in the unknown- Where do they go? Shadows and sounds liven the skies. . . There is.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Meet Mike Berger!

Author of two books of short stories. Three humor pieces have won awards. Writing poetry for less than a year. Work has or will appear in twenty five journals. These include AIM, Still Crazy, First Edition, Stray Branch, and Mid West Quarterly, Evergreen and Krax.

To Her Beauty

by Mike Berger Her eyes glistened in the candlelight. Her skin was smooth against her vermillion dress. Her smile was subtle; Mona Lisa like. Her lips were full, as she drank the red wine. Her auburn hair caressed her cheek. The sparkle in her eyes radiated through the room. She touched my cheek and pulled me close. Her warm breath filled my ear… She softly whispered, "Please pass the garlic bread.”

Monday, February 8, 2010

Track us with our calendar!

To help keep everyone in the loop with our postings, submission periods, and publications, we are going to use Google's wonderful calendar feature to keep everything organized AND we are making it public! You will be able to see what's getting posted when, what submissions open and close, and what publications are upcoming. Check it out and feel free to comment here if you have any suggestions! Thanks again for all the support. Soft Whispers Calendar


by Michelle Dennis Evans Tears on our cheeks Breath held short Babe grown whole No beat on earth Skipped this world Whole and perfect Sitting at the feet But here and now Flooding with pain Hope never lost Truth bringing comfort Peace hovers near Love surrounds Strength overshadows

Friday, February 5, 2010


Meet Rosalyn H. Marhatta

Computer geek. Wrote plays; writes poetry now. Loves to play with words. MA playwriting and MS in instructional technology. Learning, always learning. Completely starstruck. Bones tv show "superfan" so designated by Hart Hanson's (creator of Bones) assistant Josh. Poetry's in me and overflowing. Follow me on twitter @Poetic_Line.

O Beautiful Day!

by Rosalyn H. Marhatta O, beautiful day I tuck you in my heart and take you everywhere. When cumulus nimbus clouds threaten thunder in the blackening skies And jagged lightening strikes at the heart, I take you out and feel your heat upon my face As a balm to my spirit.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


by Angie Capozello Can you hear it singing? Does it whisper to you in the soft, quiet hours before dawn? Will you let it rock you to sleep, cradled in its arms, safe and warm? Or will you run from it? When the call comes, will you follow? Do you dare to step beyond, and into the unknown? Will you take the leap, and know that it will catch you? Or will you hide from it? Can you face the future? Embrace it like a lover? Run laughing towards its open arms? Or will you turn away? It waits for you. It sings to you. It is you. Will you deny it?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Meet Deanna Schrayer!

Deanna Schrayer is a fiction and creative nonfiction freelance writer. She contributes to the column My Two Cents for BIN, found at: Deanna resides in southwest Virginia with her husband, two sons, and too many animals. She is currently working on her first memoir cookbook, and just started a new blog site, Deanna’s Happy Accidents to showcase some of her recipes and the stories behind them. Visit her nonfiction blog at: and her fiction blog at: . Tweet Deanna at @deannaschrayer, or email her at: .

Snowed In

Deanna Schrayer
Her soul is caught Trapped under the depths Of an eerie blanket, of heavy snow The heart squeezed tight With love? With hunger? In preparation of the coming storm So that tomorrow She will emerge strong And filled with purpose

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Meet Cynthia Schuerr!

Cynthia A. Schuerr, born and raised in the Midwest, has been a lover of books and of writing for many years. She began writing short stories for her grandchildren to enjoy. Recently published in the “12 Days 2009 Anthology”, edited by Jim Wisneski, you will also find her contributions of poems and short stories at She is a writer for in the family/parenting section and is currently working on two separate novels in her spare time. Her blog, is where you can find bits and pieces of what defines her.

Just a Teardrop Away

by Cynthia Schuerr I knew no man with a warmer heart A giving nature was just one part With sadness in his eyes And a smile on his face With a pain in his heart That years could not erase At times we were close Never too far away He gave comfort with a hug And hope for a new day I pray that he knew of my love for him From a daughter to a Dad And from deep within The time that we shared Brought us laughter and tears Always appropriate through the years Life still goes on, Dad Though you're not here But I'll never forget your love Not for a minute, a day or a year

Interview with Maria Kelly

January's Pic 1 k winner! I will start this by saying THANK YOU to the those who sent in stories for Pic 1 k last month. I received 6 stories which was more than I had expected for such a new program. I'm hoping that as more people see what those 6 writers came up wtih, they will participate. . . BUT on to January's winner, Maria Kelly. Her story, Archangel of Downward Spiral, was chosen as the Pic 1 k winner and as her prize, here is our interview with her: What was your inspiration for your Pic 1 k story, The Archangel of Downward Spiral? As soon as I saw the picture, I knew she was an angel. And not just an angel, but one of the most powerful: an Archangel. Her torn wings said to me "she is an angel that guards the way to hell and tries to rescue those who she can. How long did it take you to write? It took me one day to write this story. It took me considerably longer to edit it. Have you any other published works that readers can check out? This is my first real fiction publication. Woohoo! I have self-published some other poetry and science fiction drabbles (100 word stories) on my blog: Identified Flying Lenticulars. I am also currently publishing a serial fantasy story on the site based on the "The Frog Prince" fairy tale but from the frog's point of view. So what are your plans for 2010? Anything going on? I just enrolled in college to start pursuing my BA in English. Getting a late start on this, but better late than never. I am doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year and am furiously planning my November masterpiece. My NaNo writer name is waning_gibbous, in honor of H.P. Lovecraft.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Line at a Time #12 (#alaat)

Look at the picture below and send me the first line you think of! (Check out the Submissions page for more details!)
There's a lady in a field, her silhouette dances with the single rose. . . waiting. . .

Pic 1 k (February 2010)

Below is this month's Pic 1 k. Submissions close 2/20/10 at 5PM EST. Please check out our Submissions page for more details. . . but here's the gist - remember the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words?" My challenge is to prove it! You have 1,000 words to write about the picture below. . . Ready. Set. Go!

To Catch a Glimpse

Cynthia Schuerr
She flittered and flew through the woods like a firefly. She glistened and glowed in the dark of night, while her wispy wings moved her, in and around the limbs of the trees. The wind shifted and her form wavered like a flame in the breeze. She played in a make believe world, which she created. The next downturned wind carried Gwendolyn just outside the trees that lined her backyard. It was late, but she often stayed out until dark and waited for Mother’s call. Why hasn’t Mother called? Gwendolyn, a girl without friends, often occupied unreal places. Eight years young, she learned to entertain herself. She never met her father and her mother was lost in her own private made up world. Neither one shared their world with the other. Many times, Gwendolyn watched Mother dance around the living room, pretending to be anywhere but where she was. Gwendolyn wished she could go there, too, but she had never been invited. Floating like a feather, back to reality, she heard a sound coming from behind a dense cluster of trees. The sound of twigs snapping, one after another, so slowly at first….. “Who’s there?” Gwendolyn shuddered and held her breath. No one answered. The twigs snapped faster and louder, closer and closer they came. She gasped and ran toward the house. Her little steps were no match for the ones coming up behind her. She could here him breathing as clear as she could hear her own breath. She could smell the stale tobacco. A tug at her wing and a calloused hand on her shoulder…….finally she pulled away. “Gwendolyn, it’s time for dinner.” She ran through the trees, relieved to hear her mother’s voice. She knocked open the gate and it slammed hard behind her. The front door still out of reach, she tore up the brick pathway. Gasping for air, she opened the door and with a quick turn of her head, glanced back over her shoulder. No one followed her. She leaned back on the door and gasped until she was able to breathe. She glided passed the mirror in the hallway and her reflection was gone. Gwendolyn stood in the doorway of the kitchen. The light above the sink cast a shadow over the room. The warmth of the stove and the aroma of chicken broth and mushrooms were all too familiar. Mother looked up at her with a soft and welcoming smile. “Please remove your wings, dear, before coming to the table,” she heard Mother say. A single teardrop skimmed her cheek. The tear was for Mother, who was suffering her loss. Mother sat at the table set for two and dished out the chicken tetrazzini, Gwendolyn’s favorite. It had been two months, since Mother called her to come inside for dinner, but she never came. Mother looked for her, but she was nowhere to be found. She trembled at the thought of what might have happened to her little girl. She prayed that it did not. She mends the tear in the wing, repeatedly, waiting for Gwendolyn to return. She sits at the table that is set for two. “Gwendolyn, I’ve sewn your wing,” she sings. “Come here, my girl. Where are you?” Looking across the room with empty eyes, her tears suspended in time. She lives in a world where Gwendolyn lived, but lives no longer. It had been months, since Gwendolyn disappeared. Mother peers out the window for hours at a time, waiting and waiting for her daughter to come running home. No one visits her. Neighbors back away with a look of pity, or perhaps, fear. When Mother isn’t staring out the window, she is preparing Gwendolyn’s favorite meal or repairing the tattered wing. Night after night, she looks to the glow of light for comfort. The knock at the door, that she knew would come one day, brought her back from where she hides. She let them in. The county police shared the information they had just uncovered. She listened. Their mouths moved and she could see the sadness and caring in their eyes. She couldn’t hear…. or wouldn’t hear……their words. Little Gwendolyn must have felt so frightened and alone. Where was her mother? Why didn’t she call? If only she had called….. but, she didn’t. Mother will now live with the sadness and the guilt. The neighborhood will continue to shun her and Gwendolyn will watch her as she stares into the darkness of the night. One day, she will invite Mother to join in her new world…..when the time is right. Mother dances, no longer. Instead, she will wait to catch a glimpse of her firefly.

You Promised

Cari Main You promised. You said you would come for sure, for sure. I made a wish on my ring. You said the ring would keep us close and anytime I wanted or needed you all I had to do was say your name silently, in my head, and you would hear me. You said you'd always hear me no matter where you were. You said you'd always be there for me because you love me and always will. I don't see you and the play is going to begin. I'm scared even though I got to wear some wings. All the parents are here. Where are you?

Daddy Date

by Michelle Dennis Evans
Her wings clung to her back, flapping but getting her no where. Little Lucy wanted to fly like a butterfly and flutter through the garden. Daddy, said he’d take me out, she pouted Daddy never takes me anywhere. The voice in her head pounded loudly, out weighing her mother calling her in. ‘Lucy,’ Lucy didn’t hear. ‘Lucy!’ still Lucy flapped her wings and looked to the sky. ‘Lucy, Lucy, can you not hear me?’ All Lucy could hear were her own thoughts. If Daddy would only take me out, I know I would be like a butterfly, I could fly and flutter about. ‘Lucy,’ this time her mum grabbed her arm. Lucy jumped. ‘Lucy, please come in a take a bath so you are ready for when Daddy comes home.’ Lucy smiled and thought silently, you mean he’s really going to take me out tonight? She skipped inside, carefully placing her wings on the table and proceeded to the bathroom. Bubbles nearly escaped the bath and when she sat down only her head could be seen. ‘You look like a bubbly butterfly,’ her mum laughed. ‘Really?’ Lucy asked excitedly ‘Like a real butterfly?’ ‘Yes! Now be quick, Daddy will be home soon.’ Lucy washed herself, partly dried herself and skipped back to her wings. ‘Slow down, you need to dry off some more of those drips and get dressed before those wings go back on.’ Obediently Lucy rubbed herself dry, found her prettiest dress and within minutes her wings were back on. Before her mother came back into the room, Lucy was outside dreaming of flying again. ‘Hi honey, what’s for dinner?’ ‘You are taking Lucy out remember?’ ‘No, not tonight, there’s a game on TV.’ ‘But you promised her.’ ‘Nah, not tonight, I’m too tired.’ ‘Look at her Jack,’ Lucy’s mother looked out the window, ‘She’s dressed and ready. You can’t just cancel on her now.’ ‘She’ll be fine; you’ll tell her for me won’t you?’ ‘No.’ ‘She’ll be too tired to go out now, it’s getting late.’ ‘Jack,’ Lucy’s mum said slowly, ‘Look at her.’ Together they looked through the window at their daughter. She was examining the garden, watching closely, there seemed to be a moody sadness over her. ‘You do this all the time,’ Lucy’s mum was near tears, ‘You promise to take her out when you leave for work and than you change your mind.’ Lucy’s mother turned back to the window blinking away her anger. ‘You are right, she is just delightful,’ he said. ‘I didn’t realize it was that important. What daddy wouldn’t want to take his princess out?’ ‘Thank you,’ Lucy’s mum smiled. ‘Are you ready to go Lucy?’ Jack opened the door. Lucy ran and flew into his arms, just as a butterfly would.

The Archangel of Downward Spiral

Maria Kelly
Clenching the bed sheets in his fists, and releasing a moan from his lips that only he (and one other) could hear, Jack Ridley pushed the thorny brambles and branches out of his way, twisting a serpentine path through the cumbersome forest. Eventually, the trees thinned and he emerged from the thicket into a clearing. The grass was brown here, the blades brittle and curling. The sky was granite gray and, although the prospect of rain looked promising, not a drop seemed forthcoming. The heat was oppressive. Ridley's clothes clung to his sweaty body. He pushed a wet strand of gray hair out of his eyes. Ridley sighed and thought: I'm tired. Just as he perceived his weariness, he spied in the distance a convenient and comfortable-looking bench. He wobbled over and plopped down on it. He leaned back, lifted his head and gazed into the unimpressive sky. A rustling sound startled him, and jerking his head toward the forest, he saw her. The child glided onto the lawn. Her hair was deepest copper. She had an upturned nose and the tips of her ears were pointed, almost pixieish. She wore a crisp, white cotton dress; no wrinkles or stains marred its perfection. Wings sprouted from her back. The wings themselves were marred. They were dingy and torn in places. They appeared to be made of some sort of fabric. Ridley thought of children playing angels in Christmas pageants, but as he stared at the things, he thought he saw them move. "You're Jonathan Ridley," she said, glancing at him from a short distance. "Everyone calls me..." "Jack," she said. "I know." She ambled over and sat next to him, taking his hand. She looked at him with chestnut eyes. "My name's really Zipporah, but everyone calls me Mehitabel." Jack groaned, rubbing a sudden tender spot on his inner arm. "They're giving you another shot," said Mehitabel. Jack stopped massaging his arm and looked around. "Where am I?" "One of the In-Between Places." Mehitabel's gaze drifted across the lawn. “You've been wandering the In-Between Places for days." Ridley stirred restlessly and stared at Mehitabel, feeling agitated. "What am I doin' here?" He might've asked this question a hundred times before, but he couldn't remember. "Waiting," she replied. "Deciding." She saw his face become angry. Large, wet tears began dropping from her eyes as distant thunder sounded beyond the trees. He softened and squeezed her hand lightly. "Don't cry, Mehitabel. I'm just bone-tired. Those woods were hard to get through." "They always are," Mehitabel said mysteriously. "What did I do to deserve this?" he asked. As soon as the question left his lips, there came to him a recollection so terrible that he pulled away. He slid off the bench and onto the lawn, sobbing. "Oh, God!" "You killed some people," said Mehitabel. And the way she spoke them, the words were like freshly honed knives, sharp and eviscerating. "A man you worked for paid you to kill." Tears continued to drip from her dark amber eyes, and where they fell, the grass became a vibrant green and tiny violets bloomed. Jack stood. He looked at Mehitabel, and she ceased crying. "You want to know the choice?" she asked. A feeling of déjà vu crept over him and he looked around anxiously. "Please don't run away again." "I've been running away?" Mehitabel nodded. "Through the In-Between Places. There's not many left. As we go down, we get closer." "Down?" Jack glanced back at the forest behind them, then toward the path ahead. He didn't discern any slant to the landscape. "We're traveling Downward." Again, Jack felt a stomach-lurching rush of familiarity. "You've told me this before." "Several times," Mehitabel said. "Each time you get afraid or angry and run away. Into another In-Between Place." A breeze began blowing. It carried on its breath a whisper of screams. Mehitabel turned suddenly in its direction and trembled. "What's that?" Jack asked. He shrank from the sound and stumbled forward, flopping onto the bench. He buried his face in his hands. "Where you're going," she said. Jack looked up. She was crying again. A shuffling sounded in the bushes. Mehitabel sprang up and raced toward the spot; then stopped, her face alarmed. "He's not yours yet!" She began chewing her fingernails, nervously. Although she seemed frightened, Jack sensed she was also quite angry. "What's the choice?" Jack asked. "You won't run?" "I hope not," Jack said, shivering in the shrieking wind. "You must accept punishment, some of which has already been paid. Then you move Upward." "Heaven?" "No. First, you go to the waiting place. There you begin making atonement." "Purgatory," whispered Jack. "What's it like?" "I'm not allowed to tell. Repentance must be based on trust." "Would you follow me on ahead?" Mehitabel twisted her hands. "I can't go much further. My power wanes the closer we get." "You're an angel." When Mehitabel didn't answer, Jack continued. "Can you return with me?" "Until we reach the place you call Purgatory. There I leave you." "Why?" "I guard the Downward Way. Seek the wanderers and make the offer on behalf of the One Who Waits." "You live here?" "Always." Her huge brown eyes were sad. Jack frowned. "I know what's gonna happen. I'm gonna be tormented by those people I killed." Mehitabel pointed in the direction the wind emanated from, the terrible cries echoing still. "You'll choose that?" Jack suddenly doubled over, heaving with the effort to breathe. "Your agony!" Mehitabel gasped, eyes wide. "Choose! Quickly!" Jack hung his head, squeezed his eyes tightly shut and cried out: "I'm sorry! I accept whatever is due." In a dark hospital room, a monitor wailed as it flat-lined. A man named Jack Ridley breathed his last. His eyes opened on a sunny glade carpeted with violets and he smiled. He heard a rustling of wings and, looking up, saw the flitting shape of a sparrow on the wing.
BIO: I live in Pinellas Park, Florida, with a calico cat named Missy, who goes by the nicknames BratCat or Queen of the Universe, depending on her current mood. She is currently skulking about the house in a fury because she wants her own Facebook page.


by Jim Wisneski In his dream, he opened the crate before throwing it into the water, freeing the little girl that was trapped inside. He woke, his cheeks holding some dried tears as his mind played the sad sound of a young girl crying over and over. If he’d only just walked away after dropping the crate instead of standing on the bridge watching it fall. That’s when she yelled. From inside the crate. The cry only started to haunt him once her picture was posted on the news. A picture of her in angel wings, with dark hair draped over one shoulder. She was beautiful and he killed her. Darrell looked off the edge of the bed as the moonlight shined on a bag of money. One hundred thousand dollars to be exact. That’s what the little girls life was worth. There was a second man on the job, the driver, a man named W. Winston. This was of course a false name just like Darrell’s name of Chester K. The rest of the night was restless – if Darrell was asleep, he was standing on the bridge watching the young girl float in the water. When he was awake, he heard the crying. When morning took over, Darrell zipped up the bag of money and by the time he made it to the bridge, all he heard was the crying. It was so loud, he couldn’t hear his own thoughts. Darrell stood on the bridge and held the bag of money. The little girls crying was greater than the sound of the rushing water below him. From the corner of his eye he saw her. The girl. She was standing on the shore, her tiny white angel wings strapped to her back. Darrell smiled. He pointed and waved. She’d survived. The crate broke in the water and she swam to shore. That was two weeks ago. No way she was alive. Darrell unzipped the bag and threw it off the bridge. The money scattered in the wind and floated all around. There, Darrell thought, take it back. Take it all back. The little girl pointed at Darrell. She smiled and a tear ran down her cheek. She waved her tiny hand for Darrell to step forward. Okay, Darrell thought. Without blinking or thinking, he stepped off the bridge. As he fell to the cold, rocky water, all he could hear was the sound of the little girl crying.

Body. Now Soul.

by Jack Roth Caroline stood with her hand pressed against her lips. She looked and waited for the black figure to speak again. Or attack. She didn’t need to look behind to know if her angel wings were damaged. The last attack had been the worst. The black figure somehow just appeared and tackled her. He laughed, growled, and spat. She had barely managed to escape his grip to run away. And ran she did. She even smiled when she ran. Her hair danced in the breeze and she felt free. She even opened her arms and wished she would just up and fly. With that thought, she heard a tiny voice from insider her whisper “soon”. The trees looked perfect as they whizzed by her. The ground was slightly moist. The sun was high and bright. Everything was great. Until she stopped running. Caroline realized she was in the same spot as the attack before. She hadn’t moved. Confused, she wondered how she felt the wind, tasted nature’s air, and smiled. “Dig,” a voice called out. It came from behind her. She knew it was the black figure. “To be free, dig,” the voice said. Caroline stood quiet. There has to be a way out of here, she thought. “Dig,” the voice screamed. “NOW!” Caroline turned and the black figure was next to her. “Dig now.” The black figure disappeared. “To be free,” the voice echoed in the wind. Before she knew what was happening, Caroline had dropped to her knees and started to dig. Her small hands dug feverously, tearing the earth to shreds. Worms coiled in chunks of dirt and tiny insects buzzed in swarms around her head. Then she saw a bone. An off white colored bone. Just lying there in a shallow hole. Or grave. Caroline dug deeper and found more bones. Some where small pieces she couldn’t identify while others were obvious (with the skull being the most obvious). Then she found something else. A pair of dirty angel wings. She reached behind her and found her angel wings were missing. Her mind went frantic. Screams. Pain. Blood. An echo of laughing came from behind her and she felt someone push her into the hold she’d just dug. She looked up and saw the black figure. “Body. Now soul,” it said. Caroline couldn’t move as the earth started to cover her. Again.