Published Short Stories, Essays, Poetry, and etc.


Yuck! I’m so sick of these bland, grainy power bars. Yet I continue to gnaw away, bit by bit, hoping the flavor will somehow become tolerable. My best friend, Tiff, promises these are good for my tummy. Her smile beams down upon me whenever she comes home from the grocery store with the latest health food craze. Placebos disguised as crunch bars, which supposedly prolong my life. I’m a sucker for wanting to see Tiff happy, so I oblige her fountain of youth schemes. Tiff is the sweetest girl I know, which is ironic because her stepdad, Jack, is a huge jerk. He enjoys telling Tiff, constantly, that he’s going to “feed” me to the neighbors’ hungry dogs. Why? It’s like he spins the Wheel of Misfortune, only every winning turn equals terrorizing an innocent girl: a B Minus packed report card, not keeping her room clean to his militaristic standards, or for the plain fact that Tiff is “soft” for taking me in and caring for me when I was orphaned. “My home isn’t an orphanage, Tiffany,” or “you’re so sensitive, Tiffany, the world’s going to eat you alive,” are common phrases.


Ahh, 1998. If you were a kid, this was a great year for popular toys and games. It was the time of Furbys, which were small, creepy, robotic creatures that randomly became chatty at three a.m. Beanie Babies, such as the iconic Princess Diana memorial purple bear, were stuffed toys that parents kept safe in a plastic casing. Oh, and Tamagotchis, computer generated pets with the lifespan of a fly. But the biggest kahuna of them all were the fantastical pocket monsters called Pokémon.


My hands are hovering above my open eyes. I let out a deep sigh in the hopes that my wife will hurry up so I can get back to the game. I cast a quick glance below at my son, Bobby. I can’t help but smirk at his dogged determination to keep his tiny hands pressed firmly against his closed eyelids. A wicker basket filled with artificial green Easter grass hangs from the bend of his right elbow. “No peeking!” My wife’s giggles echo throughout our house. Her sneakers squeak against the tiled floor

Drug Experiences | Readers Write

WHEN I WAS five years old, my elementary school held an assembly that included a special visitor, Harry the Habit Kicker. (Harry was actually our school resource officer in a giant bear costume.) He wore a shirt that read SAY NO TO DRUGS, and he carried a white bag with BAD STUFF scrawled across it. Harry demonstrated the consequences of drugs by placing the bag into his mouth. We all watched in horror as he jumped around, waving his fuzzy arms frantically, then fell to the floor, dead.

"Sometimes Dead is Better:" Exploring the First Line of Pet Sematary by Stephen King

The first sentence in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary seemingly doesn’t give any indication of the terrors that lie ahead. We’re told, simply, of Louis Creed’s newfound father figure after years of being without. But, beneath the unsuspecting sentence, is a clever setup of the power of dichotomy in this horror novel. Good and evil. Heaven and Hell. Life and death. It’s a frightening warning to all: not all things that are lost should be found.

Are You My Mother?

“But in my postpartum life on a rainy December evening, compassion flowed into the recesses of my soul.” Struggling with a newfound role, a mother ponders how giving life has awakened her empathy towards the suffering, and allowed a realization of what true love is… “Please don’t be dead,” I said, as I scampered towards the frail body resting by the side of the road. Having just swerved into a sharp U-turn, my tires squealed in protest as I slammed on the brakes. I hoped it wasn’t too late....


Do you remember those gummy candies called Jujyfruits? They came in a bright yellow carton. Bold, capitalized letters curved across the box like a thick, short snake. Inside were colorful, chewy jellies formed into a variety of shapes. The squares looked like squishy Legos, while the circles resembled the bumpy surface of a wisdom tooth. They were my go-to choice as a child. My father would grin and gesture toward the candy counter at the gas station. He would say, "Go-on, but don't tell your mother."

A Confused Protestor in Front of Morton’s Steakhouse Slams ‘Carnivore’ Brett Kavanaugh

A large crowd has gathered outside of the Morton’s Steakhouse in downtown D.C. Protesters, hell bent on disturbing the life of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. One man, with megaphone in hand, joins them to make his opinion on the pressing matter heard. Man with Megaphone (MM): Brothers and Sisters of the Revolution! Enough is enough with these corrupt politicians and their relentless bloodthirst! MM unzips his jacket, revealing a black and white t-shirt that reads “Abort the Court.”

A Simple Order

The brightly lit glow of purple summons us in our post-liquored-up state of physical exhaustion from grinding and random make-outs with shadowy strangers on a packed dance floor. After piling into some girl’s beat-up van, in which there was no A/C and the driver’s side window is unable to roll down, we finally arrive at our craving’s terminus. Only to find a long, winding line of other weary passengers awaiting the finale to their taco-tastic night.

Dreading Expectations

As soon as I return home from my first day back at the office, post-parental leave, my sleep-deprived husband hands me our wailing baby girl. She’s my mini-me, with thick brown hair and round chin. I take her, begrudgingly. Holding her, I can’t help but cry internally. Every scream, howl, or noise sends shocks of anxiety through my already fragile body. Since becoming a mother, I’ve discovered a truly shameful part of myself, a remorse that eats away at me every second that I hold my daughter.

Those Who Scream: A Novel by 30 Writers

Molly Hammersmith, a woman seeking a serene change of pace, moves from Kentucky to southern Georgia to work as a cemetery groundskeeper. However, there are people (and things) that are not as welcoming of her arrival. How long will she remain here, and what may keep her in this mysterious corner of the world? That is, until she learns how to scream. Welcome to Scarlet Maple Cemetery. Written during the traditional NaNoWriMo period (the month of November), 30 writers were tasked to write a complete, unprompted story full of eccentric characters, unforeseen plot twists, and shuddering undertones. Bethany Bruno created the novel's plot and wrote the first chapter.

Chained to the Drift

It’s difficult to devote your life to a family that will never embrace you fully. Especially when your newly acquired family, by law, constantly expects utter devotion. Such was the case for Mrs. Mary Louise Elmwood, a young woman from a highly respected family in northern Alabama. It was a fine match; a proper combination between two well-off esteemed families. Mr. Robert Elmwood, although barely thirty, had already established quite the reputation for himself as a steadfast lawyer in the newly exquisite courthouse in downtown Athens. He was a ruthless lawyer in the courtroom, who never let any criminal walk away without some legal punishment. Some said those reprimands extended outside of those halls, and into the streets of downtown Athens. But Mary Louise didn’t partake in such rumors.

Unopened Envelope

When a loud knock struck upon her bedroom door shortly before dawn, Maddy was already wide awake. She would be instructed by her mother, Julia, to deliver single unopened envelope hundreds of miles away. A mere twelve hours later, that same envelope rests upon Maddy’s passenger seat as she crosses the state line between Georgia and Alabama. As darkness rolls over the vast mountain peaks, Maddy begins to fade deeper into drowsiness. It was a long journey from South Florida to her Uncle Tim’s home, and a much-welcomed distraction.

Pissing Contest

His unblinking green eyes spoke louder than any hiss or meow. His constant penetrating stare always felt like almond-shaped lasers that seared holes into my chest. My girlfriend, Sarah, and I were cuddling on the couch and watching some much-needed cheesy television. Instead of focusing on Uncle Jessie on Full House, I spent date night being watched by a small monster who despised me. Roscoe, Sarah’s cat, sat upon a silky plump rosy pillow on the opposite side of the couch.

It’s-a-Me, Mario! I Found-a Coin in Joel Osteen’s Walls!

Me and my brother, Luigi, were driving on the rainbow bridge when we-a get the call. They say, “oh no! Our toilets are backed up. WA-HOO!” We go to their church and find it flooded. Ouch! Let’s-a go! There are bananas all over, be careful Luigi! We whip out our tool kits and get to work! That’s-a when I see the golden circular light. It’s everything we work for! Luigi and I smash through walls with our raised fists. Mario and Luigi already break through the wall behind the toilets and find

Buttered Popcorn & Attempted Assault

Walking into a concession area within a movie theater should stir excitement. You’re most likely eager to finally watch a film that’s taken forever to come out. There’s one essential piece to your movie-going experience: freshly popped buttered popcorn. It surrounds you, enticing you to come closer, like a delicious lit candle sending out an irresistible aroma. It’s a distinct smell, one that no microwavable bag at home can replicate. Yet, for me, it’s a tidal wave of nausea. One whiff invokes
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