All is tranquil, sleekly efficient, sterile. I’d been visiting my old friend. Now I’m out on the perfectly manicured grounds, pausing on a bench to catch my breath before shuffling off to my car. Passing staffers chirp cheerful good-afternoons. They see gray hair and a cane and make an assumption.
Alex likes to spread his wings and soar.
It’s so far up the beach, her first sandcastle. The bucket is too full. She stumbles. Water sloshes over the rim.
It’s scalding. Her leg blooms with pain.
A nurse prises the teacup from her knotted hand. He leads her slowly to a chair. It’s so far up the ward.
Tamsin wrote this story during quite a long walk.
Abandoned in the easy chair once again, Norma fumed. Her children gossiped in the kitchen. They didn’t want to be overheard saying anything that might upset her.
Norma sniffed. She was ninety, not nine.
Reclining, she chuckled softly and plotted her revenge.
She’d knit them all scratchy socks for Christmas.
L.L. Madrid could use some new socks.
Joe Sykes said the nametag of the dapper old tour guide who’d enlightened us about Applebloom Historical Mansion’s antiquities.
His eyes twinkled toward lively satyrs carved on the headboard. “It’s said Mr. and Mrs. Applebloom enjoyed their respites here.”
Later I notice ballpoint ink on Grandma’s palm:
Dee Maselle writes steamy romance. She makes her home in infinite alternate universes.
On the path outside the Old Folks’ Home I bend and sniff winter jonquils. Inside, an old lady spots me and waves. She seems agitated. Wait! Maybe she’s raising the alarm.
I wave back and saunter off, looking extra casual. I admit it: I’m a brazen perfume thief, unrepentant, too.
Brenda’s fiction has appeared in Andromeda Spaceways, A cappella Zoo, Punchnel’s and Penumbra. She lives in Adelaide, South Australia.
“I wish I had their legs,” I hollered at the mother as her two girls raced ahead on the path.
“Well, they get to go to bed at 8 PM,” she chuckled back.
Such a jolly, inane exchange.
Then I thought, wait a second, what if I went to bed at 8?
rJo Herman dreams of writing the one perfect tale her grandchildren will tell their grandchildren. She lives in the Colorado high desert with her grey striped companion, Emil Catt I.
He shook Emma side to side to wake her up.
“Wake up, it’s Christmas! Wake up. It’s another day for growing old!”
She was colder than ever.
He melted a tablet of cocoa and wore pleated pants.
Holding a cup of chocolate, he realized he needed to grow old alone.
Alex Alvarez wants to be a writer and not just someone who writes. She’s now slaving away in the field of science. More of her works at http://alexandralvarez.wordpress.com/
She cleared her throat, he emitted a small cough, and both focused their eyes anywhere but on the ham they were each having trouble chewing.
It rested on a platter, unnaturally shiny: the kind of shiny borne not of glaze, but an aged cook neglecting to remove the plastic wrap.
Jennifer Hrovat was inspired to get back into writing when she won some free socks in a Haiku contest last year. When not trying to score accessories through the written word, she works as a counselor and spends her free time running, reading murder mysteries, and making a giant tasty mess of her kitchen.
As his final act of transformation, Harold Jenkins chose to end his life at the ripe age of ninety-two. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at his home in Pine Hills, Florida, dignity intact.
His tombstone read, “In life I was magnificent. Now I am immortal.”
Newly retired, Marian Brooks has begun to write some short fiction. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband. Her work has appeared in Curly Red Stories, Thick Jam and Post Card Shorts among others.
Friday. Like every day, the widower awoke to a still estate, silence broken occasionally by his stoic butler’s steps.
His children had left long ago with their trust funds.
His diminished spirits lifted when his chauffeur drove him to his last joy. Taking his place, he smiled. “Welcome to Walmart!”
Bryan Joyner is a middle-aged banker who read about 50-word stories in Daniel Pink’s book “A Whole New Mind”, and began using the concept to connect with his two college age children. Each of them write stories and send them to each other for feedback.