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Breath & Shadow

Summer 2018 - Vol. 15, Issue 3

New On The Bookshelf!

Written By

Breath & Shadow

Click here to read about two new books by disabled writers!

"Serpent Mists"

Written By

Jim Pennington

The grayness of weary day slithers in
serpent mist, and peers through slits
of darkened blinds. The slatted barriers of
outside world strain from the invasion...

"Discovering the Dragon"

Written By

AJ Cunder

Every diabetic’s story about how we met the dragon is different. Like how we met our spouse, or boyfriend, or girlfriend, or significant other, how we met the beast that came to live inside us is unique.

Some of us met the dragon at ten years old, or fifteen, or thirty.

Others when we were infants. Some of us had family members—fathers, mothers,
brothers, sisters—who fought the dragon and so they were on guard, always watching for the moment when the dragon would visit them too. Some discovered the dragon during a routine doctor’s visit, a simple blood test that would change their lives forever. And others nearly died before they learned about the dragon, suffering and tormented for days or weeks before a doctor finally thought to check them for diabetes.

"Little Alien Flute Girl"

Written By

Christine Lucas

Tsoupra made her first flute from a bone. A bird bone, Athena guessed, for the flute was small and more like a whistle. And yet it produced too many trills for its size, and attracted all sorts of birds.

They flocked in, willow tits from the banks of the Boidomates river down below, and larks from the hidden ravines of Pindos, and sparrows and robins and the ever-pestering pigeons. They perched atop every branch of the oak tree and sang along the tunes her little alien girl composed on her not-really-flute.

"ἡμικρανία (hēmikranía)"

Written By

Robin M. Eames

my headache is the ocean too vast

to catch in my hands spilling over

my pale fingertips all hued in blue

streaming from bruise-purpled eyes

a torrent of writhing sea foam agony

wave upon crashing ceaseless wave…

"Instant Relief"

Written By

Darla Nagel

I came down with a cold during one semester of college. Having even a simple cold on top of ME/CFS is worse than miserable. Viruses deplete my energy even more and take twice as long as normal to go away. By three o’clock on February 9, 2012, I’d already given up on doing any homework, cooking, cleaning--anything that involved physical or mental effort. My dinner would be a bowl of cereal, again. The only reason I went to my classes was out of guilt for the money my parents were withdrawing from their retirement savings to help pay for my education.

"The Genie of the Hearing Aid"

Written By

Elizabeth Bingham

Ryan’s head felt like it was splitting in two. Things that he never remembered
making so much noise – seat belts clicking, doors shutting, chairs scraping, coughs and sneezes – were plunging him into his own personal hell. The only thing he couldn’t seem to hear better were the stupid sounds coming out of people’s stupid mouths. And the whistling was awful. Every time he smiled, clenched his jaw, or wiggled his ears, his left hearing aid let out a piercing squeal as loud as a fire alarm. Ryan couldn’t wait to take them both out.

"Debunking The Butterfly Effect" and "A Response to the Return of King's Article '5 Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder"

Written By

Laura Ingram


Born between entropy and atrophy, I scream as if I have every right to.


Still jaundiced as the dawn's blistered palm, my first phase references the mediocrity of myth, crescent teeth waning gibbous tongue; I tell my mother the man in the moon knows my middle name.


Written By

Nichole V. Brazelton

The trouble with me and Depression isn’t my inability to recognize Depression when he arrives and lays himself in my guest room, and it isn’t my fear of stigma that prevents me from asking for help after Depression arrives. No, the trouble is that I never know when it’s time to ask for help.

"The Light"

Written By

Catherine Murphy

With a long sigh, Marion Williams lowered her shopping bags onto the back seat of the car, noting where the twins’ sweets were for when she got home, and careful to keep Anna’s vase on top. She took off her coat and folded it, resting it over the shopping.


Anna would be on the plane by now. Marion shivered as the bitter evening chill crept through her thin cardigan and light wool trousers. She opened the driver’s door and sat down, peering through the windscreen into the darkness as if she might see the plane, with her best friend’s face in the window - as if Anna would be searching through the skies for her in return.


Written By

Elizabeth Devine

are not hollow. They birth
your origins in tides of red,
clumps of white and spikes
of platelets.
To save one life is to save
a planet, a teaming host of…


Written By

Haleigh Diann

The moon shines bright tonight. It casts long shadows I can’t help but make monsters out of. I tighten my grip on my shotgun and run my thumb across the familiar chip in the wood stock. I used to love full moons. I’d sit in the fields and watch the rays dance across the hay. Now I squeeze my eyes shut and try not to notice them. It’s impossible.

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