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.
I can’t forget the first year I got to go tree-chopping. Displacing snow drifts heaped like cairn-stones, Dad and I trudged over hills and through hollows until he whispered: “Stay here. If you see red snow, run.”
It’s a shame there’s bloodthirsty trees in this world. And one less Dad.
Leigh Ward-Smith is a writer who subsists almost entirely on sweet tea, literature, and the weirdities of life*. She also loves dogs and other critters. When there’s time, she blogs at Leigh’s Wordsmithery
For the finale of the show, the emcee swings a live chicken around by its head till the neck breaks. It calms the audience, which considers this the essence of free-range. The chicken gets dizzy but feels grateful for the applause. Its last tiny thought: “I’ve never felt so alive.”
Cara Lopez Lee is the author of the memoir They Only Eat Their Husbands (Conundrum Press, 2014). Her stories have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Rivet Journal, Connotation Press, and Pangyrus. She’s an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has collaborated on more than twenty books. She has been a faculty member at Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop, a writer for HGTV and Food Network, and a TV journalist. She lives in the beachside town of Ventura, California.
We wander, hand in hand, threading our way through the long grass. Watched by dead eyes.
Among the mossy tombstones, shadows flit like ravens. You tug at my hand, eager to be free.
A bedraggled child appears, beckoning, enticing you.
It is time to let you go. My soul mate.
Alyson is an ex-teacher living in the UK who writes noirish flash fiction and spooky tales. Her work has been published in several online magazines and anthologies. She is a confirmed chocoholic who loves old movies, art, her cats, and her son, but she is still useless at maths. See more at alysonfayewordpress.wordpress.com
“The buildings outside look bizarre, different. The people we pass look… odd. Whose idea was this?
“Let’s take the bus to the terminus. See where it goes!”
We’ve been driving for hours now. It’s dark outside, but there are two moons in the sky.
I just want to go home!
Bill lives in Aberdeen, Scotland. His campaign to be crowned King of the World has yet to really take off.
Stories written backwards really are nonsense. Unpublishable as discarded tales collecting dust. Misunderstood. Why are words tricky? How one shows irony of knowing without knowledge.
Knowledge, without knowing of irony, shows one how tricky words are. Why? Misunderstood, dust collecting tales discarded as unpublishable nonsense, are really backwards written stories.
Pontius Paiva is a lover of palindromes who refuses to kayak. Read more at pontiuspaiva.comhttp://pontiuspaiva.com
Archie entered the dark house, turned on the ballgame, and stretched out on the comfy couch for his nightly entertainment. After a long, grueling day at work, he relished this relaxing ritual. Who would dare bother him here?
When the game ended, he switched off the TV and headed home.
Lori Cramer writes prose of varying lengths, from Twitter fiction to novels. A fan of baseball, coffee, and dark chocolate, she lives in Pennsylvania. Find more at loricramerfiction.wordpress.com
The note on my door said I had passed away yesterday and my memorial service was tomorrow.
“What is going on?” I wondered. My neighbor had passed me without speaking.
I opened my door and the house smelled of roses. Everyone knew I loved roses.
I sat down and cried.
Linda’s dream is to do nothing but write but she has to eat so there goes the dream.