I’ve been collecting things since I was very small. Conkers, feathers, snow globes. Then onto stamps, butterflies, coins.
It was only natural for me to progress to larger, more beautiful and precious things. Hard to find, harder to keep.
People demand their freedom in a way that stamps never did.
Charlie Swailes writes short and very short stories when not teaching English or looking after her two small boys.
The Story of the Month is chosen from the Story of the Week winners announced from the past month.
The finalists for November were:
Sundays by Una Nine Nine
Rain Dance by Raymond Sloane
Surrender by Eileen Hansen
Shadows by Dmitri Christopher
The winner of the November 2019 Story of the Month, and the $10 prize, is…
I expect this story represents different things to different readers. I see a portrait of depression or other forms of mental illness. It can hide in plain sight, even in the midst of “happy” moments and friendly faces. And like a spy, it may feel like it is always lurking just out of sight, nefarious, waiting for the worst moment to emerge.
When I saw him the other day, I felt the strangest urge to strike up a conversation. Most peculiar, seeing as we’ve hardly been close. But the moment passed and I saw it wasn’t him, remembered it couldn’t be so.
A curiosity indeed that we’re always friendlier towards the dead.
Gretchen wants to make being out of place her comfort zone, so she’s going to keep on sharing her thoughts.
Displayed in front of the Catholic school assembly, Lydia felt like an ostrich: swollen belly perched on teenaged stork-thin legs, dying to bury her head in the sand.
Afterwards, the nuns expelled her. It was then she decided “pro-life” was a crow veiled in a habit, not an olive-branched dove.
Krista Robey is an unapologetic Midwestern Millennial, who will advocate for Oxford commas until the day she dies.
The story of the week for December 2 to 6 is…
Balloonman by Melody Leming-Wilson
Just keep breathing. Their seats are still empty.
My mind immediately comes up with a thousand old tired excuses: maybe traffic is bad; maybe the car didn’t start. Holding out hope? Two more then I’m up.
I look at their seats again, still empty. Disappointment and relief wash over me.
Sophia Austin works in Marketing at Fussy Cat Publishing. Writing is one of her many hobbies, all of which give her inspiration for writing.
The Balloonman presents the poodle, smiles and begins another. The child lifts it overhead; refracted color splashes his face.
Autumn engulfs the horizon—the carnival sags. The Balloonman squints as summer burns itself out.
The swan completed, he bows to one last girl, sighs, and turns toward evening and home.
Melody Leming-Wilson lives and teaches in Portland, Oregon. She writes mostly poetry, but is afraid the 50 word story might get in the way of that.
My father-in-law-to-be mowed our yard with his tractor, transforming the tangle into a park.
My son sobbed, He killed my favorite blackberry bush.
“But there are more,” I argued. “Look, they’re all over.” He wouldn’t face where I pointed.
I wish I’d said, “It’s painful to lose what you love.”
Lois Rosen’s poetry books are Pigeons (Traprock Books 2004) and Nice and Loud (Tebot Bach 2015). She has taught ESL in Oregon, New York, Ecuador, Colombia, Japan, and Costa Rica. Lois founded the Peregrine Poets of Salem, Oregon, and leads the Trillium Writers and the Institute for Continued Learning Writing Group at Willamette University. She won Willamette Writers’ 2016 Kay Snow First Prize in Fiction.
High Noon; the Kid faces Sundance. Fingers twitching, onlookers gathering. Quickdraw! Boom! 1860, the irons virtually explode in their mitts. Smoke, lead, everywhere. Recoil flattens the Killers. Two Mexicana bystanders lie dead.
An old Comanche watches, already telling how the Killers pumped each other full of lead and miraculously survived.
Peter Li-ping continues to travel, work, and rest in an arc which stretches North-East to North-West. But he feels the Great Light shines from the South West.
“I saw him!”
“Wearing a red suit?”
“Driving a sleigh?”
“A scruffy dog.”
“A round belly?”
“Sack of presents?”
“How’d you know it was him?”
“His eyes—they twinkled.”
“Hmm. Must be in disguise.”
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.