Ever since the accident, there are hardly any dinner plates in the dishwasher. Mostly coffee mugs and teaspoons. Our dinette is covered in unopened mail: fundraisers, magazine subscriptions, and mail-order catalogs, all addressed to you.
I envy the cat patiently loitering in windows. She still believes you are coming back.
Andrée Gendron wrote this story. See more at andreedianegendron.com.
The old man’s smell in her palm
Memory spread the pang of last lovemaking
Dark rain pecked the windows; dark sun shone; the coffee mug held her hands
New Yorkers’ podcast still on; it kept rewinding
Yet she couldn’t stay in this repetition of life
When they were both evaporating.
Azarin Sadegh, a 2011 PEN America Emerging Voices fellow, a LARB contributor, and a former student of the late Les Plesko, is working on a new novel.
Eventually the man who’d been our son-in-law remarried.
Regrettably his new wife didn’t want us in her life.
She connived and ultimately influenced her husband to keep our grandchildren from us.
Despite this extreme cruelty and betrayal, grandma remains no less “grand.”
Defined by her enduring love, she waits patiently.
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.
With pride in his stride, Anthony marched the entire parade route, thankful for the supportive cheers and hugs.
He checked his watch; his parents’ curfew was firm and Anthony had a bus to catch. He donned a sweater over his rainbow t-shirt and waited for the bus, headed to Closetville.
Roberta Beach Jacobson is a humorist from Iowa / USA. She writes tanshi (short poetry), greeting cards, and flash fiction. See more at RobertaJacobson.com.
Gravel bit through Joel’s paper-thin soles. Sweaty tears blurred the image of the child he held and the imposing wall 1000 yards ahead.
A cage or a bullet: odds weighed.
Joel put his father’s rosary upon his only living kin. “Recuérdame, hijo mío; y reza.”
They walked. A thousand yards.
Dr. Adrian L. Cook is a humanities professor at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, TX. He is also a semi-pro musician, specializing in the electric washboard. He lives with his wife—children’s book author Cristee Cook—their two kiddos, their pancake-colored dog, and lots and lots of books.
Grief is sneaky,
It is bedside arguments,
Squabbles over small things,
Tussles over funeral hymns,
Who visited most? stayed longest?
Constantly ignited until the pan boils dry.
Fills the room like oxygen,
Compressing every surface.
It does not let go.
Jo Withers writes poetry, flash and shorts from her home in South Australia. Recent work has appeared in Molotov Cocktail, Reflex Fiction, Spelk and Ellipsis Zine.
Pop always let me help lay out the sod. Mom would sit on the porch, sipping a lemonade and heckling him for letting the lawn die again.
It wasn’t until I saw you, tiny hands gently patting down the green corners, that I realized the lawn hadn’t mattered a bit.
Hunter is a rising junior at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, majoring in Math and Comparative Literature.
Every morning, on the 8:04, I look for her face. Sometimes I see individual stars, but never the entire constellation.
This is her train.
The train that took her face and scattered her stars into the darkness around it.
All I want is to see her face one more time.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her fiction has appeared online, in print and in various anthologies. She tweets at @laurabesley.
My old dog knew how to forget unkind words and raised voices.
He always forgave being left behind, didn’t hold a grudge.
Instead he’d greet me with a wag and a silly dog smile.
After you left us behind, a tender look from his chocolate eyes helped me forget, too.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
I sit back and wipe the sweat from my face. The impatiens look good in the newly turned earth.
I try not to look at the heavy granite stone beside me.
Planting flowers for you in the spring used to be my greatest pleasure, until it became your last request.
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and has published over 60 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two short story collections and the novel “When Darkness Comes.” For more information, visit gallenwilbanks.com.