We arrived with all the time in the world.
Those first birthdays couldn’t come fast enough.
The middle days whispered in our ears.
Don’t worry; there’s loads of time left.
We’ve known from birth this day would come.
Still, we’re surprised when we open the door and find death waiting.
John Fowler served twenty years in the US Air Force before retiring and starting a second career in the IT field. He is also a Lay Pastor serving a small church near his home in Texas. His hobbies include reading, golfing, writing, and now oil painting.
He meticulously unwraps it to find an android of his deceased father.
It self-activates and tells him his father uploaded all his memories and emotions before he died. It loads and says, “Son! I’m back!”
He shoves the imposter away.
The android weeps for a moment, then deletes its memory.
Connell writes a bit and then goes to bed.
He crossed the finish line well ahead of the other athletes. The crowd cheered, a distant roar, but he didn’t stop.
In his mind, her voice was pleading, begging: “Don’t let me die here!”
Muscles pumping, heart racing, he sprinted on, the ghosts of his past hard on his heels.
Bill lives in Aberdeen, Scotland, which will become the capital of his world empire when he completes his anti-matter bomb. But first lunch.
It’s tough being queer when no one knows, and the closet only gets hotter during the summer.
I play dress up all I want—it is a closet, after all—but it’s stifling, uncomfortable.
When I peel away the lace, it’s soaked with sweat, and I peel away with it.
R.R. Bastek is a first-generation Polish-American writer interested in exploring life through the lens of literary fiction.
when my daughter finally left
that I’d be free
could go back
to my old self.
Nobody told me
my breasts would ache
for her hunger,
or that her heat, her scent,
her fierce little grip
would hold me
even after I’d given her away.
Jennifer L. Freed likes inventing characters but doesn’t have enough time to write. The narrator of this story did not exist until a prompt (“Write something on the theme of independence”) brought her to life.
The turtle came by our boat again today, poking his big head up, observing me with wise but sad eyes.
I wish I could comprehend his need to communicate with me. Perhaps he saw what happened, why Sam disappeared in the wee hours in the skiff, taking only his sextant.
Mary spends winters living on a 35-foot sailboat in Florida and summers in Ontario. A wanderer by fate, she embraces photography, writing, acting, and fitness coaching as opportunities present themselves.
When he could only see UV light, he feared his distress call would be answered too late. When the vine replaced every blood vessel with xylem and phloem, he knew he would never be the same. But when his body flowered and the petals spoke, he deactivated the call himself.
boomer trujillo’s never turned into a plant, but he’s not sure he’s fully human either. Check out his fiction and philosophy at: boomert.info.
Mother wears her sorrow like a wet fur coat. As the days pass, every step she takes weighs her down. Each rancid choice she makes pushes us further apart.
She asks why I stay away from her.
I worry she’ll bequeath the coat to me and I’ll repeat the cycle.
Yong Takahashi won the Chattahoochee Valley Writers National Short Story Contest and the Writer’s Digest’s Write It Your Way Contest. She also was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, and runner up in the Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest and Georgia Writers Association Flash Fiction Contest. Some of her works appear in Cactus Heart, Crab Fat Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Flash Fiction Magazine, Gemini Magazine, Hamilton Stone Review, Meat For Tea, River & South Review, Rusty Nail Magazine, Spilt Infinitive, and Twisted Vines.
A myriad of dots fill the screen. He clicks on one to expand it, then scrolls through as many as he can. In each image he sees only himself. He is the same but subtly different, as each universe is unique.
Somewhere, in at least one, he must be happy.
Tracy Fells lives in West Sussex, England. She has won awards for both fiction and drama. Her short fiction has been widely published in magazines, online, and in anthologies. She is the 2017 Regional Winner (Canada and Europe) for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and has been shortlisted for the Fish, Brighton, and Willesden Herald Prizes. She tweets as @theliterarypig.
An inch worm
rides on the ear
of a calico cat.
on the roof next door.
A can for Ore-ida potato chips
worn as a helmet on a child’s head
passes by on the sidewalk.
An old Retriever
asking permission to be young again.
Marjorie lives in Maine.