My father called from somewhere.
He needed to sign some important documents and he’d forgotten his name again.
I asked where he was, I asked where he’d been.
I asked if he was alright, if he was wearing shoes and clothes.
He said, Just spell my name for me, son.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
I visit him in the nursing home every week. He’s in the lunchroom now, his food untouched, diligently filling in coloring book outlines with crayons. He no longer recognizes me.
“Are you here to eat or to color?” he asks.
“To color,” I say as I sit close beside him.
Alex thinks that most nursing homes are simply repositories for human flotsam.
“You are your Momma’s sweetest girl,” Janeen cooed as she changed her baby’s diaper and pulled a soft yellow onesie over the child’s shoulders.
“It’s time for your lunch, Momma,” Nancy said, helping Janeen to her feet and gently placing her gnarled hands on the walker.
“Don’t forget your babydoll.”
Traci Mullins has more than three decades of experience in coaching, editing, and collaborating on hundreds of non-fiction books. She is currently working on unearthing the girl who used to love stories.
Fog surrounds our seaside home and fills my father’s mind. He doesn’t understand that I alone ward off the nursing home.
He tries to escape to his army camp. I follow his footprints to the water. A knot cramps my stomach.
Dropping to my knees, I think he’s calling me.
Ann Zimmerman lives with her wife and 2 cats in Colorado, where she writes, hikes, skis, golfs, enjoys photography and grandchildren. See more at annzimmermanblog.wordpress.com.
I was never so afraid
one night in winter,
when you were lost
you simply walked out
not saying a word.
the danger was real
where did you go?
I’ve worried so much.
To see you this way
it’s not fair,
you’re a whole different person.
Ana M. Torres (aka A.M. Torres) is the author of the Child Series beginning with Love Child which was first published in 2011. She has also published her poetry books Shadowed Tears, and Turmoil. She currently lives in New York with her two sons. See more at christmas1102.wixsite.com/mysite.
“Isn’t that the funniest thing you ever heard?”
“Yes, mom. It’s a wonderful story. But it’s time for bed. Good night.”
I sigh and think to myself, when you wake up tomorrow you can tell it again, and I will pretend it’s the first time I ever heard it. Again.
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the HWA and has published over 40 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two short story collections, and his first novel, When Darkness Comes, was released in October, 2017. For more information, visit gallenwilbanks.com.
The old lady nudged the bearded man beside her, and asked, “Do you remember my brother?”
“What?” He replied.
“My brother. Do you remember my brother?”
The old man sighed. “I am your brother! I’ve told you a million times.”
The old woman appeared doubtful. “My brother wasn’t that ugly.”
Eddie & Anna are a father-daughter team that enjoys dreaming up stories and hashing out dialogue. Sometimes they even write them down. Anna’s new to writing, but you can visit her father’s website
My grandma has forgotten the word for Mahjongg. She keeps asking to play yoga.
I think about what that might mean.
She’d be teacher. Her poses would have names like desserts: the rugelach, the macaroon. I’d contort myself, wobble, fall. We’d both laugh.
From the closet, I get the tiles.
Brooke Randel is a writer and copywriter in Chicago, IL. Her fiction has been published in Ropes, Two Cities Review, Punchnel’s and Beecher’s Magazine. She’s currently co-writing a memoir with her grandma.
She looked through her cataract cloud. Her hair, like the bathroom mirror, had silvered. Her face showed cracks like the tile. Toothbrushes… two?
Nothing looked familiar. Not the photo of children that fluttered from her purse to the cold tile floor. Not the gray-haired man who carried her to bed.
Eileen McIntyre writes to the hum of hummingbird wings and listens to critique from crows in the woods of Northern California.
Dr. Gennit was close to a breakthrough. His devotion to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s was legendary.
He’d been caregiver for his mother, watching her steady decline and eventual death.
We thought he was just overworked until he left the lab today.
“I really can’t stay. Mother has dinner ready.”
Candace Kubinec wrote this story.