Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In Sepia

By JL Martindale

Jared dreamed in black and white. When everyone else carved "Brown Pride" on their binders, he wrote "Sepia pride" and told me I should do the same to mine because my eyes were brown even if my skin was leche sin cafe.

Jared offered me his elbow like a gentleman when we strolled home from school. He tipped his bowler and bowed slightly when strangers would stare. In public, he embraced me and clung with conviction, quoting lines from Casablanca and Rebecca.

But I wasn't his girl. He never would have me as his girl.

Jared was in love with Arika Vasquez. She was paler than me and had thick, wavy, black hair that cascaded down the side of her cinema star face, framing her full red femme fatale lips in such a way that made Jared and me both giddy with delight and envy.

Jared believed Arika was the Ava Gardner to his Burt Lancaster. He called her his only desire, his one weakness. Jared boasted that I was his best friend, his girl Friday.

Arika served us Brown Cows in frosty metal tumblers at the diner where she worked after school. When it was time to pay, she winked and said only Jared had to pay for his, that mine was free because I had prettier gams than Marlene Dietrich and the irresistible cuteness of Joan Fontaine. Later, Arika said I could be the Gretta Garbo to her Lilyan Tashman if only I'd leave Mr. Olivier at home.

Arika dreamed in black and white tinged sepia too, but she kissed in technicolor and Jared never knew.

Copyright ©2010 JLM All rights reserved.

• • •


JL Martindale is a thirty-something geeky girl writing, blogging and existing somewhere in Southern California. She is the Stranger behind StrangerUpstairs and the Jaelyn who was anthologized in Cream: The Best of Erotica Readers and Writers Association.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


By Nick Nicholson

The highlight of Edward Gray’s life occurred on the night of November 20, 1971, when he slept with the twins, Adrianna and Arietta Ferrara, while holidaying in Naples. Edward, a postal worker from Manchester who secretly harboured pretensions of culture, was driving a rented Fiat back to his hotel after attending what he considered to be a somewhat lacklustre performance of Rigoletto at the Teatro di San Carlo. Rain fell in cascading veils over the old city. Edward spotted the girls huddled together in a doorway on a dark street. They had no umbrella so he stopped and offered to drive them home. The twins accepted, thankful for the unexpected kindness. Upon arrival, they invited Edward into their tiny flat where they shared a bottle of Chianti and smoked cigarettes. Then they led him into the bedroom to properly express their gratitude. Unlike most Italian girls, Adrianna and Arietta weren’t especially beautiful, but it didn’t matter. To Edward, they were angels, the rarest of miracles. Compared to that magical night, the subsequent unfolding of Edward’s life was pointedly uneventful. He never married and died 35 years later, at the age of 67, his heart too bored to beat any longer.


© Nick Nicholson 2010. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or in part without written permission from the author.


This is the first part of Nick Nicholson's theme-adventurous, eight-part Travelogue. Subsequent segments will be published here in upcoming months.

Next Travelogue story: New York

• • •


Throughout his life, Nick Nicholson has pursued a variety of creative vocations: music, photography, painting and, in recent years, writing. He lives in Australia.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


UPDATE, 2013: Microstory A Week is no longer accepting submissions.  The site may be accepting them in the future, and for that reason I'm keeping the guidelines up.  In the meantime,  happy writing. =)


Polished fiction stories only -- no poetry, please.

Word limit: 700 words or less. Flasher-length works (e.g., 200 word stories) are welcome, also.

Email submissions only, please, with the word SUBMISSION at the start of the email title line.

Send manuscripts to this address:

One story per submission, please. Please don’t submit another story until you’ve heard back about the previous one. I’m also a working writer, so I’ll get back to you A.S.A.P. about your work, within two weeks (probably less).

If you’re submitting a simultaneous piece, please let me know.

I accept previously published works, as long as they're not currently published on the Net. If submitting a previously published piece, please include its publishing history in the submission email.

Novel excerpts are acceptable, as long as they work as stand-alone pieces.

If you want to be published under another name, let me know.

Authors retain the copyrights to their works. All I ask is that work published here is allowed to remain on the site, and that it remains “exclusive” here during the week I publish it. Also, if you republish the work elsewhere, please acknowledge that it was published here first.

Please be sure to include this statement in your email: “I am the sole author of this story. No one else holds the copyright to this work.”


There is no financial compensation for authors whose work appear here. (If I could pay people, I would!) What this site is about is exposure for writers, who, in addition to publishing their stories, may submit a 75-word bio and an author-related link or two.


I’m open to any story subject and style, as long as it’s story and not just an extended scene (i.e., there must be a plot, some semblance of characterization and motivation, and a conflict/problem to resolve, etc. ). In short: I don’t care about genre (for the most part), I care about quality, and an adherence to the submission guidelines.

Caveat: I am not a fan of religious-inspirational or Hallmark-flavored work. Nor do I want sexually explicit works here – I’m going for a hard-“R” rating (at the most extreme) on this site. That said, sex may be a present element in submitted works, as long as it’s an integral part of the story.

Any rejection notes will be constructive in tone, and, time permitting, be accompanied with a reason why I’m not accepting the work in play.


Include story in body of Rich Text email – no attachments, please.

No paragraph-start indentions. Double-space between paragraph breaks, and space your lines at 1.15.

If there are italics or bold-face words in your story be sure to make that clear.



I will publish one story per week, each Wednesday. This will be a first-come, first-serve gig, so get to it. I look forward to reading your work. :)