The son feeds the cat, the father too, but they never speak with one another.
When they meet at the kitchen door, where the tom’s bowls sit, they’ll turn and walk away.
This is all I’ve got, each thinks in his way, the feeding of a stray and hungry cat.
Roy Gomez lives with his wife Cleo (and their pets) on a Texas hillside overlooking Medina Lake, directly below a starry Milky Way.
After the diagnosis, mother spent the summer making jam. Gelatinous globules spattered kitchen surfaces while friends and family gathered, chatting, laughing, boiling, sugaring, and preserving memories.
When we married in spring, I laced her legacy through each layer of our cake.
As I sliced it, I could smell her smile.
Jo Withers writes poetry, flash, and shorts from her home in South Australia. She is also author of the middle-grade science-fiction adventure “5 Simple Steps to Saving Planet Earth.”
She had stolen the seed pod from Kew, years ago, when “borrowing” was still considered acceptable.
Cossetting it, encouraging it, keeping it safe. It took such effort. Gardening was her solace.
He picked the best stems, laid them on the coffin, and then, afterwards, poured bleach carefully over her plant.
Janet, who grew up near Detroit, now lives in Edinburgh and works for the newest Scottish university. She is a rubbish gardener.
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.
Two unexpected things happened after Timmy killed the monster under his bed: (1) he ate it (and rather enjoyed it), and (2) he took to hunting the monsters under the beds of other neighborhood kids. After all, someone had to do it—and he’d already developed a rather insatiable appetite.
Ran Walker is the author of sixteen books. He serves on the creative writing faculty of Hampton University in Virginia.
Every Christmas has unique vibrations.
2010 was tremulous.
Our grandchildren were three and four. They didn’t know their mother was dead.
I imagine they held to the hope she’d surprise them with a last-minute appearance.
There was more chance a fat man in a sleigh would land on the roof.
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, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
In dream, images lure: my hands spanning his bony scapula, lips kissing his neck, leg snaking his muscles as I lean back, believing he won’t ever let me go.
Awake, I pray for strength I cannot muster, to rise, to walk, to forgive the texting teen for unraveling our tango.
Sudha Balagopal’s short fiction appears in Jellyfish Review, Drabble, New Flash Fiction Review, New World Writing, and other journals. She is the author of a novel, A New Dawn. See more at sudhabalagopal.com.
She awakens. Leaves flutter into hair and twigs braid into fingers. She finds her sisters cut down and a red X sprayed across her own chest.
The tears bead, becoming sap frozen against ancient bark. She waits for the end, drinking the sun and whispering in the breeze.
Taryn is a writer and environmental scientist living in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. See more at tnkloeden.com.
Both our wives walked out within a week. We hadn’t spoken in years, but now all we had was each other: though divided by parents, we were united by divorce.
We fished from the harbour wall, with bated breath and baited lines, sharing tales of the one that got away.
Guy has never taken his brother fishing. This is his twenty-second 50-word story.
Mean as cancer when no one is looking
Smile, smile, smile otherwise
He walks the dog to feel anything
His unkindness pounds in her head as people look
Neighborhood trash receptors are emptied for the week
The dog poops twice on the walk
He carries both home; people are looking
TPA is currently living her literary dream of creating flash fiction from home in Atlanta, Georgia, where she studied writing at Oglethorpe University.