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Baked in the Cake-Fiction by Hilary Lyon
The Bridge is Over-Fiction by Tim Frank
Free to Leave-Fiction by Mickey J. Corrigan
Bruno-Fiction by Edward Francisco
The Sicilian Doctor's Tale-Fiction by Paul Smith
Money Heals All Wounds-Fiction by Chris Fortunato
Flag Day-Fiction by Paul Beckman
Dance Fever Part II, Fiction by Greg Smith
Black Fedoras, Fishnet Stockings and An Old Master-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Lunar Madness-Fiction by J. Brooke
Killing Chauncey-Fiction by Gary Lovisi
Dee's Sentence-Fiction by Steve Prusky
Fire Man Sings the Blues-Fiction by Terry Butler
The Sequel: My First Novel_Fiction by Michael D. Davis
Switchbacks in the Forgotten Corner-Fiction by Walter Giersbach
Carnival Days 1969-Flash Fiction by Robert Kokan
Break-Flash Fiction by Martin Zeigler
Isabelle-Flash Fiction by KJ Hannah Greenberg
All You Young Dudes-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Irony-Flash Fiction by Betty Reich
Even the Dead Need Somewhere to Live-Flash Fiction by Jon Park
Boiled Like Lobster (Not Me)-Poem by Bradford Middleton
Black Summer-Poem by Wayne F. Burke
14 Days-Poem by Ann Marie Rhiel
Lives Alone-Poem by Kenneth James Crist
My Palimpsest-Poem by Leon Fedolfi
I Lay with Tigers-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Rushing Slowly Through a Lucid Dream with Roberto Bolano-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Dive-Poem by John Sweet
The Poem as a Bouquet of Broken Glass-Poem by John Sweet
The Projector-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Boston Common-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Along the River-Poem by Holly Day
The Voyager-Poem by Holly Day
All Points from Zermatt-Poem by Henry Bladon
Lost Letters-Poem by Henry Bladon
Black Throat-Poem by John Tustin
Working It All Out-Poem by John Tustin
The Brutality and Terror-Poem by John Tustin
A Nice Poen for a Change-Poem by Marc Carver
The Lover-Poem by Marc Carver
Metier-Poem by Marc Carver
Strangers Keep Friending Me-Poem by David Spicer
True Love-Poem by David Spicer
Rita Hayworth and Me-Poem by David Spicer
Green Lasers-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Rodeo Clown-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
My Nightmare-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
The Joker-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by KJ Hannah Greenberg 2020



by KJ Hannah Greenberg



In response to Thijs’ complaint, Isabelle had hastily pulled her clothes back on and had taken their dog for a fortnight-long walk. Her side adventure lasted past the morning when Thijs shipped out.

“Dogs make better companions than men,” she cried into King’s fur. Isabelle had merely declared, to her lover of half of a decade, that she was pregnant.

In turn, he had answered, merely, that they might as well enjoy the woo-hoo while their couplehood lasted; he was repelled by the thought of intimacy with a mother.

When Isabelle and King had returned, Thijs’ clothes, smartphone, and other possessions were gone. Isabelle had known when he was due to leave port. What astonished her was that he had taken the babaco fruit, with which he had gifted her, with him.

In consolation, she had eaten an entire bar of spicy chocolate and had given King a new rawhide bone. Isabelle craved sharp tastes, but had limited her consumption of alliums and capsicums since she enjoyed Thijs’ kisses. As for King, although an assemblage of partially chewed rawhide toys littered the floor of Isabelle’s small apartment, Isabelle had felt a need to grant her dog a treat.

That act of grandiosity had taken place a month ago. What’s more, Isabelle had last seen Thijs six weeks ago. Further, he was not due to return until she was days away from labor. He might not be in attendance.

Isabelle had refused his tweets and texts, and had removed herself from his WhatsApp group. Plus, she had closed her Facebook account, had deleted herself from Instagram, and had otherwise rebuffed all of her social media outlets.

If Thijs wanted her attention, he would have to invest effort, meaning, he would have to reach beyond contemporary, instantaneous channels. Sadly, he had not. No letters had been posted to Isabelle’s snail mail box. Additionally, a short span before her sweetheart was due home, she had received a call from him, but since it was collect, she had refused it.

When, at last, her man approached her doorway, King barked excitedly. Isabelle merely peered through the keyhole and then reseated herself on her sofa; Thijs could use his key.

Thijs came home not with flowers, exotic perfumes, a new babaco fruit, or jewelry, but with a duffle bag full of dirty laundry. He reminded Isabelle that it was his mom, not his love, who gave him nightmares and that all could be swell between him and Isabelle.

With great effort, Isabelle threw his duffle bag out her door. Next, she indicated that Thijs ought to follow. She locked and chained her door behind him and then cried, again, into King’s ruff.

Isabelle’s mom accompanied her to the hospital. Had she thought it over, Isabelle might have opted for a home birth. As it was, Charlene arrived in the world mere hours after Isabelle’s labor began. Besides, since Isabelle had had no prenatal care and had taken no birth classes, no licensed midwife would have accepted her as a client.

A stack of babaco fruit caught Isabelle’s eye as her mom was wheeling her, and a well-bunted Charlene, out of the hospital. Bright balloons, too, adorned the hospital’s lobby. Thijs sat among his offerings.

Isabelle asked her mom to wheel her closer to those gifts.

In his palm, Thijs held a pearl ring. He extended that palm to his child’s mother. “My furlough’s only four days. Do you think it’s enough time for me to learn to do diapers?”

“Well, someone has to walk King while my stitches heal.”

“Your mom’s not staying?”

“She only has two days left of vacation. You know, if you can walk King, she could go back to work earlier and then she use her time off for the lake trip she had planned.”

“Your mom deserves a lake trip!”

“You deserve to learn how to change. I don’t know how to put them on since the nurses did them, here.”

“Sleep on the sofa?”

“Until my stitches are out.”

“Maybe, I could get my mind around things. I’ve been working on it. I’ve rethought you as a M. I. L . . .”

“Shhh. Mom’s right here.”

“. . . tuck in bed and watch over. I think, given the circumstances, I could get permission to extend my leave. After all, going to City Hall will take up part of one day.”

“You’ll leave your polka dotted tie behind?”

“I promise.”




KJ Hannah Greenberg captures the world in words and images. Her latest photography portfolio is 20/20: KJ Hannah Greenberg Eye on Israel. Her most recent poetry collection is Mothers Ought to Utter Only Niceties (Unbound CONTENT, 2017). Her most recent fiction collection is the omnibus, Concatenation (Bards & Sages Publishing, 2018).

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2020