February 9th, her birthday: deep in Winter’s bitter swell. Sledging with friends, then home to Mum’s hot chocolate and hugs.
Now grandchildren tiptoe to her door with homemade cake, footsteps wary over unforgiving frost. She pulls them indoors, warms small hands in hers.
Over seventy birthdays, she’s never felt cold.
Jo Withers writes short fiction from her home in South Australia where February is anything but cold.
The ghost chases me
Down my corridors
My past future and reality
I walk carefully
To look back
I infuse positive thoughts
Walk next to me
My hearts desire
An altered past
But must live
In this calamity
Old age brings desires.
Legs straight, toes pointed, epicenter straddle split. Stand tall, back tree solid, arms regal, fingers pretty, chin queen high.
Grandkids whoop and holler and beg, more more! Curtsy regrets; hip pops on the low bend. Smile. Massage silent. Babies wheel the yard, breathless with dynamic pliable hips, mute with youth.
Sheree Shatsky writes short fiction believing much can be conveyed with a few wild words. Her work has been published in a variety of journals including The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bending Genres, New Flash Fiction Review, KYSO Flash and The Conium Review with work forthcoming at Fictive Dream and Saw Palm: Florida Literature and Art. She is twice-nominated for Best Microfiction 2020 by Fictive Dream and MoonPark Review. Read more of her work at shereeshatsky.com. She tweets at @talktomememe.
Officially he turns twenty next birthday.
“Not old enough to buy champagne”
Carefully removing his fading birth certificate from a plastic envelope he read:
“DOB: February 29, 1940”
Mom waited until after midnight because “He was special.”
He was her only child; she was right.
Eighty years ago.
John B. Sinclair is a much-travelled Scot who has now returned to Scotland, where he enjoys freelance writing on a variety of subjects.
She speaks to her grown son as he feigns interest. His eyes glaze over; his liquid, anxious movements announce his hurry to leave. His visits are perfunctory.
I know he left long ago.
I journal missed conversations; when I’m gone, he’ll read.
I hope he’ll discontinue ignoring those still here.
Jaye is a visual artist. She has written poetry for years and is trying her hand at micro and flash fiction.
Recalling the smiles of my youth
I see the greenery, opulence, white pillars, and cars
As fires, fragileness, and feigned freedom
Mistaken for a world of bliss
Now I flip through fertile flames
Molded tablecloths, fancy watches, and fired clay;
The only keepsakes
That outlasted God’s dark test of time
Annie Lyall Slaughter wrote this story.
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.
“You are your Momma’s sweetest girl,” Janeen cooed as she changed her baby’s diaper and pulled a soft yellow onesie over the child’s shoulders.
“It’s time for your lunch, Momma,” Nancy said, helping Janeen to her feet and gently placing her gnarled hands on the walker.
“Don’t forget your babydoll.”
Traci Mullins has more than three decades of experience in coaching, editing, and collaborating on hundreds of non-fiction books. She is currently working on unearthing the girl who used to love stories.
She was a girl. Big smile, lots of friends, big demands, bigger expectations.
She went to see the world to find herself. She had to fight to keep that smile big, make new friends, reduce her needs and realise that dreams are not always real.
She is a woman now.
Alidiane is an English language student in Dublin, Ireland. Originally, she’s from Brazil.
Dreams and reality sometimes ravel and blur in the longest hours of the night. That’s when I reach out and touch your arm, your back, your thigh, lightly, ever so lightly, so I don’t wake you. We’ve grown old and frail together, you and I. Now, constantly, we seek reassurance.
Alex lives in a suburb of the Big Apple.