My grandfather was odd, shell-shocked. I loved sitting on his knee, sniffing and staring as he managed to chew mints and puff a pipe in the same breath. He never spoke of the “Great War” but I wear a Poppy in honour because it is easier than remembering my son.
Dedicated to education and being a father, E. F. S. Byrne has finally found more time to devote to his writing and is currently working on everything from very short flash stories to full-length novels. Samples and links to over thirty published stories can be read at efsbyrne.wordpress.com or follow him on Twitter at @efsbyrne
First the whispers
Then the shadows
His skin bites
He stands braced
Screams flash back
She wakes him
He leaves the sweat-soaked sheets
She makes oatmeal
He almost smiles
A goodbye kiss
She revisits her spell book
Patrick Yu says: It didn’t work out in the end.
At dusk she roams the neighborhood, peering into windows glowing with evening activity. Careful to avoid the families during daylight, she tries to catch glimpses of the people and feel the warmth of their homes. She sees only cartoons, the news, and football games on their large, colorful flat-screen TVs.
Carol Anne Harvey enjoys the challenge of writing a story in 50 words, but also likes telling an audience the longer version.
One afternoon together, after 412 days apart. If only we could stretch these hours to days, weeks even, maybe then we’d relax enough to find the right words to talk about my war at home, his war away.
Instead we part, saying a stilted goodbye, before he boards the train.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her debut flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, will be published in 2020 by Dahlia Books. She tweets at @laurabesley.
She’d sit looking at the perennials starting to bud. Spring was in the air, with the promise of warmer days ahead.
She loved new life springing forth from her planting efforts.
Today the backfilling was done quietly, without hope of life being renewed, as we said goodbye at her graveside.
Connell writes a bit.
At the hospital, I find mum. She looks concerned, like I’m not dressed warm enough. I hold her hand, thank her for all she was and kiss her cold frown. On the wall there’s a whiteboard with her name scrawled on it and a section titled Patient’s Needs. It’s blank.
Giles Montgomery writes ads for a living and fiction for joy. Find him on Twitter at @gilesmon.
The story of the week for January 13 to 17 is…
The Sheriff by Adam Sirovátka
A Sense of Perspective by Andy Hedgecock
So many great stories passed through the site in the past year. Let’s take a look at the twelve finalists for the Story of the Year award!
Here are the 12 Story of the Month winners for 2019.
JANUARY: Hunting Nightmares by Ran Walker
FEBRUARY: Toms by Roy Gomez
MARCH: Almost There by Ron. Lavalette
APRIL: Fifty-Word Story by Richard Day Gore
MAY: Forgotten by Trish Ridinger McKee
JUNE: The View After the Climb by Bob Thurber
JULY: After the Water by Evan McMurry
AUGUST: When the Dark Rain Blew Our Home Away by Michael H. Brownstein
SEPTEMBER: Create by Isla Elizabeth
OCTOBER: Mother Always Asked Uncle Art to Babysit by C. Christine Fair
NOVEMBER: Shadows by Dmitri Christopher
DECEMBER: Balloonman by Melody Leming-Wilson
The winner, as chosen by editor Tim Sevenhuysen, will be announced on Sunday, January 26!
The prize for the Story of the Year winner is:
- $50 (Canadian)
- Enshrinement in the 50WS Hall of Fame
Let everyone know your favourite story in the comments!
Throwback: In 2015, Bob Thurber won the Story of the Year award with his piece The Mapmaker’s Calligraphist Daughter. In 2016, Guy Preston took the prize with One Job Away From Retirement. The 2017 winner was Jennifer L. Freed, for Aunt Peg. In 2018, Constellations by Jonathan Kosik won the award. In 2019, Bob Thurber won his second Story of the Year award for The Summer of Sweet Mary (circa 1972).
Shoes have started to follow me around the Internet. What do they know about me already? I don’t want to touch them because I know what will happen if I do. It will only encourage them. There will be more of them. Legions of them, marching marching into my eyes.
Richard Neville is trying to write something every day. Today it was this. Only this.
Disdainful of the traffic, Bob, my golden retriever, bounded across the road towards me. This is very strange, I thought. Bob was killed by a truck two years ago.
As he cavorted and joyfully yelped beside me, I noticed that people had clustered around someone stretched out on the pavement.
John Young is an old chap, 73, a retired Criminal Justice social work manager in Scotland (CJS roughly equivalent to English / US Probation Service) and then University Hon Lecturer lecturing in Social Work ethics. He grapples with themes of limits, longings, and the images that these create.