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.
“She’s got the sight,” Mama hisses, makes a forking gesture with arthritic fingers.
“Don’t talk rubbish, woman.” Papa’s whiskers tickle my ear. I feel safe curled in his lap, until I see him make the forking sign himself, down the side of the armchair where he thinks I won’t see.
Rebecca Fraser is an Australian writer whose short stories, flash fiction, and poems have appeared in various anthologies, magazines, and journals since 2007. She holds a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing, and her fiction showcases her fondness for all things darkly speculative. To provide her muse with life’s essentials, Rebecca supplements by copy and content writing, however her true passion lies in storytelling. See more at rebeccafraser.wordpress.com
The flat green line. The monitor said… dead.
Years after her heart stopped, mine remains shattered but “healthy.”
I’ve tried to reassemble. I think good thoughts, fond memories. Piece by piece its coming back together. My shattered heart. I thought I felt it today. Alas… it is made of stone.
Lou Romero wanders around the New Mexico desert in his old truck, looking for signs. The signs usually tell him, “Why not stop here and eat a burrito?”
to close the distance
and reach out
and accepting you,
just as you are.
I hold on
and tell you
to leave without me,
Munira Sayyid recently realized her passion for writing. She urges you to try as well.