Candy Canes

by Amanda Crum Donetta Cain was an eyeballer. Everyone else at the factory relied on measurements, and she had too, in the first year. She had poured the syrup precisely, kneaded the sugary mass until her hands ached, rolled it finger-thin against a yardstick to cut perfectly formed candy canes. It had seemed important back … Continue reading Candy Canes

&&& By the third Friday of October, the worst of the cold hasn’t found its way east. Shelby thinks it wants to snow, but it can’t yet. Nature has to wait sometimes, too, even if only on itself. Freezing rain hangs translucent buds from the cat’s cradle of naked branches outside her house. &&& Shelby … Continue reading

Sea Foam

by Hayden Moore Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep–William Shakespeare: Henry VI part II It was a place where the sea met the rocks and the rocks melted into the sea. In the shade of a twisted palm tree hosting thousands of glistening blackberries at its base, the girl watched as the … Continue reading Sea Foam

Still or Sparkling

by  Greg Roensch The still water bottles were happiest when the sparkling stayed on the opposite side of the shelf. In truth, both sides preferred to keep any interaction to a minimum. The way the still water bottles saw it, their fizzy counterparts were carbonated showoffs who only came around for special occasions, like holidays … Continue reading Still or Sparkling

Killed Steel

by Carolyn Drake After Cathy’s death, she found me in Hendriksville. Hendriksville rots beside the Ohio River. The ‘Welcome’ sign reads Population: 5,000, but they must’ve been counting gravestones. The steel mills are two decades deceased, yet the mesothelioma remains, robbing the former workers and their progeny of health and life. Breathing the air in … Continue reading Killed Steel