In this second 4 Star Stories
short short story issue we meet a garage inventor,
singles looking for reincarnated lost loves, jungle
legends, nuns gone wild, a woman whose childhood dream is realized, and a
tweak of the classic werewolf story. And we do it all in
less than 1,000 words each!
If you have a minute
– we have a story for you!,
In this second Short
Short Story Issue we are proud to
Antonelli’s A Stone's Throw
Maureen Bowden's A Lass Unparalled
Ethan Nahte's Blood-Sucking
Gloria Oliver's Salvation
Cassandra Shore's The Grotto
Libby A. Smith’s
4 Star Stories
Here is a poem to get
A few years ago I read a medieval miracle ballad
called “Our Lady’s Juggler”. It left me wondering if I
could write a miracle story of that type. -- my big
problem being that I live in the 21st
century, where belief in miracles of the kind described
in the ballad is in short supply. Could I pull off a
Miracle Ballad when my readers were working from a 21th
century viewpoint? This prose poem is my attempt to
write in that genre. The miracle in my story may be more
psychological than the one in “Our Lady’s Juggler”, but
I think it is the sort of miracle a reader in the 21th
century might understand.
-- Matt Gray
THE ROSE KNIGHT
By Matt Gray
Once there was a knight
Whose emblem was Our Lady’s rose,
The Rose Knight.
He was not young,
But was a knight battle-hardened and true.
One night he, in chapel, knelt
Keeping a promised vigil in prayer.
The night was long, cold, lonely
And the flagstones hard.
Deep in prayer,
The good knight found himself facing his self,
His ever less-than-perfect self.
Repentant, the Rose Knight his still vigil kept.
Quietly telling the truth of his successes and failures
As a man and as a knight
To himself and God.
Teardrops sometimes wet the stones upon which he knelt.
Until he felt himself but the shade of a knight
Praying in the chapel’s silent mirk.
With the dawning, the morning sun climbed a silver-blue
Lighting the chapel through its rose mullion
Flooding the shadowed chapel
With a thousand bits of warm, singing, dancing, colored
Blessing, forgiving and healing the kneeling Rose Knight
With Our Lady’s loving light
His dark, battle-scarred heart,
Had so sorely longed.