Twin trees grow side by side, sap pulsing to the same rhythm, roots entwined; they are more one than two.
Then the wind… Furious storm engulfs them, ripping, tearing, rending-
The survivor slowly gathers up shredded roots and cradles them as the dregs of life drain away.
Maria wrote this in remembrance of all the trees that were destroyed in this year’s derecho. These two trees are real, and the one that made it still looks lonely.
Wistful, she sketched long-limbed, elegant ballerinas. Twelve was too old to start dancing.
She learned otherwise at thirty, hand on the barre, feet turned out. Age thirty-two, peachy-pink satin pointe shoes, bloody blisters, bruised toenails, no talent. Rare moments of effortless double pirouettes or soaring leaps were worth the wait.
Mary Kuna lives in Saint John, New Brunswick. Her flash fiction has received second prize in Brilliant Flash Fiction’s Librarians’ Choice Writing Contest and an honorable mention in Queer Sci Fi’s Innovation contest and anthology. She tweets sporadically at @MaryKuna.
Homeless, he roamed the streets aimlessly, each day a looming uncertainty.
Kindness sought from strangers was elusive until a chance meeting outside a laundromat. Finally: someone who saw beyond his very rough edges.
These days, “Ben” lives cozily, his tail beating a joyous rhythm whenever his new Dad is near.
Lisa Chambers is a Texas girl and writer who loves happy endings.
The songs we sang in the evenings without electricity, seated at the doorstep, four of us and father: warm evenings with warm hearts.
The songs are old now.
I play my old songs on piano, singing them to my daughter with a new light, but I’m not sure she sees.
Noriko Jayasekera is a university lecturer.
When he spotted his ex-girlfriend on the subway with another man, he turned and faced the window. Their goofy grins shone in the reflection. Next stop, he bustled hastily through the doors and found himself miles away from home, far away from anything he knew, and yet, not far enough.
Lisa Marie Lopez has had stories recently published in Blink-Ink and The Ocotillo Review. She loves baseball, turtles, and writing in cozy little cafes. Visit her on Facebook at Author Lisa Marie Lopez.
The credit card declines again. I tell the cashier I’ve left the other card at home.
Walk back without the groceries, holding Evie’s hand, wondering whether she’ll be happy with spaghetti again.
I gently rub the ring on my middle finger. I’ll take it tomorrow. Should buy us some time.
Megan Gim works as a speech pathologist but is currently on maternity leave with two young boys at home. She recently completed a short course through the Australian Writers’ Centre for writing middle grade fiction, which has reignited a passion for writing, and is writing flash fiction and microfiction to help develop her writing skills.
Nearly every old strip-mall parking lot has one, a brick-and-glass memorial to when some kid inside handed you your finished Kodachromes.
Where did all those Kodachromes go? To dusty drawers and landfills. And the kid? To ‘Nam, where he stayed as his parents grew old wondering why they let him.
Robert Markovich spent a lifetime in what is charitably referred to as service journalism, writing and editing stories about everything from cars to toilets, most recently at Consumer Reports. He is happily and gratefully retired.
Barbecues were hardest.
“When are you two going to start a family?” they always asked.
“When the time is right,” she would reply, smiling.
“Don’t wait forever or it’ll be too late.”
She would nod politely, before returning home to an empty nursery and calendars red with a thousand crosses.
Miya Yamanouchi is a journalist in South Eastern Europe. Her poetry has been published in Poets and War and her fiction writing in Friday Flash Fiction.
“Can you see the baby elephant in the sky?”
“Here’s a wild horse galloping.”
Mum taught me to see stories everywhere.
In the clouds. In the waves of the sea. Chipped paint on the wall.
Wreath in hand, I stand outside church, straining to hear her say, Look up, girl.
Beatrice Rao has just discovered flash fiction and is working on the art and the craft of it.
I wake up.
I don’t know where I am.
My house on Grant?
No, the retirement home.
I wake up.
I don’t know where I am.
I figure it out.
And then one day,
I wake up, and I don’t realize that I don’t know
where I am.
Harry Demarest hopes to live long enough to end up in a retirement home.