By Rob M. Miller:
Christy stared, biting her lower lip.
“Speak, girl. You’re the one come into my tent.”
A pause. “I’m here for…a reading.”
The cards sat stacked on the cloth-draped table—beckoning.
Sitting, uncomfortable, Christy wondered what was taking the blind woman so long. “Aren’t you going to…you know, come and read the cards?”
Madam Vadoma smiled, her few remaining teeth threatening to fall out. “Be with you in a moment, pregnant lass, I’m reading them now.”
“But the cards are here—on the table?”
A cackle. “Those are for the marks.” The woman waved arthritic fingers, and the hand-painted Tarot deck scattered. “We’re women, and above all that shite. After all, you can see I’m blind, can’t you?”
Journal entry, 1945, penned by Patient: 4203-11/10/1920, Christy J. Parkinson
“Daughters of Bimini, A Mini-Vignette”
by Tina Swain
He was in mid-gallop when hot pain stopped him in his tracks and forced his breath back down his throat. Her mouth served as a vice as it split his bone in half. In shock, he was left with only one option, to watch as she masticated his leg. Focusing behind the fiend, he saw what used to be his parents strewn amid the sand. White flashes and a thunderous roar snapped him back to sweaty consciousness.
Toby Knight had grown used to the pleading howls residing in his new home. The smell of urine and feces were a familiar stench, and the sounds of lunacy were comforting. At least he was safe within these walls. Toby rolled off the bed and inched into the corner, hugging the only leg he had left as the other throbbed with a phantom ache.
by Lisamarie Lamb
If Merla were alive, it would not be able to breathe now. Its little lungs would be squeezed and squashed into bloody pulp, its tiny ribs cracked and crushed into splintery dust. But it was not alive, at least not in the traditional sense.
Not in the breathing sense.
But that’s not to say it was not sentient.
That’s not to say it was not there.
Jemima knew it, even as she hugged the white cat puppet to death (if it had been alive), she knew that it lived in its own magical way. Poor Merla. Gold old Merla.
Merla’s plastic eyes stared out of the car window as the scenery passed too fast, the pale sunlight reflecting back out of them. If it could have it, it would have thrown its stumpy, hollow arms around the girl who loved it so much. It would have whispered sweet words to her, to drown out the swearing, moaning, miserable voices coming from the front seats of the car.
Coming from the parents.
Arguing, of course. Complaining, as usual. Merla was tired of it, and pitied Jemima who simply sat like the good little girl she was and thought about other things.
If I could, I would destroy them. I would make you happy.
Jemima glanced down at Merla, a sad half-smile on her face. She bent her head low, slipped her chubby, stubby hand inside the toy, and nuzzled it to her face, inhaling the smell of it, all food stains and toothpaste.
“I know you would,” she said.