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A Love for Chocolate: Fiction by Kevin Hopson
Ban the Box: Fiction by David Hagerty
Different Paths: Fiction by K. A. Williams
Night Sight: Fiction by C. A. Rowland
Encounter on the Lane: Fiction by Anthony Lukas
Moving South: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Just a Small-Town Boy: Fiction by Roy Dorman
The Loneliness of a Reseller: Fiction by Brandon Doughty
Food Chain: Fiction by Phil Temples
Final Notice: Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Stunning Redheads are Trouble: Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Point Made: Flash Fiction by Martin Zeigler
The Secret Ingredient: Flash Fiction by Cecilia Kennedy
Stand in Line: Flash Fiction by Lucinda Kempe
My Special Garden: Flash Fiction by Gay Degani
Revenge of the Inanimate: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
The Abductee: Poem by Sophia Wiseman-Rose
De-Icing Fate: Poem by Tom Fillion
Description of Death: Poem by Meg Baird
Basking in Sunlight: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Found Floating Above: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Beer-Craving Zombie: Poem by Bradford Middleton
They All Hate My Hero: Poem by Bradford Middleton
In Search of Ghosts: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Seven Hanging Trees: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Persistent Daylight: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Rebirth: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Bundy: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Calais: Poem by Peter Mladinic
The Room: Poem by Peter Mladinic
People with Dysentery: Poem by Partha Sarkar
There Has Been No Cooperative System: Poem by Partha Sarkar
Goes Back Toward the Talisman-the Future: Poem by Partha Sarkar
The Broken Seashore and the Fishermen: Poem by Partha Sarkar
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Strange Gardens
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Gay Degani: My Special Garden

Art by Nancy Soriano 2023

My Special Garden

by Gay Degani


Foxglove grows in my garden, Digitalis purpurea. Its purple flowers are trumpets, sometimes blaring out a Sousa March that only I can hear.

I ask my husband, “Doesn’t that tune just make you proud?”

He looks at me, annoyed as usual. “What tune? What are you talking about? Can’t you see I’m reading?”

“That Marine Corp hymn. You know, ‘From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli!’”

“I don’t hear a damn thing,” he mutters. “Where do you come up with these ideas?”

We’re out on the patio drinking our morning tea. He’s been mumbling to himself about the stock market. When I ask him if it’s crashing again, he grunts and adds more sugar to his mug.

“Your teeth will rot, you know,” I tell him. He loves his sugar. He loves his tea. Can’t get enough of it. Let his teeth rot. The romance is gone. Has been for a long, long time. And I have this perfect garden.

I’ve worked hard to make it what it is today, a glorious riot of color and sound. Rhododendron along the back wall, its pink profusion throbbing elegies worthy of Igor Stravinsky. The sweet bells of my lilies of the valley tinkle softly. Graceful delphiniums hum in the breeze while trills from the larkspur add to the cacophony of music my husband can’t hear.

He is a foolish dolt, I have to admit. No sensibility toward anything as lovely as my profusion of special flowers. All he cares about is the green of money. Thank goodness I have a symphony growing right outside my kitchen door, bringing delight to my ears, beauty to my eyes while my husband’s fingers turn black with newspaper ink, his mouth always set in a perpetual grimace, the deep furrows in his brow like the rows I’ve hoed in my vegetable patch.

“Isn’t there more tea?” he barks.

I pick out a fresh bag from my special tea coffer and drop it into his cup, pour hot water from the thermal pot, nudge the sugar bowl toward him.

“Don’t take too much,” I tell him as he scoops spoonful after spoonful into his cup.

“Get off my back,” he grumbles and buries his face in his beloved Wall Street Journal.

I lean back in my comfortable chair and take in my garden, each plant selected for its beauty, its musicality, its own very deadly poison.

The flowers begin to sing Ave Maria.

Soon, my lovelies. Any day now.





Gay Degani has received nominations and honors for her work including Pushcart consideration, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions and won the 11th Annual Glass Woman Prize. She's published a full-length collection, Rattle of Want, (Pure Slush Press, 2015) and a suspense novel, What Came Before (Truth Serum Press, 2016). Her story "Scablands" was fourth runner-up in the 2023 The Saturday Evening Post Great American Short Story contest. 


Gay Degani



Read Gay’s story "Scablands" at The Saturday Evening Post


Pomegranate Stories, Eight stories about mothers.

Rattle of Want, Full-length collection of short stories and flash fiction What Came Before, Suspense novel

Nancy Soriano grew up in New York City and now resides in the Hudson Valley. She loves the darker side of art—and life. She is rediscovering her love of photography through her latest muse, her cat Zoey. 

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2023