Manic Monday


The light-brown Mourning Dove pecked at the kernel of cracked corn.

Fat with grain, she hobbled, still eating.

Springtime and eggs are coming.

She waddles and pecks, driven by instinct.

The only thing more powerful than the need to eat,

is the need to nest.

She ;picks up a single bristle from an old broom.

She gathers brown withered weeds.

She collects a shimmery piece of Christmas tinsel.

Her beak is fat with strings, twigs, and strands of whatnot.

She sees another kernel of corn.

Her beak is full.

Kernel of corn.

Beak is full.

Her thoughts cannot go in two directions.





The snow begins to fall, as snow does in February.



The snow falls on her back turning her light brown feathers snowy white.

The quandary plays over in her mind.

The snow falls.

Her eyes dart back and forth.



The flurry gains force and her feet disappear in the snow.

It covers the grain.

The Mourning Dove tries to remember why she’s sitting in the snow.


Josh Jones


The Grumpy Fairy

The Grumpy Fairy (A Grumpy Fairy Tale Book 1) by [Dunlap, Elizabeth]

This is a quick and quirky read, perfect for fans of sarcasm and fairy tales. Honestly, I can see Drusinella existing in the land of Far, Far Away with Shrek and Fiona. In fact, I can see her being Fairy Godmother to their little baby ogres. Somehow, I think she, Shrek, and Fiona would get along. Donkey, on the other hand, would probably get on her nerves.
See, Drusinella is not your typical fairy. She’s been banished from Fairyland for turning Princes into frogs. She’s lost her wings. And she’s kind of grumpy. And by kind of, I mean a lot.

Before I read this book, I’d heard it compared to Deadpool and I can totally see it. Drusinella can be rude and sarcastic, but at her core, she is good and she is more than capable of love. She just hates to admit it.
Complete with a colorful cast of hilarious characters and author Elizabeth Dunlap’s own personal touch of magic, The Grumpy Fairy is a worthy addition to any fantasy (or satire) collection. I would happily read a sequel.

Jacqueline E. Smith

Super Sperm

I’ve been thinking about sperm today. Not ordinary sperm, but super sperm–the kind real men used to grow. When I was in high school, one of my classmates got pregnant. Back then, getting pregnant outside of the holy bonds of wedlock sucked. It usually implied sexual intercourse. But not always.

The girl who got pregnant—I’ll call her Deborah—was a virgin. And yet, she was with child. Knocked up. Bun in the oven. She was in a family way, through no fault of her own. It was very sad. Very unfair.

Deborah got pregnant sitting on toilet seat some guy had recently pleasured himself on. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Sperms used to be so powerful. Hell, a young woman could relieve herself in a public restroom, and leave defiled. After hearing Deborah’s story, I never sat on a public toilet seat again; I knew a sperm could break through one those flimsy paper seat covers, waiting to get at one of my unsuspecting eggs. Though my childbearing years are far behind me, I still don’t sit on public toilet seats. Over the years, I’ve perfected my aim.

Annie Aronson: grandmother, writer, fabulous.

Terror Tonight

JD Hyde enjoys rocking back and forth in the shower rethinking his life decisions. Follow him on Twitter.


At first, Patty thought it was a case of the bugs, she had been out all day and the jitters had started. She had scraped her glass pipe clean a few times that day and wanted to call her connection. He had warned her though, that the next time that he got a call at an ungodly hour she was cut off. She couldn’t risk it.

She laid in the dark, hoping to sleep until the hours stopped being ungodly. She kept hearing a scraping sound from the walls and the closet. Patty grabbed the decorated tin box she kept her pipe in. She held it to her chest the way a child holds its favorite stuffed toy. As if they knew it would keep the monsters away until light.

Leaning against the wall, Patty stared at the grey shapes the dark made in the room. The scraping started again reminding her of something deep in her unconscious, something she had heard many times over the years. She thought it might have been rats, but Patty knew what noises rats made. It wasn’t rats.




Patty shook the tiny whisper from her head, she knew she was alone. She was damned sure knew she wasn’t a mommy. The cry came a little louder this time. She couldn’t tell if it came from the closet or from the shadow in the corner. Patty brought her knees to her chest and tried to watch both places at the same time. Without looking she opened the tin box and held the glass pipe in both hands, mumbling to herself. Like a nun praying with her rosary.




She shivered at the voice, so hollow and wet and tiny. “Shut up, you’re not there.”

There was a chuckle. “We are here, mommy. We miss you.”

“Who are you?”

There was more scraping and laughter. From the dark corner, a shape crawled out. It moved slow, dragging itself. When it got to the edge of the mattress, she could see it more clearly. A round, bald shape with one small arm. Its tiny hand held the other. Eyes shining like a cat.

“We are your forgotten. The ones that you scraped away, tossed away. And we want more. We need brothers. We need sisters. We need you.”

From the shadows of the room more small sets of eye began shining. One set for each of her visits to the hospital, for each of her missed periods, for each of the forgotten….


JD Hyde


It wasn’t my fault. Not really. It was Sissy’s fault. Even if the 6-year-old wasn’t the one who did it, she’s to blame. But Ali’s not off the hook; the 8-year-old played a part in it, too. As did dear little James Mervin. Honestly, if I had to apportion blame, he’d get 55-percent. If he wasn’t only 3-years-old and autistic, I could easily dump 90-percent of the fault at his little feet. But of the four of us, I’m the only one who’s innocent. Technically.

This is what happened:

I spent last weekend at my granddaughter’s house, caring for my three great grandkids. We were having a grand time, organizing their new bedrooms, watching Harry Potter movies and eating high calorie foods laced with sugar, fats and nitrates when James Mervin forgot he was autistic. Then, things went all to hell, real fast.

James started signing up a storm, pointing at his Hot Wheels track, then back at me while patting the floor. I pretended I didn’t understand. So helpful little Ali interpreted for him. James began nodding “yes” as she explained what he wanted. Then he looked me straight in the eye and frosted the cake. “Please, gamma, please,” said the kid who rarely talks.

I rolled my eyeballs towards heaven and heard Morgan Freeman laughing as I squatted and dropped. I had to have both knees replaced a few years back and though I love my new bionic joints, I haven’t yet mastered getting up from the ground. I should have–I spent a lot of time there–tripping over my damn dog. The border collie from hell never leaves my side.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fragile creature. Once I’m on my feet, I can leap tall buildings in a single bound, climb ladders and fly up apple trees. I go shingle-walking every December, putting up Christmas lights. I haven’t gone bungee-jumping yet, but I’m not ruling it out.

That’s probably why I’m so vain about getting up off the floor. I don’t want any witnesses. It’s a long, time-consuming process that is undignified and ungraceful. It’s simply not a sight I want emblazoned in the young, impressionable minds of my great grandkids:

ALI, 25 YEARS FROM NOW: “I remember my great grandma Annie. Wasn’t she the one who had to scrabble across the floor–like a two-legged crab–to stand up? That’s all I remember about her.”

SISSY, 25 YEARS FROM NOW: “Yeah, I remember her. She looked really funny standing up. She could get her butt in the air but that’s as far as it went. That’s all I remember about her.

DEAR LITTLE JAMES MERVIN, 25 YEARS FROM NOW: Isn’t she the one who scarred me for life—made it so I’m terrified of Hot Wheels and crab legs, to this day? My psychiatrist says I shouldn’t try to remember her.”

CHELSEA, 25 YEARS FROM: My grandma, your great grandma, loved you kids very much. I’m sorry James; your sisters and I won’t ever talk about her again.

All this flashed through my mind as I “dropped” to the ground. Consequently, I resigned myself to remaining on the floor with Sophie and my great grandkids until Chelsea and Anthony returned home, and I could be hoisted, discretely, to my feet. So, for the next two days, the four of us would sit on the floor racing Hot Wheels.

We raced Hot Wheels and then raced Hot Wheels some more. We continued racing Hot Wheels until the girls started squawking about being hungry. I paused briefly, just to look at the clock. It wasn’t supper time. It was bedtime; we had Hot Wheeled straight through dinner. Little did the kids know that we would still be on the floor, racing Hot Wheels, when their parents got home. Unfed. Unbathed. And probably damn unhappy.

And that’s exactly what we would have done if I hadn’t had to pee. I looked around; saw nothing that would work as a urine receptacle, and knew I had to get up. When my knees refused to cooperate, the kids were eager to help.

Ali grabbed my right arm, James grabbed my left arm and then the dear little idiots crisscrossed, Ali pulling my right arm to the left while James pulled my left arm to the right. I will spend the rest of my life shaped like a pretzel. And while I was being shaped for life, dear little Sissy and Sophie crawled underneath me, and tried to . . . what . . . hoist me up? On their backs?

Truthfully, I don’t know what the fuck dear little Sissy and my dog were doing, but it got me to laughing so hard I started leaking. Then the kids began belly-laughing, Sophie started barking, and they all collapsed on the floor. You know where this is going, don’t you?

By the time I was on my feet, my bladder was empty and we were all wet. Ali blamed Sissy. Sissy blamed Sophie. Sophie glared at James Mervin and growled. My great grandson never said a word. He’s discrete, but he knew. I could tell.

Anyway, that’s how dear little James Mervin’s brand-new rug lost its “brand-new rug” smell. For me, it was just another day, and one more reminder that the need for *Depends was drawing nigh.

Annie Aronson: grandmother, writer & fabulous

Manic Monday: Domesticating the Tapeworm

MANIC MONDAYS is a weekly feature concentrating on writing that is odd and quirky to assist in breaking up the dreaded return to the work week. This series is an open submission series, so if you have something off-beat to contribute send it our way!


One of my Face Book friends–who’s also a Real Life friend–is whining and sniveling about a story she’s sick of seeing at the top of her feed. Sharon is not referring to a story about our government closing its doors. Who cares about the Shut Down a man ate sushi six-months ago and grew a 5-foot tapeworm?

Now, Sharon recently ate sushi for lunch, and is now convinced she is growing a tapeworm. Knowing her as well as I do–like 30 years–she will worry so much about growing a tapeworm that she’ll grow a God damn ulcer. Sharon is a nut.

I, on the other hand, am brilliant. I read the entire thread–she has well-informed friends. I learned that eating sushi made from wild fish, cod in particular, is a surefire way to catch a tapeworm. So, I told Sharon I went looking for wild cod sushi after reading her post, hoping to catch a tapeworm. People with tapeworms lose weight. Doesn’t matter how many calories, carbohydrates or fat grams they eat. They’re really eating for two.

I will name my tapeworm Larry, and if he does his job well, I will reward him. Here’s the deal: after I lose 20 pounds, I will again eat sushi made from wild cod hoping to grow Lucy. Lucy will be Larry’s significant other. Working together, side-by-side, they will allow me to eat whatever I like for the rest of my life. My part of the deal is my promise to keep them well-fed.

Yep, I’m domesticating the tapeworm. Sharon is so excited by my idea that she’s already started a Face Book group called Wormers. Like I said, she’s a nut.

Annie Aronson