Alone on a sidewalk, a young girl dances slowly through the silent snowfall. She raises her arms, arcing them together, fingertips touching like beaks kissing. Warm grey flakes settle on her hands. She finishes with a pirouette, waiting for applause, but the world is silent.
Soon, she will start coughing.
Chip Houser’s short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, New Myths, Every Day Fiction, and elsewhere in print and online. He is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
“She’s got the sight,” Mama hisses, makes a forking gesture with arthritic fingers.
“Don’t talk rubbish, woman.” Papa’s whiskers tickle my ear. I feel safe curled in his lap, until I see him make the forking sign himself, down the side of the armchair where he thinks I won’t see.
Rebecca Fraser is an Australian writer whose short stories, flash fiction, and poems have appeared in various anthologies, magazines, and journals since 2007. She holds a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing, and her fiction showcases her fondness for all things darkly speculative. To provide her muse with life’s essentials, Rebecca supplements by copy and content writing, however her true passion lies in storytelling. See more at rebeccafraser.wordpress.com
He managed to get over the stout fence with ease. The derelict hut lay waiting as a fine, light snow began to fall.
If he could just get away from the voices.
Here. It must be far enough.
Obese. Grotesque. Vile. Slob.
Here he could be himself, without their judgement.
Abbie Mapley wrote this story.
Alone again herself, she saw the loneliness of others. Stray mittens and gloves in parking spaces, on snowbanks and sidewalks.
She brought them home, washed and dried them, wore them as others wear mismatched socks.
Now when she claps her hands the soft thick sound makes her broken heart glad.
Mary Steer is a word nerd living west of Toronto, where she works and reworks stories from life and imagination. When she’s not writing or editing, she likes to dabble in physics (knitting) and chemistry (baking).
The house had been eerily quiet. She wanted to talk to someone other than her mind.
She found him seated in the rocking chair by the window. Sitting down on the floor beside him, she leaned her head gently against the chair.
The empty chair rocked slightly at her contact.
Divya is an IT nerd by day and a blogger by night. She’s also a coffee junkie and a Cancerian. She lives in India.
A streetlight, an escaping soul fuzzed the world behind the dizzying waltz of flakes, but even the gloomy yellow halo and lonely ghost of a breath were not as hazy as my head, as hard as my heart.
I had watched her leave her office for weeks now, alone now.
Colin Rinne is currently enrolled in Wabash College and is an intended English/Spanish Double Major with a minor in fanciful adventures and interesting conversations.
Many expressed concern when she departed for Costa Rica. Like going out at night alone, traveling solo is a way to get yourself in trouble.
People worried about her safety and felt a twinge of pity. Some looked at her with admiration and awe.
Living up to that exhilarated her.
Emilie lives in Toronto, Canada and works at a bank. She seeks to discover her creative and expressive side through writing and finds 50-word stories the perfect medium.
I saw the child in the church where he’d taken refuge. An atheist myself, I wondered at his old-fashioned notion of sanctuary.
He pretended not to see me, but I knew he could. I waited for the boy to show himself. At last he came weeping to me, another unbeliever.
Paul Jenkins is director of library services at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati Ohio.
Even here in the basement, I still hear the siren wailing in the distance. Mom went with the others to make sure it was safe outside for me.
I’m nine, ten next month, so I wanted to come, but she told me to wait.
That was yesterday.
Where is everyone?
Alexander Scotchfield is a Canadian academic and software developer. He lives in Southern Ontario with his family, including Ulysses, his late night feline writing companion. When he isn’t writing, he can be found writing games, or running in the cool evening hours. See more at scotchfield.com/.
Mister Adolphus Finnegan was a pleasant chap, if a little seclusive. His daily forest-path meanderings were routed so as to minimize chance meetings with other meanderers. He called these his “refreshing ambulations”, and continued them well into his elderhood.
He lived a long, well-refreshed, pleasant, but secluded kind of life.
This story was based on a title provided by @Keab42.