The Lawnmower Club by David Cook

As the winter chill receded and the air began to thaw, the rattle of garage doors opening merged with the slamming back of bolts on garden sheds. From said garages and sheds, the men of Kingfisher Avenue emerged, shielded by their lawnmowers.

Steve, with his bog-standard electric mower, the cord masked in electrical tape to repair the damage from all the times he’d mowed straight over it.

Gareth, with his fancy cordless affair that Steve is jealous of, not that he’s ever vocalised that fact.

Bone Apple Teeth by Mason Yates

Although she had been feeling nervous—a horrid anxiety had infested and made itself a home in her gut—for the past few days, Kate Knight (her last name had been Rains less than five days ago) felt it even more when she stepped off the crowded Tokyo street and into the dark alley that reeked of urine, cigarettes, and burned food.  For some unknown reason, her legs shook with a strange violence, sweat beaded her pale forehead, and every particle of blood bubbled inside her veins.  Because of her shaking—not to mention the slippery cobblestone ground, too—she kept a slow pace as she wandered into the darkness, the radiant neon signs behind her starting to fade, as well as the energetic voices of the touristy road that simmered into susurrations.  Kate clung to her husband as they descended into the black.  Brick buildings enclosed themselves around them, chunky rats scuttled next to the walls and squeaked every so often, and above them, a black night sky, one where no stars resided, seemed to weigh heavy upon them.

Nice Girls Cry by Samantha Seiple

I cried the hardest at Amber’s funeral. Not that it’s a competition, or anything. All I’m saying is my tears were real. Wet and itchy, dripping down my face.

To be honest, I wasn’t crying because I was Amber’s best friend. I admit I wasn’t. That honor went to Jenna, who I was standing next to in the cemetery, under the shadow of a stone angel with a cracked wing.

But I was grieving too. For what could have been. What should have been. For Amber, for me, and for a friendship cut short.

Kickstand by Patrick R. Wilson

Erica fingered the wooden splinters of the food truck court picnic table and stared out at the water till she spotted Ryan rolling up on the fire-red Cannondale he bought on credit. He didn’t stop to park the bike before entering the dining area, but jostled his way through the lunchtime customers like an entitled eel in a koi pond. If anyone protested, or pointed out the PARK YOUR BIKE sign, or looked at him wrong, Ryan would explain he’d been sick. Thankfully, no one complained.