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The Burglar-Fiction by K. A. Williams
Bittersweet-Fiction by Jonathan Woods
Manny Dietrich's Adventure in the Blighted Kingdom-Fiction by Roger Johns
Extra Income-Fiction by M. A. De Neve
Interviewing a New Employee-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Gobble, Gobble-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The Lunch Box-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Swallow-Fiction by Don Stoll
The Volkers-Fiction by Logan McConnell
All for One, One for All-Fiction by Jan Christensen
He's Nobody-Fiction by Richard Martinez
Who's Going to Pray for Me Now?-Fiction by Niles M. Reddick
Priorities-Flash Fiction by Gary Clifton
Tell It to the Monkey-Flash Fiction by Bernard Onken
Why Are You Just Sitting There?-Flash Fiction by Robert Weibezahl
This Most Magical Season-Flash Fiction by Bernice Holtzman
A Short Poem for a Long Trip-Poem by Richard LeDue
Things Found in a Public Parking Lot-Poem by Hillary Lyon
Tables-Poem by Meg Baird
Duke-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Impending Death-Daniel G. Snethen
A Dispute over a Gambling Debt-Poem by Mark Young
Glockenspiel-Poem by Mark Young
Daredevils-Poem by John Tustin
The Trick Is-Poem by John Tustin
I'll Go to Hell When I Die for All My-Poem by Gale Acuff
I Don't Want to Die, Ever, Then I'd Miss-Poem by Gale Acuff
Sometimes you die when it's really not your-Poem by Gale Acuff
Lone Crow-Poem by Judith Nielsen
Losing Texas #1-Poem by Judith Nielsen
what is the cost-Poem by Judith Nielsen
Poignant Clouds (For Daryl)-Poem by Judith Nielsen
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

Bernice Holtzman—This Most Magical Season

Art by Cindy Rosmus © 2021

This Most Magical Season


by Bernice Holtzman



I walked to work this morning past Spring Street, and they’re setting up the wooden racks for the Christmas trees, the giant plastic snow globe, lights, the whole Santaland enchilada. 


Oh, it’s magical! For a Jewish girl, I think I get more into Christmas than my Christian friends. I think that’s because I don’t have to; there’s no obligation whatsoever, my Jewishness is a get-out-of-Christmas-free card. All that’s expected of me is to eat Chinese food and see a movie on Christmas Day—so I can just relax and enjoy the fun parts!


Actually, Christmas Day depresses me a little, but I love the month leading up to it: The Holiday Mart in Union Square! Sending cards! Cozy holiday drinks and dinners with friends; the window displays and strings of lights all over everything; the smell of fireplaces and hot chocolate and gingerbread. Everyone bustling around, happy, with bright shopping bags. The little Christmas-themed plays. A Charlie Brown Christmas, Mr. Hanky’s Christmas Classics, the air of anticipation….


Then, in one day, it’s over. The discarded, dried-up Christmas trees start appearing on curbs to be carted away. The garbage cans are full of tinsel and gift boxes. 


And you still have to get through New Year’s Eve. 


… which you know will be a big disappointment, but you put yourself through it every year anyway, and even when you stay home like you want to, there are constant reminders of what you’re missing, even though you know from experience you’re not really missing anything.


But those people outside do sound like they’re having fun, and you don’t dare go into the hallway to throw out the garbage because people will see that you’re in your sweatpants and quietly feel superior to you like you did with the disheveled girl carrying laundry in the hallway New Year’s Eve 1992 and now you’re being paid back, and they’ll know there’s no boyfriend in your apartment and even if there is, what kind of boyfriend doesn’t take his girlfriend out on New Year’s Eve?


And there’s some girl who just got engaged on TV right before the ball dropped and she’s making out with her new fiancé and putting the ring right in the camera and you can see both their tongues while they’re kissing, she’s making sure of it, and maybe you’ll burst into tears and maybe you won’t, it’s really anybody’s game at this point…. 


But this year will be different! Right? 




Please enjoy this most magical season.

Bernice Holtzman is an author of poems, short fiction, autobiographical pieces, two (so far) children’s stories, and all manner of clever commentary. Her work has appeared in The National Poetry Magazine of the Lower East Side. That was 30 years ago, and she’s still talking about it.

Cindy Rosmus is a Jersey girl who looks like a Mob Wife & talks like Anybody’s from West Side Story. She works out 5-6 days a week, so needs no excuse to drink or do whatever the hell she wants She’s been published in the usual places, such as Shotgun Honey, Hardboiled, A Twist of Noir, Megazine, Beat to a Pulp, Out of the Gutter, Mysterical-E, and Rock and a Hard Place. She is the editor/art director of the ezine, Yellow Mama. She’s a Gemini, a Christian, and an animal rights activist. She has recently been branching out into photo illustration, under the guidance and mentoring of Ann Marie Rhiel.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications © 2021