The convert secured the offering. “Shouldn’t we be doing this during a lunar eclipse instead?”
The priest pulled a dagger from his robe. “We worship shadows caused by the moon, not the moon itself.”
“I’m not sure that’ll stop people from calling you ‘lunatics,'” muttered the woman on the altar.
Pontius Paiva is a minister of microfiction in service of the short story. Seekers can find him at pontiuspaiva.com.
I reach the end of my street and here comes Mr. No-Mask, huffing and puffing like a freight train. I back up, let him pass. One block later, Ms. Cell Phone comes walking and talking, oblivious.
I just go home and read today’s forecast: ninety percent chance of “no walk”.
Paul Bluestein is a physician (no longer practicing) and a blues musician (still practicing). He used to go for walks on the beach where he could think about he past, wonder about the future and lose his sunglasses.
I smash Mother’s clay flowerpot with a basketball. It splits into multiple pieces.
Dad sifts through the pieces.
“Some things can’t be replaced,” he murmurs.
I wish he’d hate me. Or hit me. Yell.
I glue piece after piece. Fill the pot with the lilacs Mother had planned.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. A native of Idaho, Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, CaféLit, and Ariel Chart, among others.
Each morning Jenny places a glass of chilled water on a small table beside a large reclining chair. She never sits in his chair but sometimes, when passing, tenderly touches it. Sometimes she takes a sip of water from his glass. In the silence shared, she often thinks of him.
John Young is an old chap, grappling with themes of limits, longings, and finitude. He likes spooky stuff, and lives in St. Andrews, Scotland, an ancient town with an ancient university, home of golf, and home also – allegedly – of many ghosts. (He has not met any yet.)
Today, I kissed some poppy seeds.
Scattered them across my garden. Watered them in.
Gently sprinkled grey ash over them.
One summer, a drunk, who should never have been driving, killed my five-year-old daughter. My only child.
In July, the soil where she lies will be awash with blood-red flowers.
Hugh Cartwright is a scientist living and writing on the Canadian west coast.
“I think the cutie has her mother’s eyes,” remarked one passerby while the new family was out eating breakfast.
The couple knowingly smiled at one another: their child was adopted. It had only been six months, but despite not necessarily having their likeness, she already resembled them more and more.
Jonathan H. Smith lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona.
“I’m not sure what I’m hungry for, but this definitely isn’t it.”
She meant me. Us. Our sacred union.
Playing house had become wearisome, mind-numbing work.
Our holy matrimony had leaked whatever holy it held.
We’d become seasick passengers, nibbling at remnants of a sacred ritual gone sour.
Bob Thurber is the author of six books. Regarded as a master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in Esquire and other magazines, been anthologized 60 times, received a long list of awards, and been utilized in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
It wasn’t a lonely life.
It was just different.
She talked to the flowers, and they listened.
She could almost see the marigolds raise their little orange heads as she passed.
And the lilies always waved.
But you couldn’t trust a yellow rose…
Or the man who gave you one.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana. She likes all flowers, even yellow roses.
plays over stained glass
as I sink to my knees
before the God who made me.
My eyes fill when
I lift them to meet His.
We glow as
love burns a bridge between us,
and I am consumed
but not destroyed.
At long last,
I am home.
Maria is blessed.
Bacon. Two eggs, over easy. Two slices of white toast, with butter and jam. Coffee with cream and sugar. The Sunday paper held up with one hand, nothing but coverage of the recent crisis.
Indigestion. Headache. Slight anxiety.
Tomorrow? Oatmeal. Almond milk. Juice. A book of poetry. And a smile.
C.M. Bunch writes (mostly) speculative fiction from the suburbs of Saint Louis. He is trying real, real hard to publish two novels and several short stories. Keep your fingers crossed for him.