“Believe Me” by Christine Holmstrom

Ahead of me lay nothing but empty highway. It was evening as I walked along the lonely mountain road on the outskirts of Sierra City. Slate gray twilight shadows cloaked the twisting, two-lane asphalt. The day’s heat lingered on the silent pavement as I strolled past a long-closed lumberyard, the battered sign rotating in the breeze like a hanged man. Another mile and I’d reach the dirt lane leading to my rented cabin overlooking Wild Plum Creek.

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Featured Art: Holly Day

Holly Day’s needlepoints and beadwork have recently appeared on the covers of Your Impossible Voice, Sinister Wisdom, and QWERTY Magazine. Her newest poetry collections are A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press),  In This Place, She Is Her Own (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), A Wall to Protect Your Eyes (Pski’s Porch Publishing), I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.), The Yellow Dot of a Daisy (Alien Buddha Press), Folios of Dried Flowers and Pressed Birds (Cyberwit.net), Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Cross-Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), and Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press).

Breaths

Breaths

2018 Flash Fiction Contest Winner

by Leslie Doyle

1.

“Hold your breath.”

She was shocked by the cold when her head went under. She hadn’t felt it when they waded in, even when they got waist deep and the water crept up to her stomach, but the moment the leader held her shoulder in one hand, grasped her waist with the other, and dunked her backwards, like some extreme ballroom dance move, filling her hair, then her eyes, then her nose and mouth, with water, while he’d whispered, calmly, gently—“hold your breath”—she’d gasped instead at the sudden cold, and, to her embarrassment, stood up again, coughing and wheezing, water streaming out of her nostrils, watery snot running into her mouth, as everyone around her cheered in the darkness, lit by tiki torches at the backyard of the house, which tilted down to the river bank they’d waded out from.

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