Author: Idle Ink

The Map of Itself by Edward Lee

The heart never stops loving,
it simply contracts
in splintered pain
when a sadness
taints the air
running though its chambers.

The Hollering by Matt Stephenson

Jess sat on the front porch rocker between her dad and Uncle Jimmy. The fall evening air was thick and sticky, almost as if summer hadn’t ended. All three members of the Honeycutt family were sweating as their chairs moved back and forth, back and forth. It was closing in on midnight and the thirteen-year-old felt lucky that she was being allowed to stay up. Her mama and two younger brothers had been asleep for hours. But it wasn’t a school night and the more her daddy and uncle sipped from their mason jars, the less she worried that she would be told to run off to bed.

In the Midst by Susan Wardlaw

The air is frigid and still, unable to absorb the bluish grey swirls of smoke floating outwards, and forced to let them slowly fade into nothingness at their own pace. There is no edge to the darkness, just vast blackness interrupted by the intrusive orange flames of street lights. The silence is undercut by the low, constant hum of energy flowing around the structure behind him.

The thin, black hoodie does nothing to counteract the chill, and he idly wonders if the jagged frost-covered wall he is leaning against will stitch itself to him and claimed him as part of the building. The nurse who unlocked the door had warned him not to stay outside for long, but three cigarettes later he was contemplating how long he could extend his escape before someone came to drag him back inside to the real darkness. He pushed his free hand further into his pocket and shuffled his weight from one numb foot to the other.

Buddy’s New Friend by Jared Cappel

Where are they? They’ve been gone forever. Wait, I know that sound. Oh my gosh, they’re home!

The door opens. Melody bends down to pat me. “Who’s a good boy?” She rolls me over and scratches my belly. She knows just the spot.

I’m too excited to lay still. I struggle to my feet and run over to Ash. I sniff at his cuffs. He’s been in the park. I jump on his thighs. Say hi to me! I’ve been waiting all day!

It Isn’t Safe to Fool Around with a Skeleton by Emily Harrison

Between half-filled composition books, dust bunnies and balled up socks, the skeleton eases its way out from the space beneath Rosie’s bed and asks: ‘Are you gonna tell him?’

Rosie tugs her baseball tee at the neck and pulls the paisley-patterned comforter higher. She’s can’t count how many times they’ve done this. Maybe sixteen, since summer started. It’s the first time the skeleton has had to hide under her bed, though.   

‘I can’t tell him,’ Rosie sighs.

The Fountainhead of Cringe by Lucy Goldring

After twenty-two years of performing vasectomies, Dr. Kenneth Longman was disenchanted with his work. Whilst he was not yet conscious of his ennui, it had become disturbingly apparent in his behaviour.

In earlier times Longman’s clients had remarked upon his charming eccentricity. Recent patients were more likely to wince at the mention of his name. In fact, a growing number of men harboured a bad memory of Kenny – a memory triggerable by the vaguest of testicular references.