Ink In Thirds - Issue 3

Page 1

Issue 3



June/July 2016

CONTENTS Prose (Kate Murdoch) (Gary Davison) (Cary Grey) (Caroline Couderc) (Sarah A. O?Brien) (April Center) (Judy Darley) (Lori Cramer)

11 6 16 17 13 3 18 14

A Cabin (Melissa Rendlen) APRIL 6TH, 2016 (Philip Elliott) bones (Sarah Stoltzfus Allen) Contemplating the Necessity of Obsolescence (Heath Brougher) coup (Natasha Burge) Cradled by the Milky Way (Fabrice Poussin) Milkweed (Jacqueline Wilson-Jordan) One Percent (Robert Walton) Revolt of the Type A Brigade (Ben Nardolilli) The Alphabet Story of Adolescence (Sara Roberts) The Color of an Oscar (Mirissa Price) The Fragments (Joseph Cooper) Thorns (Heath Brougher) Three Lines (Firdaus Parvez) White (Christopher Iacono)

7 16 7 1 15 19 9 12 4 5 10 2 8 8 20

Crossover Fakers Given Our Wings I Keep the First for Another Day Impressing the Hetero Cisgender Man Melancholia Savages Specter of You


Title Page / Copyright

Ink In Thirds - Issue 3, June/July 2016 Copyright Š 2016 Ink In Thirds

All rights reserved. Copyright in the body reproduced herein remains the property of the individual authors / artists and permission to publish acknowledged by the publisher. No part of this publication may be reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without written permission from the author(s) or artist(s) herein.

Photo by Tracy Ann

Contemplating the Necessity of Obsolescence The Great Freak held all of the messiahs above the tree branches where they limply dangled by the scruff of their necks. This Quintessential Truant seemed to be in deep thought wondering if letting them all drop to the ground and plummet into nonexistence would be the best option for the human race. by Heath Brougher 1 | Ink In Thirds

Melancholia by April Center

Blanche Dubois. We watch this wretched woman disintegrate to madness, while cavalier men remain courteous, yet callous, to her mental collapse. As a young woman, I assumed that Blanche?s madness was a sad internal flaw, suffering an imperfection impervious to the universe at large. I no longer believe that Blanche?s fragile infirmity was the result of an endogenous defect. Rather, Blanche?s melancholy was the result of crushing loss of those she loved and who loved her; her youth and years irretrievable. I am Blanche Dubois. The cold, heartless wind of loss has swept down to destroy home, heart, and hope? barriers that serve to protect. An ill-wind blows and breaks the mirror of my life into shards, with which I carefully cut away anything left as so much detritus. The remains of my soul feels no solace, no redemption, and no life. I am a stranger in my life. Friends, relatives, and neighbors are strangers, only names. In the looking glass, no apparition is reflected. Reflection serves no purpose, provides no context. Descending into my mind, I have lost myself. My mind sinks into melancholy, then madness. Only the kindness of strangers remains.

3 | Ink In Thirds

The Alphabet Story of Adolescence by Sara Roberts Anywhere. Behind the bike sheds or in the toilets. Classes were missed on flimsy pretexts of women?s problems and hospital appointments so she could sneak into town and get another pack. Dare herself to saunter up to the counter and pick a couple of packets of kleenex and chewing gum, casually adding to the mardy old woman, ?Oh, and throw in a 10 pack of Benson&Hedges.? ?Erm, have you got any ID love?? Fucking busybody. Great. Her husband always let her have them with a wink and twinkle over his half-moon specs. ?ID,? she tried to sound astounded at the question, verging on outraged, as if she had been made an unimaginable proposition. ?Just turned 21,? she said. ?Know The Griffin - that?s where I work.? ?Let me see your ID and you can have them,? the woman said, flinty eyes and a fixed smile. Manicure tapping on the fake marble counter top. ?Nothing personal, we have to do this with everyone now, it?s the law.? ?Oh, well I don?t have it on me.? People were coming into the shop. Queue forming behind. ?Right well that?s that then. Sorry. This lot and anything else?? ?Um, no.? Vicious bitch. Walking out she bumped into her art teacher Mr. Richardson, shit. ?X-ray appointment, wasn?t it,? he raised an eyebrow. ?You want a cigarette,? he said and took out a packet of Lucky Strike from his black leather jacket. Zippo in hand he offered her one and smiled as she inhaled, watching closely; his eyes on her lips.

sometimes i need to know there are bones. the desire to feel my foundation, so great, purple bruises bloom under my palms. that same need almost destroyed us.


i needed to know we had bones. pressed into us so hard, so urgently, we both came out battered and weak.

by Sarah Stoltzfus Allen

but i felt them: my bones. our bones. and they are not feeble.

A Cabin by Melissa Rendlen a cabin just logs facing a lake summers spent in woods and on water this drowning child's life raft

7 | Ink In Thirds

Photo byFab io Sas si

Milkweed When I learned you were sick, I closed my eyes and Dreamed that I could pull milk from the earth or my body? I couldn?t tell where? and spin its fine white drops into a centrifuge around you, A floating shield against what could take you, could bury you. Walking alone in the cemetery, reading the stone-etched names, I came alive for the first time in a decade, Noticed the beauty of grass, corn-husk green, the bright silver thread of clouds Winding through a sky of deep azure. I remembered the shape of my open hand and felt the wind?s breath against my neck. I prayed for your recovery, but it wasn?t a prayer. It was a summoning of the colors of a July afternoon And the heat that arose from my unfolded body When I imagined you showing up at my door to take me Without calling or being called. In time, I dreamed of milkweed, The pod?s rough green arching its back against a field of bending grasses, Exploding its white, frothy seeds to travel in the breeze, The beginning of an unforeseen journey that I called love. I could find no other name. When I saw the milky threads take to the air, I woke up again And knew you would be well.

by Jacqueline Wilson-Jordan 9 | Ink In Thirds

Crossover by Kate Murdoch Thea had terminated their relationship two months before. This did not keep her from stopping at his house on her way home from work. She cursed herself each time. What was needed was finality, a farewell gesture, but she couldn?t seem to do it. His face would light up as he answered the door and waved her in, too delighted to speak. In the bathroom, she ignored the tubes of lipstick and bright array of nail polish bottles on the windowsill. In the bedroom, she averted her eyes from the framed picture of him kissing another woman. The crossover woman. The one who had lurked around their edges, waiting for her turn to slip in and steal him. Ben twined his fingers in her hair as they sat in front of the gas fire. They stared at the blue flames, leaping like lizard tongues. He had always loved her hair, complimenting its thickness and colour. Love still rippled between and around them, holding them together. There was so much unsaid. Thea ached as she kissed him, feeling the weight of his arm around her waist, his leg beneath hers. ?I?m not coming again,? she said, holding his gaze. He nodded and stroked her palm with his thumb. Something had flitted across his eyes before his face turned impassive. ?Are you seeing someone?? he asked. She shook her head and brushed her lips over his. It was several days later when she returned to his house with the photograph. It was the only picture she had of them, sitting at a cafĂŠ. His eyes were downcast, and he wore a striped shirt. Thea looked straight at the camera, smiling and satisfied. She had him then. His heart. It belonged to her. The glow of ownership and love shone on her face. In the envelope, a lock of her hair sat beneath the photograph, tied with ribbon. Talismans of memory? he would know her words were true. She placed the envelope in the letterbox and walked away.

11 | Ink In Thirds

Impressing the Hetero Cisgender Man Be able to talk small on sports statistics and The Big Game. Master three-point turns and four to six foreign languages. Learn to tie a cherry stem with your tongue. Name every tool in his box and then ask for one he doesn?t have and hasn?t heard of. Flip backward several times in a row followed by a capella performance of a rap song of your choosing. Eat the entire buffet, politely; afterward, ask for a beer and offer a cantankerous, ?I?m starving? for good measure. Tell him he has his mother?s eyes and father?s laugh. Arrive on your motorcycle; tell him you might be free tomorrow after getting your next tattoo, but before boxing. Reveal that you?re famous in both Brazil and South Korea, for that video of you salsa dancing with the President?s puppy. Go bald, wearing your baldness like a crown. Be nonchalant about that magazine cover you?re grinning from; say, ?I?m hotter in real life.? Say, ?I look best naked.? Promptly board a plane, leaving him to wonder where you went. Never return his texts. Send him a photo five years later of yourself holding a lion. Dedicate the first book you write to another man. Dedicate the second to the lion. Forget his name. Expert the art of playing guitar with your teeth, and on your third world tour throw a bra into roaring crowds. When you receive it back, packaged along with a letter confessing love and loss, toss it into a pile with the rest. by Sarah A. O?Brien

13 | Ink In Thirds

coup by Natasha Burge

Photos by Matt Adamik

it?s the song we danced to last summer before the world fell down you whisper the words in my ear and we laugh because the taxi driver can?t carry a tune and drives too fast down streets pockmarked with the remnants of flaming tires and spent shells And broken-throated howls of victory or defeat it?s been so long since I could tell the difference but they litter the asphalt like fragile insects dying in the morning-after light and I know you want me to forget to be something clean and unbroken and only for you we wake in beds tangled with music and memory rumpled faces of friends and strangers teargas on their breath sound-bites of revolution on their lips and you touch me like I?m something unfinished and spray painted martyrs watch from crumbling walls as you kiss the words out of my mouth until there is nothing left but the choke of disappearing on my tongue

coup by Natasha Burge

I Keep the First for Another Day The night inks out the day. I lie like quicksilver, quivering, at risk to disperse. My husband wants a divorce because he wants to be the other guy. Not the one I sleep next to and don?t call when something?s too painful to tell. Not the one that came after but the one that was before. All consequences included? moving out, splitting accounts, no more trips to my family home, no more Christmas with the kids. He wants to watch from afar what will happen with the next guy. How the new man will think he?s won me but in fact has lost me to a contract. How he will be the one sleeping next to me, while I will call my new ex-husband and tell him everything that?s too painful to reveal. I lie awake until the early morning, my limbs like molten lead, ready to be poured into a form, at risk to shatter. The day soaks up the night. by Caroline Couderc

Photo by Boris Boden

Cradled by the Milky Way by Fabrice Poussin

This night the universe is my cradle In his hands I recline and slumber Smiling soul in the comfort of the giant. Gently rocked on the waves of ages Of light, dark filaments, and clouds I might not sleep another instant. The ocean of black filled with stars Paradox to what is known, only seen, It is no hiding place for the grand truth. I escape unnoticed, slipping from this home Somber, under the centenary oaks, Night-owl, at ease into the great abyss. Time is an ally confused by eternal hours Fused to the depth of space, boundless The universe is my indeed cradle and I will never close my eyes again.

19 | Ink In Thirds

CONTRIBUTORS Sarah Stoltzfus Allen Sarah Stoltzfus Allen is administrative assistant during business hours, a writer in all the free (and sometimes not free) spaces of the day, and a mother and wife 24/7. Her work has been featured in The Sacred Cow and in several places around the internet. @SarahFusAllen

Heath Brougher Heath Brougher is the new poetry editor of Five 2 One Magazine. His first chapbook "A Curmudgeon Is Born" is forthcoming from Yellow Chair Press. His work has appeared or due to appear in Main Street Rag, Chrion Review, SLAB, Unbroken Journal, Maudlin House, eFiction India, and elsewhere.

Natasha Burge Natasha Burge divides her time between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, where she is currently pursuing a master's degree in creative writing and trying to wrestle her first novel into shape. Her writing can be found, or is forthcoming, in Slink Chunk Press, Luna Station Quarterly, and Flash Fiction Magazine. @ohmytasha

Lori Cramer Lori Cramer lives and writes in Central Pennsylvania. Her short fiction has appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Fewer Than 500, Postcard Shorts, PuddingMagazine, A Quiet Courage, Seven by Twenty, Unbroken Journal, and the 11th Annual Writer'sDigest Short Short Story Competition Collection. @LCramer29

Judy Darley Judy Darley is a UK-based fiction writer, poet and journalist. Her writing has been published by literary magazines and anthologies, and has been performed on BBC radio, in cafĂŠs, in caves, in an artist?s studio, across the UK and in Hong Kong. Find her at and @judydarley.

Gary Davison Gary Davison is a writer, Illustrator, and animator. Has specialized in flash animation and has writer dozens of humorous 1-2 minute animated movies. His first Flash Fiction stories were published at 101 Wordsand The Flash Fiction Press. @garyldavison

Kate Murdoch Kate Murdoch is a Melbourne writer and artist. She exhibited widely as a painter before turning her hand to writing. In between writing historical fiction, she enjoys writing short stories and flash fiction. Her stories have been published in Flash Fiction Magazine, Eunoia Review, The Flash Fiction Press, Spelk Fiction and Sick Lit Magazine. She also writes at her blog: @Kabiba73

Ben Nardolilli Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, Inwood Indiana, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and YesPoetry. He blogs at and is looking to publish a novel.

Sarah A. O?Brien Sarah A. O?Brien enjoys dark chocolate and light wordplay. Sarah?s work has appeared in The Alembic, Every Writer, The Screech Owl, SnappingTwig, Ampersand Literary, Third Point Press, Atrocity Exhibition, Unbroken Journal, Random Sample, Ghost City Review, Allegro Poetry Magazine, VendingMachine Press, and Dirty Chai Lit. Sarah is the founder and Editor-In-Chief of the online literary journal, Boston Accent Lit. @fluent_SARAcasm

Melissa Rendlen Melissa Rendlen is a 65 year old practicing physician and has recently returned to her love of writing. Despite limited submissions, she has had poems published in WritingRaw, and an honorable mention in Three Line Thursday.

Sara Roberts Sara Roberts discovered flash fiction in 2011 and has had work published online and in print. She runs a blog and online community for writers called Cafe Aphra and has lived in several interesting places - Ecuador, Spain, Portugal. She is currently based in Oxford, where she writes fiction and teaches. @cafeaphra

Robert Walton Robert Walton is a retired teacher and a lifelong mountaineer. His Civil War novel Dawn Drumswas honored by two awards: first place in the 2014 Arizona Authors Association?s literary contest and the New Mexico Book Awards Tony Hillerman Prize for best fiction. His poetry is widely published.

Jacqueline Wilson-Jordan A native of Southeast Iowa, Jacqueline Wilson-Jordan teaches Basic Writing at Western Illinois University. She has published in The Edith Wharton Review; Memorial Boxesand Guarded Interiors: Edith Wharton and Material Culture; Short Story Criticism; Gravel: A Literary Journal; The Blue Bear Review; The Mulberry Fork Review; and The Fem.

Cover photo by Gidget Bates

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