A phone call to the electrician

Photo by Robert Thiemann on Unsplash

I’ve told you a hundred times now, there’s water pourin’ out of my electrical socket and I can’t get it to stop. I don’t know why that’s what this phone call is about. You’re the electrician not me, so what do I do? What do you mean you don’t know…isn’t this your job? No, there aren’t any sparks and the power’s just fine. Listen, could you just get over here and fix this, please? I just need water to stop spillin’ onto my clean, living room floor. We might drain Lake Erie at this rate. …


Let it just be about love.

Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

I sat beside Eric and watched scarlet flames drown out the starlight. I didn’t touch him, even though I wanted to, even though we’d held each other last night. But that was only after…and we were alone then. Though the rest of the Senior class was caught up in the bonfire, and their final bonding moments before graduation, it wasn’t safe to do that again.

Eric lay back on the hill. His green shirt slipped away from his jeans, revealing curly hairs trailing over his black navel. I knew where they led now. I glanced back as he grinned. He…


A queer retelling of King Arthur

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Arthur held the sword over Guinevere’s neck, watchful of her bloody hands dripping on the oak-paneled floor. He didn’t want to hurt her, but for Camelot, he’d do what he had to do.

“Can you figure out what we’re doing, please? Guards are coming,” urged Merlin, who stood by the door with his sword drawn.

“Let the children go, Guin. I don’t want to hurt you. Please!” Arthur said, his voice echoing in the empty chamber.

“I didn’t take the children, Arthur. You spread that rumor, remember? The one about me taking them and feeding them to the dragon. I’m…


A different gay love story

Photo by Inna Lesyk on Unsplash

Body

Adam lay beside me with peace on his gentle face. He was so beautiful I often had trouble breathing, often binding stale air behind ossified bars. Until Adam would come to negotiate. Closed eyes and half-asleep, he leaned and pecked my mouth. With a grumble, I accepted air from his soft, plump lips.

His lips left me, but his head didn’t recede. He claimed half of the pillow, which was long enough for just one. He invaded my personal space, but I didn’t object. His musk — a brew of orange and peppermint — drew me closer, like a bee…


A silly story about a snowman cult — at least that’s what it looked like to me — I accidently made one day after a big snowstorm.

This picture, taken by me, inspired the story. Taken in Baltimore 2018.

The end of winter had come. Imbolic was upon them and they had little time to appease the ice goddess that had blessed them with life. They erected a shrine to Her, and now they came to the question everyone dreaded. Who to sacrifice?

Linora raised her arms and declared, “the time has come to choose? Who will gift themselves to the goddess and bring us an extra month of snow? Please step forward if ye be worthy.”

Connor, who was the adventurous one, started to raise his hand, but Michael — the one who would, of course, have to…


Contraction isn’t binding and expansion can’t be boundless. My belief on the lingering energy of the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction in Aquarius.

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Like so many people on this beautiful planet, the year 2020 was a time of profound transformation, often for the worse, yet in important moments, for the better. Although I was fortunate to have kept my job in the biomedical research field and had an incredible support system that carry me through the year, I sensed a crippling energy of change that stayed with me all year. It weighted me down so much that in November, during my annual cabin trip, I finally felt the breath leave my lungs. …


The art of losing isn’t hard to master, and it sucks.

Photo by Shane on Unsplash

I lost him the moment he stepped into that shower booth. I stood by the sink ashamed, listening to water smack against his body. My stomach clenched. I heard his blue-green swim shorts slosh over the partition. I didn’t dare tear my eyes away from the faucet. Leaving didn’t seem like an option at the time. He was my best friend and he kept talking to me. I realized he’d left the towel by me.

“Dude, did you see that card Chris whipped out today? I swear I don’t know how he gets all those Yu-Gi-Oh cards.”

I debated draping…


Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash

Mara wandered the forest alone and afraid, hopelessly wondering what would become of her new life. She was too frightened to sleep or rest. She was unaware of time the that passed. The canopy was too thick to judge the position of the sun, or even the moon. She kept up her strength for as long as she could, praying to the goddess for protection.

After some time had passed, she came up on a beautiful birch tree. It stood alone and distant from the other trees. Mara recalled her mother’s story of the birch: the most ancient of trees…


SHORT STORY | ILLUMINATION | FICTION

Purpose Can Be Found In Hopeless Places

A cardinal on a tree branch.
Photo by Joel Miller on Unsplash

As I wandered aimlessly through my life, I came upon a house at a convoluted intersection. Its face was clean and elegant with red bricked walls covered with ivies and roses. Among the thorns were misshapen windows, leaning to one side as if the house were sinking. The house had no obvious flaws. It was just a house with crooked windows.

I stepped through the root-devoured door with rusted hinged that screeched as I woke them. Rodent hosts scattered rudely into shadows. I felt the curious specters, the doomed souls forced to dwell in this estate, glaring at me. Nothing…


Photo by Keegan Houser on Unsplash

My self-discovery story

Growing up and Learning Who I Was Through Strangers’ Eyes

I waited for him around the corner from the movie theater. We were supposed to meet at Marine Mall on this bench at seven o’clock, thirty minutes before the show, like we always did, but he wasn’t there. I scanned the crowd of other high school kids as they left their parents cars looking for him. I prayed no one from school would see me sitting here, desperation in my eyes. I was embarrassed. I had to tell him I loved him, but I couldn’t.

I leaned back in my seat, pretending like everything was all right and I wasn’t…

Kevin M. Casin

Cuban-Colombian-American heart scientist and writer of speculative and literary fiction | Codexian | Stories in If There’s Anyone Left, Prism & Pen, From the Fa

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