I wake to familiar tapping on my fingers.
I live with my family of five and seven others. Among the seven are a young girl and a grumpy old man. He says he belongs. She looks for her mum.
No cupboards flapping; it’s not your cliché haunting. This isn’t Hollywood.
Michelle is a freelance writer who writes both fiction and non-fiction. She is a regular contributor to the Briar Crier Magazine and has had her work featured recently in the Voice of the Farmer newspaper and the Focus 50+ newspaper. In April 2016 she was shortlisted as a finalist at the Ontario Writers Conference Story Starters Contest.
“Dad, you can’t keep appearing in my bedroom as and when you want. Please respect my privacy.”
Dad just sits there on the end of my bed, nods, and leaves the room. The room suddenly becomes very cold.
Dad passed away over a year ago now. Still seems like yesterday.
Chris is a Network Manager involved in many aspects of IT. He loves writing short stories and technical articles, photography, and playing the guitar. He is from Dudley in the Black Country. He is also a member of The Oldbury Writing Group.
Confused by reflections, I take a wrong turn and come out to silence. No boyfriend; last seen checking his phone (again). No bearded man selling tickets. No child whining for candy floss. No-one. I’m not sure if I want to go back – perhaps this mirror world has more to offer.
Amanda Quinn is a writer based in Newcastle upon Tyne. She writes short fiction and poetry. Her work has appeared in the National Flash Fiction Day anthologies Scraps and Landmarks and in print and online magazines including Butcher’s Dog, Alliterati, After the Pause, and Paper Swans. Her poem Cast Away came second in the 2014 Black Country Living Museum Poetry Competition. You can follow her on Twitter.
After dreaming of living as a millionaire playboy, I wake up on a lumpy futon in a crummy apartment, alone.
Half-asleep, I nod off only to reawaken cold and weary in an alley on skid row. I’m still tired, but refuse to sleep, afraid of where I’d wake up next.
Pontius Paiva is a dreamer. It’s because he spends most of the day sleeping. Wake him up at pontiuspaiva.com.
Silver moonlight and swaying branches make dancing shadows. I see in them faces which I have not seen for years.
I wonder if any of them see my face.
The doorbell chimes. I open the door to a skull in a black cloak. “Rest assured that nobody thinks of you.”
Joey is good at remembering faces even if he doesn’t want to be. You can find him at joeytoey.com.
“Till death do us part.” I smile at the thought.
We are made of stronger stuff. We won’t be parted. Your body is still cradled by the armchair opposite me. Your blood has melded with the fabric and with the floor.
Nothing will separate us. I will not allow it.
Patrick is a researcher, father, keen and constant reader of fiction, and occasional author of short stories.
“Taste?” I offered.
One man surveyed the platter I held sheepishly in my hands: my heart in its entirety, chopped to fun-sized pieces. Toothpicks punctuated each morsel.
He popped a red bite into his mouth, then, spitting it into his napkin, daintily placed it on the edge of my tray.
This is Alexandra’s seventh 50-word story.
The funeral was an hour away but his grandmother was still in her robe in the kitchen , stirring away at a large pot. Transfixed.
Nobody said anything. The rest of the family sat in the lounge, talking about nothing. They ignored the phone calls.
Clouds gathered and parted. Grandma stirred.
PJ is a dramatist obsessed with writing the perfect short story.
“I’m sick!” the stranger whispers, in the hospital lift.
Fear takes my breath.
“A sniff a day… prevents… you know?”
“Okay.” I breathe.
He hunkers down.
Wrestles off my left shoe.
The doors ping.
“You’re sick!” I yell, furiously hoping my diagnosis will be infectious.