He’s changed while he’s been gone.
The glinting metal piercing. The tattoo curling up his neck. The stench of smoke hanging around him.
But underneath he’s still my little boy.
He stands nervous, not meeting my teary eyes.
I reach out and embrace him.
“I love you, Mom,” he whispers.
Monica loves to make music, read, and write in the time she’s not slogging through piles of homework or caught in a consuming daydream.
I walk past the boutique clothes store. Inside, someone is burning a scented candle: coconut and lime tonight.
From the café next door drifts the warm aroma of high-end coffee and vanilla beans.
I linger in the sweet spot between shops. Should I buy a drink, or just keep inhaling?
Brenda Anderson’s fiction has appeared in various places including defenestration and Fiction Vortex, and will appear in SpeckLit. She loves the offbeat.
She sought out the blue dot, his blue dot, which was sometimes accompanied by the word “mobile.”
She developed a nervous tic, always reaching for her phone.
Perhaps he looked for the reassurance of her blue dot, too. But probably not.
She knew this, and she tried not to care.
Sarah Vernetti is a freelance writer from Las Vegas, Nevada.
She stood there, anxious about her first day at work. The training had been scant, at best.
Max had said everything would be fine, but as he placed the blindfold over her eyes her confidence dwindled.
Moments later, metal impacted around her. When the clapping began, she could finally relax.
David likes to write and his ego likes the likes.
Many expressed concern when she departed for Costa Rica. Like going out at night alone, traveling solo is a way to get yourself in trouble.
People worried about her safety and felt a twinge of pity. Some looked at her with admiration and awe.
Living up to that exhilarated her.
Emilie lives in Toronto, Canada and works at a bank. She seeks to discover her creative and expressive side through writing and finds 50-word stories the perfect medium.
I’m late for the lesson.
Old Crouch the Grouch smiles pleasantly. I sit down.
Why isn’t he screaming at me for being late? What’s all this coloured Plasticine for on the desks? Why’s that music playing? Why’s he wearing a suit? Why’s everyone working?
Then I notice her. Ofsted inspector.
Arthur Brown had a long career in teaching. He saw a lot of changes and never did really get used to them. He draws comfort from the fact that no-one else seemed to either.
The story of the week for October 13 to 17 is Snowbound by Ruby Ray.
There’s a lot of art in communicating an idea indirectly, the way that this story implies a discussion of beauty and gender roles/expectations without actually bringing them up directly. This is a story that is larger than itself, and that’s always a mark of success in the 50-word format.
This stuff on the page would never mean anything to her. And history: names, places, dates… What was the point?
Glancing into a mirror, she saw snow-blonde hair, river-blue eyes, cute ramrod nose. Remembering other eyes, other glances, she knew that these fixed constants would circumscribe her entire life.
Ruby Ray has worked as a barmaid, cleaner, kitchen porter and gardener. After that she had a career in teaching. Now she wonders what will be next.
Sitting upon my luggage by the front door, noises of their lovemaking and giggling wash over me through the walls.
Smiling, I stand, heft my belongings, and leave, closing the door gently behind me.
My paraplegic brother will be happy now with a woman to love.
I am finally free.
Nora is a writer from Iraq. She enjoys writing novels, flash fiction, and poetry. In her spare time, she likes to take short walks or spend time looking through articles and documentaries.
Martha was never sober anymore.
This former beauty queen climbed out from the florist’s dumpster holding a bouquet of various rotting flowers, a slightly tilted crown of baby’s breath atop her head, eyes watery and red.
Her weekly floral baptism gave her newfound courage to ask the bartender for credit.
Kevin is a visual artist who creates sculptural works in fabric when he’s bored. When he is very bored he writes short stories. See what he has recently done in his studio.