I have Dad’s nose, long and hawkish.
I also lose my temper over small noises, criticize people’s musical choices.
I feel shame and power.
I also try not to use the word “I,” Dad’s favorite.
Surely a nose isn’t a harbinger. I also have Mother’s eyes.
I block all mirrors.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, 50 Word Stories, (mac)ro (mic), and Ariel Chart.
Darkness engulfs me.
Bitterness and loneliness play freeze tag
Throughout a sleepless night.
At dawn, the pitter-patter of little feet.
Her tiny arms envelop me.
Warmth flows from her pressed cheek to mine.
“Good morning, Mommy.”
Her words linger like a melody,
As sunrise ignites hope for the new day.
Carrie Backer enjoys writing in her very little spare time. She has self-published a couple of kids books and hopes to write more soon.
“He’s such a beautiful boy,” they all say.
“How could two people who look like you have such a good-looking kid,” they joke.
“He’s going to break a few girls’ hearts,” they suggest.
“You are so lucky,” they add.
Yes we are. Autistic. He’s going to teach us a lot.
Richard Baigent always wanted to be a freelance writer, but isn’t yet.
Every day after school, we go to the park.
Every day, the man on the bench admires the acers in the Japanese gardens.
Every day, he smiles and asks my daughter how she is.
But today he isn’t here. She whispers that maybe this is his first day in Heaven.
Henry appreciates nature, and spending time in the park admiring the trees seems like a pretty good way to use your time.
The young father presses his hands flat against the window. Although the mask covers half his face, the baby knows him. New game. Laughing, she reaches for the father’s hands, cool glass between them.
She lifts her arms, “Up.” Old game.
The father’s learned the new rules: he turns away.
Miriam N. Kotzin teaches creative writing and literature at Drexel University. Her collection of short fiction, Country Music (Spuyten Duyvil Press 2017), joins a novel, The Real Deal (Brick House Press 2012), and a collection of flash fiction, Just Desserts (Star Cloud Press 2010). She is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Debris Field (David Robert Books 2017).
“Guess what?” Alice’s eyes sparkled. “I told Dad what I really think of him. No more holding back. And you’re right, I feel so much better.”
“Well done.” Her husband relaxed. “You going back next week?”
“Yeah.” She rubbed her scarred wrist. “My turn to put flowers on his grave.”
M.H. Thaung can’t decide between writing tiny stories or speculative fiction novels, so she has a go at both. Find out more at: mhthaung.com.
I’d never shopped for my mother before.
She was strong. She was independent. She loved shopping trips.
The suit was elegant. Shades of gold and brown. I could almost see her in it.
Later that week, I did.
She looked beautiful.
We gathered around her to say our last goodbyes.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana and enjoys reading and writing 50-Word Stories.
“When she was little, my daughter and I used to cook dinner every day. Her favorite part was dessert because I would let her help out the most. Anyway, though, I feel like I know you,” she said, looking at me.
Smiling, I said: Tell me more about it, mom.
Ricardo is a 19-year-old student from Puerto Rico. He plans to write and write until he’s mastered it. A task for a lifetime.
The boy finished reading his favourite book. It was a western novel with a sheriff and bandits, and he loved everything about it.
He looked at his coat with a yellow star on it. “Now I’m the sheriff!” he thought proudly. “Tomorrow, I’ll show it to my classmates.”
Adam is a 19 year old student. He’s living near Prague in the Czech republic.
I kiss my daughter; she twists away. “No,” she says.
“Don’t you hate that?” Margie sighs. “We do enough. We deserve kisses.”
I remember uncomfortable playground embraces. Unwanted subway pawing. Nights reluctantly spent.
“No,” I say. The word is whiskey. Dark, strong, medicinal. I smile and watch the girls play.
Ashley Scott lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. She loves writing that packs a lot into a little. You can find her short stories and flash fiction in online literary publications, including On the Premises.