It was her first blind date.
“Sit at the table near the window,” he’d said. “Wear yellow.”
Now, at the table near the window, she waited. Their eyes met briefly as he passed. She anticipated the cold rush of air, but the door never opened. She still felt the chill.
Susan Gale Wickes wrote this story. She rarely window shops and never wears yellow.
She’d hummed it at home, at the park, and on date night, too.
As wide as on their wedding day, her husband’s grin dwarfed her frustration of being unable to place the song.
Realisation came on her way to work: her last victim’s ringtone, in the trunk of her car.
When someone asks Tony to stop whistling, he promptly begins humming instead.
The story of the week for April 3 to 7 is…
Canned Laughter by Daniel DiFranco
A casually light introduction leading into a dark twist. Tried and true.
I ate a slice of airport pizza while I waited for my flight. My dad whistled up to me.
He’d died years ago.
“You’ve got time to finish. I’ll see you at the gate.”
He whistled off.
The pizza tasted like dust. The light felt thin.
“Okay, Dad,” I said.
Iain Young prefers a window seat.
He placed his hands on the ceramic bowl where last she had placed hers. He brought it to his lips and kissed the rim as she used to before slurping whatever tepid liquid remained, and then set it beside the urn in the china cabinet.
He smiled meekly.
Francisco Tutella teaches English literature, composition, and elementary Italian in northeast Pennsylvania. He is trying to learn Japanese and wants to teach English overseas. His work has appeared in 50-Word Stories and Wilkes magazine. He has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University.
At 80, Gramp was unsteady on his feet. He didn’t want his nurse’s help, but waited ‘til she was gone, then stumbled to the bathroom.
He fell and broke his hip.
He died in the hospital two weeks later.
They say he died from pneumonia.
I say it was embarrassment.
Harry Demarest has had twenty of his 50-word stories and a few longer pieces published. This is a true story which happened to Harry’s grandfather in 1966.
Her blue eyes looked down into his brown ones. His brown hand grabbed her peach finger.
They were complete opposites, but that didn’t matter to either of them. Perfect matches weren’t based on color: eyes, skin, hair. This was a perfect match.
“Welcome home,” said the foster mom.
Melanie Gabbard is a mother of four: one biological, three adopted from foster care. She won a short story competition with Writer’s Digest and wrote a short screenplay that was adapted for film.
The Story of the Month is chosen from the Story of the Week winners announced from the past month.
The finalists for March were:
Constellations by Jonathan Kosik
Mothering Sundae by Tamsin Seymour
The Feeling of Guilt Felt in Private by a Child by John Gabriel Adkins
Faster Than Life by James P. Spitznogle
My Father, the Strongman by Bob Thurber
The winner of the March 2017 Story of the Month, and the $10 prize, is…
Simply beautiful. Simply heartrendingly beautiful.
As the sun sets, a teenage boy gathers coal from the side of a railway track. He’d climbed onto one of the trucks of a slow-moving freight train and opened its side door, spilling its precious payload.
He might get caught, but he doesn’t care; he will be warm tonight.
Coal theft is not uncommon among the poor areas of Poland’s Upper Silesia region, where Daniel teaches English as a foreign language.
A beautiful flower, blooming for a season; radiant colour, my soul lifted. All things are fleeting, the fragile more so. Your short season over, you left us, transformed back into the loam, nourishing the earth as your love once nurtured me. Goodbye my daughter. Your time short; your existence profound.
Bill lives in Aberdeen Scotland. He tried to be good once. It didn’t take.