The Beauty and Tenacity of the Despised by William Wren

Mr. Gushaty’s homicide was graphically arresting. When I saw him I thought how sad it was he had never appreciated Coccinellidae. It was a fatal character flaw.

He could not abide the presence of ladybugs. Each spring he waged a war of no quarter given, poison his chosen weapon.

I have always felt the despised ladybug was a spark of giddy orange evocative of the tenacious impulse for life. Like dandelions in a barren plot of land thrusting through with a teenager’s persistent tumescence, so the ladybug.

Mr. Gushaty disagreed and is dead. The ladybugs remain, vibrantly returning each spring.

© Copyright 2016 William Wren. All rights reserved.
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William Wren is a writer in New Brunswick, Canada. He has had two stories published previously by the Rose City Sisters: I’ve Never Been to Pasadena and Healing. He has one ebook collection of stories on Amazon, Disrupted Lives and Other Commotions. He has just completed another and hopes to make it available (as an ebook) very soon.

Today’s Special by Paula Johnson

“They got Marty!,” Deb shouted as she scurried into headquarters. “I knew something was wrong. Who leaves sugar-coated bacon on a spotless counter?”

“Boric acid?” whispered Jeff. Deb was silent, antennae drooping in confirmation. She scanned her surroundings. Deb knew how to leap to safety, to this side of the portal. But not even the elders knew how all the single earrings, keys, sunglasses, and cell phones got here.

She spied a new sock among the thousands that had disappeared from dryers and drawers. Cashmere. Good. She deserved something warm and soft in this cold, hard world.

© Copyright 2016 Paula Johnson. All rights reserved.
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Paula Johnson is the founder and editrix of The Rose City Sisters website. She also designs book covers, websites and other print and digital communications.

Frozen Unknown by Debra Kristi

Carl burst through the door and ran down the slope. “Get! It’s not safe!” he yelled.

Fits of laughter exploded and children ran in every direction.

Why do kids always ignore posted signs? Carl sighed. Can’t they see the cracks? Or is it their nature to flirt with danger?

With slow, deliberate steps he traced the scattered tracks and deep spider veins at his feet.  Kneeling, he brushed the sleet aside. Revealed the hard iced lake beneath. The surface was cloudy, yet clear enough to see within its depth. Still there, her frozen face stared up at him, unblinking.

© Copyright 2016 Debra Kristi. All rights reserved.
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Debra Kristi lives in sunny California with her husband, two kids, and four schizophrenic cats. Unlike the characters she often writes, Debra is not immortal and her only superpower is letting the dishes and laundry pile up. When not writing, she is usually creating memories with her family, geeking out to sci-fi and fantasy television, and tossing out movie quotes.

Treated Like Royalties by Margaret Finnegan

Dear Frank:

To follow up on my last three unreturned phone calls, I was told in the Spring that I would be receiving a royalty payment for approximately $550 for my novel Dreams of a Lunch Lady. I have not yet received my royalty payment. Please let me know when it will arrive.


Constance Dorsey
3217 Craftsman Way
Pasadena, CA 91106


Dear Frank:

I still have not received that check. Please let me know why by filling out and returning the following questionnaire:

Staff Accountant Frank Fields is:
__ Dead
__ Dying
__ On vacation
__ Other (Please state, and please be as specific as possible:_________________.)


Constance Dorsey
3217 Craftsman Way
Pasadena, CA 91106 Continue reading Treated Like Royalties by Margaret Finnegan