Twin trees grow side by side, sap pulsing to the same rhythm, roots entwined; they are more one than two.
Then the wind… Furious storm engulfs them, ripping, tearing, rending-
The survivor slowly gathers up shredded roots and cradles them as the dregs of life drain away.
Maria wrote this in remembrance of all the trees that were destroyed in this year’s derecho. These two trees are real, and the one that made it still looks lonely.
Today’s DM on Instagram starts the same as so many others. ‘Hello, beautiful,’ it says.
Except this message is from my father.
I wonder if he even knows it’s me. Twenty years can change a person.
I don’t hesitate to end it the same as the others: delete, block, forget.
Laura Besley writes short fiction and squeezes her writing into the bookends of her day. She has lived in Holland, Germany, and Hong Kong, but now lives in land-locked central England and misses the sea. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020. She tweets at @laurabesley.
Packing his case, your son gives you a cursory look, and “Delhi” by way of alms.
You hurry to the kitchen, pack a lunchbox with heart-shaped cookies.
Afterwards, you picture him munching, smiling, thinking of you.
When he doesn’t answer your calls you’re sad, but sure he’s just busy working.
Mandira Pattnaik writes flash and poetry and has been published in Passages North, Amsterdam Quarterly, and 50WS, among other places. Follow @MandiraPattnaik
The librarian hands him a slip of paper with a number on it and directs him to the far end of the reading room.
An empty shelf, save for one slim volume. ‘My Life.’
He stares at the author’s name. Picks it up. Opens.
Every page he turns is blank.
Thomas Malloch lives in the south-west of Scotland. After retirement, he thought he’d try his hand at writing and some of his work has even made it into print in Reflex Fiction, Bath Flash Fiction, Gutter, and the Barcelona Review.
Without X-ray vision, I cannot say with certainty what goes on in the apartment above. I can only speculate.
The tenant’s noise-making cannot be eliminated entirely, of course, but confiscating his pogo stick, restricting lessons for cloggers to midday only, and impounding his pet elephant might be a good start.
John H. Dromey’s short fiction’s been published in Mystery Weekly Magazine and over 150 other venues.
Arthur discovered time travel quite by accident.
It was surprisingly simple. He reached into his cupboard for a snack, and suddenly, with a WHOOSH, he was across the room, fifteen seconds ago.
“Whoa!” Arthur exclaimed. But he was still hungry, so he went over to the cupboard for a snack.
Madame Zolinska is leaning into the crystal ball.
“…and two mortgages. You and your daughter will be estranged. Sometimes you’ll wonder whatever happened to your dream of being a pediatrician.”
On the other side of the purple tablecloth, the teenager begins to cry.
“You wanted to know,” says Madame Zolinska.
Sage Tyrtle is a professional storyteller. Her stories have been featured on NPR, CBC, and PBS. She is a Moth StorySLAM and GrandSLAM winner. She’s also one of those Americans who swanned around saying, “If this gets any worse, I’M moving to CANADA,” but then she really did. See more at tyrtle.com.
The hemp rope used to hang Joseph Samuel, found guilty of murder in Australia, failed three times. The Almighty had obviously intervened. Samuel’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and it was during his daring prison escape by boat on a stormy night the Almighty saw fit to drown him.
James Gallant’s story collection, La Leona, and Other Guitar stories, winner of the 2019 Schaffner Press prize for music-in-literature, is available from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Learn more at jamesgallantwriter.com.
She was always immaculately put together—linen suits, manicured nails, hair colour every six weeks—but a heart attack has you in her apartment discovering her unwashed undergarments and a cache of diet pills in a bathroom cabinet.
You can’t just shut that cabinet and walk away now, my friend.
Larissa Thomson is from British Columbia, Canada. She loves to write flash fiction and short stories, but this is her first foray into micro fiction. She is raising two humans and hopefully teaching them the importance of looking beyond the superficial.
Wistful, she sketched long-limbed, elegant ballerinas. Twelve was too old to start dancing.
She learned otherwise at thirty, hand on the barre, feet turned out. Age thirty-two, peachy-pink satin pointe shoes, bloody blisters, bruised toenails, no talent. Rare moments of effortless double pirouettes or soaring leaps were worth the wait.
Mary Kuna lives in Saint John, New Brunswick. Her flash fiction has received second prize in Brilliant Flash Fiction’s Librarians’ Choice Writing Contest and an honorable mention in Queer Sci Fi’s Innovation contest and anthology. She tweets sporadically at @MaryKuna.