Micro fiction: Détente by Miko Johnston

We cling together while the earth shakes, trees topple, our hearts pound.

We’re unhurt, but forward path’s obliterated, return trail’s impassable, and we’ve no supplies.

Bushes rustle; a young backpacking couple emerge, sharing a canteen.

“Got any extra?” I ask.

The couple exchange glances. Guy shakes his head. “Shouldn’t be out here without water, grandpa,” then asks lady, “Where to now?”

Lady taps her cellphone. “No signal. Try GPS.”

Guy switches it on. “Nothing.”

“Damn. What’r we gonna do?”

Chuckling, I hold up a trail map. Guy slumps. Lady reaches into his pack and tosses me a bottle of water.

© Copyright 2016 Miko Johnston. All rights reserved.
• • • • •
Miko Johnston is the author of the A Petal In The Wind series of historical novels. She’s a founding member of Writers in Residence. A former Glendale resident, she now lives in Washington (the big one).

Micro fiction: Chester Wintersnap Knew the Odds & He Was No Gambler by Geanora D. Bonner

But he loved his Mrs. so didn’t counter delusion with sensible logic.

At a bodega on the border of despair, he chose the wiser “pay over time” option. Leaving, he chuckled. A grubby hand stretched his way. A
woman? Feeling magnanimous, he said, “Share the dream,” and let the hand select one of the fluttering tickets. He ignored the inquiry of
how he could be reached when “they” won.

Mrs. was envious of the polished woman who held the large pasteboard check days later. Chester could not see her hands and so never knew how the odds had worked.

© Copyright 2016 Geanora D. Bonner. All rights reserved.
• • • • •
Not exactly straight but out of Compton and almost to Portland (OR), Geanora D. Bonner has always written. For more than 40 years she approached writing like a timid woman in a demure one-piece preparing to swim at a public beach in July. Now she is trying to be more like the 300-pound man in a Speedo plunging into the pond on New Year’s Day.

#81 The Move by W.L. Wren

You are in a box. You’ve only a handful of inches to any side—left and right, before and behind.

The world trembles and rumbles. Every so often, it tilts inexplicably.

Faces appear in front of you. Squinting. They are four to five times the size of your own. They coo and murmur. They insert large appendages through slats in the box. Pink appendages. Brown appendages. Appendages knuckled and supple like tree branches, each trying to poke and scratch you.

Voices ask if you’re okay and you want to say, “I’m in a box! How okay can I be?” Instead, you ignore them and hope they go away.

Vague memories from childhood surface. Images of people in white coats who jab and prod and stick you with things that make you sleep. You remember waking. You remember several mutilations. “My God!” you think. “What will they do to me now? What’s left of me to cut and remove?”

Uneasy, you curl your tail beneath your hind end. Fur falls from you like faded blossoms.

Then, all movement stops. After some moments, the box rises and sways. “What now?” you think. “What now?”

The assuring voice that never assures is closer. As the box travels with jerks, the voice mutters without cessation.

Finally, the box sits on what appears to be solid ground. One of its sides falls away and you look out on a dubious freedom.

You recognize nothing. There are no familiar sights. The scents are all wrong. Nothing sounds as it should except for the murmuring voice that will sometimes offer comfort but this time simply annoys.

With wary steps, you leave the box.

Head lifted, nose furiously trying to identify, you turn left and right. Suddenly, a sharp noise sounds behind you and you’re off. You run. You had already spotted the place—the sofa by the wall near the window.

Before anyone or anything can stop you, you’re behind the sofa. It’s cramped but this is good. Experience tells you they cannot get at you here. You are dug in; you will not leave. You can outwait the voice. You can outwait them all.

Soon, the darkness will come and with it all voices, appendages, and boxes will leave, banished from the feline night.

Then, with guerilla stealth, you will lay claim to this new country. With quiet sedition, you will come to own it, as you own all places in which you reside, for domestic worlds are easily ruled by civilized savages.

© Copyright 2016 W.L. Wren. All rights reserved.


w-l-wrenW.L. Wren (better known as Bill) is a writer in New Brunswick, Canada. He has had several stories published previously by the Rose City Sisters. He has one ebook collection of stories on Amazon, Disrupted Lives and Other Commotions. His next ebook will be available soon.

 

Micro fiction: Glass Ceiling by MaryJane (MJ) Thornburg

Arctic vortex, pineapple express…whatever it is, another snowstorm was in full force. Appearing out of nowhere, snow blowing in all directions, felt similar to her life, whirling out of control. The storms were happening more often. And would stop just as fast.

Unpredictable turbulence seemed to mirror her life.  Work was never-ending, and she felt closed in, the glass ceiling was very much keeping her stuck.  She focused on the road, trying to make her path clear.  She felt trapped and enclosed.

Meanwhile in another world: “Mia, come to dinner and PLEASE stop shaking that snow globe…”

© Copyright 2016 MaryJane (MJ) Thornburg. All rights reserved.
• • • • •
MaryJane (MJ) Thornburg is a Rose City Sisters reader who decided to try writing fiction. This is her second story.

Micro fiction: The Wedding Gown by Jackie Pugh Kogan

I return the gown to Panache, and, empty bag in hand, reach the door, brush off a tear. The windows frame a rain-slick street, gutters flooding.

Were his words slick as assaulted streets? Or do I need to turn the glass to my own expectation. I long for a window through which to see truth framed. The Iraqui desert is made of glass, they say; flooding the mouth, sand tears all the way down.

And the empty bag? A strip of torn underskirt is imprisoned in a grommet. My eyes flood. I should tell them perhaps the gown is flawed.

© Copyright 2016 Jackie Pugh Kogan. All rights reserved.
• • • • •
Jackie Pugh Kogan is a Los Angeles based writer working primarily in gothic fiction of the American West. Publications include short stories in ROAR, Dream International Quarterly, The Northridge Review, and poetry in Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West (Houghton Mifflin, 2004).

Micro fiction: Email to a Friend by Janet Aird

Dear Sylvia,

I’m very afraid I’m going to lose Patty. I’ve been calling and texting and no reply. I guess I just have to wait till she’s ready to get back to me.

She believes in God and heaven.

Love,
Jenny

© Copyright 2016 Janet Aird. All rights reserved.
• • • • •
Janet Aird has been a freelance writer for trade magazines in the field of sustainability for 15 years. Her first novel, “The End of the Road: A Love Story,” is coming out later this year.

Micro fiction: Rin Tin Tin in Retirement by Glen Armstrong

He no longer barked at aircraft beating the sky into puzzles and only sometimes lifted his muzzle toward the traffic taking off and landing at Mines Field. The world was only fooling, like a mean kid whose gestures were false, who never released the ball. His appetite was good until the end. His trainer kept him warm.

He was the favored canine, the canine the favored animal.

In a world that skinned with purpose.

In a world where the kill was more than simple sustenance.

© Copyright 2016 Glen Armstrong. All rights reserved.
• • • • •
Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has three recent chapbooks: Set List (Bitchin Kitsch,) In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and BlazeVOX.