Free Fiction Friday: Dark Soul by Emerian Rich

punkprintThis is a throw back… reaching into the writing crypt for my very first publication credit. A poem of my youth that can still make me feel like I did back then. I’ve since realized, this is a symptom of our age. For many of us Dark Souls… we’ve had to come a long way to be comfortable with ourselves. For some of us, the path was to much to bear and we miss you dearly. For others, they are still trying to drown themselves in poison to be able to function in our world. For us rare few who have seen it to the other side, stay strong!


Dark Soul

By: Emerian Rich

If the world was as dark as my soul…

But it isn’t, I’m isolated.


What a powdered, pink mother

Gives birth to is all her

Fear of death.


But we aren’t scared anymore, are we?


A childhood of fear has turned into



Finally, fearlessness.


We are strong aren’t we?

We are jaded and mean.

We are heartless and rude.


Sometimes I cry at the things I’ve done,

For loving myself,

For doing what I want.


Where do I go to get rid of the guilt

From that house with the white picket fence?


I try to drown it in all types of poison.

Torture to my body and soul.


But there’s no hope at last

I’m dying from it.

The guilt of my mother’s past.


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Without a Map by Nikki Harlin

Without a Map

by Nikki Harlin


i only know who

i am in the stairwell, in the basement. there—

the hand tearing through the floor boards

gropes for an ankle

to love

in the corner i tell myself

that is a portrait

when it is clear

it’s not

a mirror

i know

i’ve passed before

footprints appear behind the sound of circling hooves

in a dry field I cannot find

the door out. a scare crow leans in the wind, its hair a fire

i started to see in the stalking dark.


Nikki Harlin is an MFA student at Cal State San Bernardino where she writes poetry and is a staff editor for Ghost Town Lit Mag.

Free Fiction Friday: Michael Lee Johnson

Spirits of the Schizophrenic Dead

By Michael Lee Johnson

I am linked to the spirit world

by my own choice, character;

I connect with these people

because I thought they were lonely.

I use simple, plain language like you would understand.

I toss gold coins around their houses,

hear tinny sounds jumping out of the walls

screaming at me with human voices.

They say back to me that I was within their walls.

I tell them they are crazy.

My life is leading into the spirits of walking dead.

I am linked to the spirit world.

This night, in front of my cottage,

I toss my evening cape and all my

vampire clothing into the ocean.

I grab all my cassette tapes, the ones

I talk to them with, my poems, my dreams my nightmares-

toss them all into the ocean tonight at once,

waves belch.

I feel like a crossword puzzle,

parts missing my words,

jackhammer pounding my skeleton face.

But, now I am no longer haunted by a dictionary of the past,

my therapist is now my best friend.

We take photographs of each other,

we share them with no one.

I’m alive, but lonely, and enjoy the taste of bagels.

I touch them and they feel secure, safe within me.

Speakers of spirit world silence.




Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era: now known as the Illinois poet, from Itasca, IL. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in 27 countries, he edits 9 poetry sites. Michael is the author of The Lost American: “From Exile to Freedom”, several chapbooks of poetry, including “From Which Place the Morning Rises” and “Challenge of Night and Day”, and “Chicago Poems”. He also has over 71 poetry videos on YouTube. Find out more at:

Easter Poem: Arlene Radasky “Bunny Guard”

Arlene Radasky

“Dark little bunny, dark and darting.
Why doest thou carry a weapon?”

“I pray, My Lady”, he answered in a whisper,
“Not to find the need to use it.”

“But why, little bunny
Would you fear so?”

“Ah, My Lady,
‘tis the shadow of the moon.
You hear her creeping
And crawling through your thoughts.
She steals the sound of the spiders.”

“But, little bunny, I do not wish
To hear the sounds of spiders!”

“My Lady, ‘tis the whisper of spiders which warn us.
Gives us time to gird ourselves to fight.
We need the silken scream of the spiders,
To get us safely through the night.”

“But, my gun carrying little bunny,
Have you seen her in our midst?”

“No, My Lady. But the spiders were silent last night.”