Burgers and beer aren’t romantic, unless free-range and craft. The perfect test: casual pretense, maudlin subtext.
They caught each other blowing away their beer-burger burps discretely. Infatuation.
They cut off each’s “Before this goes further, you should know” speeches with “I already know, and I feel just the same.” Love.
boomer trujillo is a TexMex son, parent to an anxious dog, and a perpetual student. He’s grateful for readers.
Soft red hair, pink cheeks, and tiny fingers. From the moment I saw her, I was in love.
Home from the hospital. She’s all mine.
Mr. Wonder crooned Isn’t She Lovely? on the radio.
Admiring her and sobbing softly; the true weight of motherhood hit.
She is lovely, and terrifying.
Susan is a Curriculum Developer at a mortgage company. She is widowed with two grown daughters and two stepsons, and four awesome grandchildren: two boys and two girls.
He knew, often before she did, what was needed. His casual remark midweek, her nodded assent. Saturday morning: lunches packed, headed toward the rising sun and the smell of salt.
Now, when she stands alone by the edge of the sea, she thanks him even though he is not there.
Ellen Sinclair is from Belfast, Maine. She is a retired teacher, counselor, widow, mother, and grandmother, a lover of words and the sea.
Ran into school carefree and excited to learn. Exited school; discovered Papi was gone.
They watched us. They knew where he would be. Once he drove around the corner from my school, they took him into custody.
I was so happy to go into school that I didn’t wave goodbye.
Shawnta S. Barnes is a literacy coach in Indianapolis Public Schools, an adjunct instructor at IUPUI School of Education and a 2016-2017 Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow. Links to her publications can be found at educatorbarnes.com/publications.
In the shallows of the gently lapping waves, the girl, dress tucked in knickers, had played.
The sun, low in the sky, casts an orange glow.
Shops long closed. Curlews, in flight, send out their cry.
A mother comes out to call her daughter home.
There’s no one to hear.
Jean lives in Bath in the UK and loves reading 50-word stories. She has a go whenever she gets the time.
“That’s the girl I’m going to marry,” he said, pointing down the hall. His friends dared him to approach, ask her simply for a date.
“You’re cute, but I already have a dog,” said she, in reply to his awkward entreaty.
Right he was. The two were married forty-seven years.
Anita Reynolds is a writer and artist, wife and mom in the rural reaches of Tennessee. Her work is inspired by the strangeness of life, from the mundane to the magical.
The soft glow of dawn
covers my room in rainbows.
Young eyes try to capture them.
My mother’s figure appears in the doorway,
I ask her to join me,
catch her own rainbows.
She simply shakes her head, eyes glassy.
Maybe another day, I think,
Or maybe not.
Lauren loves creative writing and can usually be found in her room writing a poem or short story or on the beach reading. She struggled to stay within the 50-word limit since she loves to talk!
The first time you cheated on me, you cried over the phone.
“We have to talk,” you said.
We walked in bruised silence through the park, then sat and stared over the hill.
“I don’t understand,” I said at last.
“Let me explain,” you told me. “We’re not a couple.”
David still doesn’t get it completely.
They took her by ambulance. The neighbor called and told me. Cleaning out her house was the closest I came to “Goodbye.”
A pack of Marlboros, half-smoked. A jug of milk. Dishes she didn’t wash. Her fridge had a note: Give Terri her book back.
I don’t know a Terri.
Jennifer Courtney has been published online at Postcard Poems and Prose
, Page & Spine
, Black Heart Magazine
, and elsewhere. She has found her way into several print anthologies.
She listened to her phone message.
The familiar voice, “Please listen. I am so sorry. It won’t happen again. Just one more chance. You mean everything to me. It was thoughtless and stupid. I humiliated you.”
She reached for the phone to call him. Hesitated.
Instead, she deleted the message.
Rosanne Trost, RN MPH, is a retired registered nurse. She lives in Houston, Texas. She spent most of her career in oncology nursing research. Since retirement, she has realized her passion for creative writing.