My son’s happy he gets the red one but balloon guy looks too sad. Like he used to have a home circus but this freelance life is killing him.

Merry Mercurial is a virtual rock groupie and blue-collar book nerd.

She put out her cigarette in his birthday cake so that he could be spared the trouble of broken dreams.

Helen Kirkby is a part-time artist and full-time writer living in LA. She is an avid believer in happy lives, not happy endings.

I searched desperately for someone real & fell in love with a lie. We make fake love now because we despise each other. I deserve this pain.

J.J. Landry (@JJLandry82) enjoys reading and writing about crime fiction.

Only once, in a dream, did he say those three soft words—then jerk upright, panic-stricken, as if somebody heard.

A writer and editor, Stephen Delaney has had recent work published at Requited. He tweets as @marginalwords.

He gave no ground as they argued about that tree, whose roots had grown deep and wild, until, finally, he had no ground left to give.

Katherine J. Parker (@katjparker) continues to believe in the power of the intangible even when the corporeal stands in her way.

She put on her somber face, just in case there was a God. And, hand to mouth, tried hard not to laugh when I impersonated the priest.

Divya Kishore studies medicine and aims to become conversant in sports metaphor.

Leave him, he told her. You have the house, the investment property. You need nothing else. Nothing.

Soon, he’d made himself irrelevant too.

Jason Peck lives in Pittsburgh and edits After Happy Hour Review.

It was a stretch for a silver lining, but if the operation failed, she’d never have to listen to her husband’s limericks again.

Pat Tompkins writes from California.

They forced him from Themiscyra, as they exiled all boys, no matter how he protested that he felt like an Amazon inside.

Sean Vivier is a web developer, a ballroom dancer, and a writer.

The chapters of his life are not in order but the verbs are strong.

AJ Atwater’s stories are forthcoming or published in Literary Orphans, The Gravity of the Thing, PANK, and others.