“Awful man,” she muttered, kicking the encroaching brambles. “Beautiful woman,” he mused, as sunlight haloed her fair hair.
Every evening he’d toil, moving snails from her delicate beans and dahlias to his indestructible thicket.
She never wondered why her allotment flourished. Or who left the gifts of glorious blackberry jam.
Tamsin doesn’t have an allotment, and she has to be her own snail shepherd. Despite best efforts, her runner beans are still being severely chewed.
After applying for many years he made it into Mensa. Finally, he was among the most intelligent people of his time. Cerebrally unmatched yet socially awkward, he wondered what he’d be doing there until he was told to put on some overalls, get a bucket, and mop out the toilets.
Mother wears her sorrow like a wet, fur coat. As the days pass, every step she takes weighs her down. Each rancid choice she makes pushes us further apart.
She asks why I stay away from her.
I worry she’ll bequeath the coat to me and I’ll repeat the cycle.
Yong Takahashi won the Chattahoochee Valley Writers National Short Story Contest and the Writer’s Digest’s Write It Your Way Contest. She also was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, and runner up in the Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest and Georgia Writers Association Flash Fiction Contest. Some of her works appear in Cactus Heart, Crab Fat Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Flash Fiction Magazine, Gemini Magazine, Hamilton Stone Review, Meat For Tea, River & South Review, Rusty Nail Magazine, Spilt Infinitive, and Twisted Vines.
Lune, a savage brute, smothers Sola under his tremendous weight. Everything goes black.
Determined to keep her midday throne, Sola overcomes and bites her aggressor, drawing blood. He concedes, retreating in agony.
Victorious, Sola screams her own praises with fiery breath, reasserting her position as supreme ruler of the skies.
Pontius Paiva’s interest in the phenomena of celestial bodies could only be eclipsed by his desire to make up stories about them. Find out more at pontiuspaiva.com
Daddy was waiting. I saw the TV flickering. I held my breath. I’d already removed my shoes. If I slipped past the doorway I could crawl upstairs undetected. Once in bed he couldn’t do anything. No matter how loud he screamed I’d squeeze shut my eyes and fake dead-to-the-world sleep.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble.” His first novel, “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel,” was recently rereleased. Visit BobThurber.net.
The story of the week for August 14 to 18 is…
Multiple Choice by Tracy Fells
One spring morning
A strong wind arose
Waking the old trees
Their young leaves shimmied
Like tiny gymnasts stretching
Practicing handstands and cartwheels
While nearby other giants
Stood somber as if caught
By some old trauma
Some unspeakable shame
That had broken
Their mighty spirit
So many long years ago
Matthew lives and grows in Maine.
She looked through her cataract cloud. Her hair, like the bathroom mirror, had silvered. Her face showed cracks like the tile. Toothbrushes… two?
Nothing looked familiar. Not the photo of children that fluttered from her purse to the cold tile floor. Not the gray-haired man who carried her to bed.
Eileen McIntyre writes to the hum of hummingbird wings and listens to critique from crows in the woods of Northern California.
American Ballet Theatre. Lele auditions tomorrow. Toes blood-raw, shiny cut runs the length of her shin.
Jeté, changement, développé… Feet soaking in tepid water, eyes closed, mentally rehearsing: balance, hold, reach, stretch, point.
Lele wraps her stress fractured arch, traces the stinging laceration—she cut herself so they would see.
Z. Shuff has an M.D. and an M.F.A. She lives, works, and writes in beautiful West Virginia with her husband, their two kids, their dog, and their cat.
A myriad of dots fill the screen. He clicks on one to expand it, then scrolls through as many as he can. In each image he sees only himself. He is the same but subtly different, as each universe is unique.
Somewhere, in at least one, he must be happy.
Tracy Fells lives in West Sussex, England. She has won awards for both fiction and drama. Her short fiction has been widely published in magazines, online, and in anthologies. She is the 2017 Regional Winner (Canada and Europe) for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and has been shortlisted for the Fish, Brighton, and Willesden Herald Prizes. She tweets as @theliterarypig.