He thought he heard Marion in the house, her rusty rattle-breath.
He checked her recliner (re-plumping cushions), the tidy side of their bed (still indented), the bathroom floor (heaven forbid).
Finally he rang through to Ward 6, pressed her discordant song to his ear. Danced it from room to room.
Linda Irish wrote this story.
She dabs vanilla on her wrists, thick, dark and pungent, like her memory of the night before he went to war. His child plays in the garden where they will stroll. He’ll see his son, for the first and only time, his firstborn, bearing another man’s name.
Casualty of war.
Sharon Calkin is a family history writer and poet. She lives in Pasadena, CA.
Folks at church think it be a sin just to pause by the basement doorway where that type music flowed raw. Our hymns was crumbs compared. But I took me a sip of saxophone, a gulp of jazz piano, and drank myself to heaven. Was blind but now I see.
Beverly C. Lucey prefers to write short pieces because she is always getting interrupted. Her work has been published online and in anthologies.
He hadn’t thought of her today. (Much.)
Then, his friend’s boy with his innocent question, “What’s your favourite colour?” (Couldn’t know the pain it caused.)
“Yellow,” he replied. (But what he really meant was: saffron sparks. Those lemon lights of stranded stardust that campfires used to summon in her eyes.)
Jo Withers is in a strangely sentimental mood. It won’t last.
Every time the spacebar sticks or a letter key jams
I remind myself I was not always a ghost with no voice.
Though I honestly cannot remember a moment of any life,
or a time when I was not constantly beating an old rusty typewriter to haunt an empty house.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction,” his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, despite severe vision loss, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
Abroad, learning the language, culture, history. At the memorial, it’s hard to breathe. They couldn’t either.
A tower of names. Clocks. It is 11:02 forever.
Sugoi is Japanese—something amazing or awful.
Where are you from? They know their own.
I’m American, but those words, here, are hard to say.
Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz is a writer and photographer. She is the author of two fiction chapbooks, “Mother Love” and “Where I’ll Be If I’m Not There.” She reads, gardens, and sews teddy bears for fun. See more at wwwonewriter.blogspot.com.
47 relatives, immediate or otherwise
1 cake (number of layers may vary)
1 pair of shoes
1 pair of cold feet
1 chance, not taken
Combine ingredients, chill to serve.
Anna likes socks, notebooks, tea, and microfiction. She lives in Germany.
“You have me,” he said, the promise reflected in his eyes. She believed him.
That was a year ago. He’d lied.
Now she held her screaming newborn in her arms, breasts raw from another failed feeding. “Shhh,” she whispered near his little ear. “I’m here. I will always be here.”
Zurina Saban is a poet and author based in Johannesburg.
My grandma has forgotten the word for Mahjongg. She keeps asking to play yoga.
I think about what that might mean.
She’d be teacher. Her poses would have names like desserts: the rugelach, the macaroon. I’d contort myself, wobble, fall. We’d both laugh.
From the closet, I get the tiles.
Brooke Randel is a writer and copywriter in Chicago, IL. Her fiction has been published in Ropes, Two Cities Review, Punchnel’s and Beecher’s Magazine. She’s currently co-writing a memoir with her grandma.
In college I had a roommate who kept “borrowing” my clothes.
I made a salt perimeter around my closet door as a passive-aggressive joke, but when it worked too well I tested it out on the refrigerator.
I reimbursed her for the week of take-out and we called it even.
Sarah Krenicki is 90% sure all her non-feline roommates have been human.