Editor’s note: links affixed to author/publisher’s name will redirect to author/publisher social media, links affixed to story/article titles will redirect to the site whereupon the named piece is archived. ‘Independent authors’ section focuses on lone individuals who publish their own literary work, ‘independent publishers’ section focuses upon independent presses, lit-mags, e-zines and other literary organizations who publish fictive work of multiple authors and ‘literary ephemera’ focuses on non-prose non-fiction literature, such as certain poems, news and art theory articles, reviews, interviews and critiques.
From Mr. Vic Smith, Dead Calm. A sonorously bleak tale about self-sacrifice.
He was free to be just as idle because without the wind, the runner stone does not turn.
— Dead Calm
From Defiant Scribe, The Eggshell Floor, by Maddie Adams. A story about family loss and dysfunction.
Imogen Beatty. Loving wife, mother, and grandmother. RIP.
Three lines weren’t enough for someone’s life.
— The Eggshell Floor
From Drunken Pen Writing, The Red Crown, by Mikhail Bulgarov. The story of the mental breakdown of a man confined to a sanitarium after the death of his brother. Gripping and highly recommended.
Most of all I hate the sun, loud human voices, and pounding. Rapid, rapid pounding.
— The Red Crown
From Ellipsis Zine, A Marriage to the Earth, by Simeon Ralph. A meditation on Nature’s savage increase.
The man turns his head and spits and his thick saliva lands in a clump of wild grass on the verge by the side of the road. It glues two blades together as it slides the length of them before pooling at the roots and seeping into the damp soil. The warmth of the man evaporates as the ground envelopes his discarded enzymes and electrolytes and absorbs his DNA. The earth accepts this gift but remains hungry.
— A marriage to the Earth
From Fictive Dream, Mountain Lake by Leonard Kress. On the idyll of youth.
She wades into the lake, moving slowly, using her toes to feel for sharp rocks and plants, so slowly that her movement barely disturbs the water’s surface. Three young men sit on a flat boulder at the edge of the lake. Their legs dip into the water and they watch her. One is the girl’s boyfriend, another her ex-boyfriend, and the third trembles imperceptibly in her presence. Before stepping into the lake, she removes her jeans and lets her white tunic fall to her thighs. Now the bottom of the tunic brushes against the surface of the water giving it a dark border that gradually broadens as she moves farther from the shore.
— Mountain Lake
From Flash Fiction Magazine, Lot, by Mary Li. A story about a self-conscious vehicle. One of this weeks stranger and more original additions.
The strange thing about the new models is that they don’t talk back. I’d like to tell them about the acoustic guitar that sales guy Dan left in my trunk on his way back from a gig.
From Forge Lit Mag, Alfie, by John Saul. A deftly penned piece of literary experimentation.
A woman not a fellow plaster-watcher by the sound of her is discussing artists on her phone.
From Idle Ink, Angel Wing, by BF Jones, a tale of marriage, heartbreak and the specter of loss. As sorrowful as it is moving (and exceptionally well-written).
She likes the angel wing shadow downstairs, the warm feeling it gives her when she touches it.
— Angel Wing
From Literally Stories 2014, Paper Skins, by L’Erin Ogle, a harrowing tale of a vindictive sorceress and the man she loves. The author’s prose is exceptionally good.
-hunks of bread I baked turned sharp as the blade of my rage, cutting the mouths of my family-
— Paper Skins
From The Molotov Cocktail, The Kitsune, by Candace Hartsuyker. Concerning the grim and conflicted adventures of a fox-girl.
Days go by. In the hollow of another cliff she finds newborns, eyes closed shut. Pink bodies twitch, hairless and warm. She licks her lips. Swallows them whole.
— The Kitsune
From Red Fez, On Death Row by Jared Blakely. Many people think of themselves as heroic, until the moment to act as such occurs, whereupon they are paralyzed by fear and indecision; this, Mr. Blakely’s story capture’s beautifully.
Nick’s eyes shot up and scanned the room. Nobody cared. They were staring out of the window or on their cell phones or looking down at their own feet.
— On Death Row
From Reflex Fiction, Terror Attack, by Nina Pandey. A cautionary tale about the dangers of living “like there’s no tomorrow” (even if there really is none).
The minute she was told she had cancer she realised she’d never felt happiness before.
— Terror Attack
From Spelk, The Forgotten Man, by Jason Beech. A gripping portrait of one man who has lost everything.
I exit the prison with a pogo stick in my step. Five years in that cold, green-tiled Victorian relic has dulled something inside. I scratch my cauliflower ears and shake some recognition of the outside into my concussed brain.
— The Forgotten Man
From Terror House, Sweethearts, by Robert Ragan. A horrifying tale of lust, obsession and revenge.
For the first time, he saw common houseflies buzzing around instead of butterflies when he thought of her.
From The Arcanist, Nannybot by Ophelia Leong, wherein a mother’s idea to purchase a robotic caretaker for her child goes somewhat awry.
It’s eyes glowed with a malevolent red light and for a moment Priscilla was paralyzed with fear. — Nannybot
From The Story Shack, Rex, by Jonathan VanDyke. A slick, over-the-top, action-thriller parody. Funniest piece I read all week.
Several bullets punctured the grill of the car and shattered window glass as newspaper stands passing by exploded into clouds of shredded paper, but Rex didn’t mind, this was a slow Tuesday.
From Channillo, On The Outside, Looking In (1), by David Estringel. On indolence, inspiration and becoming a writer (part one of a series). Highly recommended.
My intrigue with the written word came about in a rather non-traditional way: Charlie Rose. Apart from the rather strange May-December, platonic bromance vibe between us (well, my TV), the main appeal of staying up until 3 AM to watch his show centered around the writers he often had on as guests. My first glimpse into the lives of the literati, I knew right there and then that I had a place in that world. Quick-witted and wickedly smart, they saw life in ways I never dreamed possible. I wanted to be them.
— On The Outside, Looking In (1)
From New Pop Lit, Thinking Beyond The Flat Narrative. On news, information dissemination, one-sidedness and (re-)thinking narrative interrogation so as to better navigate hyperreality; part one of a series.
The three-dimensional thinker is ahead of the curve.
— Thinking Beyond The Flat Narrative
From The New Republic, a fantastic piece on of the greats of the western canon, The Significance of Herman Melville.
“-life becomes intensified and purposive when the battle with the forces of Nature, like Ahab’s battle, is a deliberate pursuit and challenge-”
— The Significance of Herman Melville
From Tim Miller, Daedalus & Icarus (poem), originally published via Poethead. A beautiful, if mournful, ode to the mythic craftsman.
he strikes them away and leaves them on the wall,
all of them, as well as the envy and
revenge his talents inspired, all hammered
forgotten. But not his son. Twice he’s tried
to let him go, as the sky did before
the sea took him; twice he’s tried to fashion
his face or his descent or his youthful limbs
or just his eyes, and twice he’s stopped in tears.
— Daedalus & Icarus
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