Rain by Kameron Mitchell

Allow me to caress your skin and wash away all of your worries. I promise I won’t be frigid, just let me touch you. Allow yourself to feel the coolness of my graze as I drip from the tip of your nose and rest in the curve of your lashes. If you let me, I’ll rinse your mind of your thoughts and rid your hands of the earth. If you wish, my touch can be gentle like the flowers that sway in the breeze, or rough like the pods that fall from Sweet Gums. Whatever the wish, my love, I’ll oblige.

Kameron Mitchell is a 15-year-old Afro-Latina high school student from Georgia, U.S. An emerging voice, her audience so far has been her family, but she’s hopes with time her words will be able to touch more people. Follow her on twitter at @kameronspoetry

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Clover & White publish short stories, flash fiction and poetry every Sunday. If you like what we do, share the love and let others know about us. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram & Twitter, and join our Mailing list!

Have a short story, flash fiction or poem to submit? Awesome! We would love to hear from you. Visit our submissions page for all the details.

Patchwork Heart by Kristin Garth

Somehow you make it back to bed, beneath
the patchwork hand-me-down bedspread
someone created then, to you, bequeathed —
a deceased girl’s generosity. Red
inheritance, patchwork heart, each night
a tug of war, in seams, you two might pull
apart, deprived of even candlelight,
the warmth of anything save moonlight, full
tonight, lunar eclipse. Quilt you pull back
gingerly just enough to slip inside
beside your sleeping sister, just the slack
remainders not even enough to hide
goosebumps a stranger left upon flushed skin.
You sleep warm, half covered, remembering him.

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of thirteen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House (Maverick Duck Press), Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), the forthcoming Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Shut Your Eyes, Succubi (Maverick Duck Press). Follow her on Twitter at @lolaandjolie and visit her website.

Let’s stay in touch…

Clover & White publish short stories, flash fiction and poetry every Sunday. If you like what we do, share the love and let others know about us. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram & Twitter, and join our Mailing list!

Have a short story, flash fiction or poem to submit? Awesome! We would love to hear from you. Visit our submissions page for all the details.

Extinct by Zachary Schroeder

“The Triceratops is my favorite.” Damien says, looking at me with a tooth-dotted smile, consequence of a maturing mouth.
       “Why is that your favorite?” I ask, pulling the oversized white shirt over his shoulders, struggling to button him up while the young boy pulls away towards his dinosaur book.
       “They’re big like rhinos and only eat plants and never fought unless they had to.”
       I finish buttoning his shirt and Damien runs towards his book to tell me they went extinct 66 million years ago. He tells me he’s sad they are gone because he would’ve liked to ride one to school.
       I tie my black shoes and put on my black blazer, a solemn black tie accompanies them. I don’t even bother trying to put Damien’s tie on. His mother tells us we need to go from downstairs.
       “Are we going to grandma’s?” Damien asks with hopeful eyes. He hasn’t seen her since the hospital.
       “No, son.” I say, the dreaded moment registering in my brain. “We’re going to see grandma for the last time.”
       “Why? Does she not want to see us anymore?”
       “You, little man, are the only thing she would want to see.” I did expect to cry today, but not this early.
       “Grandma is going to sleep, now, forever.” I answer Damien’s questioning face. “And she’s going to miss you so much, buddy.” I hug him tight.
       “Like the triceratops?” Damien asks.
       “Kind of.” He’s too smart, smarter than I ever was at his age. “Kind of like the triceratops.”
       Damien asks if he can sit on my shoulders on the way to the car, I let him, he pretends I’m a giant dinosaur plowing through the undergrowth on the way to a watering hole.
       Vanessa is waiting at the car dressed in black. An oak tree sits next to her. Its barren branches hover over the sedan as a reminder of the cycle. I ask Damien if he wants to see grandma, even if she can’t wake up and say hi. He shrugs and says:
       “Okay, daddy.”
       “When we get home,” Vanessa says, brushing a stand of blonde hair behind the black veil attached to her hat, “We can make a page for grandma, one just like the triceratops’. So that no one ever forgets her.”
       “Even in 66 million years?” Damien asks.
       “Of course,” We lie together.


Zachary Schroeder is a freelance writer out of Austin, Texas. He recently graduated from Texas Tech University and is working on his first novel along with an anthology of short stories. Tweet him at @zschroeder342.

Let’s stay in touch…

Clover & White publish short stories, flash fiction and poetry every Sunday. If you like what we do, share the love and let others know about us. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram & Twitter, and join our Mailing list!

Have a short story, flash fiction or poem to submit? Awesome! We would love to hear from you. Visit our submissions page for all the details.

There Were Fires Growing There by Kellie Kreiss

I watch the rain spill down onto the empty street in buckets that make puddles like ponds that we’d be glad to swim in if it were still summer. Somehow when the water hits the street it seems to echo up like steam on a hot day, like smoke, making me think that there are fires growing in the corners of my eyes until I look over to see that it is nothing but the wind picking up what the sky had dropped.
       I begin gathering my things—the day is nearly through and the rest of the world is anxious to get home, sleep, and start it all over again tomorrow. I’m not so anxious, but I’m used to the pattern so I conform to its rhythms, gently placing my notebooks into a knapsack that doubles as a grocery bag on Sundays.
       I exit the cafe alone, and hardly anyone looks away from their screens as I walk by them—we’re almost at the point of just being shadows the way we wander past one another predictably unnoticed. I step outside and again regret having forgotten my umbrella. Instead I am trapped within the cold, damp embrace of what a discount clothing website confidently referred to as a rain jacket, but is in fact about as waterproof as a summer dress. Arms folded and head turned toward the smoking puddles, I turn left to get back to the main street that is crowded with poking umbrellas and sloshing boots—everyone at least sharing in the same hurried agony that is a sudden rainstorm.
       My vision is clouded by the constant flow of rain boots rushing past me in all directions so that I can hardly tell which feet are my own. I look up for a moment and catch the glance of a man in soaked leather loafers, miserable no doubt, but you wouldn’t know it from his eyes—they were cold, concentrated, determined. I imagine that my eyes too conveyed the same selfish determination to get through the crowd as fast as possible. He passed and I went on walking and weaving, not looking to any other faces to exchange mutual sympathies.
       I stop at the signal, waiting while the traffic light across the street ticks away letting herds of people cross in a single-file line while trying to avoid an enormous puddle that has taken residence in the crosswalk. Then I hear it. First just as a scream, and when I go to turn my head in unison with the world a sudden jolt rings through all of us that feels like both an earthquake and an electric shock, and suddenly everyone is falling. It reminds me of the long car rides we’d take through the winding country roads as kids, playing Jello in the back seat—heavily leaning back and forth on one another in sync with the swerving of the car. But this time we are all only falling one way, down, collapsing on top of one another like sardines pouring out of a can onto a dish, but instead of being seasoned with salt and pepper we are being dressed with glass shards and rain water.
       For a moment, everything feels quiet, almost serene, until I realise it is because my ears are ringing and I open my eyes upward from the ground to see the crowds of people running hurriedly around me not from the rain but from the glass and debris that had fallen around them. And I conform again to their rhythms, being used to the patterns that we’ve been taught—I run, not knowing where to go, not really knowing what we are running from, just knowing that something is terribly wrong.
       And so, like a hill of ants that has been kicked, we swarm the street running to and from one another in all directions away from the pain that has been inflicted by hate strong enough to kick us all and shatter us with the glass of broken window panes on a day that was nearly closed. And now the steam that echoes up from the pavement is in fact mixed with smoke as it billows out from a small doorway a few yards away, and this time when I look to the corners of my eyes I do find fires growing there.

Kellie Kreiss is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles, California. She has had the opportunity to write about a diverse array of topics spanning from relationships to social development, world history, and breaking news. When she’s not writing, she spends her time hanging with her sweet calico cat, hiking, and working on too many DIY projects. Follow her on Twitter @KellieKreiss

Let’s stay in touch…

Clover & White publish short stories, flash fiction and poetry every Sunday. If you like what we do, share the love and let others know about us. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram & Twitter, and join our Mailing list!

Have a short story, flash fiction or poem to submit? Awesome! We would love to hear from you. Visit our submissions page for all the details.

Three Poems by Samantha Godwin

The Hypnotist’s Rook

Which matters more:
the scream within the scream
or the scream within the girl?
I made a vertical slit
up my throat, from the
hollow to the underside
of my chin. I play
my larynx like a faulty violin
but I just can’t get the tune,
can’t get the lacquer on the cords
or the terror from my tone,
so instead the sound reverberates,
reverberates, reverberates,
trapped inside itself
like an inverted mind palace.
Remember, none of this is real.
Remember, the hypnotist will
snap his fingers and the images will fade.
Remember, it is all in your head.

Selective Colorblindness

I would like to believe in the color red
and all that comes with it.
I would like to believe in weather balloons, hot peppers, and the human heart,
but I can’t.
Red is too romanticbloodyviolentvivid
to exist in a world such as ours;
grey is far more believable,
or black,
or even green, which is soft in all the right places.
I have held human organs,
all grey, or yellow, or white
with tumors,
and I have seen the doctors dab them
with orange dye to show which side
faces in
and which side
faces out.
I would like to believe in the color red,
but I observed several angioplasties
and one heart catheterization, and
there was hardly any blood at all;
the doctors reacted like ink
stained their blue latex gloves
and it was so dark, dark, dark,
and they sealed up the patients
without ever touching the heart.

The Interview

What do you do when you’re alone?
The mirror falls to the floor,
a thousand shards cascading
in a waterfall of white noise.

What do you do when I’m not there?
A knife, sharpened, lies on the kitchen counter.

What do you want more than anything?
A lover with soft hands and a soft spine,
petrichor,
milky coffee.

What will happen when I leave you?
A hot air balloon and empty skies.

Samantha Godwin is a graduate student in Kennesaw State University’s Master of Arts in Professional Writing program. She mainly writes poetry, but when she is not writing poetry or prose, she enjoys editing, teaching, drinking Diet Coke, and playing with her cats. Follow her on Twitter @sammigodwin

Let’s stay in touch…

Clover & White publish short stories, flash fiction and poetry every Sunday. If you like what we do, share the love and let others know about us. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram & Twitter, and join our Mailing list!

Have a short story, flash fiction or poem to submit? Awesome! We would love to hear from you. Visit our submissions page for all the details.

Rendezvous by Christopher Moore

No sooner had he made the resolve to venture out, had the rain seemed to come on even heavier. Intensifying in strength, it felt as though all the water of the world were teeming down on the city streets. As though, like him, this was a moment of opportunity that wouldn’t come around anytime soon, as though it were now or never, and the clouds wouldn’t have the chance to open like this again.
        The deluge had him soaked through to the bone within moments as his feet splashed through the network of puddles passing for a footpath, making his clothes cling to him like damp rags lifted straight from a washing machine. His hair matted to his forehead, rain water pouring down his face and stinging his eyes with its insistence, seeping into his shoes and making every step feel like he was wading out to sea. Somewhere in the near distance, thunder rumbled, a few seconds after a flash of lightning lit up the sky, and he gave thanks that he didn’t have too far to go. That was the frustrating irony of the situation. Her accommodation was only a few streets around the corner. But, in this downpour, it only took seconds to become drenched.
        He couldn’t complain. The last time they’d been able to do this, she’d pressed through street after street of knee-deep snow, ignoring the chattering of her teeth and the shivering of her skin, to make it to the apartment he’d been staying in. Before that, he’d gone halfway across another city in a heatwave, and had been rewarded with blistered skin on his arms for not having the forethought to apply sun protection.
        Before that still, she’d braved one of the dampest autumns on record and crossed an obstacle course of a city carpeted by leaves slippery enough to risk a broken neck.
        And the less said about his own experiences with slipping and ice the time before that, the better.
        So, it didn’t matter that right now, his body felt like it consisted only of freezing water. That the sensation of being dry felt like a distant, imagined dream, that there was only rain, and being wet, in the world. In the morning, he’d be back to normal, resting in a warm, dry bed, safe from the, if the forecast was to be believed, monsoon to come. And he’d be lying beside her.
        That thought alone made him press on. Push through the shower cascading down around him like a waterfall. And hurry the rest of the way round the block, each step bringing greater anticipation of his destination.
        And then, at last, there it was.
        Her hotel.
        A new chance for memories that would sustain him for months.
       No. He hadn’t wanted to go out on a night like this.
       But, there had never been any other choice.

Christopher Moore is a graduate from Queen’s University Belfast, with an MA in TV Fiction Writing from Glasgow Caledonian University. He is an alumnus of the Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing course, and the Fireworks programme for young writers with Tinderbox Theatre Company. More recently, he has had short fiction accepted for the Nightingale & Sparrow literary magazine (2019), The Mark Literary Review (2019), and Naked Frank Theatre’s ‘Tales of the Monsters in my Head’ event at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London (14-16 August 2019). Follow him on Twitter.

Let’s stay in touch…

Clover & White publish short stories, flash fiction and poetry every Sunday. If you like what we do, share the love and let others know about us. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram & Twitter, and join our Mailing list!

Have a short story, flash fiction or poem to submit? Awesome! We would love to hear from you. Visit our submissions page for all the details.

Monsters are Here by William Falo

The train came to a stop, and I got off. It was the last stop. I walked with my head down, trying to avoid eye contact until I bumped into a man.
       His cigarette smashed against me, sending sparks and ashes across my clothes.
       I brushed them off as they started to singe my top.
       “Watch where you’re going.” He stood in front of me. I shrunk down as I always tried to avoid confrontation. The train pulled away, leaving me alone at the station with him.
       “Alice,” he said. I forgot to remove the nametag from the help group I led.
       The door to the bathroom opened and the sound of someone sobbing broke his intensity.
       “What took you so long?” He said to the girl who came out.
       “It was a long trip.” The girl wiped her eyes, but she couldn’t hide the redness left from crying.
       His car turned into the same neighborhood I lived in, then I lost sight of it.
       At my house, three neighbors across the street watched me. They reminded me of a flock of pigeons. Because of my social anxiety, they gossiped about me. I knew it.
       Something scraped at the back door. I edged it open, and a cat strolled inside. It strutted straight to the couch like it belonged there.
       “Don’t get comfortable, you can’t stay here.”
       As the sun went down, a party started next door.
       I stood near the closest window. After a short time, the alcohol took effect, and the neighbors got louder than the music.
       I heard my name.
       “I’m glad you didn’t invite Alice. She needs help.”
       “I bet you think I’m crazy too,” I said to the cat. It looked away.
       I heard a familiar voice. It sent chills through me. It was the man at the station.
       “Hey Drew,” someone said. “You’re new to the neighborhood?”
       “Yes, I’m renting the house behind you. I got a flyer for this party.”
       They always skipped my house when handing them out.
       “How about a family?”
       “I live alone.”
       I stiffened. What about the girl?
       I peeked out the window. It was him. “Monsters are here,” I said to the cat.
       The cat yawned. The man looked in my direction. I ducked down and didn’t move for a long time until I thought of the girl crying at the station.
       Nobody would believe me. I changed my clothes into an all-black outfit and got a knife
       The party roared on, while I slipped away from the house. At the rental house, not a single light came from the windows. Blackout shades covered all of them.
       I walked around back. It was easy to cut the screen and unlock it, but the inside door didn’t budge. I took the back end of the knife and covered it with a towel then slammed it against the glass. I reached through the broken glass and unlocked the door.
       Sobbing came from a bedroom. I opened the door and gasped. The girl shrieked.
       “It’s okay. I’m going to get you out of here.” I cut the ropes around her wrists and ankles.
       The girl was a mess, black streaks covered her face, her eyes were red and her whole body trembled.
       I took out my phone and dialed 911, then hung up.
       “What’s your name?”
       “Phoebe.”
       “What’s yours?”
       I didn’t answer because the front door opened.
       The girl gasped. I signaled for her to follow me while we slipped out the front door.
       “Run when you get outside and look for a police car.” A siren shrilled in the distance.
       I yanked the door opened and Phoebe ran outside. I got ready to follow until my phone went off. I forgot to turn it off. 911 called back. The man charged in my direction and managed to grab my waist and we both tumbled to the ground. The knife clattered away.
       He got up to chase her, but I grabbed his foot.
       He kicked my face, but I still held on to his foot. The siren got louder. Another kick to my face and pained seared through me.
       I picked up the knife and stumbled to the back door. I ran until I faded into the darkness.
       When I reached my house, the music at the party was still on. I locked every door and blocked them with furniture. I turned every light off. The man knew where I lived.
       My head pounded. The cat jumped up on the couch and rubbed against me. It was soothing until I blacked out.
       When I woke up, it was morning and my body screamed in pain, but I was glad for the surrounding silence. I looked out the window and saw the remnants of the party, beer bottles littered the yard alongside paper plates and plastic silverware. A few large crows fought over an overflowing trash can.
       “I hope they all wake up with headaches.” I plopped down on the couch with my own headache. In the mirror, I saw two black eyes that even makeup might not hide. I sat with the cat and turned on the news.
       It wasn’t long before they ran the story. The police chief stood at a podium in front of a a handful of reporters.
       “Did the girl say anything?”
       “Yes. She wants to know who the lady is that helped her escape.
       “Do you know who she is?”
       “No.” I turned it off.
       The cat stayed with me. Maybe it liked danger.
       “I’ll call you Phoebe.” The cat meowed in agreement.
       I left and looked at the three neighbors across the street. They whispered and looked in my direction. I stopped the car next to them, rolled down the window and glared at them with my black eyes.
       “Have any of you ever caught a monster before?”
       They froze with their mouths opened and none of them dared to answer. I drove past them with a smile on my face.
           

William Falo writes fiction. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Newfound, Back Patio Press, Vamp Cat Magazine, Elephants Never, and other literary journals. Follow him on twitter @williamfalo

Let’s stay in touch…

Clover & White publish short stories, flash fiction and poetry every Sunday. If you like what we do, share the love and let others know about us. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram & Twitter, and join our Mailing list!

Have a short story, flash fiction or poem to submit? Awesome! We would love to hear from you. Visit our submissions page for all the details.