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Fractal in Love
by Maria Kelly
Nature loves a strange attractor
a chaotic set of repeating notations that explode in ecstasy outward from her center in lines and spirals and circles A paisley mathematics so beautiful in design that it is almost blinding As the vibrant colors engage they tickle the mind and delight the eye and leave me with burning questions: Do Mandelbrots and Julia Sets fall in love? Is this what it looks like when colors and patterns hold hands? Kiss deeply? Make mad, passionate love?
Meet Maria Kelly!
Hello! My name is Maria Kelly.
I am a 44 year-old writer of speculative fiction. I live in Pinellas Park, Florida, with a tyrannical calico cat named Missy, who goes by the nickname BratCat. Occasionally, she removes the manacles from my hands so I can write. I am currently in the process of publishing a serial fantasy on my blog for children ages 10 and up called “The Reluctant Prince.” I mainly write adult fiction, however. I read about “Soft Whispers” in the weekly e-newsletter from Duotrope’s Digest. I visited your website and found myself very interested in what you are doing there. Sincerely; Maria Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org http://identifiedflyinglenticulars.blogspot.com/
The Spaces in Between
by Angie Capozello
THE TO DO LIST DOESN’T END I HAVE TO GET THE KIDS TO
SCHOOL AND GET TO WORK AND THERE IS DRY CLEANING TO PICK UP life AND DINNER TO BUY AND REPORTS FOR A MEETING TO WRITE AFTER THE KIDS ARE ASLEEP AND THE LAUNDRY ISN’T DONE is AND MY BOSS IS DRIVING ME UP THE WALL AND TRAFFIC ISN’T MOVING AND WHY IS THAT IDIOT ON A CELL PHONE lived DOESN’T HE KNOW THAT’S ILLEGAL WHERE DID I PUT THAT FILE ITS DUE BY NOON OH THE COFFEE IS COLD MAYBE THERE’S CHANGE in the FOR ANOTHER CUP IN THE GLOVEBOX OR UNDER THE SEATS I WISH I HAD spaces MORE TIME I HAVE TOO MUCH TO DO WHERE DID MY LIFE GO OH RIGHT IT DIED IN THE NINE TO FIVE RUSH I THOUGHT I WANTED in between THIS LIFE DIDN’T I OR MAYBE I HAD SOME OTHER DREAMS…
Stop. Look out your window. SEE the world, it’s still there. Water dripping off a leaf. Birds sitting on a fence. Sunshine. Life is in the little moments. A smile, a laugh, even in tears. All of the little things that happen on the way to our next stop. Life is lived in the space in between.
Meet Angie Capozello!
Angie Capozello is an aspiring writer and poet, with far too many hobbies
(gardening, blacksmithing, archery...) She has been working as a web design and marketing professional for 15 years. You can find her serial Flash Fiction stories, and articles on the business of writing, at http://techtigger.wordpress.com. You can also follow her on twitter at @techtigger.
What Wants All
by BD Hudison
What wants all is what isn't known.
Let the touch take you. Make you. Break you. What wants all is wanted. It can get you. Taste. Soft. Lost. What wants all is to want nothing. Everything comes within. It's there. Seek. What wants all.
by VJ Maddox
Tubes are coming out my arms,
There's oxygen in my nose.... No one understands my pain, I think that's why it grows. The pain killers aren't working... My broken heart, they cannot heal. Because no matter what I say to you, You ignore everything I feel. I've begged you to come see me But it's too much for you to do. Only dying flowers at my lonely bedside, And yet, none are from you. I know i'll get better with you here, Just one touch - a kiss on my cheek... Please just treat me like you used to And not like some poor sick freak. I know you said you're coming here I hope it's not another promise you won't keep. The nurse gives me a worried look... She calmly suggests I get some sleep. But I refuse to shut my eyes Not until I've seen your face. And I hear you tell me, You'll rescue me from this place. I can't take much more of this The pain, damn beeping of machines, My head is pounding constantly, And no one else hears the screams... I know I'm not crazy... I don't care what I hear them say. They're wrong, They lie - you'll show them... I know you'll come get me today... And suddenly, it hits me.
The new drugs break through the haze. And all those lost memories... restored. Six days ago, my love - I killed you... I'm strapped down... padded walls... I'm in the Psychiatric Ward.
by Jodi Milner
Years of rage and passion
Captured with a fevered pen. Pages of brittle memory Every desire, annoyance Every fight, joy, and pain Now a source of shame. She hides herself away Crossing out the best parts Afraid of her own truth.
Aerobics for the Heart
by Cynthia Schuerr
Why did you make me wait so long?
Your little feet pattered with your arms overhead You looked up to touch my heart. It melted. Why did you make me wait so long? The wheels turned and without fault Off to a new world without me. My heart fluttered. Why did you make me wait so long? The aisle was white and the air was warm When you joined with her, two hearts in one Mine swelled Why did you make me wait so long? They chased after you when you left for work You bent down on one knee and said, “Daddy will be home soon.” You kissed their heads and hugged them tight They smiled wide and their eyes grew bright Why did you make me wait so long, my son? To see the man you would become.
Meet Cynthia Schuerr!
Cynthia A. Schuerr, born and raised in the Midwest, has been a lover of books
and of writing for many years. She began writing short stories for her grandchildren to enjoy. Recently published in the “12 Days 2009 Anthology”, edited by Jim Wisneski, you will also find her contributions of poems and short stories at http://www.softwhisp.blogspot.com/. She is a writer for http://www.examiner.com/x-37326-Kenosha-County-Grandparenting-Examiner in the family/parenting section and is currently working on two separate novels in her spare time. Her blog http://www.theheartofwriting.blogspot.com/, is where you can find bits and pieces of what defines her.
Pictures and Art
(photo taken by Jim Wisneski)
(photo taken by Rebecca Besser)
(photo taken by Estrella Azul)
A Line at a Time
The idea? Look at a picture and then write the first line that comes to mind.
A Line at a Time #15
It's the magic that's waiting, the mystery, the hope. . . the chance The key is my wish to unlock myself Unlock and discover what's inside Take me there....where there is no danger or fear Peel back the layers; reveal the key But locked away safely disguided
THE CONTRIBUTORS: It's the magic that's waiting, the mystery, the hope. . . the chance - Jim Wisneski (www.twitter.com/wisneski) The key is my wish to unlock myself - Cari Main (email@example.com) Unlock and discover what's inside - Rebecca Besser (firstname.lastname@example.org ) Take me there....where there is no danger or fear - Cynthia Schuerr (www.theheartofwriting.blogspot.com) Peel back the layers; reveal the key - Cindy Antene (email@example.com) But locked away safely disguided - Michelle Dennis Evans (www.michelleevans.blogspot.com)
A Line at a Time #15
With time comes life With air we breathe... with love we grow Enhanced by sunshine, reflective and subtle A heavy, gun-metal gray door led him into the courtyard with the other inmates where for the first time in weeks he felt the sun on his face and drank in the scent of the newly blooming apple trees, just over the fence and out of his reach Bathed in sunshine and warmth A fragile, fleeting beauty; powerful in possibilities.
With time comes life (Jim Wisneski, www.twitter.com/wisneski) With air we breathe... with love we grow (Cynthia Schuerr, http://www.theheartofwriting.blogspot.com)
Enhanced by sunshine, reflective and subtle (Michelle Dennis Evans, http://michelledevans.blogspot) A heavy, gun-metal gray door led him into the courtyard with the other inmates where for the first time in weeks he felt the sun on his face and drank in the scent of the newly blooming apple trees, just over the fence and out of his reach. (Michael J. Solenderhttp://notfromhereareyou.blogspot.com/) Bathed in sunshine and warmth (Rebecca Besser) A fragile, fleeting beauty; powerful in possibilities. (Cindy Antene firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pic 1 k
by Michelle Dennis Evans
What’s happened? What’s going on? I can’t move.
‘Hello! Is anyone upstairs?’ ‘Hello! Can anyone hear me through this grill?’ Nothing is working but my voice. Oh no I’m going to be sick. She vomited and lay there, pulling her face back from the mess she’d spewed out. Calling out over and over. Hearing silence in return. Removing herself from all feeling, all emotion she wept. And then – she slept.
Meet Michelle Dennis Evans!
Michelle writes to inspire, take people on a journey and escape their world she
is married to an incredibly hot man, with four delightful children. Michelle won NaNoWriMo in 2009, is published in the 12 Days of Christmas by Jim Wisneski and enjoys sharing her faith, family, fiction and homeschooling journey at www.michelledevans.blogspot.com and @michelledevans on twitter.
CHOSEN BY SHE
by Rebecca Besser
The vent in the downstairs hallway always
made me uncomfortable. Maybe it was the story that the old man had told me, or maybe it was a sense of self preservation that comes with instinct. I really don’t know. I just always gave it a wide berth, walking on the other side of the hall. That night was no different. I automatically veered for the far side of the hallway, but someone was coming the other way and I stepped to the side, unknowingly coming close to the dreaded vent. I jumped back as something icy grazed my ankle. It felt like frozen fingers reaching out to grab me. I swore I heard a disappointed sigh come from the vent. Quickly I stepped back to the far side of the hall. I glanced back at the vent as I rushed up the few stairs to the landing in front of the elevators. Nothing was behind me. As I rode up to the fifth floor I convinced myself that nothing had happened, that it was all in my head. That night I had nightmares. They swirled through me in realistic detail. I woke many times in a cold sweat, expecting Her to be standing at the foot of my bed. She was never there, but I still felt like She was watching me. The next morning, I made my way down to 2B. I had to talk to Old Man Withers. I needed to hear the story again. I thought if I listen to his deep voice tell the tale my brain would be able to rationalize what was real and what was my imagination. Knocking on the door I waited for Withers to answer. It usually took him awhile. He was in his nineties and didn’t move very fast.
Today he must have been close to the door. I only had to bang on it once before it was pulled open by a stooped over old man. “Ah, hey,” Withers said in his deep raspy voice. “I had a feeling you would stop by today.” “Really?” I asked, stepping inside. “What gave you that feeling?” “She visited me last night,” Wither replied. “Came to me in a dream.” A chill went right through me. My throat clenched and I had difficulty swallowing. “She?” I asked. “Yes, She. The unfortunately young woman who was murdered.” I laughed nervously. “That’s crazy.” “Crazy it may be,” Wither said as he shuffled to his old recliner. “But, true it is.” I sat on the couch. “Actually, I had some dreams last night too.” Withers nodded. “I wondered about that. She kept laughing and saying your name.” I leaned forward, bracing my elbows on my knees. “I guess I just need to hear the story again. To rationalize things.” Old Man Withers laughed. “You can’t rationalize away the truth. The poor woman died here. Nothing anyone can do about that.” “Just tell me the story again,” I begged. “Please.” Withers sighed and closed his eyes. “All right. It was a long time ago, when I was still young. There was a beautiful young woman that lived on the first floor. Every man who lived here asked Her out, but She always said no. One day a man moved in with Her. We don’t know where he came from, but he made us all uncomfortable. He only ever wore black.” I sat back and watched Withers as he talked.
“It wasn’t long before we didn’t see Her around anymore. If anyone asked the strange man where She was, he would say he was working the night shift and slept during the day. What was strange though, was the smell that came from the apartment. Like something had died and was wasting away. We didn’t know until weeks later that it was exactly that. The man had killed Her, chopped Her into pieces, and stuffed Her into the vents of the apartment. “They discovered Her after he was found by the police and arrested for an outstanding warrant. It was said he had gotten into some trouble being involved in the occult. “They found strange symbols burned into the poor woman’s skin. No one ever figured out what they meant.” “But why is She here now?” I asked. Withers opened his eyes and looked at me. “Some say She is looking for help. Other say She is looking for a man to love her. Regardless, I stay away from the vent in the hall ever since I almost got dragged in by freezing cold hands that I couldn’t see. I still have the claw marks on my legs.” Withers pulled up his pant leg to reveal scars on his calf. “If I were you, I’d think about moving. Since She has chosen you.” I swallowed hard. “Chosen me?” “She said in my dream that you were the one.” “The one for what?” I asked anxiously. “She didn’t say,” he said with a yawn. “Do you need to know anything else? It’s my nap time.” “No,” I said, and headed for the door. “Have a nice nap.” I let myself out and went upstairs to my apartment. There was a chill in the
air as I went inside. Closing the door behind me, I glanced into the hall mirror. She was there. Staring at me. She was beautiful. I was entranced by her big blue eyes. She smiled sweetly and beckoned for me to come closer. Without thinking I stepped closer to the mirror. Before I knew what was happening I felt icy fingers wrap around my throat, strangling me. She yanked me forward. My head slammed into the mirror, shattering it. A sheering pain emitted from my right temple. Everything went black. When I woke up, She was holding my head in her lap, smiling down at me. “Will you love me?” She asked. I smiled back. “Yes.” Together we haunt this apartment building. But now we share our peace and love with the residence. For eternity.
by Jodi Milner
Sam checked to see if the hall was clear
before darting behind the raspberry colored door. The old janitor's closet wasn't used during the day, no one would find her there. The smell of window cleaner, bleach, and wet mop head made her nose wrinkle. She wriggled past the mop bucket and metal garbage can to the supply shelf stuffed to overflowing with toilet paper rolls and aerosol cans. By the light of the dingy skylight she climbed to the top shelf where she kept a shoe box hidden. As the tiniest girl in the fifth grade, Sam was often teased. It didn't help that she couldn't pronouncing her S's either, they came out as a toothy hiss instead of a crisp 'Ess'. The tall and popular Tessa came up with a new taunt that morning, it still echoed inside Sam's head, “Hey Sprout, did your Momma forget to water you?” All the kids had laughed at the joke and at first recess one of the boys dumped a cup of water over her head. Her Tshirt was still damp. She laughed it off and immediately began plotting her revenge. Knowing she could strike back made school days bearable. All of Sam's trophies hid safely inside the box. Her first was Blake's shirt button, secretly snipped off after he had picked on her during dodge ball. It wasn't much, just enough to help her keep her head held high. He didn't even notice the loss. Next was Tyson's shoelace, teased from his favorite sneakers during a science film, a far more difficult feat requiring time and a careful touch. He had taken her sandwich at lunch insisting that bigger people needed to eat more. He had actually cried when he realized the lace was gone. That kept her smiling for a solid two weeks. There was Cindy's lip gloss taken straight from her pocket after Sam heard her making midget jokes in the girls bathroom. Jessica's earring, Ben's Zippo lighter, Jill's purple ball point pen, all taken in revenge. She was never caught, was too smart for that. Each taking was planned and calculated down to the last detail. The tiny Sam with a lisp was never suspected.
Her latest conquest topped them all. As her riskiest achievement yet, the thought of this taking made her heart pound in her chest. She looked at her watch, the loss would be noticed any minute. Sure enough from the playground a series of screams erupted. The double doors leading to the school yard burst open bringing the sounds of a girl wailing and the frantic chatter of those following in her wake. Sam had to hold her mouth shut with both hands to keep from laughing out loud. From her jacket pocket she pulled the long blond braided pigtail, severed from Tessa's head. She coiled it into the box along with the pair of sharp scissors. After returning the box to the top shelf she slipped into the hall with the others to enjoy the show.
Bio: Jodi Milner likes dark chocolate, writing in silence, and surfing the blogosphere for new fiction. When she's not being attacked by her children she's dreaming of her next writing project. Check out her blog at http://myliteraryquest.wordpress.com.
DON’T FORGET! SOFT WHISPERS has open submissions all the time! Our A Line at Time program is open biweekly for submissions along with the monthly Pic 1 k. AND our anthology collection is growing. Visit www.softwhispersmag.com to read our Valentine’s Day Horror Anthology AND our new St. Patty’s Day Anthology.
FROM JIM: Thanks for reading! Please stop by www.softwhispersmag.com to read more poetry, short fiction, and check out some pictures and art. Interested in submitting? GREAT! Just hop over to the site and follow the guidelines. Remember: we post something NEW everyday on the site so don’t wait until the monthly issue to enjoy all that Soft Whispers has to offer! -Jim-