I woke long before dawn, shards of moonlight breaking through the faded curtains.
The hotel hadn’t changed much.
Now, twenty years later, I could still see him stretched out on the bed, with that mischievous, just-married look in his eyes.
I touched the urn on the nightstand. “Happy anniversary, dear.”
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana. In addition to writing poetry and short stories, she enjoys penning aphorisms and epigrams.
After the hospital, the bookstore café beckons. The geezers have already gathered. Although they still do not offer him a seat at their tables, when he comes in this time, limping, they shoot him a longer glance than usual, which seems, he imagines, to confirm the likelihood of imminent inclusion.
Ron. Lavalette has been widely published in both print and pixel forms. His first chapbook, Fallen Away, is now available from Finishing Line Press, and a reasonable sample of his work can be found at EGGS OVER TOKYO.
I’d like to have many hearts to offer you, like hand-made biscuits of several shapes and tastes.
I’d lie them down on the kitchen table, for you to choose one each morning.
Comes sun or rain, there will always be a leftover heart, misshapen, unwanted, neglected, to keep you alive.
Russell Hemmell is an alien from Mintaka snuggled into a (consenting) human host. His recent fiction has been published on Aurealis, The Grievous Angel, New Myths, and elsewhere. See more at earthianhivemind.net.
He spoke only of the lighter moments.
Like when the weapons instructor asked, “What’s the definition of fine sight?” And a rookie’s quip, “Two dinners on one plate, sir.”
Or the drill sergeant’s caustic, “Bradley’s the only man in step!”
The rest lay buried, like the bodies of the fallen.
Originally from Belfast, Joan Skura has lived in Toronto for many happy years, but still can’t come up with a half-decent bio.
A young policeman stood on the doorstep, shifting his feet.
“It’s about your son. Please call this number.”
She pleaded for an explanation, but instead he thrust the paper into her hand.
Trembling, my parents dialed the number. The line rang.
An eternity of rings.
Finally, a voice answered. “Homicide.”
Margie Nairn is a retired nurse and emerging writer in Corvallis, Oregon, where she writes memoir, poetry, and silly limericks for her daughter.
Before, gold earrings complemented her brown hair and eyes,
Enhancing her orange and beige shirts.
She chose fuchsia eyeglass frames to complete the color palette.
Now, she buys silver earrings to match her grey hair,
And purple and blue sweaters,
But her glasses will forever draw attention to her eyes.
Miriam Stein is a social worker, writer, and the author of Make Your Voice Matter With Lawmakers: No Experience Necessary. See more at makeyourvoicematter.com.
Bravely, he sits at the piano, hands going through the motions. He feels every note of his last performance, his swan song.
Nine-thousand nine-hundred and ninety-nine people rise, applaud. One stays seated, head down, emotions too much to bear, crying.
“Dad, I’ll always miss you,” she says under her breath.
David Maher is an aspiring writer trying to gain the confidence to complete his first novel by sharing stories, viewpoints, and his attempts at writing fiction.
Armed with her vintage Leica camera, she is convinced she can stop the passage of time, moments forever captured on film like flies in amber.
But despite her efforts, the clock persists.
Nest now emptied, she seeks solace in eighteen years of yellowed photographs.
Johannah Lipscher Simon is a professional ideator who writes and speaks on the power of living a creative life. See more at thewritingtype.com.
Way back when, I’d lure the dog up into the indent on the empty side of the bed, where he’d arch his back along the comforter’s fold, sigh, slump, and twitch through sheep meadow dreams. His heart beat through my skin. I’d imagine him gone, you know, in self-preparation, pointlessly.
A Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, J.P. Grasser is a PhD candidate at the University of Utah, where he edits Quarterly West.
I don’t know what possessed me to do it.
I was tired, feverish, losing my voice. That night, I’d had the audacity to ask for help with the boys at bedtime.
His words stung; I was very angry.
But I was smiling as I swished his toothbrush in the toilet.
Michelle is an award-winning author and poet. She is a contributor in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada, and was a quarter finalist in the 2017 ScreenCraft Short Screenplay contest. Her writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail (one of Canada’s National newspapers) and a number of local magazines and newspapers including The Briar Crier, Total Sports, Voice of the Farmer, Arts Talk and Focus 50 Plus. Her short story “Lightning Strikers” (also featured on Commuter Lit) was made into a series in the Focus 50 + Newspaper because fans asked for more! In 2018, Michelle won the Ontario Writers Conference Story Starter Contest in two categories. You can find her online at commuterlit.com, fiftywordstories.com, femininecollective.com, michelledinnick.com, and @MichelleDinnick.