Officially he turns twenty next birthday.
“Not old enough to buy champagne”
Carefully removing his fading birth certificate from a plastic envelope he read:
“DOB: February 29, 1940”
Mom waited until after midnight because “He was special.”
He was her only child; she was right.
Eighty years ago.
John B. Sinclair is a much-travelled Scot who has now returned to Scotland, where he enjoys freelance writing on a variety of subjects.
I gaze overhead into the blue and white swirls of ethereal mist.
I long to be there.
Dreaming; wishing; trying to find a way.
I abandon my responsibilities.
Now my magic carpet is at the runway’s end.
I advance the throttle and point the airplane’s nose skyward.
I am free.
Armand Vilches is an aviation enthusiast and flight instructor who has been flying since he was a teen. Unfortunately, his day job tends to get in the way of being at the controls of an airplane.
A harsh sun beating down. A long walk to the place of hope and despair. She carefully balances the container above her head. Finally reaching her destination, she pulls out the water that means both life and death.
This salvation kills slowly—a small mercy, but one just the same.
Ken Grant is a freelance writer living in Santa Ana, California. He has one published novel, So Great a Salvation. His short stories have appeared in Jitter Press, Left Hand Publishers, and Alien Dimensions.
I know this may be a shock, coming from me. But I regret it.
No, not loving you. LORD knows, that’s the best thing I’ll ever do.
The mistake was letting you fall for me—when I knew you’d be the only one to live with the consequences.
V. C. Slade is a writer and amateur adult in California. She can be found at vcslade.com.
To be sitting all alone,
collapsing in on myself,
and teasing at
a candle’s pale flame,
watching it tenderly
lick away the whorl
of my fingerprint.
left behind is
pink and raised
not a burn,
but something softer.
exploding stars know less pain.
Tina Privitera-Reynolds is a young, emerging writer, so be patient. She has had poems published on SpillWords with more publications upcoming. As a beginner in the daunting world of online publication, she is happy to receive any feedback (especially criticism) and helpful tips and tricks. Her biggest goal is to improve.
He asked if it was her card, knowing it wasn’t. He’d fumbled the shuffle, and now his hands were shaking even more than before.
But when he met her eyes, she was smirking. “I liked the little spin move at the end.”
An eternity passed. He found himself smirking back.
Anoop Bhat is an aspiring roboticist and a causal parkour artist. One day he hopes to see a robot doing parkour alongside him.
The winner of the 2019 Story of the Year, along with the $50 prize and enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, is:
After the Water by Evan McMurry
I appreciate the timeliness, imagination, and emotional punch of Evan’s story. He delivered just as much in 50 words as many stories offer in 1,000 or 2,500 or more, always the mark of a great piece of microfiction.
Honourable mentions go to Balloonman by Melody Leming-Wilson and The View After the Climb by Bob Thurber. The candidates for the award this year were very strong, and I enjoyed reading back through them and remembering what a great year of fiction we had in 2019.
The story of the week for January 20 to 24 is…
Tree Fall by Lillian
Should I reach out and take her hand? Will she shake it off? Can I pretend we just touched accidentally? That would be tough. Do I look at her when I take hold or do I pretend like it’s nothing? Tight squeeze or loose?
What if she holds mine back?
Richard Baigent has always wanted to write and has just started.
“When she was little, my daughter and I used to cook dinner every day. Her favorite part was dessert because I would let her help out the most. Anyway, though, I feel like I know you,” she said, looking at me.
Smiling, I said: Tell me more about it, mom.
Ricardo is a 19-year-old student from Puerto Rico. He plans to write and write until he’s mastered it. A task for a lifetime.