It was Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve (December 17th). Emily crossed the softball diamond in the snow, to where Sister Amy had had a tooth loosened by somebody’s loose ball in autumn.
“I’m fine!” she’d told them, face in hand.
Secretly Emily practiced alone until spring.
John Gabriel Adkins is a Pushcart-nominated writer of microfiction, anti-stories and other oddities, and is a member of the Still Eating Oranges arts collective. This year his work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Literary Orphans, SPANK the CARP, Five 2 One, Sick Lit Magazine, The Sleep Aquarium, and more.
“I dare you.” Three words and you could make me do anything.
“I’m not afraid.”
Inside, shouting, our voices echo. Brothers, best pals in the world.
A noise spooks us; running home.
We stop and you laugh.
You’ve lost that cap you always wore. I’m not going back for it.
Fraser never did get his hat back, but it looked stupid anyway. Sometimes David wishes they were still best pals in all the world.
I was a childhood insomniac. Sometimes in the middle of the night, the quietest hour before dawn, I’d slip out of my bed and drop out the window to the spongy dew-grass—and under the wan light of the moon I’d twirl, my night dress lifting like a gypsy dancer.
Jane Hertenstein is the author of numerous short stories and flash. Her work has been included in Hunger Mountain, Word Riot, Flashquake, and Rosebud as well as earning an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train. Her literary interests are eclectic, evident in the titles she has published: Beyond Paradise (YA), Orphan Girl (non-fiction), Home Is Where We Live (children’s picture book), and two self-published eBooks: 365 Affirmations for the Writer and Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir. Jane lives in Chicago where she blogs at Memoirous.
“Get a switch,” Mamaw said. “A good one or you’ll be sorry.”
My five-year-old mind is already sorry but doesn’t know why, like my dog who peed inside but got his beating hours later. I’m ashamed that I don’t remember.
It better be a good switch: from child to adult.
John Atkins is a Renaissance curmudgeon, retired from corporate America, who spends days writing for himself and watching birds eat dried mealworms on the front stoop. He also edits a local quarterly magazine and is working on his first science fantasy novel.
My invisible unicorn dies, so I dig a big hole in the garden and sing a happy song. My parents come outside and frown.
“If he’s in unicorn heaven,” they say, “why dig the hole?”
I cry, and they hug me. I love all this.
My unicorn dies quite often.
Brenda Anderson’s fiction has appeared in various places, from Andromeda Spaceways to SpeckLit. She lives in Adelaide, South Australia and tweets irregularly.
The farmer saw his daughter halfway down a hole in the ground. “What are you doing, child?”
“The badgers are having a tea party, Dad. They’re expecting me.”
He tutted at this childish fantasy, dragged his daughter away.
Below, father badger consulted his watch. “Think we’d better start without her.”
Carol Browne first appeared on the planet in 1954. She regards Crewe, Cheshire, as her home town and graduated from Nottingham University in 1976 with an honours degree in English Language and Literature. She is a contracted author at Burning Willow Press.
Where was she? Did she take a wrong turn? What mountain road was this? No cell service here.
She grabbed “emergency” boots, coat, hat, and gloves from the truck, then pushed the door open and jumped.
She fell backwards into the snow like an angel and remembered her childhood sky.
Deanna is an enthusiastic reader who has no aspirations, ambitions, or talent to be a writer. She has spent years with her nose in books, taking the words from them. She likes to think that writing 50-word stories is a way of giving them back, 50 at a time.
“Look! It’s a firefly,” she said, as a smile crept across her face. “Let’s try to catch it.”
He laughed, “It’s just a firefly.”
“No, it’s not. It’s summer and we should catch it before it gets away,” she said.
“You can’t catch summer,” he laughed again.
“I can try.”
Shannon Flynn is a freelance writer living and writing the dream in Columbus, Ohio.
They destroyed the house I grew up in just to build another gas station. Now there’s asphalt where I used to play in the yard; racks of candy where I used to read comics; a row of Coke machines where he used to hit her.
I like the new look.
Michael is a part-time lawyer and a full-time dad.
I am a thief and a liar.
Forty years ago, when I was eight, I stole my cousin’s glow-in-the-dark super ball from his house on Thanksgiving morning. I told mom I found it in the park.
The ball was lost soon after, but not the shame. That I still have.
Kenneth Drexler is a short story writer located in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. His most recent story will appear in the July/August issue of Bethesda Magazine.