Packing his case, your son gives you a cursory look, and “Delhi” by way of alms.
You hurry to the kitchen, pack a lunchbox with heart-shaped cookies.
Afterwards, you picture him munching, smiling, thinking of you.
When he doesn’t answer your calls you’re sad, but sure he’s just busy working.
Mandira Pattnaik writes flash and poetry and has been published in Passages North, Amsterdam Quarterly, and 50WS, among other places. Follow @MandiraPattnaik
The songs we sang in the evenings without electricity, seated at the doorstep, four of us and father: warm evenings with warm hearts.
The songs are old now.
I play my old songs on piano, singing them to my daughter with a new light, but I’m not sure she sees.
Noriko Jayasekera is a university lecturer.
“The easiest thing
In the world to be is young.”
That’s what Grandpa said.
When my sons treat me
Like I treated my father,
It will break my heart.
Twelve-year-olds close doors
And lock themselves in for good.
Baby pictures, walls,
A dream you don’t remember.
You’re just passing through.
Robb Lanum is a failed screenwriter in Los Angeles. His longer, epic works have appeared on 101words.org, and he was a winner of the Summer 2020 Los Angeles Public Library Short Story Contest.
Barbecues were hardest.
“When are you two going to start a family?” they always asked.
“When the time is right,” she would reply, smiling.
“Don’t wait forever or it’ll be too late.”
She would nod politely, before returning home to an empty nursery and calendars red with a thousand crosses.
Miya Yamanouchi is a journalist in South Eastern Europe. Her poetry has been published in Poets and War and her fiction writing in Friday Flash Fiction.
“Can you see the baby elephant in the sky?”
“Here’s a wild horse galloping.”
Mum taught me to see stories everywhere.
In the clouds. In the waves of the sea. Chipped paint on the wall.
Wreath in hand, I stand outside church, straining to hear her say, Look up, girl.
Beatrice Rao has just discovered flash fiction and is working on the art and the craft of it.
To discourage temptations to divide and sell,
to encourage harmony and family gatherings, Baba and Papa
left the lakehouse property to just one
of their many children.
Granddaughter Mara called from the lake.
Our beloved grass-barren badminton court
is now a wildflower garden.
Squeals and laughter silenced for a generation.
When he finally started to listen, Matthew’s heart led him to Maine. Now, he lives and writes next to a lake, and sometimes Googles synonyms for the word “regret.”
Momma hasn’t come home.
I ask Grandma, When? She says, Any day now.
But Momma sent a text I wasn’t supposed to see. Need break. It’s all too much.
The sun cuts the leaves into drops of time. I spin in the driveway, singing:
Any day any day any day.
L.L. Wohlwend’s work has appeared in Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Modern Haiku, and other places.
When I was a boy, my grandpa threw baseballs to me. Later, I threw baseballs to my granddaughter. I can’t throw baseballs anymore, but she still puts one in my hand when she visits. I like the feel of it. It makes me wish I’d done it for my grandpa.
Ben lives in Dallas where he is viewed with tolerant amusement by his wife and two small boys. He likes writing micro-fiction because people he knows are more likely to read it.
Mom wears a tight smile now.
But give me Mama and fairy tales about overthrowing rich kings.
Mama, an open curtain, waltzing under moonlight after fights with Dad.
Mama, drowning fatherly fusillades with dirty jokes.
Not Mom who draws curtains, slinks through bills and empty rooms.
A cracked word.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His story, “Soon,” was nominated for a Pushcart. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others.
Sissy’s behind gray walls, the day of competition. Singing occasionally with radios in quiet rooms, I find some courage. As poison takes over her brain, doctors with false hope insert silver needles.
But I sing, dizzy, from worn out bones, my only sister, broken.
Behind velvet curtains, I let go.
Angela Carlton lives outside Atlanta with her husband and two daughters. Her fiction has been published in EWR, Every Day Fiction, Pedestal Magazine, Long Story Short, 6S, High Noon and Friday Flash Fiction among others.