Ain’t No Prodigal Son- Nathan McCool

The star quarterback is now selling
shitty insurance to his loyal subjects.
He’ll tell you, “You can lose anything in the
world and we’ll give you something we
think is equal in worth. If you’re a good person
you’ll lose everything really quickly. Then you’ll
really rack up the money.”

The sweetest and prettiest girl of my class
is now married to the insurance selling jock.
She’ll tell you, “Yes. Everything turns out
as cliché and expected and boring as you
ever thought it would.”
They recently rode off from the nice wedding,
to a romantic honeymoon, in a new car that
the people of this town clamor to so they
can put their lips against the wheels…
And it was all payed for by privilege.

And me…. I’m at a piano, buried under a
shivering mountain of books. Tom Waits in my
left hand, Nick Cave in my right. Kurt Cobain’s
suicide note stuck repeating –
words dripping from my lips like melting wax
quarter notes. I was the child that was isolated,
dressed in a perception filter…
You all saw me, but never did because you
just didn’t want to.
And while you were kissing the feet of petty gods,
leaving me alienated on the edge
of a small shit society…
I still loved everyone too fuckin much.

But I am not what I was then.
I’ll come and tell you, “You’re passing over
your chances to have anything of worth,
and you’re so willing to protect everything
that means nothing. What is worth insuring
cannot be insured. You’ll only ever receive
such small and diminishing dispensations;
and if you have anything real in you, those
repayments won’t mean a damn thing.”
I’ll tell you, “Things will only really end up how
you determine them to be or how you decide
to let them become.”

And still, after all this time, you’re scared to
hear me. To even look my way.
So when my foot sets down
on the outskirts of town, the roadway
shakes enough to topple your golden calf.
From there I take back everything you tried
to deprive me of – I drink it all up
like Daniel Day-Lewis with a really long straw.
Every single one of you shudders and coughs, and
I say,
“That’s right. You know who I am.”

Nathan McCool is a member of Blood Into Ink and the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. You can find the haint, dusk, and sizzling of his concrete snares on his blog, Mist of Melancholia.

Pink Flamingos- Daffni Gingerich/Daffinblog

I huff and puff and walk out. Stamping to my car I sit behind the wheel and curse him. I go to find gas station pizza, the two pack of Hostess’ vanilla cupcakes, annnnd possibly a pint of ice cream that claims to be over loaded with fixins just to try and calm myself. I hate it when I walk in on him with other women. I mean I do disappear, no phone calls, and sparse emails with a few shallow lines of poetry to let him know I’m still breathing, but fuck put a sign on the door. And don’t think of me when you’re with her cuz that’s just weird. Even though many times I’ve done it, even closed my eyes to seal the deal, but that doesn’t matter. I tried to picture him beneath me, so vulnerable so fragile. And completely mine because I’ve straddled him and lassoed his thoughts so he’d never have to say he loved me out loud. But when I heard it echo through my brain I finished him off and left without saying goodbye. It was entirely too real. And we’d only seen each other a good 5 times outside of professional walls. Or maybe that was the first time, who’s keepin track these days. I could only think of how large I’d felt and how such a manly man could shrink so small beneath me. Not his cock of course, that grew. What kind of woman would I feel like if it didn’t. Then there’s erectile dysfunctions and that makes me feel a kinda shitty too. So anyways he was rock hard and I was wet because it was my first time straddling him. I leaned in and placed my forehead on his after telling him I could read his mind. But he already knew and had I love you at the forefront, just behind his skull where all the executive stuff is supposed to happen. So when I connected my head to his I felt entirely too much power. A man’s life isn’t mine to hold.

Daffni Gingerich says simply that she “is a writer.” You can read more of her mesmerizing prose at Daffinblog.

Semaphore-Jimmi Campkin

We build sandcastles just to destroy the pure, wet sand, dreaming of pineapples, messages in bottles and California.  Suntanned toes and blue lipstick, red dyed hair that runs in the rain and streaks your shoulderblades with plastic blood.  Lights twinkle over the harbour like your teeth in the sunlight.  You attract men, flies and trouble, and all three irritate you and spoil your fun.  You ask me, why can’t we burn down the local chapel on a Sunday morning?  And it isn’t rhetorical.  Hell hath no fury like an ex-Catholic.

Later that day, we conquer the sea.  You remove your red panties and pierce them with a shank of driftwood, plunging it into the oncoming tide in the name of Us… and what a concept that seems to me sometimes.  There is no Us, just You, hurtling around the Earth like a cannonball in the Hadron Collider, which you call the HardOn Collider whilst squeezing the blood out of my stiff cock, leaving it sore and limp like a dead chicken.

Today the sea is a flat plane of blue glass, and in the quiet the echoes are louder.  Clouds rumble overhead, keeping watch but never staying long enough to enforce justice.  I’m lying on my back as you fondle my balls with one hand and grip my neck with the other, asking me over and over again why I keep breathing.  It’s boring, apparently.  Breathing is boring.  I should just stop doing it.  My friends say you aren’t healthy for me.  But one by one they are going out, like Christmas tree lights, and soon it will just be Us again… or maybe just You, rubbing powdered glass into the slice you made in my arm with a fish-gutting knife, because…. well, just because.


Born in November 1983, I have been writing in some form or another for most of my life, but I began to take it seriously as a career around 2003/2004.  Since then I have produced a novel, a novella and a series of short stories some of which are loosely linked into an overarching anthology.
Most of my stories come under the wide umbrella of ‘general fiction’, but I have experimented with genre pieces.  My short stories tend to be bittersweet, nostalgic, sometimes melancholic and (on occasion) examine the darker side of human nature and obsessions.
I welcome you to my site Jimmi Campkin, and I hope you find something here to please you.  If not, below you’ll find a big picture of me to scream obscenities at.

Widow’s Rock- Allie Nelson

The waters are like a widow’s hair, black and lustrous

with lost foam of tears salted to rime, the ocean weeps

for her husband sky, now blackened with the rot of

night, for it is only when his sun is a coin in the sky

that mourning waters light with warmth, each day

the seas cry for sky’s death, and hang the moon up

as a gravestone resplendent for his yellow eye.

Allie is a rather bubbly blonde that currently attends grad school for science communication, has a rather useless degree in biology, and works in the environmental field. She can usually be found hugging trees, eating green curry with tofu, or exploring the wilds of D.C.. Allie is an avid poet, aspiring author, meme queen, speculative fiction enthusiast, and alien centaur aficionado. She also has about 600 lipsticks.

You can find her at Dances With Tricksters

Slick- Kindra M. Austin

Running on midnight, oil

peels ‘neath my flit feet—

heel to toe, heel to toe; but

toil and tarry with nary a mile made distant.


Sluts like me are always found

out, cos spouses see the webs of deceit

weaved with widow-like legs wide open—

not as stupid as we

pretend. Oh!


We do pretend our husbands’ best friends, or

brothers-in-law, or bosses all have hearts

appended to their throbbing dicks.

‘And that dick’s heart beats only for me.’



Slut found out

living in a small town,

sucking on spoils—

I’m gonna fucking die here,


I’ve defiled my own name.


© Kindra M. Austin

Kindra M. Austin is an indie author (her books can be found here), a founding member of Indie Blu(e), and a writer/managing editor at Sudden Denouement, Blood Into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. A Sagittarius Valkyrie from the state of Michigan, she likes craft beer, and classic big block muscle cars. You can find her filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs.

Like a Storm – Sarah Doughty


“And I wanted to believe in fate —

I wanted to believe in us.”


You said there was no such thing as beginnings and endings. Nothing came into existence or disappeared like a puff of smoke. Matter changed shape, becoming something new — never beginning, never ending. Always changing and evolving. Like ice to water. Water into vapor. Vapor into rain. You said the same thing about us. You and I didn’t become we. Somehow, we always were. I thought it was romantic. That you could think fate brought us together.

And I wanted to believe in fate — I wanted to believe in us. I did. But then everything changed. Just like you said. How could we have been destined — as if we were always one — if we could be pulled apart so soon? Was it some cosmic lesson we both needed to learn? Or was it just you? Playing me for a fool. We were like a storm, you and I. Blowing in from the sea and ravaging the coastline before fizzling out into nothing. It may still be an evolution of change, but if that’s not a beginning and ending, then I don’t know what is.


[Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.]

Those Days – Jonathan O’Farrell

Her attention wandered from the raised dais, momentarily.

‘So what, give me this moment, life is precious’.

He had come up, a little chilled,

but otherwise mostly un-nibbled by scaly denizens, of the deep drowned land;

and now found himself, sat next to her

back seats, the theatre of life.

During a brief interlude they slipped out,

Perfection, just long enough, out of whatever character currently portrayed.

Stood, still dripping a bit, at the bar she had previously raised

he held not the next shows’ programme, nor blueprint, or deed of ownership.

None, but a mug of steaming cocoa,

cradled, supported by bones

and simple, vulnerable flesh,

but that now warmed and alive.

And at sometime he pulled out an imaginary blank sheet of paper,

kept carefully dry

and unwrapped that idea, from within a fold in his soul.

Thus, the interval minutes turned to hours.

Hours of maybe sitting in the sun, basking in wordless skies.

Or little trips out to look and listen to the land, breathe, a tale or two, of two.

Seemingly, the sun moved

into the awaiting skin of that land.

Apparently it always does that.

Undistracted, during a firefly inspired, yet otherwise unscheduled meditation

he and she must have noted, that,

‘Oh, night – where did that evening go?’

No answer that time, to give,

other than ‘night, sleep well – perfection’.

As a result to this easy sum of planetary rotation

who knows what they plotted

and scrapped happily in a hungry waste basket,

ready, as ever, to receive

the scrunched up brown paper, a new world of map making.

There may have transpired crumbs of toast in a bed, or beds,

a copious number of kettles boiled,

little rocks rearranged, card games.

Wildly predictive texts read with mirth, at their late

and multiple arrival, like buses.

Car washed, paint brushes rinsed.

At times, horrors – a gaggle of unwashed coffee cups,

negotiated  by poised but gently flicking tails.

We can deduce very little my students of life

from what remains;

other than to say, games and fun played a very large part

in these lives.

Hello Miss Dreamer, at the back, yes, ha hum!

Perhaps it may have been inscribed in a journal

by one or other of them at the time,

in those uncounted days.

But the bee waxed birch bark tube

may not have survived well the consequent flood.

So we cannot know, for sure,

but we can piece together a few possibilities and imagine . . .

to our hearts content, the rest . . .

of what their bodies reveal.