The ticks have fattened themselves on the host for many years. Only too aware, he has struggled with impaired health while his lifeblood is slowly drained away, but they are too firmly attached.
There is a gathering after the death to ingest the last dregs:
The reading of the Will.
Viv Burgess is finding life a bit dark at the moment. It’s about time she cheered herself up!
My life depends on the drugs, the research, the doctors. There are no miracles, only love of family. The IV drip is like the beat of a second heart pulsing its cancer-burning flames through my body. It keeps this fire raging in my eyes that both consumes and saves me.
Jim Doss lives in Sykesville, Maryland, and earns his living as a software engineer. He has previously published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again and What Remains. In partnership with Werner Schmitt, he also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
He held my hand as we wove our way through the ancient city. Our footsteps fell where Caesar once walked and echoed near where Paul wore his chain. Gladiators’ ghosts whispered tales, and the church bells sang out a memory.
But my heart was faint because he held my hand.
Amanda is a wanderer. She wishes she could travel the world over, but is content as a wife and mother to four explorers who keep her on her toes and show her the world anew through their eyes. In her spare time, she writes.
Standing by the bare pantry, his wife looks at him through eyes of pain and anger.
His own eyes red, swollen, his head pounding,
He hears his children crying.
Their last dollars in hand, he walks into the grocery store,
Where he finds, on the same shelf
Bread and wine.
Carrie Backer is the author of two children’s books, Wayne’s Trip to the Moon, and Mr. Jacobs and the Serving Spoon. Carrie also enjoys writing poetry and short stories and has a new-found interest in creating microfiction and flash fiction. Carrie’s books are available at backerbooks.com.
Shadow Hands pull off my limbs, gently—methodically. They stack my arms and legs. Toes and fingers face away from me in elegant precision.
But moonlight illuminates a scar from before I can remember, reminding me the foot is mine.
I should want to cry. Morning comes before I can.
Stephanie Jones works as editor of New Jersey Teachers Magazine and features writer at Hot House Jazz Guide and JazzSpeaks.org. When time permits, she hosts a podcast called “After the Call.” Jones graduated from Wellesley College having studied with Frank Bidart and Alicia Erian, and earned her BFA in Jazz Performance from The City College of New York.
I lie in bed late at night, writing letters to dead novelists, hoping they might just hear me from the other side.
“Dear Mr. Vonnegut,” I mash into the notepad function on my smartphone, “I did enjoy your novel of ’73, but I do have some very minor criticisms to hand…”
Harris Coverley wrote this story.
The story of the week for June 11 to 15 is…
A Dozen Irons in the Fire by Bob Thurber
22nd Century Jury by Alanah Andrews
Bob’s story was so powerful, and Alanah’s concept so innovative, that I felt both had to be rewarded!
We heard the fire engine arrive just as my kids finished their BBQ food and grabbed their dessert.
“It’s the house across the street!” yelled my neighbour.
We all rushed from the garden to stare in shock. The firemen didn’t look impressed. Maybe marshmallows on sticks were a bad idea.
Mark Farley writes novels, flash fiction and the occasional poem.
Every day was the same.
Soon as Mom got home they started.
Back and forth they went.
Around and around they went.
The volume of their voices fluctuated, depending on which room they were in.
Dad wasn’t working, wasn’t looking.
He talked about the life-changing phone calls he was expecting.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, despite severe vision loss, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
they are going to vote ‘guilty’
and she refuses to believe
the new procedures are fair
nervous as she ascends the podium
unfolding her statement – she is not
convinced that bias has been eliminated
a dozen people deliberating in a room
is better than
a million poised behind smartphone screens
Note: Now read the story from the last line through to the first!
Alanah Andrews is an English teacher in Australia. She is the author of “Beyond,” A Short Story Collection of twisted tales, ghosts, aliens, murder, and “beyond.” You can follow her at facebook.com/alanahandrewsauthor.