Janice D. Soderling

 

 

 

Accepting

She found it difficult to like the child standing silently in front of her; it exuded cunning beyond its years, having lived, perhaps, on the streets too long, or possibly it was born malevolent, with a soul shriveled like the arm that dangled uselessly, only half-hidden by the ragged sleeve; a slightly hunched, animal-like presence filled her office, as it would later permeate the classroom, the communal dining room, the workshop where trades were taught and humility necessary, but even as these unchristian thoughts scampered higgledy-piggledy across Mrs. March’s brain, she regretted them, reminding herself why she had come to this godforsaken place: was it not to enlighten dark creatures such as this one, to show them a better way of life, to instill hope where despair abounded, show mercy where callousness reigned; she pulled herself together and resolved to accept the child and assign it a bed in the dormitory, but was it, she wondered with a little shudder, a boy or a girl, and how to find out.

 

Janice D. Soderling writes poetry and fiction of various lengths and translates from Swedish. In the UK her work has appeared at such sites as New Walk, Horizon Review, Orbis, Acumen, Anon and Flash: The Int’l Short-Short Story Magazine.

 

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To Celebrate National Flash Fiction Day, Some Flash from its Director, Calum Kerr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smells as Sweet

 

 

He said it with flowers: one dozen red roses to smother love and patch a broken heart. It wasn’t enough. A thousand roses wouldn’t have been able to stem the pain that he caused.

But that was twenty years ago. I was a different woman when Facebook told me that Roger Smith had sent a friend request.

It came as a shock, seeing that name on my computer screen. I didn’t even have a computer when he left me with nothing more than a handful of thorns.  Seeing his name appearing like that, as though it was just any other name, caused me to draw in my breath and bite my bottom lip.

I stood up from the desk in the front room and walked through to the conservatory. I gazed out, over the order of the trimmed lawn, past the disused but still-loved climbing frame and swing, to the deep rose-beds at the back. They were in full bloom: oranges and yellows mixed with purples and whites. No reds.

I thought about Bill and the kids, and the way that time passes. It doesn’t heal wounds, like they say, it lays plasters over them. And all it took was a name on a screen to rip the plaster off and restart the bleeding.

Well, I decided. I wasn’t going to allow this.

Back at my computer, I searched for what I needed. And before I clicked on the ‘Ignore’ button, and the ‘Block’ button, I made sure I’d posted a picture on his Wall of a suitably bloody bouquet.

 

 

Calum Kerr is the author of 31, Braking Distance, Undead at Heart and many short stories and flash fictions. He is a lecturer, an editor, and is the Director of the UK’s National Flash-Fiction Day. His new flash-fiction collection, Lost Property, from which Smells as Sweet is taken,  is out now.  Order your copy here

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Alex Reed

 

 

 

Ghost


I read there is a name for it,

this absence, this expanse,

this frozen place. There

is a name for it – they

call it ambiguous loss. Words

that carry the weight of years

of observation, trials and texts,

a term for missing the one you love,

even while they are with you,

when the future is bruised

by illness and what’s now is far

away from what might have been.

Ambiguous loss. But I would

prefer to say that I am haunted

by the ghost of your motion,

the flow of you, as you walked

through our kitchen on any afternoon,

or how, pushing your hair back

you leant across me,

the world lit in your eyes.

 

Alex Reed is a family therapist and is interested in Zen Buddhism and poetry. In his poetry he often reflects on experiences of illness, transitoriness and loss.

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C. Albert

 

 

Love

 

is a common word. Don’t let your jaded mind

forget its purest derivations.

1.

A topiary forest,

home of a hungry paradise,

a rotund heaven.

2.

The round rind bed

on which a baby roundling sleeps

blanketed in ove leaves.

3.

Without umbrella

for there is no rain or snow;

without insects, snakes

and fears.

4.

Sugary rush from

feasting on melons

as middles grow.

5.

Inheritance of seeds.

6.

Bathing in honeysuckle streams.

7.

When any sense of wrong

is swiftly righted by a twirl through

fields of wildflowers.

8.

The Circular Interval

before Square Time.

9.

Envelop

like a watermelon lover.

 

 

C. Albert is based in Seattle, Washington. She is our resident artist and  can be contacted through inksweatandtears@aol.com.

 

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Kris Thain

 

 

 

A meeting of minds

You said you preferred Orwell’s essays.
The way they lulled you into a sense
of the plain, transcending any given ideology
often whilst condemning or praising it.

I said – I preferred his moustache.

You said your first memory was of screaming:
Yowling, uttering your brutal stages of advance
dazed from the drop, finding your voice, or not;
Images flocking like birds of Assisi…

I said – The Rockford Files

You said what moved you was a child’s pale face.
A garden at night after a party, a wine glass
blood-red with cigarette debris, and a guy
no-one knows stroking a dog.

I said – I was that guy.

 

 

Kris Thain lives in a seaside town that forgot to close down, and often takes advantage of that. The desolate shoreline is a great inspiration for knocking out a few poems. He web-designs by day, he web-designs by night and hopes one day to stop the night part and live a “normal” life.   He is 40 odd. He has had poems published in Other Poetry, Snakeskin, Orbis and a few lesser known local publications.

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Sarah Chapman

 

 

 

Since we’ve met

I think since we met I may have encouraged
a small amount of nothingness
It’s not your fault, it went through you like
invisible. You could be a mixture of girls
I’ve only known through friends or the
telly and even though you live in a shithole
You arrive at parties looking fabulous.
What is your secret, your mysterious other
life. Do you know so many that they are
just movies stills? I mean I roam around
at work with jumper marks in my face, all
because I slept on the couch again, If I slept
on the couch through childhood I would be
infernally bent legged by now and a serial
killer in training.
I know marriage
with you will
Be swerving the mundane traps that
Other couples fall into; that you plan
To keep things spontaneous only by
The way you see things but the pressure
Of you’re marvelous river filled brain
makes me distant because you can find
another person at a gallery opening.
but even the voice of the policeman
was soft and you knew not
much could be done, it
is not because I want it perfectly
it is because I want it clean,
even playing field so that the
time we seriously considered
buying tropical fish,
something happened.

 

 

Sarah Chapman is twenty-four years old, started writing poetry two years ago and lives and works in the rough part of London. Her poems have appeared in Pomegranate, Spilt Milk, Clutching at straws, Fade Poetry Journal, Cadaverine, 3am magazine, Scrambler, Etcetera and Cake Magazine with forthcoming poems to appear in SSYK and a forthcoming chapbook published by Red Ceilings Press.

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Myfanwy Fox

 

 

 

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Sizzle Reel CV

I am a woman possessed of the key skills to incentivise staff, validate client-facing compliance, inject vitality into volunteer experience, strategically assess critical outcomes with process excellence and granular costing increments.
As part of a senior management structure which is a likeness to a Director I handle large scale retail architecture where HR transformational deliverables facilitate leverage, rather than generic, competencies with dimensionalised KPI accruals pre-tested via brand aware customer bundles.
I have strong communicational skills.

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Myfanwy Fox lives on a hillside. She blogs at Fox Tales <http://myfanwyfox.wordpress.com/> .

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