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Flyleaf Journal


"Into the Darkest Heart" by Denton Loving

Issue #6 / May 2014

Illustrated by Monica Garwood


DENTON LOVING lives near the historic Cumberland Gap, Where Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia converge. He works at Lincoln Memorial University, where he co-directs the annual Mountain Heritage Literary Festival and serves as executive editor of Drafthorse: the literary journal of work and no work ( He is also editor of Volume 4 of the Motif Anthology Series, published by Motes Books. His fiction, poetry, essays and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in River Styx, PANK, Main Street Rag and in numerous anthologies.



"My father had a son. The son was me. My father’s own father had died the year before, and the birth of the child partially filled that hole. The child’s arrival was a relief. It was a spring day after a long winter. It was hope realized. The son was hope. I was the son, and I was hope fulfilled.


My father had a son that he didn’t know what to do with. So he carried his son with him everywhere he went.


My father had a son, and he became a stay at home dad. He didn’t consider himself a pioneer in gender equality. He didn’t see himself riding the front of the wave of stay at home fathers. He didn’t think about gender roles at all...


"The Stem" by Z.E. Ratches

Issue #7 / June 2014

Illustrated by Heidi Unkefer



Z.E. RATCHES lives in Tigard, Oregon, which Z thinks is a really funny sounding name for a town. Z is the oldest (and shortest) of three children and grew up next door to George Washington in Mount Vernon, Verginia. Z graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. Z also went to law school, but doesn’t like to talk about it.



"The advent of time travel was far less dramatic than all the old science fiction movies and comic books had led us to believe. Mainly because you could only go three minutes into the past and only for 33 seconds. It was a novelty. A gadget to buy to say you had it. As with most modern gadgets, Apple developed the first one. They, predictably, called it iTime. It looked like a thinner, longer iPad and cost about as much. Also predictably, Google came out with a cheaper, better version about six months later. They called it Google Time and it sent you back 33 minutes where you stayed for about three and a half minutes. A few third party developers got involved after that, their scientists and engineers tinkering until they eventually developed the current models that can take you back exactly three days from the present where you linger for 33 minutes...


"The Imminent Widow" by Mary Skomerza

Issue #8 / July 2014

Illustrated by Skinner



MARY SKOMERZA is a graduate of The Evergreen State College with an emphasis in creative writing. She currently contributes to She has been writing for as long as she can remember and has a passion for alternative fiction and the writers who have chosen to push the boundaries of the written word.



"The outline of his shadow gyrates and roils against the wall, a disturbing pantomime of respiration. His breaths, raspy and uneven, heave upwards with a rumble and deflate with a hiss. It is an oddly hypnotic symphony. I watch him with waning energy, sinking lower into my seat while my eyes flutter against the weight of my lashes. There is a smell about him that I hadn’t noticed before. It thickens the air with a medicinal putrid odor. I drift into an uneasy slumber...

"Street Girl" by William Falo

Issue #9 / August 2014

Illustrated by Mark Para



WILLIAM FALO’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Emrys Journal, 34th Parallel, Skyline Review, Foliate Oak Review, Oak Bend Review, Open Wide Magazine, The Linnet’s Wings, The View From Here, The Monarch Review, and others. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.



"Anton watched the people leave the gothic-style church after a rare winter wedding and felt the dull ache in his stomach spread to his heart. He blinked away the tears before they could fall.


The bookstore was emptier then usual and the loneliness became too much to bear, so he put up the closed sign. A door slammed and footsteps pounded on the sidewalk.


“Stop you pest!” someone shouted. He turned to see Radu grab a street boy, throw him to the ground, and then straddle him, lifting a clenched fist. The boy had on a blue hat that became pulled down over his ears as he squirmed to get free, but Radu had a strong grip from years of working in the market...

"Altenmoor, Where the Dogs Dance" by Mort Castle

Issue #10 / September 2014

Illustrated by Heidi Unkefer



MORT CASTLE is a horror author and writing teacher who has published over 500 short stories. Twice a winner of the Black Quill Award and the Bram Stoker Award, Castle edited On Writing Horror, the primary reference work for writers of dark fiction. He lives near Chicago with Jane, his wife of 40 years.



"One day in spring, when the boy came home from school, he did not find Rusty in the backyard, on the screened-in porch, or anywhere downstairs in the house. He knew Rusty could not be up with Grandpa. Last winter, when the weather had gone so cold, Rusty’s back legs had gone cold, too, so cold he could no longer climb the stairs.


The boy’s mother took him into the kitchen and tried to explain, though he hadn’t asked her. “Rusty’s gone, Marky.”


He hated being called “Marky,” but she was his mom, so what could he do? Dad called him “Mark,” and sometimes “Son,” and that was better but it still wasn’t right...

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