it’s been three days since your funeral
a white-crown sparrow pecks incessantly at the patio door,
wings fluttering madly to remain airborne, feet flailing the air
i blow a kiss, smile through fresh currents of briny dew and wave just as madly until,
satisfied, you fly away
one last time
Craig W. Steele lives in the lake-effect snow belt of northwestern Pennsylvania where, by day, he’s a university biology professor. He enjoys writing both short fiction and poetry and dreams of becoming a widely-read unknown writer.
Death’s hand, which I shook reluctantly, was a plumped pillow.
“You’re safe,” he said. “For now.”
“I pictured you as a, you know—”
“Skeleton? You should’ve seen me before the Western diet.” Laughter rippled his corpulence. “Doctor’s telling me to eat better, but she thinks I’m lying about my work.”
Iain Young hasn’t forgotten the childhood nightmare in which he was chased by angry vegetables. That might explain a lot.
The beasts surround me, a wall of teeth. I can run no longer.
Why did I leave Earth?
Inside my helmet, I flick through photos from home. The white sandy beaches obscure the beasts. The smiles of family calm my heart.
Lost in memory, I barely feel the first bite.
Tim lives in Sydney where he is writing two fantasy novels, whenever he can spare the time from writing software and collecting sci-fi.
The combat medic raced toward the bombed-out Opel as tracers ripped overheard.
Lower limb fractured. Gunshot to shoulder. Both cat-Cs.
His distal pulse was good. Four hours to evac.
She looked back, gave a thumbs up.
Then a mortar round engulfed them.
Again, a warbling voice cried out, “man down!”
Joseph S. Pete is an award-winning journalist and Iraq War veteran whose literary work has appeared in The Grief Diaries, The Roaring Muse, Prairie Winds, Blue Collar Review and other publications. He orders off the secret menu.
Grandpa’s pain stops with his heart. Amid brilliant white light and the fury of a whirlwind, he is lifted and flies rejoicing to God.
He wakes joyously. “Lord, I’m saved!”
His angel smiles. “Only just. It’s a miracle you got to hospital in time. We had to send a helicopter.”
Viv Burgess says her inspiration has been absent without leave, and she is not a-mused.
I searched for you among the tumbled, crumbled tombstones in the cemetery.
I sat quietly in the vaulted cathedral watching candles flicker in the gloom.
You did not appear. No apparition. No sound of your voice.
The air turned icy and I pulled my sweater tighter as I walked away.
Candace Kubinec wrote this story.
The hospice nurse used an eyedropper to slip more morphine beneath his tongue. The whole problem was God. God’s absence throughout. That summed it up. God at the beginning, pressing dimples into your chin. God at the end, sliding his hand over your eyelids, saying, Shush. That’s enough for now.
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.” His first novel, “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel,” was recently rereleased. Visit BobThurber.net
Since my grandfather’s death
I’m convinced the clocks
have stopped working properly.
Hours are now arriving
equipped with extra minutes
that weren’t there before.
My throat burns from the scotch in my glass,
but it’s as impermanent
as the fuel trails of the planes above.
It won’t last. Nothing does.
EO is making a first attempt at a humorous fiction novelette called Id/entity, which, if it doesn’t suck, might actually see the light someday on Amazon Kindle. If not, EO will probably make some nice origami, or a LOT of paper footballs.
Silver moonlight and swaying branches make dancing shadows. I see in them faces which I have not seen for years.
I wonder if any of them see my face.
The doorbell chimes. I open the door to a skull in a black cloak. “Rest assured that nobody thinks of you.”
Joey is good at remembering faces even if he doesn’t want to be. You can find him at joeytoey.com.
“Till death do us part.” I smile at the thought.
We are made of stronger stuff. We won’t be parted. Your body is still cradled by the armchair opposite me. Your blood has melded with the fabric and with the floor.
Nothing will separate us. I will not allow it.
Patrick is a researcher, father, keen and constant reader of fiction, and occasional author of short stories.