W.R. Hilary's "One More Needle in the Haystack" is a piece of short-short fiction that totally engaged me with its hypnotic language -- short, concise bursts of repeated words, sounds, and themes that have a different flavor every time they land.
Why are you always in the hallway, standing in that blue plaid coat with your face pressed against the dirty glass of the door so that they can all see you while the teacher speaks? Throw that damn coat away and wear the one she gave you. I don’t care that it smells like her. Wear it for your own sake.Read "One More Needle in the Haystack."
Misti Shupe's memoir, "My Hair Dresser Stole my Mojo," tells the story of how a single haircut changed the author's life. While many children and adults with disabilities are abused because they're perceived as easier victims by their perpetrators, Shupe's diabetes actually protected her from further abuse. However, the lessons of putting on a perfect facade from her childhood live on in the adult Shupe's life until a rash decision to cut off her hair brings her face-to-face with who and what she really wants to be, a thrilling transformation to witness for Shupe's family, her readers, and Shupe, herself. Read "My Hair Dresser Stole my Mojo."
In "The Jungle," William Ward's short short, the narrator has a simple disagreement in the checkout line at the store that goes very wrong.
“This is not the jungle,” I reminded myself. “Not the jungle.”Read "The Jungle."
So I did what the counselor taught me. I folded my hands palm to palm at my chest, bowed slightly, and said “Namaste.” But he must have caught my mental subtext that said, “You are one sorry asshole.”
Robert Kingett's essay, "Into a Memory," is a lovely piece of memoir, rich in sensory detail. Kingett reveals how hearing William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" takes him back into his childhood and how this poem offered him comfort and escape while the chaos of domestic violence raged around him:
After listening to the first line, I was transported to a memory that I did not even know I had: It is late at night, and I am six. I remember feeling the Braille calendar poised in my lap, my finger tracing the soft indentations of the moons among the days. A sound erupts from the living room and I look up, my ears picking up every shift of the air just a few rooms from me.Read "Into a Memory."