“John 15:13” by Stephen Floyd
“How old is he?” I asked the doctor.
“Just 6 days old.”
I swallowed hard.
Through watery eyes I nodded my approval.
O, how my heart ached and rejoiced. The organs from my daughter's lifeless body would save the life of another.
She quivered, “Mine.”
Through watery eyes I nodded.
From my boat adrift I spied you. I thought you were an island, a refuge, a safe harbor. Alas, you were an iceberg.
Everything has a beginning, even the end.
Everyone has their own color I guess. When people speak I can see it escape from their mouth. You don’t have to ask. Your color is green. Now I’m watching you watching him. And you are both saying I do. I can’t help but wonder, did you ever know my favorite color is green?
They let her sleep behind the couch now, near the vent. She lays under his brown satin blanket, rubs the worn edges to quiet herself. She presses her ear to the space between the couch & the floor, listens to them chat about the future, bites her arm to witness the pain.
In one motion, the priest gently twisted off his linen collar and set it beside the glass of freshly poured bourbon.
Did the mugger know he had just come from karate class?
Father Gabriel exhaled with a sigh as he slumped into his chair.
“I guess he does now.”
“Wichita, Gate 85” by Stephen Floyd
“You flying for business or pleasure?” the man asked.
I raised an eyebrow. “Neither.”
He pointed, “I noticed your suit and red sneaker combo.”
I grinned. “Flying for family.”
I tapped the heels of my red sneakers together as I stood, “There's no place like home.”
“$wear to Tell the Truth” by Stephen Floyd
He held the jar up so the visitor could see.
Coins inside rattled to the bottom among the dollar bills.
“OMG. Shut the door it’s hot as hell..llo pastor. I see you’ve met Mikey.”
The rose-cheeked mom placed another dollar in the jar labeled “swears” and welcomed in the preacher.
“Glimpse” by Jeannie Prinsen
In the station she spotted a familiar figure—the height, that red coat, both unmistakable. She followed, heart pounding. He boarded a bus. When she peered through its window she saw a stranger. Her brother was dead; she knew that. But for a moment, she’d let herself pretend.
“100 Minus 1” by Brad Larson
Bloody he thrashed through the scrub brush and crags. His lungs burned and heaved. The bleating behind him grew faint, and so did he. But not his will. He could hear her tangled somewhere ahead, frantic. He’d bring her back, even if it killed him.
Cover image by Alvaro Serrano