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.
The yelling was the first strike.
The possessive control was the second.
Now the bruised eye and busted lip signaled clearly that it was time to get out before it was too late.
He snuck out while she was sleeping, knowing that no one would believe him if he told.
Isabella Pinto is a current undergrad student at The New School, where she continues to work on her first novel.
“Wow! You’re one tough little lady.”
“I’m a black belt. And I’m not 16. I’m 22.”
“Okay, okay. I’ll drive you home, and we’ll just forget this ever happened. Nobody’d believe you anyway. I’m a powerful man in this community.”
“Not anymore. I’m a cop, and I’m wearing a wire.”
A long time ago, Alex married an 18-year-old.
After they pulled her, pliant, from the water, someone raced to fetch help. Her husband insisted they lay her carefully, flat and straight. This they did, their mouths swallowing the questions they no longer dared ask.
I couldn’t see the point, myself. She was already broken from too much bending.
writes flash fiction and the occasional short story, often while trying to sleep.