They called you King Edward.
There were colors spilling from your guitar, swirling into sounds that shook us, the eruption we didn’t expect.
You molded our tiny, fragile worlds until we found our own strengths, and cancer found yours.
Goodnight, King. There’s still a glow from the fire on stage.
Angela Carlton wrote this tribute to Eddie Van Halen.
It starts out as a vague outline, but a warm feeling of familiarity envelops me as my pencil glides across the stretched canvas and a body begins to take shape. Smooth strokes fill in the curves of her hips and her eyes take on a life that no longer exists.
Maria S. Nitsolas is an emerging writer from Sydney, Australia. To follow her writing journey, visit mariasnitsolas.com.
Ironic that they named me “Mercy.” Am I supposed to show mercy or ask for it? They never told me.
Tomorrow I will sentence Slade for grand theft. I’ve accepted his modest gratuity.
Thing is, I’d already decided to go easy on him anyway. No harm, no foul, I figure.
Steve Legomsky is a former mathematician; Washington University law professor specializing in immigration, refugees, and human rights; and Chief Counsel of the immigration services agency in the Obama Administration. He has had visiting research or teaching appointments in twelve countries and has published three scholarly books (Oxford University Press and West Academic); numerous academic journal articles; one novel, “The Picobe Dilemma” (Booklocker.com, 2017); and short stories in The Ravens Perch, Fewer than 500, the Broadkill Review (forthcoming January 2021), Idle Ink (forthcoming Nov. 7, 2020), and Offcourse. Steve lives in St. Louis and loves his family, children, animals, and the Red Sox.
The story of the week for November 9 to 13 is…
Blowing Off the Dust by B.S. Roberts
With a swipe of my hand, the pentagram completes. Cold air ignites into neon light. I wave, pushing the star away—curtailing physics, defying rationality. Choking on my tears, my naivety of a moment ago astounds me.
As the glow fades, I close the ancient tome. Magic becomes fantasy again.
When not indulging himself by reading or writing poetry and prose, B.S. Roberts makes a living as a museum curator and an administrative assistant at the University of Maine at Augusta. He lives in Maine with his fiancée, daughter, silver pheasants, turtle, and four cats. See more at bsroberts.com.
She slept now, chest rising and falling, even and slow, eyes flickering beneath their lids, dreaming. He whispered her name, but she didn’t stir. Brushing strands of hair from her eyes, he kissed her soft cheek and then rose quietly from their bed. Silently, he closed the door behind him.
James Ross wrote this story.
The dime-sized hole in my bathroom ceiling has grown.
Eyes closed, I lather my hair.
At night, my neighbor’s unlatched gate bangs; roof joists creak. Childlike fear creeps in.
The water runs hot. Pipes wail.
I smile at the truth now.
Above me, pushed tight against the gap, something blinks.
Keely O’Shaughnessy is a fiction writer with Cerebral Palsy, which she sometimes writes about. She is Managing Editor at Flash Fiction Magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in both, anthologies and literary magazines, and her most recent publications include, Pretty Owl Poetry’s Spring 2020 issue and NFFD’s Flash Flood. Her story “When Naked Plants Renew” will be featured in this years Solstice Shorts Festival 2020, Tymes goe by Turnes.
“The easiest thing
In the world to be is young.”
That’s what Grandpa said.
When my sons treat me
Like I treated my father,
It will break my heart.
Twelve-year-olds close doors
And lock themselves in for good.
Baby pictures, walls,
A dream you don’t remember.
You’re just passing through.
Robb Lanum is a failed screenwriter in Los Angeles. His longer, epic works have appeared on 101words.org, and he was a winner of the Summer 2020 Los Angeles Public Library Short Story Contest.
The Story of the Month is chosen from the Story of the Week winners announced from the past month.
The finalists for October were:
Mourning Mama by Yash Seyedbagheri
Every Tuesday by Lisa Marie Lopez
She Rises by Mary Haynes
A feather and a boy by Anne Catherine Vassallo
The winner of the October 2020 Story of the Month, and the $10 prize, is…
The phrase “A cracked word” is a brilliant ending to an emotionally evocative piece. Yash has been contributing excellent work to the site for a long time, and this is one of his best.
Is that my hand? Lightly spotted, thin?
Not the hand of my youth, no, but a learned hand.
It knows much; it is very wise.
It knows where to go—and not.
It serves, it loves, it works, it plays.
It leads, it trails, it grasps… it lets go.
Le Anne, a recent transplant to small town North Carolina, enjoys book clubs, writing short and flash fiction, and time spent Zooming with her creative writing group.