Josh stopped at concessions for two orders of cotton candy, strolling to their rendezvous in penny loafers and bowling shirt.
Sixteen minutes passed before she texted, canceling. Or would’ve, if cell phones had been invented yet.
Ghosted, he waited another hour, gave his blues to a bobbysoxer, and slumped home.
Raised in Chicago and residing in Nashville, with a B.A. from DePaul University and M.Ed. from Belmont University, Doug Hoekstra is a working wordsmith whose short stories, essays, and poems have appeared in numerous literary journals through the U.S. Hoekstra has two book-length collections to his name: The Tenth Inning (2015) and Bothering the Coffee Drinkers (2007 – winner of an Independent Publisher Award Bronze Medal for Fiction). He lives in the Music City with his son Jude.
Hoekstra is also a singer-songwriter troubadour who has released eight “critically acclaimed” albums of original material on labels on both sides of the pond, touring throughout the U.S. and Europe, performing at bookstores, coffeehouses, clubs, libraries, pubs, festivals, radio stations, and castles; solo and with combos in tow. Highlights included Nashville Music Award and Independent Music Award nominations, lots of Top 10 lists, and many groovy times. As the pundits used to say, “a lot of people write songs, Hoekstra writes five-minute worlds” (Wired Magazine). See more at doughoekstra.wordpress.com.
The Ferris wheel’s gigantic blue neon star looms. Waiting in line I feign delight, but I shudder when the bar clicks shut, locking us in our swaying rickety seats.
He hugs me. “I’d better tell you now,” he says, “heights make me queasy…”
Before I can answer, we swing skyward.
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).
Bitten badly once, Linda felt twice shy. Yet Bob seemed safe.
The night he invited her over, she pecked his cheek as he opened his door.
His response: “Whoa—down, boy!”
Was she too forward, she wondered? Or was he… excited?
Then the answer struck—all furry paws and sloppy kisses.
Christa is a professional writer with a passion for creative expression. She has had her poetry and short stories featured in several publications, including River Poets Journal, The Write Room, Tanka Journal, Haiku Journal, and Every Day Fiction. Currently she resides in South Jersey with her six feline muses.
She fiddled with her hair, nervous with her date. They shared a sundae, lavish with cream and a cherry.
“I like your outfit!” she blurted, blushing.
“Thanks.” He smiled.
Looking at his phone, he stood up.
“Sorry, it’s my girlfriend. Gotta go.”
The sundae was reduced to a floating cherry.
Nico Fontelo is an enthusiast in mixed martial arts. He also enjoys strawberry shortcakes and sweet tea.
The ticket stub for the 8:50 showing of The Grand Budapest Hotel floated onto the bathroom floor.
It lay buried in my winter coat pocket all summer; today it fell out.
A bittersweet reminder of the last date before you left without a word. I can’t bear throwing it away.
Kristin Ronzi is a freelance writer and editor living in Tokyo, Japan. Her work has been featured in EastLit, Paragraph Planet, Anak Sastra, and The Anthem.
She starts to count the number of times her date uses the word “I”.
She doesn’t care about how many languages he knows or how he graduated cum laude from college.
“Let’s call it a night,” she finally blurts out, and hears him protest, “But I…!”
Debbi Antebi (@debbisland) lives in Istanbul, Turkey, and blogs
Third day. Sam sat in the cafe twirling his coffee mug. Just quick glances, and neck scratching.
No more pretending to check for messages when she looked up.
Sam rose, pulse racing.
She craned her neck suddenly. She shook her head.
Deflated, Sam resumed his seated position. “Well, never mind.”
Stephen Crowley has written fiction for Flash Fiction Friday, a short fiction magazine, and currently writes short tales for his collections. His fiction writing blog is stephen-crowley.blogspot.co.uk