The aging butler placed twin goblets down, then left with a bow.
Melissa took one with a shaking hand. Her brother’s apparition took the other; they tapped glasses.
She downed the cup in one gulp.
The ghost twisted into flesh, wine splattering his skin.
Her cup clanked to the floor.
Katlina Sommerberg lives in San Francisco, where the summer nights are colder than the winter days of her childhood. She is a cog in the machine for Big Tech, where she writes software and loves to hate her company’s perks. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in AntipodeanSF, 365tomorrows, and 101 Words.
We would watch the same series on TV every night. There was something reassuring in watching the bedraggled, anti-social detective’s steady but honourable mental decline. She’d point at the screen and joke that that was me. Since my diagnosis she doesn’t say it anymore, but then she doesn’t need to.
John Peter Kay is a primary school teacher by day, and a poet by stealth; who finds time to write during his commute to work. He irregularly reads his work with Ware Poets. After a decade abroad, John now lives with his wife and daughter near London in the South of England. His blog can by found at balloonysaintjohn.wordpress.com
Pat doesn’t watch horror movies.
Pat came to Canada a refugee. Lived in a single room. Shared a narrow bed. Lived in fear of a knock on the door.
He lay shivering at night listening to screaming as one neighbor chased another with a knife.
Pat doesn’t watch horror movies.
Eileen is a grandma twelve times over, who, now retired, has switched from writing as part of her employment for others to writing along her own creative path. She has a poem recently published in Mothers of Angels 2.
The fish were late this year. Stanley sat with the collected fishermen and ate the egg sandwich he’d made at home.
Home was dusty. It was never dusty before Evelyn’s death. So he came to the river and waited.
The other men drifted away. “It’s over,” they said.
Over a lifetime, Ursula Hoult has done many things – a little bit of a lot of things, to put it another way. As you read, you may wonder “did she make that bit up”? And the answer is quite likely: “Yes, because it suited the story.” She is currently focused on flashfiction writing. See more at ursulahoult.com.
I’d never shopped for my mother before.
She was strong. She was independent. She loved shopping trips.
The suit was elegant. Shades of gold and brown. I could almost see her in it.
Later that week, I did.
She looked beautiful.
We gathered around her to say our last goodbyes.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana and enjoys reading and writing 50-Word Stories.
She cracks the door open, and the feds burst in. One with a clipboard announces she’s been elected President, congratulations. As they dress her in body armor, she sobs and protests, eyes windows for snipers. Clipboard explains she won by a single ballot. Quaking, she wishes she’d remembered to vote.
Graham Robert Scott’s stories have appeared in Barrelhouse, Nature, and Pulp Literature. See more at hemicyon.wordpress.com.
Poseidon drew the short straw.
Hera sighed. “Yes, they’re irredeemable. But I’ll miss those goofballs. Their bridges, computers, MAS*H… Genius.”
The trident swung. The floodwaters flowed. The underworld gained eight billion souls.
Hephaestus prepared the drafting table. “Okay. Humans 2.0.”
Aphrodite nudged Ares aside. “This time, I’ll lead the design.”
Jen Mierisch draws inspiration from science fiction, ghost stories, and the wacky idiosyncrasies of human nature. She lives, works, and writes just outside Chicago, Illinois.
Alone, finally, in the kitchen, she silences the kettle and settles in the chair. The children sleep. The darkened windows reverberate calm.
He will return soon. The gravel drive will first crinkle and then crunch. The car door will bang; his boots will stamp the porch.
But for now, peace.
Melody Leming-Wilson teaches and writes in Portland, Oregon. Her poetry has recently appeared in Windfall, Poeming Pigeon, and Mojave He[art]. She’s just learning to write 50-Word Stories and finding it therapeutic.
We brought a dead fox into our house.
My sad mother said, “We can’t leave it there, not like that.” She tidied it up, sweetened its death mask.
I felt sick but sad too, just like mother said.
The fleas thought, “This is the best thing that’s happened to us.”
Richard lives in England and enjoys wondering where his readers are.
You liked that shelf too. The one at the back by the window that looked onto Olan Mills, Family Photographer. Graphic Fiction. The place where our ten-year-old selves swapped plastic-sheathed tales of Gaul and boy detectives between each other. If only we’d met. Maybe we’d have realised we weren’t alone.
Amanda Quinn lives in the northeast of England where she works as a freelance writer and tutor. Her writing has been published by Shooter Literary Magazine, Open Pen, Ellipsis Zine, Butcher’s Dog, and Spelk Fiction among others. She can be found online at amandaquinn.co.uk and on Twitter at @amandaqwriter.