Table of Contents 4. Aunt Hedda’s Heritage by Jan Wiezorek 7. Out of the Carcass by Daniel Wilcox 8. A Beer and a Candle by Frank Cavano 9. Without Parallel by Joseph Farley 10. Taking a Stand by Steve Klepetar 10. In Sanity by Anthony Ward 11. Midsummer’s Eve by John Stocks 12. The Pain in My Left Hand by William Doreski 13. Beauty by Kenneth Gurney 13. Loneliness by April A. 14. Writing Buddha by Darryl Davis 15. Looking For a Way Out by Eleanor Bennett 16. Manhattan Round Up by T.R. Healy
Letters From the Editors Dear Writers and Poets of Enhance,
Dearest Enhance Readers,
So you’ve made it to the Enhance party. Welcome. The punch and cookies will be served later. For now you have the glory and the power of being a poet and or writer with a publishing credit. So I want to thank you for submitting your works to us here. We appreciate your greatness and your presence
Words grow out of lives: the experiences that created them cause them to lift off the page as we read them, and become infused with human voice, whispers of meaning. I have always been fascinated by words; as a child, nothing thrilled me more than playing with words, finding out what they meant, and learning how to make them do what I wanted them to do. Words that I read have always had a profound effect on me, often opening doors to new thoughts and ideas, and taking me places I never thought I’d go.
And you readers who grace your eyes on these pages of Enhance we couldn’t have done so many issues without you. Readers and writers are what keep the motor of this boat running and we appreciate every single one of you. Once again thank you all for doing your part. Honestly, I enjoyed every moment of working and reading submissions. I love that I can call work just sitting and reading poetry and short stories for a while. Working along side Dave and Sopphey was great too, even if the review process is a bit strenuous at times. This version of Enhance is fantastic. I can’t stress how much I enjoyed reading all your works. Hope you have a chance to share it with friends and family as well. Keep up the good work and keep writing, Nathan Alan
In this issue of enhance, you’ll find many words. These pages are filled with poems and short stories, written by people who hungrily snatch ideas out of the air and capture them, turning them into some form of geometry for others to un-puzzle. You may laugh, or cry, or finish reading and go back to your coffee or television and forget that you read anything at all. But if you’re like me, you’ll catch a spark of an idea, and take a little perspective with you, something new you’ve picked up from the following pages. Many thanks to all who contributed. May others follow the lines of thought that you’ve laid out here to many interesting places, and come away mouthing the words that you have fed them.
D. DeGooyer THIS ISSUE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY D DeGooyer Matthew Guerruckey Nathan Alan Schwartz Sopphey Vance
Aunt Hedda’s Heritage by Jan Wiezorek -1His gold buttons and official-looking badge were bright beacons in my face. He looked at my 2001 model-year car like I had driven from Mars. “No, it’s only residential on this side of the road.” He waved off-handed at me. “Yes,” I said. “But I was hoping to visit Laval House.” “We don’t allow that. This here is a gated community—no drive-throughs.” “I came by to take a look—” “This here road is private property.” I wanted to cross the security stop and drive to my ancestor’s home, set among the bright, green fields above the river, but the guard made any forward progress impossible. “Just wanted to drive through and come right back,” I said. “I can have you towed out of here, miss.” For a moment I stopped trying and rolled my eyes upward until I nearly lost sight of my vision. “I’ll turn around,” I said¸ and spun the car in the opposite direction, back up the hill from where I had come. I looked in the rear-view mirror, and the security guard was writing down my license-plate number. Coming toward me was a blonde man in a white Mercedes. In my mirror I saw the guard wave him through. The guardhouse gate rose. Scooting up, I saw my own face in the mirror. My brunette hair had fallen, and the start of little veins drilled their way across my cheek. I wouldn’t get any closer to Laval House today.
-2Four glass hand bells from Aunt Hedda’s collection and five gallons of Uncle Virgil’s homemade wine that she had kept since his death. That’s what I got. “We can keep her alive, and no doubt she’ll rally,” the doctor had told me, “but over time the result will be the same.” Aunt Hedda couldn’t swallow anymore, and her advance directive indicated no feeding tube. Her time was short.
“About 14 days or so,” the doctor said. Milk-white skin is what Aunt Hedda wanted. Years ago she could haul a fifty-pound bag of potatoes, set up pints of strawberries by the dozens, and work the fields on her hands and knees. On Saturdays Aunt Hedda and Uncle Virgil trucked their produce to town for market on Courthouse Square. My aunt pulled used stockings over her arms as a sunshield. She considered tanned skin déclassé, but that wouldn’t be the word she’d use. All farmers tanned while working in the elements. People with no tans were unusual, and being unusual was Aunt Hedda. It was a sponge bath every morning. She washed her face only in cold water, a personal secret to longevity that she shared with me. I wondered whether it would help my veins. She was in her eighties when the stroke took her, but she remained a truck farmer with a strong heart to the end. I had some of Uncle Virgil’s wine for ten years until the last drop of it was gone.
-3Jeremy came over to taste Uncle Virgil’s wine. He was a wine snob from the restaurant, and I knew he wouldn’t like it. “Very fruity,” he said, scrunching up the crow’s feet around his green-marbled eyes. He attempted a half-smile of pleasure. “It reminds me of the wine my parents serve at their vacation home by the river,” he said. “Your parents have a vacation house?” I asked. “I didn’t know.” “Yeah, we visit most weekends. Wanna come?” I’ve been working at the restaurant for three months, and I liked Jeremy, but not enough to visit him at his parents’ cottage. We’re only friends. It seemed like it would be uncomfortable for me to say yes. “When?” I asked. “This weekend.”
-4After the funeral I had a few of Aunt Hedda’s friends over, ladies she talked with at their daily coffee klatch in her low-rent apartment complex for seniors. “Sharon,” one of them said, “I’d like to see the bells. She always rang them for us when coffee was ready.” I took out the hand bells. One was ruby colored with exterior glass bumps that sounded a tinkle. Another was blue and missing its clapper. The third, all pink, reminded me of Tinkerbell for some reason—maybe because it held a kind of the girlie charm with its hand-painted, sprite-like white flourishes. The fourth was a somber purple, the color of ribbons that ovarian cancer patients and their families wear. “Did Hedda ever mention her key?” another of the ladies asked. No key came to my mind. “What key?” “She said she had a key for you that opened a chest somewhere.” I didn’t know of any chest that was locked.
-5The guard smiled at me this time. I wondered what made him change his mind. “Yes, you can go right in, miss,” he said. “Jeremy Clauers is waiting for you.” I drove up to the cottage. It was nothing fancy, only a white one-story with skylights and blue-jaycolor shutters. There was a short beach along the river that I suspected the Clauers had rights to use. Jeremy met me outside by the grassy driveway with a cut-crystal wine glass of some red wine that was too dry for me. It didn’t go down well. “How did you know I was coming?” I asked. “The guard called,” Jeremy said. Jeremy kissed me on the cheek, and I wondered whether he was a snob when it came to choosing his girlfriends, too. “Could we walk around?” I asked. “I’d like to see Laval House.” “It’s a dump,” he said. “We’ve been trying to get rid of it, but there’s some historical society guy with
rights, and he keeps fighting us.” “I hope so. That’s my ancestor’s house, but I didn’t see it from the road,” I said. “Where is it?” Back in the 1850s my ancestors had come from Canada and worked in the fur trade along the river. The old man, ancestor Laval, ended up on a farmstead—right here. Over the years the house had become dilapidated. It’s still there, with a gated community built around it. “See that hill? It’s up there hidden in the birch wood.” “I thought there was a farm,” I said. “Yeah, it’s up on top. It’s flat up there; good, rich farmland.” “Have you ever been in the house?” “No, but I poked around the barn once,” he said. “Want a roll in the hay?” I laughed out loud. A work affair was never worth it.
-6I was looking though Aunt Hedda’s few personal effects—furniture, pots and pans, books, flowery dresses, and a brown footstool with a locked top. The stool was hollow inside, and the top had a hinge. It fastened with a padlock. Her keychain had a key that I thought might work. Inside, I found a few insurance papers, duplicates her attorney already had. At the bottom of the stool was a fancy pen-and-ink ledger in script that once belonged to Joseph Laval, my ancestor. It listed his fir-trade accounts and beaver pelts. The last pages focused on his farming operations along the river and the acreage he planted in corn and winter wheat. Laval’s handwritten script on the last page of the ledger said: “The brass padlock opens with a key.” I kept Aunt Hedda’s keychain just in case.
-7The last time I saw Aunt Hedda alive she was unconscious or sleeping in her hospital bed. Orchestral music was being piped into her room. She was breathing, but it was labored and her exhalations came from her mouth, causing her lips to part. It sounded like she was whispering the word “poo,” and I realized how weak and tired she had become.
Was she ready to give up after all? I prayed aloud. It caused her to fidget, so I finished, left, and never saw her alive again. She was probably telling me in her own way not to worry and to get on with my own life. Otherwise, mine would be poo. How else could I interpret it? I went home in the early evening and made a pot of coffee. When it was ready, I rang the ruby glass bell in her honor and sipped. I went to the john.
-8Some names you’ve got to avoid. Get near a Mark or a Susan¸ and it’s bad news. Mark’s stalk, and Susan’s like to control things. I had no experience with a Jeremy except that I once saw Jeremy Irons on stage and liked the show. “This is it,” Jeremy said. It was a two-story house with a barn. The house had unusual open porches on the north and south sides, but Jeremy drew me into the barn. I nosed around the tool bench and looked into some cabinets. Nothing needed a key. No brass padlock, either. “Jeremy,” I said, “your expensive wine—that I can’t stomach—is giving you far too much courage.” He took his hands off my rear end. I waltzed around the house, which was locked. I think Aunt Hedda sauntered along with me, somehow. At one point I closed my eyes when I thought of her. I saw a ray of light grace the upper area of my vision—which would be vision if I had had my eyes open. They were closed and I saw the light, and I thought better about putting Jeremy off on a rage. Pissed, he walked back down the hill alone.
-9When I was a girl—I’m uncertain how old I was, maybe four or five—I visited Aunt Hedda and Uncle Virgil. I sat in their cozy kitchen while dad and Uncle Virgil drank some wine poured from a glass jug. Mom and Aunt Hedda talked for hours and agreed sometimes. I had orange pop and watched the summer sun shine its setting warmth up through the strawberry patch and into my comfortable memory of Aunt Hedda’s kitchen. The light reflected off the edging on the glass-front cupboard that stretched the length of the room.
I invited a few of Aunt Hedda’s coffee-klatch girls over again and poured each of them a juice glass of wine. I thought for sure Aunt Hedda would have served them some. They didn’t know she liked wine. It was something special, something Aunt Hedda kept to enjoy alone or with family. It meant more to her than I thought. It was part of her love for her husband. It became part of the love she shared with me. I liked Uncle Virgil’s wine. I don’t think I’m a snob.
-10As much as I tried, I could not get into that house. The historical society had it all locked and said it wasn’t safe for visitors. They had plans to fix it up and were seeking donations. I gave all I could afford— twenty-five dollars. Reservations are down, and a server has a hard time making a living. I talked to someone on the telephone involved with the renovation, and he said he hadn’t seen anything that resembled a bronze padlock. Most of the furniture was gone before the society began its work, he told me. It was time to leave. A man drove a white Mercedes. He entered the gate as I was on my way out. The guard said to me, “You’re interested in Laval House, right?” “Yes.” “That man in the white car is in charge of it.” The guard signaled us each to pull over. As soon as I left my car, I admired the blonde man’s blue-eyed directness and his combed hair in the sun. “I’d love to show you the house, grounds, and barn,” he said. A ruby-bell tinkle sounded somewhere, and a flash graced my vision. Want a roll in the hay? I thought.
Out of the Carcass by Daniel Wilcox Out of work, Unemployed, Anxiety rotting my life, I steered Down, (And out) my lone van Descending, Into the grime-smogged carcass Of deserted desert, Such seemingly God-forsaken land, Forgetting of the Egyptian Fathers And the forty days of one, Into the burning oven of Hemet, From Banning’s pass-ed over Polluted, suffocating blindness, Wallowing of late in One abyssed, prodigaling pitted party. But then up in front On the scraggly shoulder Of the darned tar road, I saw a lone hitchhiker, And stopped for the long hair, A Samsonite-bulky Rainbow-suspendered late-bloomer Hitching east, filled with spiritual passion, He turned my focus ‘In-word’, to the Divine’s presence. Ignoring the reeking decay and fevered heat, We drank with the Samaritan woman, Gushing Living Water From deep within; We basked in the coolness And welled joy, ‘compass-ioning’ our world, Down Through the scorching hell of uncertain ends And the carrioned spoil of too many religious ‘meets’… Out of this depression-carcass Of abyssed, stinking loss, Living life burst forth In the “Sweet Here-and-Here…”* [*Altered line from an old hymn, “In the Sweet Bye and Bye” by S. Fillmore Bennett]
A Beer and a Candle by Frank Cavano A beer and a candle, new signature from an old hand, a wind shield wiper for her ever spilling eyes looking for a lost face. Many years turtle by ignoring her tragic loss but she ignores no person. Friends mock her for conversing with those who tend her lawn, for recalling the names of the children of the clerk at grocery mart. Unbidden, she steps aside for others in a line. Yet, she is the one whose sight has failed. She is the first, always the first, to compliment a new mother on the beauty of her baby for its true beauty is seen by something other than disappearing sight. In a friends tone or glance, she so easily discerns the loss, the quandary, the fears that reign unspoken and bids them speak while chiding the others who are focused too strongly on their own goals and plans. And so each day passes. Neither that great loss or her failing health interrupts attempts to keep the focus on others. No opportunity to â€œbe thereâ€? is missed for one who needs a smile or a kindness. She looks for them and they arrive. Then, finally, evening has come. For a little while, it will be her time now. It is time to remember. The beer is for her but could you possibly doubt she is the candle?
Without Parallel by Joseph Farley There is an illusion with parallel lines that they join into one with distance and time. The fact is they remain separate forever, never drawing closer or gaining greater insight. So it is and has been with you and I. Long we have traveled our separate paths often within sight of each other, but never close enough to understand or achieve true intimacy. We continue mirroring each others movements ignoring the noise that sometime emanates from orifices. And so it seems we shall continue until we reach that distant spot on the horizon. and become one with oblivion
Taking a Stand by Steve Klepetar I have taken a stand on the bricks of a seagullâ€™s dive, on that rasping sound above wind and sputtering wave. Salt in the air and gray rocks jutting out into the sea with nothing to lose but the ghost of words.
In Sanity by Anthony Ward I rake the moon from the water I try to drown the eels in Listening to bells emanate from the campanile beneath My mind carried by the North Sea Lured by sirens Neither swimming nor soaring Merely floating freely Ebbed along by the current Wherever it takes me. My moods often split As if living simultaneously Not knowing what to expect While expecting something different All the same My sense of self exaggerated into depression Controlling my life with ritual intensity Wishing to escape myself As I levitate to nothing Going out of my mind The further I delve into it Having to go deep into myself To let myself out All this thinking making me insane My mentality scrutinized by the doctor Trying to make sense of the thoughts I thought were my own.
Midsummerâ€™s Eve by John Stocks When half the world was wildwood when wolves howled in Wolvescote dale and naked virgins prayed to Orion; the village shaman sat in awed silence watching Swifts and Swallows hushed, lost in deep chasms of thought lonely, intuitive and afraid. He saw how times could merge like seas slipping into oceans, how distant worlds of ice and fire would tumble from the sky, and torches would melt in the moonlight. He saw men scramble into holes for lead like fossilized mothers milk, a last, loveless bear, stumble into oblivion and wolves disappear into maps. He saw Oceans grey and lifeless, as listless as mercury, lapping on still and barren shores, beyond the hapless, still bulk of the final stranded whale. He had visions of interminable war a child of eighteen summers slain in a field of blood red poppies, a farmer passing with his plough eyes fixed on the furrowed trench ahead. And he saw mankind plunge into darkness vision blurred by conscious thought, dreams buried, strangled at birth and the moon-muse turned to dust.
The Pain in My Left Hand by William Doreski The pain in my left hand expects to be labeled arthritis; but the cause is my attempt to grip the moon as tightly as the average red rubber ball. Meanwhile graduation rates flutter like butterfly wings. Race tensions sever children, smearing sidewalks with competing fruit juices, pink and yellow. Taxes rise. Prisons cough up victims, discolored by centuries of bruising. None of this explains why I tried so hard to squeeze the stuffing from the moon, whose innocence offends me. The broken mill towns cling to shallow, pebbly rivers. Athol, Orange, North Adams, Greenfield, Lowell, Lawrence, Manchester, Taunton, the names too arbitrary to blame for the overspending of Congress and the stalling of peace talks on continents Iâ€™ll never visit. No, I blame my tactile greed, my longing for the lost Cynthia of classical outlook. One night in an alley behind a bookshop she grabbed me by the shoulders and pressed me against the landscape men often mistake for her body. I never recovered from the shock; and later, underage in a bar, I toasted in silence her stance, her alligator sneer. Years later my left hand, the only part of me
to respond to her aggression, aches as deeply as the greeting of some fathead politician; and the moon warping into daylight looks unruffled by my touch.
Beauty by Kenneth Gurney Much like a god sunning on the beach, you lay yourself out on the picnic table and offer your body as lunch. This would be enough, if all I needed was to curb that particular appetite, but you get up and go away— the echo of your steps receding into the void has this inaudible, lyric quality that, unexpectedly, sustains me.
Loneliness by April A. When loneliness pierces your heart like a thorn, When memories seem to replay all your past, When some contradictory feeling is born To remnants of love that was not meant to last, Your temple of hope is about to fall, The shade of your sun is about to fade, The wheel of your life is reluctant to roll, It feels like a permanent dance on the blade. You search for the answer in every small sign, You trust every symbol, you wish on a star, You drown your grief in a glass of mulled wine You two used to drink in the same cozy bar. You find the salvation in bittersweet lies, In fact, it is clear like a crystalline ball: Just look at yourself with your destiny’s eyes, You’ll see love has never existed at all.
Writing Buddha by Darryl Davis On chilly Tuesdays, I write according to a strict ethos. Evening light is subdued in a room of primary colors, heat on medium to ensure balance and the notes of a piano concerto flicker amongst red and white candles encircling two cream-colored half moon chairs which my mass spans from east to west - never west to east â€“ although the manner in which I recline varies. A fairly upright position is best when writing about truth, faith or hope as my feet are distanced from my graying head, keeping things pure, clear and beyond reproach. For poems about love, sex or death, I find a curling like a tomcat is more conductive, allowing a middle to form from the meeting of extremes, that place our mothers only wanted us to know about in theory, a page in the Kama Sutra with the corner twice folded. But my favorite position beyond a doubt is this one, the one I reserve for writing about poetry where I lay on my left side in boxers and a t-shirt, my length crinkled into separate stanzas, the leg bone of each connecting to the knee bone of the next, concluding with a Pictish-looking head bone adorned with a triad of black periods and a parenthesis on its side, the traditional depiction of a boat or â€“ sometimes a bowl, its contents only visible from above.
Looking For a Way Out by Eleanor Bennett
Manhattan Round Up by T.R. Healy Wyatt paused a moment as he approached the parking lot of the abandoned supermarket. “Can you believe all the people here?” he heard a kid behind him mutter to someone else. “No, not really. I figured there might be fifty people but never this many. There must be a couple hundred.” “Oh, I bet there are more than that … a lot more.” Wyatt agreed, absolutely stunned by all the folks milling around in the parking lot. He wondered now if he wanted to participate in the unusual game of tag known as “the Round Up,” in which runners would be chased by cars. Melissa, a girl at his high school, told him about the event the other day. She knew he ran on the cross country team so he assumed she thought he would be interested in participating in the late night run through the city. He thought he would be but this looked as if it could turn into more of a stampede than a race. “You a runner or a chaser?” a gangly girl carrying a bundle of flimsy white bandanas asked as she stepped toward him. “Excuse me?” “You going to be running tonight or are you going to be chasing the runners?” “I’m a runner.” “Here,” she said, handing him a bandana. “You have to wear this throughout the race otherwise you’ll be disqualified.” He nodded. “Good luck to you then,” she wished him with a wink. “You’ll need it.” “I will?” “Doesn’t everyone need a little bit of luck to get through something that’s pretty demanding?” “I suppose.” “I know I do anyway.” A few minutes later, a freckled guy with flamecolored hair climbed on the hood of a Subaru Outback in the middle of the parking lot and went over the rules of the nearly four mile race to Manhattan Park on the other side of town. What he said Wyatt already had been told by Melissa. Runners would get a five minute head start on their pursuers
and would have one hour to reach the destination point. They had to remain on foot at all times but could take any route they wished to reach the park. The drivers were accompanied by riders who, when a runner was spotted, had to get out of the cars and try to tag the runner and put him out of the race. “Is everyone ready to get started?” the freckled race director bellowed through his megaphone. “We’re ready,” a few in the crowd responded weakly. “You don’t sound like you are, gents.” “We’re ready!” a few more shouted. He grinned. “That’s more like it.” Soon others joined in, chanting, “Ready! Ready! Ready! Ready!” In another moment, an airhorn was blared by the race director, signaling the start of the race, and immediately the runners bolted across the parking lot. A few were knocked to the ground, including Wyatt, whose left heel was clipped by someone in a red Superman cape. “Bastard,” he growled at the comic book figure who was now several yards ahead of him. Quickly he got back on his feet and continued on, feeling as if he were inside a bus depot because people were bunched on either side of him. It was almost impossible not to brush a shoulder or bang a knee. He just hoped he didn’t knock anyone down and kept his elbows as close to his sides as he could. By the time he got to the end of the parking lot two and half minutes had elapsed so he knew he had to pick up the pace if he didn’t want to be one of the first runners tagged. His arms pumping, the tiny Mexican crucifix around his neck bouncing against his chest, he charged into the street with a swarm of other runners and ran toward the traffic light. He knew he couldn’t be in the street for very long because the chase cars would be coming soon. Impulsively, just before he reached the light, he followed a small knot of runners through an alley behind a scabby apartment building. A dog barked, angrily, but was nowhere to be seen. The runners stormed past an abandoned refrigerator, a soaked mattress, past the remnants of a burnt out pick up
truck. Their footsteps were nearly in unison they were moving at such an even clip. “Do I know you?” a runner beside Wyatt suddenly inquired as they left the rancid alley. “I don’t believe so.” “You following us?” He did not answer, surprised by the question. “You know you really ought to find your own way to the park,” the runner told him. “The more people that are together the bigger the target.” Bastard, he thought, as he slowed down and watched the runner and his friends splash across a puddled crosswalk. He was tempted to continue to trail after them, figuring they might know a safe route to the park, but decided not to cause any trouble and headed down a side street half a block past the crosswalk. Besides, he was used to running by himself, always had been something of a loner. He thought being on the cross country team might help him feel less wary of others but more often than not he found himself running by himself. He didn’t necessarily prefer to be alone all the time but it just seemed easier that way. More comfortable, he believed. His father also was a very solitary person, always concerned that others were out to take advantage of him. Once, as a young man, his father offered to help a man who was having car trouble and the guy pulled a knife on him and stole his car and ever since then he was reluctant to associate with people he didn’t know. “Always approach others at arm’s length,” he cautioned him time and again, “because if you get too close you might get hurt.” * Staying out of the street, Wyatt ran on the sidewalk for a few blocks until he noticed a footbridge over some railroad tracks. He started toward it when he heard a car coming down the street and quickly ducked behind the side of a coin shop. To his surprise, another runner was also there, braced against its shuttered door. Not saying a word to one another, they watched the car slowly cruise past the shop, sure it must be a chaser at this hour of the night. “Can you believe it?” the another runner growled, tightening a shoelace. “That car didn’t have its headlights on. That’s a violation of the rules. Chase
cars must have their lights on at all times during the race.” “Is that so?” “Haven’t you been in one of these runs before?” He shook his head. “Well, that’s one of the basic safety rules in all the runs I’ve been in. I’d report the prick but I didn’t get his license plate number. Did you?” “No, I didn’t.” “Let’s hope that’s the only dark car we see tonight,” he said, moving away from the door, “but it probably won’t be.” Wyatt watched the agitated runner take off, slapping his thighs as if riding an imaginary horse, then started up the footbridge. Halfway across, on his right, he saw a chaser with a flashlight run down two much slower runners and tag them and escort them back to his car. Swallowing hard, he lengthened his stride, hoping the chaser didn’t notice him, and quickly got across the bridge. He ran as fast as he could across one lawn after another until he came to a shopping mall that was as quiet as a ghost town. He charged past a carousel near the entrance of the mall, past a pond cluttered with soda cans and candy wrappings. His lungs started to burn a little but he refused to stop. He couldn’t take the chance, aware that at any moment a chaser could appear and tag him out of the race. It took him only a couple of minutes to get through the mall and then, for the first time, he felt confident he would complete the race because he knew he was less than a mile from the park. Smiling, he dodged around a parked moving van and sprinted across some more lawns. A block ahead, in the moonlight, he saw several shadowy figures that he assumed were runners and smiled even harder. In a few more minutes he would be done, he thought, jubilantly raising his hands above his head with other finishers. He ran past a wrought iron fence and was almost at the corner when another runner, breathing heavily, came up behind him. “You hear that?” he asked, startling him. “Hear what?” “I thought I heard someone in trouble.” “What kind of trouble?” “I don’t know. It sounded like someone was in pain.”
“I didn’t hear anything.” “Maybe I imagined it,” he gasped, running stride for stride with Wyatt. “But I figured that’s just too bad. I mean, this is a race and sometimes people slip and fall and get injured but that’s not our problem. We’re runners not doctors or nurses.” “Where did you hear this person?” “A block and a half back, I think, near the bus stop.” Wyatt shortened his stride. “You’re not going back there, are you?” Someone should, he thought, surprising himself, and turned and headed to the bus stop. He passed a couple of other runners who immediately told him he was going in the wrong direction and he thanked them without explaining why because he was sure they would tell him he was making a mistake. At the bus stop he saw someone lying in front of the bench, his head resting on his left arm, and rushed over to see what was the matter. “You hurt?” he asked anxiously. At once, the guy spun around and slapped Wyatt on the wrist. “You’ve been tagged, buddy.” “I’ll be damned.” “I don’t know about that but you’re out of the race.” The guy was a decoy. Instead of being angry, though, Wyatt smiled as hard as he did a few moments ago, pleased with himself for coming back to help the guy.
About the Authors April A. has been writing for five years, getting inspiration from various experiences seen by the eyes of a thinker. The purpose of her creativity is urging people to see beyond the bounds, to be themselves, to speak their minds loud, not to be afraid to differ from the crowd. She creates to destroy. To destroy the naive beliefs. To destroy the stereotypes. Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 15 year old internationally award winning photographer and artist who has won first places with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, The Woodland Trust and Postal Heritage. Her photography has been published in the Telegraph, The Guardian, BBC News Website and on the cover of books and magazines in the United states and Canada. Her art is globally exhibited, having shown work in London, Paris, Indonesia, Los Angeles, Florida, Washington, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Spain, Germany, Japan, Australia and The Environmental Photographer of the year Exhibition (2011) amongst many other locations. She was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus run See The Bigger Picture global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010. Frank Cavano is a retired physician who writes for the sheer joy of the experience. He has found it to be a healing endeavor and hopes that, occasionally, his poems provoke thought or prove comforting or inspirational to the reader. Darryl Davis has been writing poetry for over 20 years and his work has appeared in Poetry Super Highway, Speed Poets, Pigeon Bike and Haggard and Halloo amongst other places. He is originally from Upstate New York and holds an MA in History from the University of Connecticut. He has lived in Brussels, Belgium since 1998 where he writes and works as a professional services consultant. Darryl is currently working on his first collection of poems which is targeted for publication in spring 2012. William Doreski’s work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently Waiting for the Angel (Pygmy Forest Press, 2009). Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory for 24 years. His books and chapbooks include Suckers, For the Birds, Longing for the Mother Tongue, and Waltz of the Meatballs. Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA with his beloved Dianne. He edits the anthology Adobe Walls which contains the poetry of New Mexico. His latest book is This is not Black & White.
T.R. Healy was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and his stories have appeared in such publications as Freight Train, Limestone, Ozone Park Journal, and Steel Toe Review. Steve Klepetar teaches literature and creative writing at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. John Stocks is a widely published and anthologised writer from the UK. Recent credits include an appearance in , ‘Soul Feathers’ a poetry anthology, alongside Maya Angelou, the English poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, Bob Dylan , Len Cohen, Rimbaud and Verlaine. This anthology was the second best selling poetry anthology in the UK in January, is raising money for cancer care, and can be ordered online from Waterstones UK. He also features in ‘This island City’, the first ever poetry anthology of poetry about Portsmouth, also available from Waterstones. In 2012 John will be launching a collaborative novel, ‘Beer, Balls and the Belgian Mafia’, inspired by three of his primary interests. Anthony Ward tends to fidget his thoughts in the hope of laying them to rest. He has managed to lay them in a number of literary magazines including South, Word Gumbo, Perspectives, Crack the Spine, Shadow Fiction, Message in a Bottle, Drunk Monkeys, and Blinking Cursor amongst others. Jan Wiezorek writes and teaches at an elementary school in Chicago. His fiction has appeared at PressboardPress.com, ShadowFictionPress. com, CommuterLit.com, Ozone Park Journal, CracktheSpine.com, Seeds Literary Arts Journal in Chicago, Sleepytown Press, TheWriteMag.com, AbsintheRevival.net, Our Day’s Encounter, Blinking Cursor, and RustyNailMag.com. He is author of Awesome Art Projects That Spark Super Writing (New York: Scholastic, 2011). He holds an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts Education from Columbia College Chicago and a B.A. in Journalism from Iowa State University. Jan also studied fiction writing at Northeastern Illinois University. He enjoys biking along the country roads of Michigan’s Harbor Country. Daniel Wilcox’s wandering lines have appeared in many magazines including The Danforth Review, Centrifugal Eye, The Medulla Review, Recusant, and Unlikely Stories. Before that he hiked through Cal State University Long Beach (Creative Writing), Montana, Pennsylvania, Europe, Palestine/Israel... working in a mental institution, helping on a reservation, and teaching students literature for years. He now lives with his wife on the central coast of California where he ages but doesn’t petrify.
Thereâ€™s no greater folly for a publisher than that of judging creative works. -Sopphey Vance