Waves lap the shoreline. Palm trees rustle, muffling the snores of the men round the spit-roast, whose spices linger in the salt air. Logs flicker. The last captive looks out from his cage and prays.
Then clouds part, and the full moon’s light glides over him. He grins, fangs lengthening.
Michael B. Keane is a London-based writer of dark fiction.
“No,” I said, laughing. “It’s only our first date.”
Since then he’s proposed at home, on holiday, in castles, in parks, but I’ve always said no. It’s become an in-joke.
His note is propped on the mantelpiece. I don’t read it, finally realizing that the joke got old.
Laura Besley writes short fiction and squeezes her writing into the bookends of her day. She has lived in Holland, Germany, and Hong Kong, but now lives in land-locked central England and misses the sea. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020. She tweets at @laurabesley.
The story of the week for October 5 to 9 is…
She Rises by Mary Haynes
Rheigina walks into the familiar coffee shop, sitting across from the boy she’s known for years.
“I’m so sorry.”
Her smile dissolves as he wastes no time explaining. His face fractures into unrecognizable pieces. He is sobbing now, and so is she.
“But… you can’t,” she pleads.
“I love you.”
Leona Alonso is a high school sophomore from Texas who has a passion for STEM. However, in her free time she likes to play the viola, write, be with friends and family, as well as take long naps.
The Story of the Month is chosen from the Story of the Week winners announced from the past month.
The finalists for September were:
Inbox Emptiness by Yash Seyedbagheri
Drowning by Ran Walker
The Boy in the Box by Robert Markovich
Swept Away in a Sea of Gray by Le Anne Welder
The winner of the September 2020 Story of the Month, and the $10 prize, is…
Yash has made excellent use of language to craft a wonderful portrait of the character without relying on direct description. The character’s depth makes it easy to draw out empathy from the reader. All around a very well executed story.
Slurping. Groaning. Mud in your eyes and mouth. Teeth aching.
Clambering onto the riverbank, you cough up a whole fish then a beetle.
Your reptile skin slithers off, glinting iridescent in the sunshine.
You shove and jostle into your human frame and shuffle on trembling legs towards the silver city.
Dettra Rose writes flash fiction and tiny poems.
Her pieces have won and been shortlisted/longlisted in a number of esteemed competitions, including: Bath Flash Fiction Award, Reflex Fiction, Retreat West, the Australian Writers’ Centre and TSS Publishing. Dettra is working on her first novel. A born-and-bred Londoner she now lives in Australia and calls both places home. Find her at Dettrarose.com.
She knows the length of air
will stiffen towels, shirts, jeans,
but doesn’t care.
She likes watching, from the kitchen window,
how sunlight pushes shadow
along draping cloth.
Later, folding sheets against her chest,
she inhales. How do you name this? The balm
of this scent, fresh
off the line.
Jennifer L Freed mostly writes poems, which appear or are forthcoming in various journals and anthologies. Her website is jfreed.weebly.com
Black brother bound, begging, barely breathing, betrayed by badged bullies. Bystanders being blind. Bureaucracy bubble bursts. Battle begins. Be bold, be boisterous, build bridges because BlackLivesMatter. Be better, break bread, bond but be beneficial. Begin by believing blacks’ burdens, brokenness, bitterness, baggage. Breathe, Buddy, breathe. Be blessed beyond belief. BlackLivesMatter.
Lisa Miller loves living in Oregon, moving from Portland and out to the country recently. She loves her family but has had trouble writing since they moved in. She says it’s worth it, though, and her creativity is slowly creeping back.
Lady Huron was in a mood.
Waves roared ashore, obliterating most of the beach. Ancient trees washed up, now driftwood with the haunted look of past lives.
Sand blasted Jenny’s skin and stung her eyes. Still, she searched in the frothy debris for sea glass, finding beauty in the chaos.
Mary Haynes splits her time between a romantic old sailboat in tropical waters and a beach home on Lake Huron in Canada. A wanderer by fate, she embraces wherever she roams! Mary just published her first children’s book, “Who Ate My Peppers?”
I wake up.
I don’t know where I am.
My house on Grant?
No, the retirement home.
I wake up.
I don’t know where I am.
I figure it out.
And then one day,
I wake up, and I don’t realize that I don’t know
where I am.
Harry Demarest hopes to live long enough to end up in a retirement home.