Mama decided the family tree needed pruning. Sturdy branches could stay; twigs had to go.
I was flimsy. Always had been. God knows I tried to branch out.
She looked at me… a long, hard stare.
I turned away, but I could still hear the rustling of those graceful limbs.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana and has never been removed from her family tree.
He loved her, and although she professed her own, evidence proved the contrary. Her caresses could not mask philandering nights and whomever she spent them with.
Fantasies of freedom consumed his thoughts… until she scratched behind his ears, murmuring “Good boy.”
Still, sooner or later, she was bound to leave.
F.M. Johnson is a writer from Richmond, VA. Her book, Tales of the Supernatural, is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble Book Stores, and her website, fmjohnson.com.
I sit in the passenger seat, my hands clasped together tightly, afraid that she will bring it up.
Unhappiness. Divorce. My father.
My heart races, my stomach unsettled, as she takes a steadying breath to open her mouth, while I scream in my head: Mother, please don’t.
Erica is working on her first urban fantasy novel. While she loves writing, she isn’t so sure about this whole “editing” thing. When she isn’t working on her book, she can be found planning her next trip, drinking wine (red, of course), or cuddling up with her ridiculously adorable puppy, Teddy. See more at squarerootroundworld.com
The story of the week for August 13 to 17 is…
Pizza Night by Maura Yzmore
He saw himself laid out on the table, his heart in one place, his backbone and manhood in various containers.
It was hard to get a word in edgewise as his two ex-girlfriends kept dissecting him into little pieces.
Now he finally understood what “We can still be friends” meant!
Connell continues to be upbeat about writing his biography even if others keep refusing to do it for him. However, he knows someone will eventually take up the mantle which will then free him somewhat to concentrate on getting someone to write his 50-word stories as well.
Barely discernible in the gloom, he lay with twisted limbs, his eyes wide, staring. His mouth hung open. Silent. Still. Lifeless.
In contrast was the frantic rush of bluebottles.
Playing the part of a corpse was not a top acting role. He just happened to be rather good at it.
Jean lives in Bath in the UK. She likes to write the occasional fifty word story. As she gets older, they get more occasional.
Mom cuts a pepperoni pizza into eighths. “Your two slices together make a quarter,” she says, serving one slice to each of her young twins. “Still three quarters left. That’s almost a whole pie!”
The boys chew in silence. Three quarters of a family feel nothing like a whole one.
Maura Yzmore writes short-form literary and speculative fiction, as well as humor. Find out more at maurayzmore.com or @MauraYzmore on Twitter.
This table, the wine, bread and cheese—that’s nonfiction; calling it “dinner” is, perhaps, a fiction.
Your silence, my tears, these trembling hands: nonfiction. Our last meal together: fiction.
Your attraction to someone else—OK, we’ll call that nonfiction. But the idea you no longer love me… must be fiction.
Nathan Alling Long lives in Philadelphia and can be found at blogs.stockton.edu/longn. His collection of fifty flash fictions, The Origin of Doubt, was published by Press 53 in March 2018.
More than a tourist in the land of the Parkie where the governor
mumbles and shakes. I’m like a warrior trying to escape; PD has
a grip on my soul. A voting citizen, I fell off the floor and opened
the door to a new life that yells: watch out!
Michael Mogel is an out of work Fire Alarm Inspector due to Parkinson’s and has been writing poetry since college where he founded a literary