He thought about retiring.
He took a leave-of-absence, headed south, got a job driving kids to summer camp. He’d always liked kids.
These kids laughed at his belly, threw things into his beard.
He couldn’t wait to get home where kids were just names on lists—naughty or nice.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
Too noisy, I say, but he cannot hear
Above the din of drill and saw
Again I try: Too noisy, neighbour,
as backhoe rips the ground to shreds
But he only stares, hands on hips
as his home reshapes before his eyes
I’m left to wonder: can he read lips?
Joan Skura writes from Toronto, Canada, where she lives with her husband, Ron, and their finicky feline, Lola.
Covered in powdered sugar and melted chocolate, my beautiful blond roommate, who had never before set foot in our kitchen, looked up from her painstakingly crafted graham cracker crust in horror.
“Oh my God,” she said. “I just remembered. His mom’s a diabetic.”
I laughed. She managed not to cry.
Taylor Boucher is a writer of creative nonfiction and occasional fiction, when she realizes her exaggeration has gotten out of control. Her claims to fame are surviving being hit by a bus and meeting JoJo in a restaurant bathroom in 2007. In her spare time, she enjoys long conversations with her deaf dog.
“You needn’t stand.” Whistler smiles, solicitous, his hand on the chairback. “Sit here, Mother. Look straight ahead.”
He arranges her hands, fusses with the fall and folds of delicate white lace.
She wriggles free. “I’ll get your socks to darn, Jemie. I can’t just sit here doing nothing, wasting time.
Miriam N. Kotzin teaches creative writing and literature at Drexel University. Her collection of short fiction, Country Music (Spuyten Duyvil Press 2017), joins a novel, The Real Deal (Brick House Press 2012), and a collection of flash fiction, Just Desserts (Star Cloud Press 2010). She is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently, Debris Field (David Robert Books 2017).
It’s been a long time and I’ve missed you, my old friend.
The thought of you, your smell. The way you taste.
You’re always on my mind.
I know it’s been good to be away from you, but I want you back in my life.
Hello carbs, my old friend.
Susan is a Technical Writer by day and fiction writer at night. She adores her five grandkids.
It’s morning. Early. You stir next to me. Tiny hairs on the back of your neck, patches of fine white silk. Undisturbed by your rustle.
You say I make you anxious. My hovering.
I inch closer. And feel your heat.
Inhaling, I can taste you.
And I wait.
Melissa lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband, Ken, dog Scout, and kitty, Mickey. She is an avid reader, writer, runner, and amateur actress.
Who knows why I even bother, but I inform every army that the rented siege weapons must be returned in the same condition if they want their deposit.
“Of course!” they all say.
Then they haul back a pile of splintered wood and mangled metal, assuming they return at all.
Iain Young found a two-for-one discount in his mail. He’s wondering how he got on that mailing list.
I am not adventurous with food. Simple meals without spices or sauces suit me. The new cook at the cafeteria gives me a wink and a knowing smile. Others complain the cabbage is boiled to death and the stew is tasteless.
On our passionless dates we share pizza without toppings.
Stuart is a retired teacher from Christchurch, New Zealand. He likes to fire up his taste buds with devilishly spicy foods.
Carolyn shows up agitated, out of kilter. We feign concern and lean in for what could possibly be a delicious story.
“Mother is in jail,” says Carolyn. “She shot the neighbor’s hamster.”
We gasp. “Jail? For that stupid hamster?”
“The problem is,” says Carolyn, “she was aiming for the neighbor.”
Linda Saldaña lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to assure everyone that no actual hamsters were harmed in the creation of this story.
I knew this guy once who said you should never give a watch to anyone you care about. “Because your relationship will have a time limit.”
I thought nothing of it.
Since then, however, I have given watches to several people that I no longer want to know.
Michelle is an award-winning author and poet. She is a contributor in the most recent Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada, and a quarter finalist in the 2017 ScreenCraft Short Screenplay contest. Her writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail (one of Canada’s National newspapers) and a number of local magazines and newspapers including The Briar Crier, Total Sports, Voice of the Farmer, Arts Talk and Focus 50 Plus. Her short story “Lightning Strikers” (also featured on Commuter Lit) was made into a series in the Focus 50 + Newspaper because fans asked for more! This year, Michelle won the Ontario Writers Conference Story Starter Contest in two categories. You can find her online at commuterlit.com, fiftywordstories.com, femininecollective.com, michelledinnick.com, and @MichelleDinnick.