He thought he heard Marion in the house, her rusty rattle-breath.
He checked her recliner (re-plumping cushions), the tidy side of their bed (still indented), the bathroom floor (heaven forbid).
Finally he rang through to Ward 6, pressed her discordant song to his ear. Danced it from room to room.
Linda Irish wrote this story.
We gathered in small, always changing groups.
Strangers, family, and friends.
Uncounted words filled the room with copies of the same conversation.
Regrets mingled with the pebbles of ordinary life, to gave rise to our victory cry. Hand-in-hand, we proclaimed, “Life still goes on.”
Thus we denied death his victory.
John Fowler served twenty years in the US Air Force before retiring
and starting a second career in the IT field. He is also a Lay Pastor
serving a small church near his home in Texas. His hobbies include
reading, golfing, writing, and now oil painting.
Grief, heavy like sticky syrup poured over pancakes, filled the room.
It coated the mourners, making it hard to move. Hard to speak. Hard to breathe.
I hardly knew him, but stopped to offer my condolences.
To hug and be hugged, as we remembered the days of this stranger’s life.
John Fowler served twenty years in the US Air Force before retiring and starting a second career in the IT field. He is also a Lay Pastor serving a small church near his home in Texas. His hobbies include reading, golfing, writing, and now oil painting.
She appreciated, more than ever, the smell of her coffee and the sunlight reflecting off her back porch. The weather was unfairly perfect. Soon enough, the kids would know. But, for now, she let her smile hide the hopeless, sinking feeling welling up in her gut.
The cancer was back.
Myron Tetreault is a Calgary-based businessman, athlete and author.
Despite how tumultuous our relationship was
my expectations of her were the broken promises I made to myself.
Yet gone forever, I often find myself wishing
for just one more angry phone call, one more harsh word
because in the end one of us would always say I Love You.
Debra Pascarella wrote this story.
I brought her some West Virginian wildflowers fresh from the Star City exit on I-79.
She cradled them like an infant wrapped in burlap. The little bluets danced along the dewy glow of her paling face. “What should we name them?”
“Honey …” She wanted to name everything.
Amber D. Tran graduated from West Virginia University in 2012, where she specialized in lyrical non-fiction and contemporary poetry. She currently lives in Alabama with her husband and miniature dachshund. Her first novel, Moon River, will be released this fall.
He described the contraption as a hand-cranked device, sort of like a pinwheel mounted with glass prisms. Except, instead of light, the prisms reflected joyful memories. He claimed it worked like a dream, an absolute dream, revealing us all together, all alive, running around the backyard, leaping puddles, hopping rainbows.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble”. Visit BobThurber.net.