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Dick and Jane, Together Again-Fiction by Marcy Dilworth
Lay Down Sally-Fiction by Jack Coey
Cleaning Up After the Narc-Fiction by Walter Giersbach
Faith-Fiction by Don Stoll
Cigarettes-Fiction by Gary Lovisi
Blood Will Bloom Like a Watercolor Flower-Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Toast, Jell-o, Tea-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The PLacebo Effect-Fiction by Paul Smith
Aftermath-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Just Like Fish-Fiction by Paul Lubaczewski
Waterworks-Fiction by Sue Cmileski
Saith Me-Fiction by Robert Ragan
The Return of the Ladykiller-Fiction by Michael D. Davis
Fire Man-Fiction by Terry Butler
Lost in Greenwich Village-Fiction by Dr. Mel Waldman
Never, Ever Bring This Up Again-Flash Fiction by Ralph Benton
Hip-Hop Baby-Flash Fiction byJ. Brooke
Idylls of the Queen-Flash Fiction by Dini Armstrong
Looking Cold-Flash Fiction by Stanton McCaffrey
Camera_Flash Fiction by Leyla Guirand
Ashes and Dust-Flash Fiction by Janet Hartwell
Family Man-Poem by Ann Marie Rhiel
Heads-Poem by John Grey
The Architect-Poem by Marc Carver
economy class-Poem by Meg Baird
She Knows-Poem by Bradford Middleton
Rain-Poem by Maddisyn Condora
Counter-Intuitive-Poem by Henry Bladon
An Eerie Journey Down the Invisible Staircase-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
A Sonnet for Elvira-Poem by Juan Perez
Unforeseen Endings-Poem by Michael Keshigian
When Her Kisses-Poem by Richard M. Prazych
In Your White Cadillac-Poem by Richard M. Prazych
Love in the Time of Wolves-Poem by Jennifer Lemming
I Do-Poem by Jennifer Lemming
a bite better-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
hot afternoon-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
registry-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
Dirty Pink Lipstick-Poem by Ian Mullins
Wrestlin' Gal-Poem by Ian Mullins
Between Takes-Poem by Ian Mullins
Banjo Bob and Cassy-Poem by David Spicer
Neurotic-Poem by David Spicer
I Imagine It's Goodbye-Poem by David Spicer
A Date with Destiny-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
Under Moonlight-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
2020 (The Heart and the Thorn)-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
She Loves You-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

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Art by Darren Blanch 2020

Camera

 

by Leyla Guirand

 

 

The familiar thud of the heavy wooden door awakens me from my troubled slumber.

She gets home at around six-thirty every evening and heads straight to the bedroom, where she carefully undresses. One by one, she takes off all of her fancy work garments and hangs them in an enormous closet with four Venetian doors. It's hard to see into the closet but—oh, the possibilities.

I can imagine her in a corset bra and a shiny pair of spiked high heels. In the winter, she sheds her furry hat and dark wool jacket. Next, she undoes the endless laces of her boots. After that, her tailored blouse and skirt slide off her silken skin.

Then finally, after rolling down her pantyhose with immaculate attention, she stands at the dresser naked for a few moments, as she chooses her pajamas. I get a view of her backside. Her milky breasts point into the mirror and sway, as she rummages through the drawers. She sips an unknown beverage with a large chunk of jagged ice and places it on top of a square coaster. There is no color.

 Reasoning eludes me as I observe my inner child within her. Hubby's face shines with superficial amusement, a charlatan. Still, they seem to enjoy each other— monkeying around, dawdling, dancing, talking, and teasing—all the pleasantries of intimacy.

The corners of her mouth move up and down thoughtfully, but no sound. I wonder if there is a way to convey that the landlord knows about the secret box in the nightstand. He seems to have an affinity, as does she, for the painting of a woman smelling lilacs in a private garden. Often, before too long, he looks up at me and I give him a wave. He returns to his birdhouse in the courtyard, leaving no trace.

 On most Saturdays, she marches in and out of the bedroom all day long with the feather duster and the vacuum, tidying up, changing clothes, folding laundry, primping the sheets and pillows.

It gets chillier and chillier outside. Sunday evenings are like the sweetest candy because she curls up, scantily clad, in the bed and talks to her lover on the phone for an hour, after her husband leaves for work. There is no mistaking the buoyancy in her gestures, nor the deflation when it all goes away. It’s during these times that I almost feel sorrow. I reminisce on what might have been.

But compassion, like so many other redeemable attributes, is short-lived. I witness something even more delectable so.

 

As night falls on her beloved show, instead of preparing for the phone call, it rather occurs as though she is making up for a guest. It has just become spring, that time of year when the lusty wind spritzes through open windows, and we can feel Christ’s travails in our yearnings.

With conviction, he appears: the intruding, frigid shadow of a stranger. But the warmth and tenderness she so exhales and anticipates is not there. It doesn’t exist! Why does she fool herself with these immense pipe dreams? Who is she pretending to be?

And so, with spiraling focus I watch him approach her. I watch through the fractures with unapologetic glee. Igniting, writhing, anxiety. Oh, to see the fruition her hubby dearest could never produce inside, the starlight bleeding through every shift, every shake. I hope it was all worth it.

 

 

 

Leyla Guirand studied Creative Writing at Brooklyn College. She lives in New York with her kids. “Camera” is her first published story.


Darren Blanch, Aussie creator of visions which tell you a tale long after first glimpses have teased your peepers. With early influence from America's Norman Rockwell to show life as life, Blanch has branched out mere art form to impact multi-dimensions of color and connotation. People as people, emotions speaking their greater glory. Visual illusions expanding the ways and means of any story.

Digital arts mastery provides what Darren wishes a reader or viewer to take away in how their own minds are moved. His evocative stylistics are an ongoing process which sync intrinsically to the expression of the nearby written or implied word he has been called upon to render.

View the vivid energy of IVSMA (Darren Blanch) works at: www.facebook.com/ivsma3Dart, YELLOW MAMA, Sympatico Studio - www.facebook.com/SympaticoStudio, DeviantArt - www.deviantart.com/ivsma and launching in 2019, as Art Director for suspense author / intrigue promoter Kate Pilarcik's line of books and publishing promotion - SeaHaven Intrigue Publishing-Promotion.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2020