Just keep breathing. Their seats are still empty.
My mind immediately comes up with a thousand old tired excuses: maybe traffic is bad; maybe the car didn’t start. Holding out hope? Two more then I’m up.
I look at their seats again, still empty. Disappointment and relief wash over me.
Sophia Austin works in Marketing at Fussy Cat Publishing. Writing is one of her many hobbies, all of which give her inspiration for writing.
The Balloonman presents the poodle, smiles and begins another. The child lifts it overhead; refracted color splashes his face.
Autumn engulfs the horizon—the carnival sags. The Balloonman squints as summer burns itself out.
The swan completed, he bows to one last girl, sighs, and turns toward evening and home.
Melody Leming-Wilson lives and teaches in Portland, Oregon. She writes mostly poetry, but is afraid the 50 word story might get in the way of that.
My father-in-law-to-be mowed our yard with his tractor, transforming the tangle into a park.
My son sobbed, He killed my favorite blackberry bush.
“But there are more,” I argued. “Look, they’re all over.” He wouldn’t face where I pointed.
I wish I’d said, “It’s painful to lose what you love.”
Lois Rosen’s poetry books are Pigeons (Traprock Books 2004) and Nice and Loud (Tebot Bach 2015). She has taught ESL in Oregon, New York, Ecuador, Colombia, Japan, and Costa Rica. Lois founded the Peregrine Poets of Salem, Oregon, and leads the Trillium Writers and the Institute for Continued Learning Writing Group at Willamette University. She won Willamette Writers’ 2016 Kay Snow First Prize in Fiction.
High Noon; the Kid faces Sundance. Fingers twitching, onlookers gathering. Quickdraw! Boom! 1860, the irons virtually explode in their mitts. Smoke, lead, everywhere. Recoil flattens the Killers. Two Mexicana bystanders lie dead.
An old Comanche watches, already telling how the Killers pumped each other full of lead and miraculously survived.
Peter Li-ping continues to travel, work, and rest in an arc which stretches North-East to North-West. But he feels the Great Light shines from the South West.
“I saw him!”
“Wearing a red suit?”
“Driving a sleigh?”
“A scruffy dog.”
“A round belly?”
“Sack of presents?”
“How’d you know it was him?”
“His eyes—they twinkled.”
“Hmm. Must be in disguise.”
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
“Andrea has it all.”
The new resident frowned at the impudent post-it stuck to his privileged patient’s chart. Scanning down her long list of conditions, his eyebrows rose in final understanding: not impudence.
Below the remark was his colleague’s recommendation: “This one’s for the med. journals. Hope you write fast!”
Laurie Hall is a native Californian transplanted to New England. She currently lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In addition to her pro-conservation Op-Eds, she has had several short stories published, some under her pseudonym, Lauren Stoker. Her recent publications include: “Hogging the Hooch” (Hedgehog Poetry Press in the U.K.); “Snack Service” (The Arcanist); “Pledging Allegiance,” “Parable,” and “Spring Cleaning” (Page & Spine).
He comes home late, breezes through and reminds me of that song. He smiles; this is how it’s done. How he’s always done it.
You are my trophy, that smile says. You are my possession.
I try to remember the day but I cannot. Time is endless. Back, forward. Now.
M. Blackmars is a writer in New England.
Dad makes every shot. Nothing fazes him, not the windmill blades, the narrow bridge, the ripped carpet on Hole 7.
“They should fix that,” he notes, then drains the tricky putt.
My own ball rims out. Again. I curse it.
“Relax,” Dad tells me, as if he ever could have.
Jim Anderson is a retired college lecturer who lives in Michigan where he reads a lot and writes a little. More of his micro-fiction can be found at JimTheWriter.net.
Ponder I, alone: “What brought me here?”
The wind says nothing.
“What force?” cry I.
“God?” I wait for any answer.
“Nothing, then,” ponder I, alone. No fate steered my course. I chose this path.
I turn away to family dinner. How I despise political turkey.
Andrew is an unpublished fiction writer in the Washington area. In his spare time he enjoys pens, pads, word processors and pudding.
Their spouses’ corporations had merged.
Wow, she said, blinking.
How embarrassing is this, he said.
I’m having flashbacks, she whispered.
He smiled shyly.
Remember falling, she said, into one another’s embrace? Remember holding on for dear life?
Youthful mistakes, he sighed.
Perhaps it’s time we made them again, she said.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.