I sit on the curb, shaken to the core. Its 2 AM.
I hear sirens from the police cars in the distance.
My mother cries inside the house. I look down at my hands to see the blood still wet, dripping onto my jeans. He is gone now, mother.
Paige McDonald wrote this story.
Several people saw her running toward the orphanage, her hair a witch’s broom in the night. Later, they told her husband’s family. They didn’t mention, for they hadn’t seen, the tarnished jewellery in her arms. Nor could they feel the memory of an infant’s breath still warm against her chest.
Monica Wang has fiction in GHLL, Electric Literature, The Temz Review, Midway Journal, and Gaze Journal, among other publications. She spent childhood in Taichung, Taiwan, and Vancouver, Canada, and now writes in Germany.
Exposed to light, the misunderstood memories skitter away like startled insects. Slowly, I clear more rocks from the landscape of my childhood.
When I find the courage to pull weeds, I might replace them with roses: Their beauty comes with thorns. Or perhaps cacti, which can survive neglect, even abuse.
Kim Favors worked as a newspaper journalist. She grows her literary garden on California’s Central Coast.
I was six when I saw a leopard for the first time at the local zoo. Its presence had an enigmatic effect on me; inspiring.
I turned, posing for a photo, upright and brave, armed with a newfound sense of courage. The leopard stood confidently behind: shoulders propped, eagerly anticipating.
Jonah Ardiel lives and writes short fiction in Calgary, AB, Canada. To read some of his work, visit jonahardiel.neocities.org.
Michael really likes you,
Her parents insisted
When she was 20
I find him dull, she countered
You can’t be too particular, her father said
You have to think about what you have to offer.
Was it her extra pounds he meant?
Or her personality?
She wished she had asked
Miriam Stein is a social worker, writer, and the author of Make Your Voice Matter With Lawmakers: No Experience Necessary. See more at makeyourvoicematter.com. She lives in Massachusetts.
The smoke pushed towards our home. When orange glow appeared behind the hills, we filled the car with our favourite things.
I packed the photo albums, hesitated, then added the camera. We’d need it, I vowed. The fire could have the house, not our joy.
The happy snaps would continue.
G.B. Burgess wrote this while watching a bush fire inch ever closer to her home.
Blaine zoomed the digital scope on the target. The clarity was impressive. Better than the scopes he was used to. He could even make out the slight creases around the man’s eyes as he smiled at his young son.
“Take the shot,” said the commanding officer.
“Sorry, kid,” said Blaine.
Rich Rurshell is a short story writer from Suffolk, England. Rich writes Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy, and his stories can be found in various short story anthologies and magazines. Most recently, his story “Subject: Galilee” was published in World War Four from Zombie Pirate Publishing, and “Life Choices” was published in Salty Tales from Stormy Island Publishing. When Rich is not writing stories, he likes to write and perform music. See more at facebook.com/richrurshellauthor.
He was the only boy I ever loved.
We sat side-by-side on the beach, stealing kisses and pointing out funny-shaped clouds. His laugh was soft as sea foam, his hair as light as sand.
“Looking into your eyes is like searching for treasure,” he said.
Seems he never found it.
Guy found his treasure at the seaside. This is his twenty-third 50-word story.
I’ll walk with James to Central Park
in the middle of the night
and let him run off leash while
I climb every tree, even the red oaks
that stretch into the stars
until morning brings us to our senses,
squirrels emerge from their burrows
and all the stars disappear.
Stephanie Jones works as a features writer for DownBeat magazine and Hot House Jazz Guide. When time permits, she hosts a podcast called “After the Call.” Jones graduated from Wellesley College having studied with Frank Bidart and Alicia Erian, and earned her BFA in Jazz Performance from The City College of New York. See more at linkedin.com/in/meetmissjonesny.
You break the news in a sombre tone, voice barely a whisper. My guilty eyes fixate on your office floor. You blame government cuts and funding, anything but the truth: your wife found out.
I don’t tell you I’ve already found another job. I started looking the day we kissed.
Anna Sanderson writes about the world as she sees it (with the odd twist and turn). You can follow her story on Twitter at @annasanderson86.