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In the News
John Arendt

     As I sip my morning coffee, I read the newspaper slowly, enjoying every story, studying every ad and pondering every word. Each word is important. I turn to Page Three and casually pick up the scissors. I will need to find another dozen words as I compose the ransom note.

John Arendt has been writing for many years, professionally and for pleasure. His creative writing has included several short plays, short stories and poetry. He is working on a number of fiction projects. He lives in British Columbia, Canada where he works as a journalist.

Take a Chance
Cathy Spencer

     After thirty-two years of soul deprivation, his resolve is a mewling, battered thing. But the kids are grown, his wife is bedrock, and the pillow is stuffed with nettles. One toe over the abyss, a hasty genuflection—and leap! His knees are bloodied, but worth the price of soaring.

Board Games
Cathy Spencer

     Chess is played by solitary mutes who straddle the board, Scrabble by sociable threes prone to outbursts of laughter. Volume may seem like an erroneous indicator of social success, but it matters when they’re playing outside my office. If you want to get a party started, try Twister. Your turn.

Cathy Spencer lives in Calgary, Alberta, where she works as an administrative assistant for a local university. She is currently working on her fourth novel, and has a short story published in the November issue of The Foliate Oak Literary Journal.

Yearling Deer
Jane Banning

     Back legs stork-thin and knock-kneed, her front feet the tiny hooves of a Victorian lady, her neck long as a brown question, she eats mushrooms, twitches her tail, browses. With the planting of each hoof-gloved foot, I, blunt and fleshy-handed, am unsure which one of us is the more evolved.

Jane Banning lives in Wisconsin with her husband and son. She received honorable mentions in the Micro Fiction Award contest in 2008 and in the Glass Woman Prize contest in 2009. Her work has appeared in the University of Iowa Daily Palette, Six Sentences, Long Story Short, Birds by My Window, Fiction365, and Boston Literary Magazine, among others. She is working on her first novel, Silo.

Erin Cole

     A filament of gemstone light arcs high. Up close, it is a silver streak of cysteine bonds, a ribbon of ice—its beauty reflected in years designed. Afar, it is a crack in the mirror of youth. Though pleased I should be, this strand of moonlight sprouts from my head.

Erin Cole writes dark fiction from Portland, Oregon. Though she recently won 10th place in the WD 80th Annual Writing Competition, she continues to stalk agents from behind nomadic bushes. You can visit her at her blog: erincolelive.blogspot.com.

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