We are fair weather friends. Yet here you are seeking my embrace. You need sustenance, but the shelves in town are ransacked. You need nurturance, but the seven beds at the hospital are all spoken for. I am a mere Band-Aid for a bullet wound. I am only a house.
Shoshauna is often inspired by the other 50-word stories that authors write for this site, and is grateful for that.
When the dreaded thing happened, a strange feeling of calm came over her. Yes, they might put her in ICU, surrounded by beeping machines and strangers in hazmat suits. She might end up on a ventilator. Or, worse, she might not.
But she would no longer be completely, utterly alone.
Donald A. Ranard’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Every Day Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine, 100 Word Story, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere.
I have Dad’s nose, long and hawkish.
I also lose my temper over small noises, criticize people’s musical choices. I feel shame and power.
I also try not to use the word “I,” Dad’s favorite.
Surely a nose isn’t a harbinger. I also have Mother’s eyes.
I block all mirrors.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, 50 Word Stories, (mac)ro (mic), and Ariel Chart.
It is evening rush hour in my city Glasgow.
I hear a solitary blackbird singing
no longer silenced by the snarl of roaring engines
and angry drivers.
The blackbird’s song is sweet but I yearn to hear it no more
meaning normality has returned to free me from this self-isolation
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 escaped his slithering hands and bolted into the night. Johnny’s malty breath followed me before giving up with a cuss; he was always skittish about the marshes.
Crouching among the reeds, a frog startled me. I clasped him in my fingers, took a breath, and kissed him.
Nicholas Katsanis lives in Chicago and writes magical realism and absurdist fiction. He is currently editing his debut novel. Follow him on Twitter at @NicholasKatsan1.
I am lonely. Colleagues were my friends. No meetings, no journeys. I am only a doctor when stopped by the police for speeding.
When my husband died, years ago, writing softened my loss. The notebook is still by my bed.
I pick up a pen and start to write again.
Ruth is a retired doctor who has written extensively for the profession. Since retiring she has published a memoir and three novels. She finds flash fiction very rewarding for the elderly brain.
Bobbing – I think of apples. Ups and downs.
Behaviour – Mine, yours – neither commendable.
Bitter – Adjective. I am ___. You made me ___.
Brazen – Wasn’t she?
Bayonet – Wounding instrument. Cold steel engulfing flesh.
Baby – Would you have left if it had happened? (See Barren)
Boomerang – I won’t go back.
Bruised – Imperfect, fragile, healing.
Jo Withers writes short fiction from her home in South Australia. Recent work appears in Ellipsis Zine, Milk Candy Review and Reflex Fiction. Jo’s work was also recently chosen for inclusion in Best Microfiction 2020.
Your heart gave out. Still can’t fully explain it, but my heart stopped working, too. Yours no longer beats; mine can love no other. One of us breathing; one of us not… And yet somehow, the results are the same: two hearts died that day. I remain single, yet taken.
Alyce Clark was so awed and inspired by the stories of others, she decided to write them for herself.
I found a jellyfish washed up on the beach yesterday. It looked like an alien; a strange creature in a strange land. I got a shovel and helped it back into the water. It floated there before waving a tentacle and swam away. How strange to see one on Mars.
Jocelyne Gregory is an MFA creative writing student at the University of British Columbia. She is a graduate of Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio. She also reviews children’s books and graphic novels. She lives on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.
The unicorn is in the garden again, munching on the roses.
“I can’t,” I say. “I’m not ready.”
I follow him down the lane to the edge of the enchanted forest. The pine scent clears my lungs.
The unicorn slips between the trees. One day, soon, I’ll go with him.
Hannah Whiteoak writes speculative fiction to escape the real world. She is working on an animal-themed flash collection. Follow @HannahWhiteoak or visit hannahwhiteoak.me.
Editor: This story is a sequel to Side Effects.