The word hung in the air like a noxious gas, choking me.
Its consonants clattered and hissed, drowning out the rest of the doctor’s words. It cast a veil of freezing fog around me.
It hoisted me onto the ceiling, above my body. Just the word and me, floating.
Natalie is a Clinical Psychologist and aspiring writer in Wales, UK.
“What do we have here?” asked the detective.
“Female, single, 60-something, sleeping pills,” the coroner responded.
“An empty Cuervo bottle, a pink slip, an eviction notice. A bare cupboard; wearing a new Gucci nightgown…”
“Cause of death?”
“A lethal mix of economic strangulation, diehard aspirations, and early-onset poverty.”
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability consultant by day, and an aspiring writer and social critic at any other time, researching the many everyday things that can kill you while living in a collapsing economy.
Grandpa picks her up from ballet, lets her sit in the front seat. He has brought three tangerines wrapped in a paper towel (two for her). They eat them in the car. Later, she will forget to remove the peels from the cupholder; even now, his car smells like tangerines.
Julia Jorgensen is a junior at Stanford University studying Symbolic Systems and Creative Writing. She loves short stories, theater, and tangerines; she has definitely eaten at least eight in one sitting before.
A bartender walks into a joke.
“What’ll you have,” says the angel of death.
The bartender recognizes the line from a lifetime of jokes.
He slides a silver punchline into the chamber.
The blast reverberates, echoing hoots and dismissive laughter, but he’s on the wrong side of things this time.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and four collections of short fiction. Regarded as a master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in Esquire and other magazines, been anthologized 60 times, received a long list of of awards, and been utilized in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
“He’s such a beautiful boy,” they all say.
“How could two people who look like you have such a good-looking kid,” they joke.
“He’s going to break a few girls’ hearts,” they suggest.
“You are so lucky,” they add.
Yes we are. Autistic. He’s going to teach us a lot.
Richard Baigent always wanted to be a freelance writer, but isn’t yet.
I could be dead.
I would be dead if I’d been born 50 years ago. God knows, I’ve thought about it. There’s been no point living this half-life.
Instead, today I wake to the loud rhythmic banging of my new heart (my new heart!).
And my life can finally begin.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. She has been widely published online, in print, and in anthologies. Her debut flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, is out in March 2020.
The story of the week for March 16 to 20 is…
Offering by Melody Leming-Wilson
The worst kind of haunting is when the ghost isn’t dead.
Last I heard, you were halfway across the world and still breathing. But I still feel you here. Sometimes I can hear you rattling chains. I think I see you floating through my walls. And everything’s out of place.
Erin Appenzeller is by day an English major and by night also an English major. She has never lived in a house without a few ghosts and is full of both bees and stories.
He admired her longingly from across the room. Just the two of them. Summoning his nerve, heart pounding, he approached.
His beloved wife… Hair freshly styled, makeup applied just so, hands neatly folded. Those blue eyes that once saw only him, now surveying Heaven’s expanse.
“You’re home, Angel. Rest well.”
Lisa Chambers is a Texas girl who enjoys writing.
Puddles and poo everywhere.
Mom had no business getting a puppy. Now she’s gone, and the vet says her tiny guardian’s kidneys are packing up.
Princess is only three years old. Did she have some heavenly contract to fulfill? Is she released from responsibility, to fade back into the ether?
Kimberly Parish Davis directs Madville Publishing, and across genres. Her work can be found in various literary journals, both online and off, including The Helix, Flare: The Flagler Review, époque press, Jerry Jazz Musician, and Flar. See more at kpdavis.com.