At the hospital, I find mum. She looks concerned, like I’m not dressed warm enough. I hold her hand, thank her for all she was and kiss her cold frown. On the wall there’s a whiteboard with her name scrawled on it and a section titled Patient’s Needs. It’s blank.
Giles Montgomery writes ads for a living and fiction for joy. Find him on Twitter at @gilesmon.
My mother’s memory of the poems surprised me. I’d sit with her and listen to her recite, after years of never hinting that she knew any poetry. I wonder if she was reminded of the young farm girl she once was, standing in front of her father, practicing until perfect.
Janine lives and writes in Portland, Oregon where she can’t help but be influenced by the leafless trees shrouded in fog. Winter has its beauty.
A child star, she’d been acting all her life. She’d played the beautiful princess, the glamorous wife, the sexy secretary.
At 35, roles disappeared.
She booked in quick: nipped, tucked, tightened.
Next audition they loved her: “Perfect cheekbones; sensual pout.” Booked her for a Hollywood blockbuster.
Playing George Clooney’s mother.
Jo Withers writes micros, shorts, and poetry from her home in South Australia. Recent work is featured or forthcoming in Ellipsis Zine, Molotov Cocktail, FlashBack Fiction, Milk Candy Review and Lunate. You can follow Jo on Twitter at @JoWithers2018.
Crows waddle about pecking at the grass and dirt. He, in his black security guard uniform, waddles along too—arthritic knees splaying his legs. On the nearby street, tires squeal and horns honk, sending the crows skyward. He stops, turns his head, watches them, surely with a twinge of green.
Louella Lester writes in Winnipeg, Canada. Her flash writing has appeared in Spelk, Reflex Fiction, Flash Fiction North, Microfiction Monday Magazine, Fewer Than 500, and Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine.
One time we sneaked in a dozen birthday cupcakes.
The nurses smiled. Grandpa ate the paper part. I watched him reach for another.
I said, You can’t eat the skins.
He gagged and choked. He was just being a goof. That was grandpa.
He’d eat paper to get a laugh.
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, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
Jason spotted it as he pulled radishes: big diamond. The house’s former owner had asked him to watch for it.
His wife, the gardener, had fallen. Hand ballooned; ring cut off. In early Alzheimer’s, she forgot where she’d put it. Two years ago now.
Let it stay lost.
Retired after four decades’ prizewinning print and broadcast journalism in Hartford, CT, Don Noel received his MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University in 2013. He has published more than four dozen short stories (including “Earthworm Ruminations” in 50-Word Stories in September 2017), but still has three longer works to place.
Old Harold buys a fish tank on his birthday. Fills it with guppies and mollies, hardy breeds. Throws in the odd fish flake. Changes the water on Saturdays. It’s good to be needed.
The fish swim and swirl, dive and stare.
Tiddles is mesmerised. Now he has his own TV.
Geraldine McCarthy doesn’t own any pets. You can find her on Facebook.
The house was quiet, dimly lit with the holiday lights. Jean sighed, shaking her head. “The kids are busy this time of year, but they’ll be here tomorrow. They need me for those generation pictures. So don’t worry yourself, Tom. I won’t be alone.”
She touched the urn. “Miss you.”
Trisha Ridinger McKee resides in a Mayberry-like town in Pennsylvania, with her weary husband and hippie daughter. She may or may not be inspired by living next to a cemetery. And she may or may not have traumatized her daughter with a few ridiculously intense bedtime stories through the years.
Mrs. Woodham committed her Japanese garden to memory as the moving van swallowed the last of her furniture. The driver ambled over and hefted the five-gallon ceramic planter beside her walker.
“All set, Miss Margaret. The tree rides up front?”
She smiled at the gnarled cherry branches overhead and nodded.
Elizabeth Spencer Spragins is a poet, writer, and editor who taught in community colleges for more than a decade. Her tanka and bardic verse in the Celtic style have been published in Europe, Asia, and North America. Recent work has appeared in the Lyric, Blueline, Borrowed Solace, Ariel Chart, and Page & Spine. The Language of Bones, a collection of her bardic verse, is scheduled for publication by Kelsay Books in summer 2019.
Leaves dance with the fall breeze
The sun steals the early frost
The moon waits in the wings
I shiver in respect of nature
I shiver in respect of my age
Eighty years young
I am beyond the age of expectation
for women according to the insurance
companies age calculations
Charlotte McElroy is an 80-year-old retired teacher. She is finally following her dream: writing! Thank you for giving her this opportunity.