I barked and barked… and the sun came up.
His coffee, my biscuit.
Toast and a treat.
He’ll read the newspaper,
I’ll dream of slow, inattentive cats.
When he reaches down to ruffle my fur,
his hand feels like the afternoon sun.
This must be what they call Thanksgiving.
Paul Bluestein is a physician by profession (OB-GYN), a self-taught musician (guitar and keys), and a devoted Bridge and Scrabble player (yes, ZAX is a word). He is also a writer of poetry whenever the Muse unexpectedly calls him and rings insistently until he answers (even if he doesn’t want to talk with her just then).
A middle-aged man and woman sit in movie theater seats with broken hinges. Distortions of an animated film flicker in the reflection of their eyes, accompanied by the laughter of children ringing in their ears.
The woman clutches a tattered teddy bear to her chest. The man squeezes her hand.
Taylor Stuckey is an English major at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. She started dabbling in writing short fiction less than a year ago, and hasn’t stopped since. This is her first published sotry.
The story of the week for June 25 to 29 is…
Side Effects of Radiation Therapy by Bob Thurber
Late in life, she traded piano for painting. It was so refreshing. She’d only ever played keys when she’d had a husband to join onstage.
They’d joke about it when he appeared to her. She tried painting him in his present form, but she could never get the eyes right.
Lucas Kwong is a professor of English at New York City College of Technology. When he isn’t grading papers, he’s making music with his garage rock band THE BROTHER K MELEE, or writing for his band’s official microfiction Twitter account, THE NOT OK MELEE (@notokmelee).
Cupped in your hand
the choice is clear,
like glass marked
by a sparrow’s impact.
The heart thrums,
wild and free,
through your fingers.
You gently stroke
its neck unbroken,
and then release:
a body rises
through the sky
like dawn unfolding
No birds were harmed during the writing of this poem.
I was told you can’t call dogs “pets” anymore. It connotes inferiority to the rest of the family. They should be “furry companions.”
I asked the owner of an adored Westie whether he considered Gus inferior. His response: “Haven’t saved for his college, and we don’t let him read books.”
Barbara Mende writes and does other paperwork in Cambridge, MA.
We clung to each other in the dryer. Spinning socks became whirling dervishes in a passionate dance.
Unceremoniously thrown onto the hard surface. I was the only one left. Widowed now, and no one else can be my mate.
I’ve resorted to cuddling up to a lint ball.
Making people laugh, especially while they’re swallowing big spoonfuls of soup, is one of Diane Malk’s goals. She is a writer from Colorado who shudders at the sight of snow every winter and is certain she lived in the tropics in a previous life. Diane has been published in Mad Swirl, Hackwriters, and Scarlet Leaf Review. She is working on her first book and always has a craft project in the works.
We cheerleaders chanted to the helmeted heroes: “Kick ’em in the stomach, kick ’em in the head! We want blood, red, red, red!”
A year later my quarterback got shot through the helmet in Vietnam and I was chanting to LBJ, asking how many kids he had killed that day.
Tom Hazuka has published three novels and over sixty-five short stories in Chariton Review, Florida Review, Quarterly West, Puerto del Sol, etc. He has edited or co-edited seven anthologies, including Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Funny, and Flash Nonfiction Funny. Tom teaches literature and fiction writing at Central Connecticut State University. See more at tomhazuka.com.
Ellen’s cat got out. He finally figured out how to open the screen door. His name is Whiskers. He’s friendly for a cat. Always rubbing against people’s ankles. He’ll answer to his name. I haven’t told Ellen yet. We live on Longview. The traffic’s heavier since they widened the road.
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, despite severe vision loss, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
My dad’s thunder would pluck you out of a trance before you realized you’d entered one.
“What’s that crap you’re listening to!? Rock ‘n’ Roll? That’s not music; it’s shouting!”
Sixty years later, every nerve twitches when bombarded by the “music,” all words and volume.
I’m irrelevant. Just like Dad.
Eileen is a writer on good days, a crafter on others. She wishes the muse would sit on her shoulder more often.