It’s a new year, and in the spirit of 2022, the speculative fiction prompt is back! On the first of each month there will be a new image for writers to use to inspire work. We accept all styles of writing, be that a poem, a short story, of a chapter for a novel. This prompt was originally the brainchild of D Wallace Peach over at Myths of the Mirror. Writing and Works took over 2019 and it went on hiatus at the start of the pandemic.Continue reading →
Pretending to linger
I make a show
of standing on the threshold
one shoulder inside
this room we’ve filled with moments,
cheeks smooshed against windows
limbs spilling, grasping
from cupboards unclosed
and floorboards lifting loose
to show the bodies
no longer hidden, buried beneath.
After the heat passed out of our veins
and cold sucked all energy
right through the soles of our feet
to the same place shadows reached to.
When your voice seemed to linger,
your smile flickering in my periphery.
That was when I turned my head,
slow and deliberate,
lips caught around words
I’d wished I’d said to you.
Small Flies and Other Wings
Christine Ay Tjoe
After the breakup:
easing her out of the settee cushions
so we could see the damage you left.
Spaces marked by absence.
Your idea of husbandry,
less obvious than building fences
to keep her tamed.
You took her wings,
kept them between glass,
along with all the others
collected and curated
to remind yourself,
how many birds roosted
in the catch of your palms.
They grew back so different,
translucent to the eye
and always tucked away
from those who might be watching.
You would not return to her
for wings that looked like these.
Not when there were others
much prettier for plucking.
Each evening I begin unwinding myself,
searching out the teasing thread
that will lead to the knots
wrangled tighter each day.
As if I am a set of headphones
snaring pocket lint in my tangled nets
until I’ve frayed too far,
and simply snap.