Clearest Water

by Jake Jerome


The travel brochure said these are the clearest waters in the world, and God, it’s true. I can see everything. The coral reefs. The fish whose species I’ll never know. The hermit crab taking residence inside of my hollowed out foot.
I didn’t lose much blood when Mr. Hermit came along and picked away the flesh piecemeal. These rocks I slipped on have a vice grip on my ankle. Snapped the fibula and closed the arteries.
Every movement under the metatarsal cage looks like a fluttering heart.
He’s got the best shell in town.
And I have the worst view.


Jake Jerome

Jake Jerome lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife and two cats, Herman & Princess Penelope, who are his editors. Although, he’s beginning to suspect their incessant meowing isn’t actually constructive criticism. 


Little Brother

by Fiona M. Jones


The bad dreams started when he was a baby. He got eaten by wild animals, struck by lightning, he fell from terrible heights or drowned in deep water… and every time I am paralysed, unable to save him.
I would wake, sweating, silently screaming, and slowly breathe again.
The day he fell off the harbour wall, I froze—as usual—in a silent scream and waited to wake up again.
“Why didn’t you HELP him?” they asked afterwards. But my nightmares have stopped. Now in my dreams he is there under the water, laughing, waiting for me to join him.


Fiona M. Jones

Fiona M Jones writes short/flash/micro fiction and nonfiction. One of her stories gained a star rating in Tangent Online’s “Recommended Reading” list for 2020. Fiona’s published work is linked to @FiiJ20 on Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter: @FiiJ20

Open Call – POETRY



by Jo Mularczyk


“Look Mama, a mermaid!” The child’s shriek of wonder froze on her lips as the creature turned from its perch upon the rock.
The golden tendrils the child had admired were revealed to be a web of sand-infested kelp writhing with tortured sea urchins. The creature’s skin was a pallid green, rent by a wretched scar that stretched across one cheek. Blood-red eyes emitted a foul stream that ran down the foetid cheeks and dripped into the water below.
The creature twisted its mouth into a depraved rictus that would haunt the child eternally, before diving elegantly beneath the waves.


Jo Mularczyk

Jo enjoys writing in various genres. Her stories and poems appear in publications within Australia, the US and the UK. During 2020 Jo won the Mayoral Creative Writing Prize and a Press 53 competition. Jo shares the joy of writing through workshops, student mentoring, journals, and the Littlescribe literacy platform.


Those of the Light by Nicola Currie – Launches 24th September 2021

Tenacity is just as important as talent. It is very easy to want to give up and lose faith in your work, particularly after rejection. But experiencing rejection and dealing with self-criticism are part of earning your stripes as an author, and I’m definitely a stronger writer for it.

The Näcken’s Music

by Leanbh Pearson


The musician sat beside the hearth, clothing threadbare and hair unkempt.
“Don’t ask me to play. I cannot resist.”
Men laughed, eyeing the wretch. “You something special then?”
He lifted the battered fiddle. “A Näcken was drowning children in a brook. If I answered his three questions, he’d gift this instrument and his uncanny music to me. And I bested him but cursed myself.”
“Play for us then,” someone scoffed.
Smiling wearily, he obliged. The music was as sweet as a midsummer brook, gentle like raindrops on a lake, but it dragged us under to our graves all the same.


Leanbh Pearson

Leanbh Pearson lives on Ngunnawal Country in Canberra, Australia. An LGBTQI dark fiction author, inspired by folklore, mythology, archaeology and the environment, her fiction features in numerous anthologies. When not writing, she enjoys exploring the Australian wilderness accompanied by her dogs (the canine assistants).