a taste of ‘A Cluster of Lights’

53 writers celebrate time and distance and talent and life …


to return to A Cluster of Lights in the Store, click here


scroll down for tastes …



They call what I did a deliberate error, cartographic graffiti. I like that. It’s better than saying it was a prank or joke.  from A Mountain So Lost by Sheldon Lee Compton

She can see the camping ground with its pageant-like spread of tents. She can’t see their blue triangle, or the red one-man tent she has put up for her daughter.  from Tales from Bodri Beach by Catherine McNamara

I return to the house, where my squat, motherly portrait of the Virgin mocks me, screams to my loneliness.  from Vincent in the Yellow House by Nuala O’Connor

The Academy had given her a choice, pay for physical reconstruction or mental, she could not have both.  from The Price by Abha Iyengar

Her mouth opened and she began to sing, tilting the mirror to watch herself—eyes narrowed, lips pouted and body moving against the seat.  from Night Shadows by Rachel Smith

“First,” he instructed, “don’t say aw nuts. Who are you, Charlie Brown? Say shit. Say damn.”  from Adult Dark by Marty Brick

Dark clouds press the horizon. A rumble. The hills look closer. Watch.  from Whispers by Gail Ingram

She said, turning on her oven for heat, “I don’t deal with love, but one thing I know ’bout love is really good love don’t go bad.”  from Miss Lamb’s Love Advice by Michelle McEwen

I always ask to walk the perimeter of the restaurant. My grandmother takes my hand and we headfirst through the Arctic, where ermines, captured behind glass, are stuck forever half white.  from Safari Club, Estacada, Oregon, circa 1979 by Chesea Biondolillo

Sleep declined her offer, she suggested a fusillade.  from Sleep the Ferryman by Al McDermid

Linda can’t understand why her sister bothers to go to Bingo.  from Bingo Night by James Claffey

Then I left. I died again that night but really who keeps track.  from Wordkill by Gary Percesepe

A German tourist once offered his wife, who in turn offered to set fire to the shack. When I remember the cavernous sense of empty gymnasium and the sense that I had interrupted something invisible and secret.  from The Past by Stephen Hastings-King

“Take what you want,” Mum says. “I don’t go out now, so I don’t need much.”  from A Rat in the Wardrobe by Diane Brown

Because if you criticized him, he might arrange for a thin loop of wire with a handle on it to be tied around your head.  from All the Peace and Fraternity of the Free World by Kelly Grotke



In our cars, we adjust our lipsticks—pink, red, coral—and spray our perfumes, and the lucky ones drive home and settle in the arms of the ones they love …  from Second Shift in the Cannery by Linda Wastila

Sometimes Marama becomes a camembert or a brie moon when we buy big round slabs of cheese at a discount store where items are near their use by date.  from Up There by Piet Nieuwland

He goes with a rocking, dancing gait, head swinging from side to side. Searching for Janey.  from Seams by T M Upchurch

We imagine our former selves dipping into the present day and being horrified. But then we laugh.  from Wave by Jen Knox

A lounging blond girl with gleaming skin waved. Marco looked over both his shoulders before realizing she meant him.  from Shadowboxing by Len Kuntz

Vic was a model prisoner. I’d sold pot to Deputy Leonard and was no danger to anyone.  from Building Time by John Riley

“It’s pretty quick, I know, but I think we’re a good fit. I’ll try to make you happy, I will. Will you?”  from Mirko’s Mountain Yet Again by Andrew Stancek

While I’d been away, the new owner had subdivided our quarter-acre and felled my giant pepper tree for the convenience of a smooth concrete driveway.  from Antipodean Case Moth by Alex Reece Abbott

The man reminded the couple of someone they’d known back in college.  from Solstice by Nathan Alling Long

The day before, a thirty-something looked up from his notebook and asked, “Why are we doing this?”  from Sagarmatha by Maggie Sokalik

Life hadn’t been easy for Scheherazade. Long-term unemployment, debts, disease, had plagued my friend for a long time.  from Story’s End by Stella Pierides

Since Houdini there have been affairs of varying lengths with Charles Brasch and Boris Pasternak.  from For Ever, Harry by Lynn Jenner

Though it must have been cold when she went in to the water.  from Island Woman by S J Mannion

The longer the animal arts flourished, the greater the soft power of animals became. They were oracles, troubadours, bards, soothsayers, heartthrobs.  from Soft Power by Erik Kennedy

Often, I find myself lingering by children’s shoes in shops, remembering.  from Madwoman by Iona Winter

%d bloggers like this: