I was never so afraid
one night in winter,
when you were lost
you simply walked out
not saying a word.
the danger was real
where did you go?
I’ve worried so much.
To see you this way
it’s not fair,
you’re a whole different person.
Ana M. Torres (aka A.M. Torres) is the author of the Child Series beginning with Love Child which was first published in 2011. She has also published her poetry books Shadowed Tears, and Turmoil. She currently lives in New York with her two sons. See more at christmas1102.wixsite.com/mysite.
They’re walking hand in hand like always, blushing as red as the leaves they kick up while they walk.
He can almost remember the smell of her perfume.
“Come away from the window, now,” the nurse says, toting his oxygen tank. “You shouldn’t stare like that. What’s there to see?”
Jamie Brian is a pilot and flight instructor from Pennsylvania. She makes sense of the world through poetry. Her office may be in the clouds, but she feels firmly rooted with a pen in her hand.
“Isn’t that the funniest thing you ever heard?”
“Yes, mom. It’s a wonderful story. But it’s time for bed. Good night.”
I sigh and think to myself, when you wake up tomorrow you can tell it again, and I will pretend it’s the first time I ever heard it. Again.
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the HWA and has published over 40 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two short story collections, and his first novel, When Darkness Comes, was released in October, 2017. For more information, visit gallenwilbanks.com.
The doll’s faded curls stuck out defiantly. Her unblinking blue eyes were clouded, the greasy stain on her diminutive apron unseen.
Arthritic fingers gently soothed the curls then the worried eyes. Her apron, lovingly washed, was placed near the fire with a pat.
Finally, doll and owner were almost new.
Susan Schwenk lives in Illinois. She occasionally invites her muse for tea.
The grey mask shields her eyes from visions of the children she never had
and scents her dreams with lavender
The ear plugs muffle the whispers of her ghosts
She bites down on a bullet, designed to take the strain
And she lays herself down,
to fight the night.
Jennifer M. Smith lives in Burlington, Ontario.
Who are these senior citizens who surround me?
I see retirees decked out in bifocals and new teeth, but I remember energetic cheerleaders, state football champs, school newspaper reporters.
As we pass phones to share photos of our kids, grandchildren, and pets, we promise to meet again in 10 years.
Roberta tried retiring, but it didn’t work. See more at RobertaJacobson.com
My grandma has forgotten the word for Mahjongg. She keeps asking to play yoga.
I think about what that might mean.
She’d be teacher. Her poses would have names like desserts: the rugelach, the macaroon. I’d contort myself, wobble, fall. We’d both laugh.
From the closet, I get the tiles.
Brooke Randel is a writer and copywriter in Chicago, IL. Her fiction has been published in Ropes, Two Cities Review, Punchnel’s and Beecher’s Magazine. She’s currently co-writing a memoir with her grandma.
I can’t turn my back on you, even though we’re now strangers.
Once you were brave and clever. Your body gave me pleasure, comfort and delight.
Now your limbs tremble. Your mind wanders. The strong man is a lost boy.
In sickness and in health. Until death do us part.
Lucia Saja wrote this story.
She looked through her cataract cloud. Her hair, like the bathroom mirror, had silvered. Her face showed cracks like the tile. Toothbrushes… two?
Nothing looked familiar. Not the photo of children that fluttered from her purse to the cold tile floor. Not the gray-haired man who carried her to bed.
Eileen McIntyre writes to the hum of hummingbird wings and listens to critique from crows in the woods of Northern California.
This morning, we do the crossword puzzle on the floor, just like we did the day we moved in fiftysome years ago, before we had furniture or the children who will, today, help us move into assisted living. We’re rusty at the clues, but the coffee tastes just as hot.
Ingrid Jendrzejewski grew up in Vincennes, Indiana, and loves cryptic crosswords and the game of go. Recently, she won the Bath Flash Fiction Award. Links to Ingrid’s writing can be found at ingridj.com and she occasionally tweets @LunchOnTuesday.