editor's note

Homeward by Carrie Bachler
I always imagine that there are so many different versions of myself, floating around in all of the parallel universes out there. I think of all of the people and events that have touched me, all of the decisions that have shaped me, and how different my life could be if I had turned left instead of right, met this person at that time, made a different choice that sent me spiraling into a different city or to a different job


Old Shelby by Wren Tuatha
The snakes thinned but apples enough
for you and me remain in this Ozark, near enough Eden.
Difficult Questions by Jane Attanucci
Did your mother look Irish?
With no trace of a smile,
the woman poet, visiting from Dublin,
scanned my face.
Pose by Jane Attanucci
My yoga teacher says to notice
the space between my right earlobe
and right shoulder, left earlobe and left shoulder.
Homing by Sheryl White
Early mist
the roads scan
            quiet, dustless.


Let It Rain by Sarah Bigham
Four rings, she could express concern, thought Eve, provide her phone number and then give herself some time to collect her thoughts. There will clearly be a funeral of some kind. She should go. Absolutely, she should go. And a donation to an appropriate cause. What, she wondered, might that be? How much should one give in such a case?
Cleaning the Gite by Rebecca Burns
She’s cleaning the gite again. It’s that time of the week; the latest batch of lobster-skinned, over-deodorized, indulgent guests with their squall of untethered children have vacated, so out comes the bucket, the mop, the rubber gloves. She’s waved goodbye to them as they trundle through the gate in their overloaded people-carrier, eyes flickering her way as they tap the route to the ferry into the satnav.
Landings by Alan J. Gerstle
Elias paced beside his father on the long grey promenade, the slate-colored river on one side, and bare, frosted trees on the other. The walkway was nearly deserted. Only a few people scattered about. Several squat boats glided through the water, like a family of giant ducks.
Centralia, Town on Fire by Maggi McGettigan
I come from a town on fire. My grandmother is still there, even though they say it will burn for 250 more years. I was moved out when I still believed in Santa but not the Tooth Fairy, so I would believe what they told me, if they told it well. My foster mother tells me it is Hell on Earth, the town I come from, sent by God to warn us of where we might all end up.
Burnt Prairie by Leah Holbrook Sackett
Pinned on his back in the dark, Isaac began to panic. He was trapped in total darkness. Before his eyes could adjust, his instantaneous reaction was to scream for help. He kicked his feet and pounded with his fists. Then he fell silent.
The Song of Black Bear Mountain by Sharon Frame Gay
For most of her life, Bitsy was the closest thing to a doctor on Black Bear Mountain. She learned her craft from the old ones, how to use herbs for teas and poultices that ease the breathing of a small child, or calm the heart of an ancient woman. She learned how to apply honey to scrapes and burns, the natural antibiotic soothing and sucking all the bad out of the cut. And Bitsy knew when to say goodbye to a soul, watching it drift out of the body like mist over the valley, until the eyes looked skyward and met tomorrow.


Preserves of Memory by Kathryn Paulsen
But the summer fruits I remember from those days, the ones we picked off the trees and shrubs in the thicket behind my grandmother's backyard, had a fairytale strangeness: not strawberries, but gooseberries; not apples but crabapples; not sweet, red, American-as-George Washington cherries, but deep, dark, bitingly sharp chokecherries.
But deliver us from evil by Florina Enache
I stood motionless, my back against the cold wall, my hearing magnified that I could hear people breathe in the other apartments. They, too, were motionless in their cold empty kitchens or huddled together in their cold empty bedrooms. A thick silence swabbed the houses and the blocks.


The Bishop’s Girl by Rebecca Burns by Sherri Miller
Exotic locales, secret meetings, time travel, grave robbers, international mystery, illicit liaisons, mutiny, war, and murder—The Bishop’s Girl has it all.  The reader is taken on an intriguing journey that takes place both in the present and in the past, over one hundred years apart.  The main characters search for many things, most importantly the truth about the secret life of a beloved English Bishop, Anthony Shacklock, and the identity of the young woman whose body was found on top of his buried coffin.