She trembles as they’re ordered to evacuate, their home about to conflagrate. Silent, Sam stuffs his car with his clothes, books, and computers. Heartbroken, she packs her vehicle with teapot, blankets, and comforting pillow. Neither of them takes the wedding album, which incinerates, and becomes, like their relationship, a memory.
Sudha Balagopal’s short fiction appears in numerous publications including Wigleaf, Fictive Dream, Cabinet of Heed, Jellyfish Review and New World Writing. She is the author of a novel, A New Dawn. See more at sudhabalagopal.com.
“Brake before the curve,” her mother always told her in mountainous terrain.
Senior year, she met him in philosophy class, slept with him when he mentioned love.
“We’re too young to get serious,” he said one night. Permanent goodbye.
Spring semester, he was engaged.
His words were code. Broke her.
C.G. Thompson has two stories in the recently released TL;DR Press’ Women’s Anthology: Carrying Fire. Other stories and poems have appeared in Yalobusha Review, Prime Number Magazine, Fictive Dream, Jersey Devil Press, and Redheaded Stepchild, among others.
Drops of time
Flow from the tap of life
Ever so slowly, at first
Then more quickly
Today they are a steady flow
My life is a force
I cannot slow down
As it races toward the unknown
I know it will run dry
Then I will only have goodbyes
Mary has written poetry since age ten and continues to write poems and short stories of human interest.
My brother entered the seminary at 14, hungry for faith.
He came home wounded in ways we could see but not understand.
He lifted weights nightly,
until with bulging muscles he shoved his fist through a window
attempting to close it.
Something at least a surgeon could fix.
Margie Nairn is a retired nurse and emerging writer in Corvallis, Oregon, where she writes memoir, poetry, and silly limericks for her daughter.
Carl had been at this roulette wheel for 48 years, and he was hot: a loving wife, westside home, daughter at MIT with a full ride.
But unless you recognize when you’ve peaked and have the strength to walk away, the house eventually wins.
Carl knew the time had come.
Robb Lanum is a failed screenwriter in Los Angeles. This is his second 50-word story. His longer-form, epic works have appears on 101words.org.
The man stoops over the lump, brushes at piled sand and stares into a woman’s face, her age indeterminate, arms around a girl-child. With care, he wraps canvas around both as if one, shivers in the heat, and marks the spot with tokens—a cholla flower and broken plastic jug.
Nancy Hartney wrote this story. See more at NancyHartney.com.
I’d go down to the beach every day and watch him treading water, only his head visible. I didn’t know him. My name for him was Head.
When the doorbell rang, I recognised him at once. “How did you know where to find me?”
“I’ve been watching you,” he said.
David Mark Williams lives in Scotland and writes poetry and short fiction. He has published two poetry collections to date, The Odd Sock Exchange and Papaya Fantasia. See more at davidmarkwilliams.co.uk.
Saw my first tree today. So beautiful! Even better than the picture.
The museum guy said that in olden days the whole planet was covered in trees! I couldn’t imagine that.
Put my name down for the draw for tickets to see a mammal next year. Hoping for a rabbit.
Mick Mangan lives in England and writes plays, poems, songs, fiction, and non-fiction. There is more about his music at mickmangan.com.
I kissed you on the mouth, lips desperate and soft. You married a white guy, had two kids.
I stole a man’s dog, ran away to Alaska.
The man followed but the dog died.
Evenings I walk the beach, wind bleeding my lips.
I haven’t thought of you in years.
Cinthia Ritchie is an Alaska writer, ultra-runner, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Find her work at New York Times Magazine, Evening Street Review, Sport Literate, Rattle, Best American Sports Writing, Mary, Into the Void, Clementine Unbound, Deaf Poets Society, Forgotten Women anthology, Nasty Women anthology, Gyroscope Review, Bosque Literary Journal and others. She’s a 2013 Best American Essay notable mention, and her first novel, “Dolls Behaving Badly,” was published by Hachette Book Group.
He plunged the knife into his chest, carved a circle through the muscle and bone, and withdrew his heart. He placed it in a box and neatly wrapped it.
The day before she left, he presented her the gift, to carry with her to the other end of the world.
Francisco Tutella is a public relations specialist at Penn State University. His work has appeared in Fifty-Word Stories and Wilkes magazine. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. Like him on Facebook.