I sat, staring at the news station, counting the steps to the door.
I should go in, tell them what I knew, what I’d discovered. But the people who wanted me to stay quiet were out there somewhere, watching. They could end me so easily.
I opened the car door.
Chad Bunch writes speculative fiction from the suburbs of Saint Louis. He is currently trying his darnedest to publish the first book of a series.
Watching two swans glide across the farmer’s pond, Claire reflects on her life and how things didn’t work out the way she’d imagined.
She read that swans mate for life, and wonders why they hadn’t shared that secret with the young couple who once pledged undying love along this shore.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
Penelope begs me to call her Mother.
I know what I did. I still love you.
Penelope moves through the house. Seems off, like a newspaper left out.
I needed space.
I believed she loved me. Missed her graceful gait, jokes, tender goodnights.
I utter that word.
Mir-Yashar is a graduate of Colorado State’s MFA program in fiction. A recipient of two Honorable Mentions from Glimmer Train, he has also had work nominated for The Best Small Fictions. Mir-Yashar’s work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such Scarlet Leaf Review, Ariel Chart, 50 Word Stories, and The Write City Magazine.
The story of the week for September 2 to 6 is…
Roman Holiday by Maura Yzmore
The Story of the Month is chosen from the Story of the Week winners announced from the past month.
The finalists for August were:
When the Dark Rain Blew Away Our Home by Michael H. Brownstein
The Mark by G.B. Burgess
The Lucky One by John B. Sinclair
Breathing Space by Dini Armstrong
Discordant by Lisa Alletson
The winner of the August 2019 Story of the Month, and the $10 prize, is…
When the Dark Rain Blew Away Our Home
Michael made a creative use of the 50-word format, using his words to set the scene and create the characters in an unconventional way. The format feels impersonal to me, like an interview on the evening news, or an aid worker interviewing people rapidfire in a temporary shelter to check if they need immediate medical attention or if they can be left alone for now in the corner. We know, academically, that we should feel sympathy for this character as a human being, but she is just a nameless face that represents the news story. And then the final line hits, and the humanity of the character gushes out with her breath. It’s a great effect, and makes for a great story.
The headline says “Amazon clearance,” yet this isn’t an online sale but an example of the indifference of greed.
If trees could talk, they’d say: love us as we are, for gone is gone, and blackened earth and scorched ground will be no more than a footnote for future generations.
Henry Bladon is a writer of short fiction and poetry based in Somerset in the UK. His work can be seen in Fewer than 500, Pure Slush, Truth Serum Press, and Flash Frontier, among other places.
The curator stands next to a tall glass case filled with a dark liquid and pauses a moment, before flipping a switch to illuminate the creature inside it.
The visitors recoil in shock at its bare flesh, piercing eyes and white teeth.
“I present to you our predecessor: homo sapiens.”
Daniel doesn’t visit museums much these days.
When I was little, they tried to teach me to eat spaghetti properly; twist it round and round my fork, then stop. I always froze, mesmerized by the spinning.
Anxiety’s like that, too. They tell you to worry, worry, then cope. But I just get stuck watching my mind whirl.
Maria attends college in the Midwest, and loves that microfiction fits neatly into her study breaks.
“You wear earplugs?”
“You know, so’s you don’t lose your hearing. I mean, it’s real loud, right?”
“When you do someone. It hurts your ears, the bang.”
“You think I use a gun?”
Legion shook a smoke from the pack. “You gotta lot to learn, kid.”
Willie Carr wrote this story.
An office drudge’s gloom always characterized James’s daily commutes.
Today, he smiled as he slid into City Station’s unisex washroom. Jaimie emerged, boarded the train and bypassed his regular stop.
At line’s end, she gazed across the sun-dappled street at New Beginnings’ help-wanted sign. Perfect place to restart my life.
Alan Kemister is a retired scientist experimenting with more fictitious writing. Get the gory details at alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com.