It had been a chore, but she had finally gotten her husband to sit still for a portrait.
She took her time, trying to completely capture him: his peaceful expression, the slight messiness of his brown hair, the blood slowly pouring from the cut in his neck.
Simply a masterpiece.
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the icy hills of West Virginia.
I studied under Sinatra for years, learned guitar from Clapton, and pondered the language of love with Shakespeare himself.
I wrote a ballad that stilled the wind and made the moon blush, and serenaded my girlfriend beneath a thousand stars.
“That was nice,” she said. “But where’re my proper presents?”
Guy once wrote his girlfriend a love song, but lost the words. This is his seventh 50-word story.
Adam and the work friends he’d dragged to the exhibition were silent in the Uber back to Manhattan. The four of them scrolled through the messages on their phones without looking up, and no one mentioned the photographs they had just seen, worried about seeming to have missed the point.
Bowen Dunnan lives and writes in New York City.
He put his hand in the fire for me. He was in the parlor with my father, his uncle.
“Let me see her for as long as my hand is in the flame!” he declared, making quite an impression. I heard him across the house.
But father sent him away.
Ciera Horton is a 20 year old writer and world traveler, a lover of old books and swing dancing, and a student at Wheaton College in Chicago. She shares her culturally-engaging outlook on literature and social hot topics on her blog, cierahorton.blogspot.com.
I would listen from bed as Father scribbled upon paper. To the soundtrack of snoring I would sneak into the study, steal his pen, and muffle the click with my pyjama top.
I stared at blank pages and waited: but Father had not left any words in the pen tonight.
Guy Preston writes with a pen he found abandoned in a train station car park. He has never changed the ink, and hopes there’s at least another 50 words left.
The rain beaded on the windshield and scattered the light from the full moon, mottling her face with dabs of gray like an impressionist painting.
I wanted to make love to her, but how could I? She is a work of art, a masterpiece to be venerated from a distance.
Alex Markovich gets his best story ideas in the middle of the night.
He had experienced moments of pure joy mixed with frustration and sung all the songs of satisfaction. He had discovered that discipline was love in its purest form. He had witnessed breathtaking sunsets and surveyed star-filled heavens on a clear night.
But he would never learn to whistle a symphony.
Jim Freeze is 69 years old and retired.
The fortuneteller strokes my hand, the callouses along my fingertips. Her brow furrows. “You have the hands of a pianist… But that cannot be…”
My nostrils burn in a dark, musty room, air of silence shattered by empty notes only I hear. She shudders at my memories, proving herself authentic.
Denise Long writes from her home in Nebraska. She works as a freelance copy editor and an English instructor. In her spare time, she is also a wife, and a mother to two young boys. Her flash fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming from Burrow Press Review, Journal of Microliterature, and The Story Shack, among others. She occupies a small bit of online space at denisehlong.com
Round, another shield of Perseus, the painting holds Medusa beheaded and mortally offended; why does everyone blame her?
Why must she be punished again and again? She scowls, her snakes hissing in support of her.
“Don’t look at me,” she cries out. “Don’t let him use me like this. Run!”
E.A. Fow holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College, CUNY. She reads, writes, and paints in Brooklyn, NY.
Editor’s Note: This story is inspired by a painting, which you can learn about here.
Crimson dyed the sky. A colossal, drowning black rushed to overtake it. Into the heavens two colors fought, masking bloody fires below. In time, I will forget the explosion, the names of the dead, even the blinding light, but the battle between red and black will own the skies forever.
Brandon Newman is a senior at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, NJ.