Wednesday, June 23, 2010


by Olive Rosehips

Mrs. Morrow was outside, I knew this because her loud, chirpy voice carried through the open window as she called to Joanne across the street.  I whispered a wish under my breath that she would take up knitting or bridge or whatever it was people her age did when my little voice whispered back that gossip was what uncoupled, older ladies did. Loneliness to be sure and too much time on her hands had created this chapter of Mrs. Morrow; this overly organized, neat nick who hosed the rocks outside her home on week nights in order to be available to question, er, greet us when we came home from work each day.  Indeed, she had become a professional at drawing out information I never intended to add to her gossip list, and so I used to peek through all the front windows to see if the coast was clear of Mrs. Morrow before going out to my garden. 
Yet somehow, I suspect constant patrol, she always found me no matter how early I gardened, nor what side of the house I was on and so I pretended not to hear her calling to me as I berated her discovery under my breath.  Ignoring her only worked the first time and now she would walk her round self, gingerly and hastily over to where I was and tap me on the shoulder, causing me to look up into her time worn, smiling face; her bright eyes setting me up, along with her wrinkled mouth with how she never sees me anymore and how are the boys.  My mouth lied back to Mrs. Morrow with it’s own smile as my mind raced to come up with something to say which was really nothing so that I didn’t wince over having given her something to talk about.  
I began to feel like a hostage in my own home and felt I had to put an end to this nonsense, which is when it occurred to me to leave my garden tools lying about in such disarray as to discourage Mrs. Morrow from jaunting over to my yard. 
I could never have foreseen the possibility of her stepping right onto the head of the rake, nor how the handle would have struck poor Mrs. Morrow right between the eyes.  Everyone talked about it for months and now I comfort myself thinking that she would have liked knowing she was still in on the neighborhood conversation.

BIO: Rhonda M. Smolarek hides writes under the nom de plume of Olive Rosehips, where she makes up things all the while using proper grammer and spell checks.  She generally does this in stiletto's with her pedicure in vivid shades of red. Why? Don't ask me, I just work here. Word is she also does website design/re-design at  and plays at getting absurd songs stuck in people's minds in order to amuse herself... I know, right?  

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Roland C. Bonay

It was well past midnight and despite the sedative given to her by Pablo, her nurse, Dora Moorewas afraid to sleep for fear she'd have another nightmare where she’d dream violent dreams of guns and sometimes knives; of war and death and armies of men invading and ransacking the house in which she lived.  She dreamed of old movie monsters chasing her on her way home from school.  She could never run fast enough and just as the monster had her within reach she'd wake up from the terror of her dreams crying into her pillow as she clutched her favorite doll, still afraid to go to sleep at night, alone in her own bed.

She dreamed handsome young men would enter her bedroom as she brushed her soft brown hair by the lamp near the open window where the sheer curtains billowed in the wind while she gazed at the clouds drifting past the full moon.  With shiny metal scoops, like the ones she remembered from the huge ice-making machine in the kitchen of the nursing home where her mother once worked, they'd pour diamonds at her pretty feet.

She found herself outside in the middle of a raging snowstorm while dirty gray snowmen shoveled dirty gray snow at her dirty gray frostbitten feet.  She noticed a pack of snarling wild reindeer with gnarled antlers and sharp teeth.  They were tied to an old tree from which she was afraid they'd break free (which, of course, they did).  They nipped at her once pretty ankles as she lay perched upon mountains of trash outside of the kitchen of the nursing home where her mother once worked.  And just as they were about to sink their dripping fangs into her comely flesh, she'd awake from the terror of her dreams crying into her blanket as she clutched her favorite doll, still afraid to go to sleep at night, alone in her own bed.

BIO: Roland C. Bonay is an engineer in NJ with a passion for writing and drawing.  Bonay discovered his flair for telling stories at an early age and dreamed of following in the footsteps of his idol, comic book legend, Stan Lee.  His passion ebbed and his dream faded as it became necessary to pursue a more traditional lifestyle in order to raise his growing family.  His dream was rekindled in early 2009 and Roland worked feverishly to create the popular Learn to Draw Cartoons Online website .  Roland’s vision is best summed up by his motto; The world would be a better place if we all just learned to draw!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Khadijah Ali-Coleman

Her painted purple nails almost blared against the quiet of her black blazer as her fingers grabbed her folded arms.  She had forgotten to remove the color before she went to bed last night.
Her client, a conservative Southern CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation would surely disprove.
He was already upset he had to work with her, the only woman—Black woman at that—on the team. He wouldn’t care about her Stanford education or wealthy parents. He didn’t care about her impeccable work record or indestructible resolve. He would only see those damn nails, in party purple, and curse the agency that hooked him up with the ghetto, token Negro at the firm--a recipient of the Obama hand-out, he would think.
Her heels clacked heavily as she walked reluctantly to the glass boardroom, shoulder drooping from her weighty laptop bag, purple nails clutching. His head raised as the squeak of the door announced her arrival. 
Eyes searching up and down paused; “Nice nails,” he said. 
Khadijah Ali-Coleman is a playwright and performance artist. She is editor of the anthology Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul and will debut her play Running: AMOK this year in the Capital Fringe Fest this summer in Washington DC. She owns the online artist Learn more at