After the diagnosis, mother spent the summer making jam. Gelatinous globules spattered kitchen surfaces while friends and family gathered, chatting, laughing, boiling, sugaring, and preserving memories.
When we married in spring, I laced her legacy through each layer of our cake.
As I sliced it, I could smell her smile.
Jo Withers writes poetry, flash, and shorts from her home in South Australia. She is also author of the middle-grade science-fiction adventure “5 Simple Steps to Saving Planet Earth.”
You looked up into the night sky. Saw brilliant stars, expanding universe, mysterious galaxies, endless time. You looked down into my eyes. Saw faint light, boundaries of my soul, simpleness of my mind, the finity of my existence.
I linger beyond the border of light and dark, a black hole.
Marie A Bailey lives in the southeastern U.S. with a supportive husband and three cats. She has been published in The Disappointed Housewife as well as Florida’s Emerging Writers, An Anthology and America’s Emerging Writers, An Anthology of Fiction, Volume I, both by Z Publishing House. She blogs about writing, travel, knitting and cats at 1writeway.com.
She trembles as they’re ordered to evacuate, their home about to conflagrate. Silent, Sam stuffs his car with his clothes, books, and computers. Heartbroken, she packs her vehicle with teapot, blankets, and comforting pillow. Neither of them takes the wedding album, which incinerates, and becomes, like their relationship, a memory.
Sudha Balagopal’s short fiction appears in numerous publications including Wigleaf, Fictive Dream, Cabinet of Heed, Jellyfish Review and New World Writing. She is the author of a novel, A New Dawn. See more at sudhabalagopal.com.
“Brake before the curve,” her mother always told her in mountainous terrain.
Senior year, she met him in philosophy class, slept with him when he mentioned love.
“We’re too young to get serious,” he said one night. Permanent goodbye.
Spring semester, he was engaged.
His words were code. Broke her.
C.G. Thompson has two stories in the recently released TL;DR Press’ Women’s Anthology: Carrying Fire. Other stories and poems have appeared in Yalobusha Review, Prime Number Magazine, Fictive Dream, Jersey Devil Press, and Redheaded Stepchild, among others.
She had stolen the seed pod from Kew, years ago, when “borrowing” was still considered acceptable.
Cossetting it, encouraging it, keeping it safe. It took such effort. Gardening was her solace.
He picked the best stems, laid them on the coffin, and then, afterwards, poured bleach carefully over her plant.
Janet, who grew up near Detroit, now lives in Edinburgh and works for the newest Scottish university. She is a rubbish gardener.
We were pressed against the back wall behind a tangle of dresses and hangers, the Boone’s Farm in our stomachs rising against the reek of moth balls. Blue and red flashing lights stabbed under the bifold doors, licking my guilty socks.
She took my hand, and suddenly nothing else mattered.
Chip Houser’s short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, New Myths, Every Day Fiction, and elsewhere. He’s a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop, has an MFA in Creative Writing from UMSL, and thinks cedar is the better option for closets.
She had tried to teach you, ever since you were a little girl putting on your first pair of sneakers. “Later,” you would say. “Maybe next time. I promise.” You can’t remember how many times you promised.
Now she’s gone, and you still don’t know how to tie your shoelaces.
AJ Joseph is a bookaholic, semi-insomniac, unsuccessful recovering javaholic, and most importantly a writer. She occasionally writes at Words from Sonobe.
I would stutter if I spoke or vomit if I ate.
My kid’s getting an MRI.
“It could be nothing, or…” they tell me. Something unmentionable. Unthinkable.
The answer will either defrost my brain and untangle my guts or kill me dead.
I’m just not strong enough to bear it.
Seth Pilevsky lives in New York with his wife and five kids. His work has been published in the Long Island Literary Journal, Literally Stories, Memoir Magazine, Stinkwave’s Magazine and in the YA Anthology entitled What Doesn’t Kill You. See more at spilevsky.com.
Grandpa Al radioed coordinates in the Korean War.
He was quiet, loved his Yankees, and sipped O’Doul’s in the summertime.
He had a fake leg and owned a ukulele, too—
a sweet, beautiful instrument boxed up in his basement.
I can see him now.
He’s smiling. Sipping. Strumming and plucking.
Justin Deming lives and teaches in the Hudson Valley region of New York.
Pulse. Drumbeat. Baby’s kicks. The guitar screams.
Blankets laid on the lawn. Lights dim.
Music swells in waves. Rhythmic: pushing, shoving, pounding on the ground. A night of screamo. Moshing. An owl swoops silently from the rafters. The bassist strikes a chord.
My baby’s song begins.
Joanna Friedman’s fiction and poetry has appeared in a couple of anthologies and on-line publications. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband, twin girls, and pug dog, Blue. Follow her on Twitter or her website.