Showing posts from November, 2019

Is Better Late Than Never Better Than Plain Old Never?

When my wife, Debbie, was four her father crept out of the family house not to be heard from again until she was sixty-two and they ended up in the same Alzheimer’s unit anonymously watching I Love Lucy reruns while sitting next to each other on the loveseat in the TV room. Bio: Paul Beckman is an award-winning author. His latest flash collection, Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press) was a finalist for the Indie Book Awards. Some of his publications are in Spelk, Necessary Fiction, Litro, Pank, Playboy, Thrice Fiction, The Lost Balloon, and The Raleigh Review.

The Painting

Do people ever really know the impact of their words on others? Do they actually comprehend the depth of joy or sorrow words can bring? This is a question I have been asking myself from an early age. In fact from as far back as I canremember. It all started with the whispers from the adults around me, talking to my parents, or behind my parents’ back whilst towering above me as a young child. I was not the best looking child amongst my siblings or in our neighbourhood, but to hear people’s comments such as “ My goodness, not very pretty is she?” “ Poor child, she is no oil painting, bless her”. They would say it with a mixture of disdain, superiority, pity and even plain enjoyment at saying something hurtful to my parents and in turn, later on, hurtful to me. Why would they want to do that to an innocent child? I guess the reason was that people were jealous that I was born in a powerful family in days gone by, so they relished the fact that we had lost everything and,

Escaped Ink

Ideal for Christmas

My Little Eye

The minivan consumed interstate highway miles like a swarm of locust defoliating a forest. Little Eliza’s eyes darted to every surface she could see from her raised safety seat. “I spy with my little eye,” she said with all the anticipation a six-year-old could muster, “somethiiiinnnngggg … black!” “The cows?” Eliza’s twin brother Elliot shouted from his matching safety seat, pointing out the window. “No!” Eliza said. “Daddy’s glasses?” asked Eliza’s mother Donna, not taking her tiring, forty-something eyes from the road or her hands from the proper ten-and-two position on the steering wheel. “No!” Eliza said. “Is it inside the car or outside?” Eliza’s father Bud asked, cocking his head from the passenger seat. “Inside!” Eliza called out gleefully. “The back of the seat?” Elliot asked. “No!” Eliza answered. “Mommy’s underpants?” Bud called out. “Gross!” Elliot spurted. “No, silly Daddy!” Eliza shouted. The minivan flitted


By Ashley Diaz Rosa sat behind the main desk in the foyer of the community center. The multi-purpose room closed for the day but the basketball courts and the teen lounge remained open and a few people trickled in and out every so often, but for the most part she sat alone at the desk. To keep from going mad from loneliness, she surfed the Internet for ideas for crafts for the next day. Anything to keep busy. She heard the door to the center open and close but she did not look up. People were coming in and out as always and she figured just a group of teens came to play basketball. “Hey there, shy girl!” Rosa could feel her stomach tighten. She recognized that horrible voice. Trying her best to keep her attention focused on the computer, Rosa fought to stay calm as the man who entered walked over and leaned over the counter. “What are you doing, Rosa?” the guy asked as he read the computer screen. “Looking at crafts? That’s cool.” Rosa nodded to try to stay polite.

A Sense of Perspective

Becky’s finger began to throb again, pulsing rhythmically with her heart, but becoming more painful with each beat.   She glanced at the clock yet again and recalculated all her timings.   It was nearly four hours since she had trapped her right index finger in her ironing board and three and a half hours since her next-door neighbour, Ali, had driven her to hospital. Becky had decided not to ring her husband, Mike, as he was working the late shift at the factory, so would not return home until nine that night.   She thought she would have returned by then, especially as there were so few patients waiting when they arrived at A & E.   Admittedly, it was only a quarter of an hour before the triage nurse inspected her hand, took Becky’s details and told her she would be seen as soon as possible. Holding her arm upright to stem the bleeding, was making it ache even more, but she had no option. She and Ali had fidgeted on the hard, plastic seats for another hour, trying to find