Final Resting Place

by Renee Chaisson

The waves splash in front of us and my nose is full of salt and astringent decay. Behind us, your house still stands looking out at the water. There is a different family living in it now; they painted and they enlarged the porch out front. It looks foreign, but it feels the same. Like I could go on in the back door without knocking, and you would make me a cup of tea and I would sneak a candy while your back was turned. I wonder if they still have your vegetable garden. Did they keep your clothesline? Does someone stand outside, like you used to do, with wet laundry and sing about the lilies while she clips the shirts and sheets and tea towels up on the line? Do her kids run through the sheets? Does she yell at them to knock it off? I wonder about that.

The waves are loud and wild here and the tideline is close to us. I can see the sand fleas leaping up from the long line of dead seaweed and kelp. If I were to dig in there, I would find crumbling bodies of crabs and sand dollars. Probably some beach glass; remember how you used to keep it in that jar in the window? Right next to that little, sparkling vase that held sweet peas when they were in season. Mark loved to pick you sweet peas from the beach. He would bring them home in his sweaty little fist, and you were always so delighted. As though he was presenting you with some magnificent, expensive bouquet. I brought you beach glass, and Mark brought you sweet peas, and you loved them both like they were treasure.

I bought you a rose bush today. I hope you like it. It is yellow, because I remember how you used to sing a song about yellow roses. I will plant it as soon as I can get your urn to open. I do not know why they closed it so tight, but it is good and stuck. I will keep working on it while I sit here with you. Mark should be here. We both know that it has nothing to do with the cost of his airline ticket. Maybe I should have tried harder with him, but I didn’t want to keep you waiting any longer. There’s a sailboat out there; its sails are fully puffed out and it is moving slowly on the water. You loved spotting those.

The dirt was pierced more easily than I expected, and the yellow rose looks stable and brave in the packed-down earth. Your urn feels heavier now that it is empty. The sailboat has moved closer, I see. In fact, it is so close that I can see a man walking on the deck. He pulls in the rigging and collapses the sails to let the vessel drift. He stretches, and then plops down in a lounge chair. Feet up, drink in hand, I can almost see him exhale.

This is a good place to rest.

Renee Chaisson grew up on beautiful Vancouver Island and she is proud to be raising her daughter there as a single mother. In the past, she has worked as both Early Childhood Educator and an Educational Assistant with the local School District. She is currently on disability due to a chronic illness called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

The Naming

by R. M. Fuller

Once there was a child, pure and good. A child no more than five, with eyes like the ocean and hair like pale fields of wheat. More than anything, this child loved to create. He’d spend hours under the warmth of the sun, building castles in his sandbox and people out of mud.

His elders, no longer interested in such things, would smile sweetly at him or pat him gently on the head as they walked by. But, the child paid them no notice. He was busy, doing the things that little children do.

Out of happenstance, one day, a group of elders strolling through the gardens where the young boy played paused to smile at the youth, as they contemplated their latest dilemma.

“It’s very small and very new.” The matron of the group said. She was the only lady among the five, and she was the eldest and most esteemed. “I do not know of anyone who would take it.”

One of her companions nodded in agreement. “It is true. Our kind is too old, too set in their ways for such a task. There’s really no use holding a counsel for such a matter.”

“But, a counsel must be held, nonetheless.” Another remarked. “We cannot simply ignore this.”

There was a collective mumbling of reluctant agreement, to his statement.

“Should we force it upon someone?” Yet another elder asked. “Trick someone into taking it?”

They looked around at each other and shrugged.

The matron shook her head and rolled her eyes. She only half listened to her four companions, as they continued to debate and disagree. Instead, her attention was drawn to the little boy playing in the sand.

She watched the boy for a long time. The way he lost himself in his own imagination, not sparing a single glance to the elders around him. The boy was curious, inventive, and, most of all, focused.

“Here, give me the thing.” The matron said to her companions, holding out her palm. “I have an idea.”

She took the object and walked over to the little boy playing in the sand and mud. “Child?” She asked, smiling sweetly at him and holding out her hand. “How would you like something else to play with?”

The little boy looked up at her with his curious blue eyes, then down at her hand. His chubby little fingers wrapped around the object she held out to him.

“You can do with it as you like, my child. All you have to do is give it a name.” The matron told him.

He looked at her again, his eyes wide and excited, then back at the object. It was small, like a marble, covered with blue and green. He noticed, somewhat nervously, that the others she was with had come over to watch.

The matron waited as the child looked the object over, turning it around in his fingers and holding it up to the sun. Until, finally, his piercing blue gaze met hers.

“Have you given it a name?” She asked.

The little boy nodded.

“And what shall your world be named, little one?” She smiled.

“Earth.” He answered, smiling. Then, went back to his creations.

R.M. Fuller is a mother, a coffee-a-holic, and spends far too much time inside her own head. She goes absolutely nuts for hard-boiled P.I’s, and mythology in all its forms! Follow her on Twitter: @Author_Fuller

100 Angels

by J. Avarez

They came on January 10th, 2056. The sound of them ripping through the sky was the first signal for most. It was like hearing a blast of dynamite in my ear. It woke us all from our beds, and it scared the living shit out of me.

It didn’t take long for people to step out their homes and point toward the clouds. Littered across the orange dawn sky, we saw their ships for the first time. They looked like black, metallic crescent moons, with two massive white lights on the underside. Hundreds of them arrived and started to set our cities on fire. I’m from a small town in New Jersey, my fellow survivors say I’m lucky for that. The crescent airships seemed to target the major cities, they say New York City burned in fire for two fucking months!

There was no response from the government. I would have thought that’s what the Illuminati was for, surely some past president had captured a little grey alien already. I thought they’d communicate and tell them to leave. Then the power went out, after that the riots started. No cops meant the killers were free to do what they wanted. When I saw my father get shot in the head from my bedroom window, I knew the world was over.

It’s been four years since those ships came. I thought we’d be kissing their feet and calling them our supreme masters. But guess what? Those murderous bastards are still here. They came and demanded nothing. They destroyed our world just to watch us silently in the sky. I used to love a clear, sunny day, now I hate it with a passion. When the clouds go away is when you can spot them the best. Seeing their crescent shaped ships float perfectly in the sky was unnerving. Why the hell were they here? I just didn’t get it at all.

Who conquers a kingdom and doesn’t sit on the throne?

J. Avarez is a newbie Fantasy writer from New York City. He’s a huge lover of all things anime and fantasy. And yes, he too went nuts when he saw Marvel’s “Infinity War” trailer! Follow him on Twitter: @Avarezbooks


by Derek Hamilton

Lonely; whispers and echoes, and I’ll answer the
Call me; ask if I’m sleeping, I wonder if it’s lost its
Appealing; the jury’s decision, you’ll have it for once in your
Lifestyle; but after a while, it gets harder to know what you’re
Worthless; give it a rest – I’ll make you think I’m something I’m
Not here; I’m no Shakespeare – I’m the best that you’ll never get to
Have fun; when it’s all done – you’ll end up resorting to
Pleading; your case to the courts – something you’ve gotta see to
Believe me; we belong to the Keys – and I don’t need to ever get
Homesick; learn a new trick – a showcase to try to
Impress you; it’s the least I can do – but it seems like it’s never enough

It seems like it’s never enough.

Derek Hamilton is a writer, musician, voiceover talent, and self-proclaimed nerd from Northeast Ohio. He’s a Columbia College Chicago alumni, a published poet, and currently works as a streaming media producer. You can find more of his work at