I cast one last glance at the phone, still dark on the bedside table. My heart ached for it ring; my body willed it to stay silent. I let myself slip into the embrace of another, and watched the distance between us stretch beyond what two lost souls could repair.
Patrick Eades writes stories about people who are misunderstood, whose voices don’t get heard despite having something important to say. He has worked in the healthcare industry for nearly a decade, giving him a perspective into life, death and everything in between. His work is soon to be published in Idle Ink and Scarlet Leaf Review. He lives sandwiched between the National Parks of southern Sydney with his wife and dog, and has appeared in one film, where he played a drunken boxer with a strong dislike of DJs who think they can sing. He can be found at patrickeades.net.
We are folding laundry together when my husband holds up a piece of cloth. “What’s this?” he says.
“Just a rag,” I say.
He puts on a little squeaky voice, pretending to be the rag. “I used to be something!” he protests.
“We all did,” I reply.
We fall silent.
Cheryl Caesar lived in Paris, Tuscany and Sligo for 25 years; she earned her doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne and taught literature and phonetics. She now teaches writing at Michigan State University. Last year she published over a hundred poems in the U.S., Germany, India, Bangladesh, Yemen and Zimbabwe, and won third prize in the Singapore Poetry Contest for her poem on global warming. Her chapbook Flatman: Poems of Protest in the Trump Era is now available from Amazon and Goodreads. See more at caesarc.msu.domains.
I get home from work. My dog leaps into my arms and I bask in his unconditional love. I think, Dogs are great, but I’m glad I’m a superior animal.
I sit and flip on the TV: racism, rioting, and Tiger King.
I look back at my dog.
Joshua Addison resides in the foothills of Appalachia where he attempts to write historical fiction. Occasionally between bouts of writer’s block he attempts to put together something that resembles a micro-fiction.
On the street, strangers quickly glance away. At the mirror, the ravaged face smiles, because the mass of angry red splotches says the chemo attack, the destroyer, is working. Hurt vanity—and it is hurt, no question—has lost its hallowed standing to the incomparable treasure of a longer life.
Marilyn McFarlane is on hold from travel writing and takes pleasure in writing and reading the gems in fifty-word stories. She’s the author of Sacred Stories: Wisdom From World Religions, for children, and The Healthy Seniors Cookbook, for any age.
At night, her mother put her to bed by telling her stories of cotton candy clouds and a winged unicorn named Percival. She dreamed she was flying on Percival, occasionally trotting along various rainbows. Heaven couldn’t be that far away, she figured. She could sense her father waving to her.
Ran Walker is the author of 21 books, the most recent of which is CAN I KICK IT?: Sneaker Microfiction and Poetry. He lives in Virginia with his wife and daughter.
It is always evening in my room. One wall has a painting, the winter cove, water now grey blue, cliffs dominant. Black ideograms; strong cursive brush strokes; the characters telling a story I don’t need to understand.
I go there as they lock down my radiotherapy mask again.
Helen is an experimental Artist and Writer based in South Wales, U.K.
People had stopped coming to see Elsa. She couldn’t imagine why.
This new home had even less space and light than before.
Then the van stopped moving. Blue sky and the smell of savanna burst through the open door.
“Just hope you still remember how to hunt,” said her zookeeper.
Gaining a Masters degree from University of South Wales in Scriptwriting, storyteller Peter Gaskell’s screenplay ‘Pigs in Muck’ featured in the Lockdown Monologue Film Festival recently. His poems have been published in the Atlanta Review and Places of Poetry as well as reviews of theatre, books, film, and concerts in Wales Arts Review. As a commissioned ghost writer his work as a novelist has been published while he is currently seeking an agent for his own novel ‘Shaman’s Blues’.
I would only take my mask off for her.
The fresh air is incredible, at odds with my recycled sickness. She reaches for my hand; I withdraw like I’ve been conditioned to. I give in. Her face is warm and flushed, perfect, just how I remember. Mine is unevenly unshaven.
Jonathan H. Smith (@JHSmithMD) is a physician and author living in Arizona.
Night cracks. Night pops. Night strobes with unnatural hues.
As I light another, I hear the dog inside whine and thump her head trying to squeeze under the couch.
My son says with everything going on in the world, this feels premature.
“Shut up,” I growl, “and let me celebrate.”
Graham Robert Scott’s stories have appeared in Barrelhouse, Nature, and Pulp Literature.
I reach the end of my street and here comes Mr. No-Mask, huffing and puffing like a freight train. I back up, let him pass. One block later, Ms. Cell Phone comes walking and talking, oblivious.
I just go home and read today’s forecast: ninety percent chance of “no walk”.
Paul Bluestein is a physician (no longer practicing) and a blues musician (still practicing). He used to go for walks on the beach where he could think about he past, wonder about the future and lose his sunglasses.