Once, we called people coming to the hills visitors.
Virus spreads. They’re invaders. Carriers.
Rolling beige RVs and trucks resemble tanks.
We defend the market. Wrap ourselves in the royal we. Sterilize, stock toilet paper. We don’t see frightened families, young couples wearing naked impulse and fear.
Invasions are easier.
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, and Ariel Chart, among others.
He stands on the corner, holding a sign that reads: Hungry. Please Help.
I reach into my backpack and hand him a turkey sandwich through our car window.
He nods his thanks, lowers on one knee, and feeds it to his dog.
“Don’t worry,” Mom says, “tomorrow we’ll bring two.”
Lisa Reynolds is an internationally published writer, living in Eastern Ontario, Canada. She writes short stories that focus on social justice issues. “Sharing A Meal” was inspired by an act of kindness she witnessed in Toronto, Ontario.
Displayed in front of the Catholic school assembly, Lydia felt like an ostrich: swollen belly perched on teenaged stork-thin legs, dying to bury her head in the sand.
Afterwards, the nuns expelled her. It was then she decided “pro-life” was a crow veiled in a habit, not an olive-branched dove.
Krista Robey is an unapologetic Midwestern Millennial, who will advocate for Oxford commas until the day she dies.
You told me the story of the blind man out in the rain: grabbing the bus stop sign and leaning into the wind. You were in the back of the car and wanted to get out and offer him an umbrella you didn’t have.
Some days are bad like that.
Kiah Mott has been published previously in Flash Fiction Magazine Online. She was also a finalist for the 2018 Moon City Fiction Competition.
Sure, their relationship was strange: Mike sleeping each night for years in the abandoned confessional and Fr. Phil pretending not to notice, though he left a sandwich, beer, or even smokes, occasionally.
When Mike passed, Fr. Phil insisted the homeless man have a funeral mass—no matter what people said.
Tony Jasnowski teaches English at Bellevue University and writes an occasional story or poem between grading papers.
Let him die. The authorities will see. Can you carry the world’s weight with a back full of lead? I see you. Stranger. Will you overthrow them? You tend his wounds, and now you’re the dying one. But another comes. Stranger. Tending your wounds. Perhaps you have overthrown much more.
Michael Hilton lives in Irving, Texas, where he watches a lot of TV.
The candygram had seen better days. “Do… Do you want me to me to sing?” she said, awkwardly adjusting the French maid outfit to better show off her desiccated cleavage.
I grabbed a blanket, draped it over her shoulders. “Let me make you some soup,” I whispered as she wept.
Chris Puzak lives near Philadelphia.