I kissed you on the mouth, lips desperate and soft. You married a white guy, had two kids.
I stole a man’s dog, ran away to Alaska.
The man followed but the dog died.
Evenings I walk the beach, wind bleeding my lips.
I haven’t thought of you in years.
Cinthia Ritchie is an Alaska writer, ultra-runner, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Find her work at New York Times Magazine, Evening Street Review, Sport Literate, Rattle, Best American Sports Writing, Mary, Into the Void, Clementine Unbound, Deaf Poets Society, Forgotten Women anthology, Nasty Women anthology, Gyroscope Review, Bosque Literary Journal and others. She’s a 2013 Best American Essay notable mention, and her first novel, “Dolls Behaving Badly,” was published by Hachette Book Group.
Have you seen my left eye? I’ve misplaced it.
In 5th grade, my teacher told me to keep my eye on my paper.
So I plucked it out and kept it on my paper.
Don’t worry. It doesn’t hurt. It’s more of an inconvenience.
I found it.
LC Treeheart has survived two super typhoons and paddled outrigger canoes in the ocean. She lives with her wife, Lizzy, in Oregon. They share their home with two extraordinary dogs, Pakpak and Mozart, and their grand piano, Francesca.
He plunged the knife into his chest, carved a circle through the muscle and bone, and withdrew his heart. He placed it in a box and neatly wrapped it.
The day before she left, he presented her the gift, to carry with her to the other end of the world.
Francisco Tutella is a public relations specialist at Penn State University. His work has appeared in Fifty-Word Stories and Wilkes magazine. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. Like him on Facebook.
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.
Round and round she twists golden hair
About her skittish fingers.
She twists my life around her whims
in dizzying fashion
Oh, I love the ride!
“Go on! Do it again!”
I command with a grin
My eyes swivel and I twirl like Toto,
In the vortex of her affections.
DL Rokvic is a business writer who enjoys creating poetry, has volunteered overseas, and cares about conservation.
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 was born and went to school. Then I got a job and now I’m retired.
Writing a memoir isn’t that easy when you’ve nothing to say.
Here’s the plan: Do something memorable.
Top of the list: kidnap Donald Trump and cut off his hair.
That ought to do it.
Henry lives in Somerset in the UK, which is at the moment still part of the European Union. He eats a lot of toast.
The lesson wasn’t going well. Lucy was trying to concentrate, but she couldn’t. Games, phone calls, messages, viral videos—everything was distracting from her work.
“If you use your phone, at least turn off the sound! It’s impossible to study!” Lucy snapped, even though shouting at the teacher was rude.
Sophie is a high school student from Ukraine. She’s been studying English for five years and she loves writing stories, so 50WS is a great combination of her favourite hobbies.
The Story of the Month is chosen from the Story of the Week winners announced from the past month.
The finalists for December were:
Bad Like That by Kiah Mott
Everything is fine. You? by TPA
The last time I saw my brother by Guy Preston
Last of the old ones by Taryn Noelle Kloeden
Last Tango by Sudha Balagopal
Season Greetings and Untimely Departures by Bob Thurber
The winner of the December 2018 Story of the Month, and the $10 prize, is…
The last time I saw my brother
Guy Preston is a 50WS Hall of Famer for a reason, and he’s added to his trophy case here.
I confess that I’ve wrestled in the past with my idea of the “appropriate” way to use the title in a 50-word story. In general, I feel that the title should be handled carefully, not exploited to circumvent the word count by adding information that is essential to the story. But now and then, a great 50-word story author does something new and unique with a title. Guy’s winner was one of those. The story stands very well on its own, without the title, and is an entirely worthy entrant in that form. But when the title is layered on top, it adds another dimension that elevates the story.
It was the first time I’d worn a suit in years.
Nervously, I feigned nonchalance. Made small talk. Nodded to people, surprisingly youthful, who didn’t nod back.
Now, seated near the back of the room, punch in hand, reality began to set in.
I was at the wrong class reunion.
Susan Gale Wickes lives in Indiana. She enjoys writing short stories and poetry and looks for inspiration in lots of strange places.