It’s so far up the beach, her first sandcastle. The bucket is too full. She stumbles. Water sloshes over the rim.
It’s scalding. Her leg blooms with pain.
A nurse prises the teacup from her knotted hand. He leads her slowly to a chair. It’s so far up the ward.
Tamsin wrote this story during quite a long walk.
She has to have her cigarettes. Buys them with the baby food money. Buys a six-pack, too. She lights up; first drag is always the best. She drops it in the sand, crushes it. She chugs the beer, staggers, falls into the moonlit surf.
She gave the baby up today.
poetry, prose, and photographs have appeared in Melancholy Hyperbole
, When Women Waken
, and Blotterature
. She travels the scenic route between St. Pete, Florida and the Off Campus Writers Workshop (OCWW) in Winnetka, Illinois. When she’s not writing, she’s listening, picking up slices of life or shells on a beach.
In the shallows of the gently lapping waves, the girl, dress tucked in knickers, had played.
The sun, low in the sky, casts an orange glow.
Shops long closed. Curlews, in flight, send out their cry.
A mother comes out to call her daughter home.
There’s no one to hear.
Jean lives in Bath in the UK and loves reading 50-word stories. She has a go whenever she gets the time.
Ummm, my favorite part of the day is when I colored on the table.
I touch things with my yucky hands.
I spill milk on my sister’s bed.
Listen to your Mom and Dad and listen to policemans or else they’re gonna put you in jail and don’t get cavities.
This story was written by three-year-old Chase Sciacchitano. He told his mother that he will win and she will not. (Mommy hasn’t submitted yet. She’s not sure she can compete!)
He likes listening to music, so the choice was easy for his birthday: a Bluetooth speaker!
Right now, I regret it. The music is way too loud! I can’t handle it anymore.
I go to his bedroom, open the door, and shout: “Please, dad, can you turn the volume down?!”
Noé Colle is a 17-year-old student from Chimay, a town in the French part of Belgium. He saw the website 50WS during his English lesson and wanted to give it a try. Noé is a composer and a DJ: music is his passion.
Last night, Dad came round to introduce us to his latest bride to be. “There’s life in the old dog yet,” he said.
She said nothing.
This must be his third engagement since Mum died, or his fourth including Carol.
“Who’s counting, anyway?” he asked with a grin.
David is remarkably immature about these things. He finds that writing about it does help a bit.
Sarah couldn’t bear to look out the back window. She hated the garden. Peter had been promising to remove the yard toys since January, but he didn’t have the heart to do it. They fought about that. They fought about everything.
Tina was only four. Perhaps heaven has yard toys.
Paul Laughsend is a previously unpublished writer, always looking for support and guidance.
The tiny hand was lost within its father’s. Each gripped tightly, softly to the other. Within that touch, free from language or misinterpretation, resided the very essence of love.
The small hand slowly went limp; the larger paused, then released. One now free; the other chained eternally to that moment.
Adam Mitchell is a teacher, mostly, and a learner always. Current published work can be accessed in his dreams.
When Dad lost the remote, he made a game. He’d call out numbers and, using the cable box, I’d change channels from black and white fuzz to sounds and spectrums of light.
The cable company never took it back, and I kept that disconnected box—long after Dad was gone.
Frederick Charles Melancon is a native of New Orleans. Currently, he lives in Mississippi with his wife and daughter. In his spare time, he watches cartoon movies with his family, and he enjoys every minute of it.
School continues, but your lessons are done. Your empty desk and chair are a reminder you’re no longer here.
Why did you play with that abandoned gun in the alley? Senseless tragedy put your ten-year timeline to an end.
A lesson learned too hard, one our class will never forget.
Shawnta S. Barnes is a literacy coach in Indianapolis Public Schools, an adjunct instructor at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis School of Education, and a 2016-2017 Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow.