mus musculus

By Ann Hart

The closet I sit in is dark and smells of cedar.  The electricity went off days ago and the candles, which were decorative and dim, only lasted a few hours. The hurricane lamp gave good light, its bright orange flame steady and true in its cut glass chimney. It was an antique, inherited from my grandmother.  For years it sat unused on the fireplace mantle next to Grandpa John’s pipe, dad’s high school baseball trophies and Uncle Peter’s Silver Star. The flame had been comforting in the gloom until the last of the oil ran out. Now there is only darkness. Continue reading

Author Profile: Cameron Levins

CameronLevins

How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

Originally, in grade school I was very set on being a doctor. I already had the messy handwriting, however my doctor dreams were solely driven by the income they make. Thankfully, that idea of money controlling my aspirations diminished the older I got. Unfortunately, I was never concerned about the future. My sophomore, and junior year were filled with playing video games and being awkward talking to women. Usually senior year is when the gravity of the real world being just a cap and gown away sets in. If I’m being honest, that reality didn’t hit me ‘til the tail end. Within the second half of the year, I had a television/film class. Before this class I had never thought about pursuing filmmaking as a career. The emotional responses I saw from people watching my videos is what really made it click in my head that it’s a possibility. Stepping foot in the semi-real world, I had followed my interest in filmmaking. I had applied to Middlesex County College with the intent of receiving a degree in writing, because I had believed that GREAT writing is the backbone to GREAT films. But I believe I didn’t  REALLY decide to become a writer until I had entered Prof. Marshall’s scriptwriting class. Within the class I had written a few scripts but they were terrible, there were some salvageable bits and pieces but most of them were garbage. I had returned home feeling defeated and contemplating a career change, but I didn’t. I kept going and followed this passion I had. I decided to watch films and study scripts, to help improve my writing, remembering Prof. Marshall’s teaching played a huge role too. I’m still learning, I doubt that will ever end. Continue reading

In a Ford Towards Ford

By Cameron Levins

My Crown Vic is like my home. It’s a kitchen, a bedroom, and if I have a spare $40 there’s room for one more. Never a bathroom, I have more dignity than that. It’s also my office building, I grab the keys and go to work. It’s 1 a.m., and I’m at the light on Woodward Avenue. A man sprints to my Crown Vic. It’s been a slow night so I unlock the doors. He’s wearing a black pullover, it looks wet. He’s breathing as if the air was running from him.

“Where to, buddy?” I ask.

“Get me to a fucking hospital!” Continue reading

Author Profile: Russ Bickerstaff

Bickerstaff

How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

There was never really a point where I didn’t want to write. It was something that first felt tangible when I was playing with an old manual typewriter in grade school.

What inspired you to write flash fiction?

I love the shortest of short stories in every format. One paragraph and it’s all there. This tiny little world resting within words. Every atom in the universe is its own cosmos. I love that idea. Continue reading

Reassembly

By Russ Bickerstaff

It had all fallen out. Sight, hearing and every other sense had fallen out somewhere on the sidewalk in front of her. She had an instant sense of loss that needed to be filled. She stood there for long enough to wonder if the sense of loss wasn’t just a hunger. Had gotten only a pace or two away before realizing that she probably wasn’t going to make it very far without the sight or hearing that were littering the sidewalk around her, so she made a point of falling onto the concrete and rolling around in her senses. Continue reading

The Girl Who Wanted to Fly

By Sandra Arnold

She tried to tell her mum that it didn’t happen the way they said, but it was hard to get her attention in a room full of people all talking at the same time and her mum’s head buried in her hands and her dad standing glassy-eyed in the corner.

With her mouth right up to her mum’s ear she told her she was so so so sorry about the lipstick thing because that’s what made dad drag her to the sink and scrub it off with the scrubbing brush until he couldn’t tell what was blood and what was lipstick and then she said she hated him and so he whacked her across the face with the back of his hand and that’s why her nose turned on like a tap.  But. The rest of it. Well… Continue reading

Author Profile: Paul Beckman

PaulBeckman2

How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

Growing up, my late older brother was the writer in the family. In my 30’s I started to think about writing and collected story ideas in a box. After a couple of years I took my box and a pad along with a bottle of wine and went to a friend’s waterfront house and sat on the dock. I decided if I couldn’t complete a story I was going to toss the “ideas” in the drink and forget the idea. Fortunately, within an hour I completed the story and half the wine. It was titled “Clutter”, a story about a single father of two young kids who wanted to de-clutter his life and kept removing things from his house until there were just 3 spoons, three plates, three chairs, one toy for each child, etc. By the end of this very short story he looked at his kids and thought how much simpler his life would be with only one child. Eventually I got this published. I’ve been writing ever since. Continue reading