In his first spring in a new land, Pietro took a cutting from a peach tree and inserted it into a slit on the branch of a living plum tree. A graft, like himself: an Italian transplanted into the Canadian landscape.
Bound together, two fruits would flourish on one tree.
Teresa Del Mastro sends Tim 50-word stories from Toronto. She creates them in Kerry Hodgson’s basement at her writing group.
“Tell me about your girlfriend.”
“Lucinda calls herself a witch but I have my doubts. When she tried some closeup magic, she wasn’t very good at it.”
“Did she cause you to break out in a rash?”
“No. These red marks are where she accidentally jabbed me with her wand.”
John H. Dromey stands tall but often writes short.
“Statistically, it is almost impossible to win the Lotto,” her maths teacher used to say. Spoken like a man with a permanent, pensionable job.
For many years, Rita heeded his advice.
Now she shuffles to the till. Asks for a Quick Pick. Endures the pitying look. Says a silent prayer.
Geraldine McCarthy lives in West Cork, Ireland. In a former life she was involved in tutoring, lecturing, translation, and research. She has been writing short stories and flash fiction for nearly three years now. Her work has been published in The Fable Online, The Incubator Journal, Seven Deadly Sins: a YA Anthology (Gluttony, Wrath, Avarice), Scarlet Leaf Review, Brilliant Flash Fiction, and Every Day Fiction. See more at facebook.com/cruthaitheacht.
The story of the week for July 9 to 13 is…
Pyrex-Worthy by Robin Lubatkin
He was used to the hallucinations that came with Lewy Body Dementia. He was no longer surprised when he saw bugs and animals crawling out of the walls.
So he wasn’t afraid when he saw a giant python slithering down the hall toward him.
Not until it swallowed him whole.
Harry Demarest hopes to publish his fiftieth 50-word story before he ends up in a memory care facility.
The A/C crashes and I am alone, wishing for love. The heat creeps in. I sigh, knowing sleep will be difficult.
My head hits the pillow and I stick my foot out for relief. I hear from under the bed, “I’ll always love you.” And then claws tickle my foot.
Lucas Chapman studies English and History at Saint Louis University. He enjoys eating toasted ravioli and running unnecessary distances.
The man’s hair is grey and his face worn with much thought. With gravity and authority, he announces the only possible verdict. The other man looks back at him in fear.
The next day, one of the orderlies takes away the retired judge’s mirror and the doctor ups his meds.
Alice Lam moved to Australia from the UK with her partner and they share a house in Melbourne, along with a cheese-seeking, greying Boxer dog.
Alice’s website can be found at alicelambooks.com.
Across the pool some kid shouts MARCO, another answers POLO. But the deep end beckons. You hold your breath and push off.
The feeling underwater goes below words and comes up the other side. You surface, gasping, a hunger roaring, the high dive looming
with its cannonball lessons of life.
Guy’s work has appeared in many journals including Carve, daCunha, Blue Fifth Review, and Fifty Word Stories. He lives on a houseboat with his wife and two salty cats and walks the planks daily.
Deadline is only some hours away.
His writer’s mind is obsessed with other thoughts.
He unsuccessfully tries to focus on the given assignment.
Eventually he gives up.
Sleep still eludes him.
It reads, “You are my first thought each morning.”
He doesn’t respond.
He simply smiles.
Vijai Pant is a language teacher in a school in India. He is also a freelance writer.
He flies above ruinous landscapes,
pondering patchworks of castles baked in mud.
Like Alexander, Genghis, and the Russians,
he yearns to find and best his enemy here.
What does it mean that these monuments of dust remain,
that the fortress of the steppe warrior endures?
As if awaiting a deluge.
A.M. Bigler is a pilot who reads and writes. Today, he lives in Wisconsin with his wife and two sons.