Mom wears a tight smile now.
But give me Mama and fairy tales about overthrowing rich kings.
Mama, an open curtain, waltzing under moonlight after fights with Dad.
Mama, drowning fatherly fusillades with dirty jokes.
Not Mom who draws curtains, slinks through bills and empty rooms.
A cracked word.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His story, “Soon,” was nominated for a Pushcart. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others.
Grandma says I’m underreacting.
She says back in her day things weren’t so bad. She says I really don’t know just how bad I have it. She says kids today are too lazy—they don’t fight for change like they used to.
I open the curtains and close them again.
Sarah Hausman just decided it was time to write again.
When they first changed my diapers
I was cutting my baby teeth on Sinatra’s Miami Beach;
Mafia protection was part of the local landscape.
Fast forward; Miami Beach has risen from its own ashes four times,
I am into my second bout of diaper changes,
The Beach, its fifth resurrection.
Jackie’s sense of irony remains her survival tool in today’s colorful, but confounding world.
He left on a fine spring morning. Then, she was still young and fair. When he returned, he found that she had aged; she was paler and her skin was wrinkled. It had only been a year, but to a person in love, a year is an eternity too long.
Vivian Leung lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and has always held a love for music and writing. One of her goals in life is to land a career in healthcare. There are few things that are more rewarding to her than helping others.
A wide beam of sunlight slashed into the room. The window wasn’t where it should be and the doorway had been moved, and every piece of furniture had been transformed by age or substituted with an antique. Nothing was recognizable. Dust floated in the light. He breathed in the smell.
Bob Thurber is the author of six books. Regarded as a master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in Esquire and other magazines, been anthologized 60 times, received a long list of awards, and been utilized in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
We are folding laundry together when my husband holds up a piece of cloth. “What’s this?” he says.
“Just a rag,” I say.
He puts on a little squeaky voice, pretending to be the rag. “I used to be something!” he protests.
“We all did,” I reply.
We fall silent.
Cheryl Caesar lived in Paris, Tuscany and Sligo for 25 years; she earned her doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne and taught literature and phonetics. She now teaches writing at Michigan State University. Last year she published over a hundred poems in the U.S., Germany, India, Bangladesh, Yemen and Zimbabwe, and won third prize in the Singapore Poetry Contest for her poem on global warming. Her chapbook Flatman: Poems of Protest in the Trump Era is now available from Amazon and Goodreads. See more at caesarc.msu.domains.
You cry in a voice that is not your own, act like dead weight, call me horrible names. But sometimes you look me in the eye and smile. Sometimes you remember. I brush your beautiful hair and think, That’s alright my love, I’m also not who I used to be.
Julian Dores lives in Brussels, Belgium. He enjoys writing fiction and taking candid photographs of everyday life on the street. You can read more of his work on his website.
It’s all new, each day of your life. New mornings, new challenges.
New enemies, new regrets. New reasons to leave.
New people in town, and the journeys you’ve never made.
There’s only one thing that never changes: the desire to become someone else without the strength to make it happen.
Russell Hemmell is an alien from Mintaka snuggled into a (consenting) human host. Recent fiction on Aurealis, Flame Tree Press, The Grievous Angel, and elsewhere. See more at earthianhivemind.net.
I crept under the front porch, swiped cobwebs, crawled over broken bricks and debris, sat cross-legged, bent, chewing on my braids. Jabbed at tears on my hot cheeks with grimy hands, ignoring the scurrying and slithering around me.
Above me, Mom and Dad were showing off my new baby brother.
MaryJane Nordgren is a retired family practice physician living in the foothills of the Oregon Coastal Range. Founder of Writers in the Grove, MJ enjoys laughing with and learning from fellow authors every Monday morning. Her novel NANDRIA’S WAR will be coming out soon.
The Balloonman presents the poodle, smiles and begins another. The child lifts it overhead; refracted color splashes his face.
Autumn engulfs the horizon—the carnival sags. The Balloonman squints as summer burns itself out.
The swan completed, he bows to one last girl, sighs, and turns toward evening and home.
Melody Leming-Wilson lives and teaches in Portland, Oregon. She writes mostly poetry, but is afraid the 50 word story might get in the way of that.