Fifty years ago they played the game: never step on the cracks, her brother warned. If you do, they open wide, then down you slip between the flagstones. You just disappear.
Now, dragging along the wheeled suitcase that holds the broken-backed remains of her life, she understands what he meant.
Mick Mangan lives in England, and writes plays, poems, songs, fiction and non-fiction. See more about his music at mickmangan.com.
We were soldiers of innocence at the rally point. Raging against real enemies in pretend combat. Holly berry bullets and stolen kisses in oak tree forts. Fighting the good fight, we sought redemption in afternoon light.
Then you left to fight a greater war.
I still wait for your return.
Katherine Rocheleau is a full-time writer, part-time vampire slayer, and hopeless chocoholic.
How about a sandwich? Her words were casual enough, but her voice made me feel she was more in need of company than food.
Only twelve, but too serious, sad, and worried.
I told her, Soon you’ll blossom into a fine young lady. Obviously she wanted much quicker than soon.
Jim Freeze is seventy-two years old, retired and widowed. He was happily married for fifty-four years and has two grown sons. He began writing in early 2012 to have something to do. His short stories have been featured in several publications including Brilliant Flash Fiction, Calliope Magazine, The Original Writer, and Literally Stories.
Piggies race on sawdust track, bandanas flying: red, blue, yellow, green. Girly squeals for Green. Final turn, Red spins wide, Yellow bashes Blue, and Green squiggles through to claim the checkered flag. Yay, Green! “Free Bacon” coupons for everyone!
Girly adds two and two—and lets out a heart-rending wail.
Jeff Nazzaro writes short fiction and poetry in Southern California. His microfiction has appeared in Dogzplot and Drabblez and is forthcoming in Blink-Ink.
Ping! Letterbox… Thwack! Liquidambar…
Matt an’ me were slingshootin’ in the front yard.
There was a shatterin’ of glass and crunchin’ of metal.
The newspaper reckoned the driver hit the light pole and died at the scene.
We argued over who shot the stone, then never spoke of it again.
Growing up, slingshooting was a fun pastime for Melanie until one day she may or may not have caused someone to receive a serious injury…
First-grade bedtime. Lights are out. A coat-draped chair turns into the mummy watching my bed. Malfunctioning WiFi turns the nanny cam’s playful green light into the red-eyed demon watching me, too.
The wee, perilous hours of the night require defensive weapons of choice: a blanket pulled overhead and Duracell flashlight.
Darnell Cureton is a middle-aged man at the crossroads of life, expressing his personality through technology and creative writing.
Things I’ve done for money: collected cans for cash, sold chocolate, shoveled sidewalks after a snowstorm. Once I built an amusement park in the backyard and sold tickets. That was the summer Mom quit chemo.
I told jokes for a penny. She bought a hundred, and listened from her bed.
Jane Hertenstein wrote this story.
My great-grandparents’ farmhouse was built from two barns pieced together. In addition to being a fun piece of genealogical trivia, this enables my father to enthusiastically reply “Yes!” whenever my mother inquires whether he was raised in a barn.
She rolls her eyes every time, but she still smirks, too.
Sarah Krenicki was not raised in a barn, but visited one often. That counts, right?
The soft glow of dawn
covers my room in rainbows.
Young eyes try to capture them.
My mother’s figure appears in the doorway,
I ask her to join me,
catch her own rainbows.
She simply shakes her head, eyes glassy.
Maybe another day, I think,
Or maybe not.
Lauren loves creative writing and can usually be found in her room writing a poem or short story or on the beach reading. She struggled to stay within the 50-word limit since she loves to talk!
“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