Walk to school,
Home from school,
Help with homework,
Make the dinner,
Run their baths,
Mop the floor,
Wake up Mother,
Bring her bottle,
Avoid eye contact,
Make no sound.
Jo Withers is author of the middle-grade science-fiction adventure 5 Simple Steps to Saving Planet Earth. Her recent shorter fiction can be found in Spelk, Molotov Cocktail, Ellipsis Zine and Flashback Fiction.
He wraps the pillow around is head, diving deep beneath the covers.
The yelling always keeps him awake. Mother checks he is asleep.
His door closes softly, then a loud pop comes from downstairs.
Mother checks on him again. The yelling has finally stopped.
He drifts off to sleep.
Kristyn Mass lives in Iowa with her husband and three cats. She is a professional voice actor and aspiring writer.
My old dog knew how to forget unkind words and raised voices.
He always forgave being left behind, didn’t hold a grudge.
Instead he’d greet me with a wag and a silly dog smile.
After you left us behind, a tender look from his chocolate eyes helped me forget, too.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
Exposed to light, the misunderstood memories skitter away like startled insects. Slowly, I clear more rocks from the landscape of my childhood.
When I find the courage to pull weeds, I might replace them with roses: Their beauty comes with thorns. Or perhaps cacti, which can survive neglect, even abuse.
Kim Favors worked as a newspaper journalist. She grows her literary garden on California’s Central Coast.
“Whipped!” we used to shout, mocking him, all those times he couldn’t join on bar nights.
When he could, she’d always call him home early.
Those phone calls cracked us up. We made women’s voices, and passionately screamed his name while he shushed us.
“Hanged,” police told us one day.
David Derey wrote this story.
Eyes bruised black and blue.
Lips swollen. Split by a clenched fist.
It was her fault, her partner said.
She fled silently in the night to avoid confrontation.
Far from the pain she gazed at the reflection in the mirror
and prayed a smile would return to her mournful face.
John B. Sinclair is a much-travelled Scot who has now returned to Scotland, where he enjoys freelance writing on a variety of subjects.
Fiona had secrets. Unlike some, she kept them hidden. She didn’t whisper about them in private. In fact, she didn’t speak of them at all.
She simply went through life, protecting the guilty in order to spare the innocent.
Life was easier that way. Everyone was happy.
Well, almost everyone.
Susan Gale Wickes lives in Indiana. She takes comfort in reading and writing 50-Word Stories.
My brother entered the seminary at 14, hungry for faith.
He came home wounded in ways we could see but not understand.
He lifted weights nightly,
until with bulging muscles he shoved his fist through a window
attempting to close it.
Something at least a surgeon could fix.
Margie Nairn is a retired nurse and emerging writer in Corvallis, Oregon, where she writes memoir, poetry, and silly limericks for her daughter.
“Come here, sweetheart.”
It wasn’t so much what he said as how he said it; with that expectation of compliance. He sounded like her dad, not like a lover.
Why did some men feel they had the right to compel obedience?
She wondered what would happen if she said no.
Joanne has self-published a novel called “They Called it the Incident,” available on Amazon. She also has a short story published in an anthology put out by Polar Expressions Publishing. She continues to hone her writing skills and is working on a second novel. See more at jmjohnson-author.simplesite.com.
Mean as cancer when no one is looking
Smile, smile, smile otherwise
He walks the dog to feel anything
His unkindness pounds in her head as people look
Neighborhood trash receptors are emptied for the week
The dog poops twice on the walk
He carries both home; people are looking
TPA is currently living her literary dream of creating flash fiction from home in Atlanta, Georgia, where she studied writing at Oglethorpe University.