I sat, staring at the news station, counting the steps to the door.
I should go in, tell them what I knew, what I’d discovered. But the people who wanted me to stay quiet were out there somewhere, watching. They could end me so easily.
I opened the car door.
Chad Bunch writes speculative fiction from the suburbs of Saint Louis. He is currently trying his darnedest to publish the first book of a series.
On my back, I imagine looking out a window, calculating how much I’ve paid for the ties that bind versus the cost of cutting loose, the price of sleeping in a maternity ward versus a prison, my old bed or yours, in or out of doors, feeling trapped either way.
Moss Ingram is an associate professor at Grand Rapids Community College and co-author of the forthcoming textbook, Contemporary Product Development: A Focus on Innovation (Cognella). His poetry has appeared in Crack the Spine and One Sentence Poems, and his fiction has appeared in The Caribbean Writer.
I write, “Don’t chase after him anymore. He’s shown he can’t handle the relationship you want.”
I forget the revelation and forgive. “Don’t be a victim,” I scold myself.
I fall asleep.
Facing the morning mirror, I say aloud, “He’ll be different today.
“He’ll apologize, and we can try again.”
T.R. Jordan wrote this story after staring in the mirror again.
She contemplated the fork. She’d seen the golden path a thousand times; the dark path, never before.
Ahead of her, the growl of a predator she didn’t know.
Behind her, the cry of a predator she did. “Baby, don’t be this way.”
She turned onto the dark path, and ran.
Claire Bartlett lives in Copenhagen, where she writes from her enchanted forest apartment.
The rooms were bare and cold, but if she squinted, she could almost see the life they’d planned. The baby, yawning and sucking. Him, sprawled on the sofa, the TV on. So much love she’d felt like bursting.
Where was it now?
She turned to leave; arms empty, heart full.
Laura Pearson is a writer of blog posts, novels and flash fiction. She lives in Leicestershire with her husband and two young children.
“I’m not going in there.”
The wind whistled through the looming trees at the forest’s edge.
“You’re just being paranoid,” scoffed Meltun.
Eadin protested: “No…”
“Then come on; follow me!” Melton plunged in. He never reemerged.
Eadin wondered, later, how much longer his story might have been if he’d followed.
This story is based on a title suggested by @TrueAntitonic.
“Why so glum?” my old buddy asked.
“I’m getting married tomorrow,” I said.
“You don’t seem too happy about it,” he said.
I just shrugged.
“C’mon,” he said, “pack a bag. We’ll hop a Greyhound and spend a few days in Vegas.”
Now I have to live with the consequences.
Alex Markovich started writing fiction late in life. He’s 76. He also wrote You Promised.