Literary Yard

Search for meaning


photo of train on railroad track

Steam Train

In the quaint Alpine village of Valles, Emily develops a lifelong fascination with a stationary steam train, symbolizing her quest for love. Despite various relationships and the fading allure of the train over decades, she eventually finds contentment with Pieter. Returning to Valles, the ever-present steam is gone, replaced by shared laughter and new beginnings.

time lapse photo of stars on night

Is Our Sum Equal to Zero?

Struggling with existential questions and the complexity of life, the narrator reflects on their journey from childhood outcast to failed entrepreneur alongside their partner. Revisiting past failures and confronting unending challenges, the duo wrestles with the concept of purpose and the angst of unrealized dreams, as they approach the cusp of turning 30. Despite the fear of futility, they yet cling to the hope of finding their path and continue to seek a meaningful existence.

kids pointing magic wands at each other

The Ritterson School for Psychic Powers

David William Jurgenson pens a tale set in Frankenstein, Missouri, where young Vallow, accused of arson, contests her expulsion at Ritterson, a dubious school for the gifted. As she confronts Headmaster McGovern about the institution’s true nature, she’s unwillingly sacrificed to a dark deity after a chilling incantation, revealing the school’s nefarious purpose.

brown snake on concrete floor

The Serpent

By: Henry Simpson The previous owners of the house Susie and I recently bought had neglected the front and back yards. Artists, hippies, lazy folks, or whatever they were, they were not neat and tidy. Slobs, actually, though Susie would…

close up of woman hands holding bill

Alan’s Bill Complaint

Alan is shocked by an $815 landline bill, presuming Daria’s unauthorized international calls are to blame. She dismisses his concerns, claiming the calls were for organizing ‘talcum powder’ shipments, a gift plan for friends. Alan’s frustration spills over literally and verbally, while Daria defends her extravagant actions, hinting at a lucrative scheme. Despite his anger at her disregard for money and assistance, Alan’s deep-seated fascination with Daria’s unconventional nature prevails.

The Bright Yellow Birdhouse 

Theodore “Ted” Kortenkamp, now a junior partner at a prestigious law firm, lives in the shadow of his successful father and under the weight of family expectations. Experiencing difficulty in his marriage due to reluctance about starting a family, Ted has a realization after observing a wren’s domestic bliss in a bright yellow birdhouse his wife, Ellie, had hung in their patio. This moment of introspection leads Ted to confront his fears, culminating in a reconciliatory moment with Ellie, where he finally agrees it’s time to start their family. The story is written by Leon Kortenkamp, a San Francisco Bay Area writer and artist with an extensive background including military service and a Master of Fine Arts degree.

brown wooden church bench near white painted wall

Priest’s Palette

Carl Papa Palmer recounts his family’s humorous take on Ash Wednesday, with the priest’s ashen cross on his father’s bald head growing each year. His mother jokes about his ‘big canvas,’ and the siblings teasingly join in. The threat of skipping ice cream silences them, revealing a heartwarming family tradition imbued with laughter and sentiment.

man in orange top sitting in front of a person across a table


By: Harrison Abbott My brother Freddie was sentenced to be executed. He’d been on Death Row for years; but he was due to be killed next week. On the Tuesday. So I drove over to see him for one last…

interior of a classroom

The New Kid On The Block

By Bruce Levine Being the new kid on the block isn’t easy. Pairings have already been made. Groups have been organized as if by some unseen and unknown hand sorting everyone; pointing to each person as if saying ‘you go…

silhouette of grasses against the light of setting sun

Intha Slammer

By: Andrew C. Miller Periwinkle, a black and white short-haired cat with a dark smudge on his nose squeezed under the couch. He was searching for Blueberry, the Maine Coon cat. “Prrrtt?” he called, “Prrrtt-prrrtt?” No answer. He slipped behind the…