A harsh sun beating down. A long walk to the place of hope and despair. She carefully balances the container above her head. Finally reaching her destination, she pulls out the water that means both life and death.
This salvation kills slowly—a small mercy, but one just the same.
Ken Grant is a freelance writer living in Santa Ana, California. He has one published novel, So Great a Salvation. His short stories have appeared in Jitter Press, Left Hand Publishers, and Alien Dimensions.
I know this may be a shock, coming from me. But I regret it.
No, not loving you. LORD knows, that’s the best thing I’ll ever do.
The mistake was letting you fall for me—when I knew you’d be the only one to live with the consequences.
V. C. Slade is a writer and amateur adult in California. She can be found at vcslade.com.
To be sitting all alone,
collapsing in on myself,
and teasing at
a candle’s pale flame,
watching it tenderly
lick away the whorl
of my fingerprint.
left behind is
pink and raised
not a burn,
but something softer.
exploding stars know less pain.
Tina Privitera-Reynolds is a young, emerging writer, so be patient. She has had poems published on SpillWords with more publications upcoming. As a beginner in the daunting world of online publication, she is happy to receive any feedback (especially criticism) and helpful tips and tricks. Her biggest goal is to improve.
In a tree
And scrape a knee
To find myself bleeding
All over the place
But somehow the next amazing day
It heals completely
I look back at the big deal I made
Wishing that mistakes could go away
Like the one I made
Just the other day
Lillian, an 11-year-old-kid, really wishes that life could be perfect where no one made any mistakes.
I ran into a ghost the other day. I think it was a ghost. It moaned a lot, and rattled chains like old Marley did when he visited Scrooge. I blinked and the vision cleared.
The ghost was me, twenty years into the future, chained to a gray, corporate desk.
Jenise Cook lives with her husband in the north-central highlands of Arizona where it snows. Jenise enjoys visitors to @jenisecook on Twitter, and at JeniseCook.com where you can find a list of her published works.
First the whispers
Then the shadows
His skin bites
He stands braced
Screams flash back
She wakes him
He leaves the sweat-soaked sheets
She makes oatmeal
He almost smiles
A goodbye kiss
She revisits her spell book
Patrick Yu says: It didn’t work out in the end.
At dusk she roams the neighborhood, peering into windows glowing with evening activity. Careful to avoid the families during daylight, she tries to catch glimpses of the people and feel the warmth of their homes. She sees only cartoons, the news, and football games on their large, colorful flat-screen TVs.
Carol Anne Harvey enjoys the challenge of writing a story in 50 words, but also likes telling an audience the longer version.
One afternoon together, after 412 days apart. If only we could stretch these hours to days, weeks even, maybe then we’d relax enough to find the right words to talk about my war at home, his war away.
Instead we part, saying a stilted goodbye, before he boards the train.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her debut flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, will be published in 2020 by Dahlia Books. She tweets at @laurabesley.
She watched him as he slept, how the moonlight spilled across his
body, sliced by venetian blind shadows. She eased her hand into his
He didn’t stir.
She pried open his hand. Pulled the ring over the hump of dry knuckle.
It slid off easily.
He didn’t stir.
Tim Boiteau lives near Detroit with wife and son. He’s a recent
Writers of the Future Contest winner.
Paper crinkles as she walks over a mosaic of manila and white envelopes in her hallway – bills, warnings and notices.
Outside, on the way to the bar, she is ambushed by moonlight and reflects that banks, bosses and former lovers will all be obliterated before Neil Armstrong’s bootprints. She smiles.
Andy Hedgecock lives and works in rural Nottinghamshire, UK, close to an Iron Age earthwork, the remains of a Roman fort, a decommissioned coalmine and a disused railway line. It’s a place of scars, erasures and stories.