The house was quiet, dimly lit with the holiday lights. Jean sighed, shaking her head. “The kids are busy this time of year, but they’ll be here tomorrow. They need me for those generation pictures. So don’t worry yourself, Tom. I won’t be alone.”
She touched the urn. “Miss you.”
Trisha Ridinger McKee resides in a Mayberry-like town in Pennsylvania, with her weary husband and hippie daughter. She may or may not be inspired by living next to a cemetery. And she may or may not have traumatized her daughter with a few ridiculously intense bedtime stories through the years.
I sit on the curb, shaken to the core. Its 2 AM.
I hear sirens from the police cars in the distance.
My mother cries inside the house. I look down at my hands to see the blood still wet, dripping onto my jeans. He is gone now, mother.
Paige McDonald wrote this story.
The sunrise woke me without a sound.
I rolled off of the stiff hotel mattress and tried to get ready for the meeting, but the silence was too loud.
My son called. “Dad?”
“Is everything okay?”
“I just wanted to say good morning.”
“Oh, good morning.”
And then it was.
Seth Pilevsky lives in New York with his wife and five kids. He loves to wake up to a noisy house. His work has been published in the Long Island Literary Journal, Literally Stories, Memoir Magazine, Stinkwave’s Magazine and in the YA Anthology entitled, What Doesn’t Kill You. Sign up for updates at his website, spilevsky.com.
Sara dreamed she had been walking Tippy. Pulling up in a Rolls, an eccentric billionaire had stopped to offer one million dollars for him. The offer was declined.
Waking, she mused that five million plus substantial visitation rights would be just about as low as she’d be willing to go.
Phil Huffy writes at his kitchen table in Rochester NY. His work has appeared in nearly one hundred literary journals.
On Grandma’s swaying porch, feet planted firmly on the top step, I feel her smile, hear her laugh, see her wrinkled eyes. Screen door swings on rusty hinges and I smell her famous peach cobbler.
“Well, come on,” mother says and I walk in, past the reverend with the urn.
A-Jae is a storytelling wordsmith who writes literary fiction and creative nonfiction, both the truth and otherwise. She is currently working on her first novel and an MFA at SF State. Find out more about her at ajaewoodberry.com.
“Do you see it?” asks my father, pointing up at the night sky. “The little one under the Big Dipper. That star appeared right after your mother died.”
I smell alcohol on his breath. This is not the time to discuss physics or astronomy.
“I see it,” I tell him.
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and has published over 60 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two short story collections and the novel When Darkness Comes. For more information, visit gallenwilbanks.com.
It’s all we have.
Alan took himself from us, so young, when she still had hundreds.
Saturday she couldn’t remember that the bedroom—that dusty shrine—was once his.
Yesterday, his name dropped away.
Soon she’ll gaze at me and see a stranger. We’ll be down to forty-nine.
After chasing his muse from Virginia to Manhattan, Richard Day Gore settled in Southern California, where he spends his time pushing around words, paint brushes, and guitar strings.
“See who’s at the door, Emily.”
I notice his muddied broken boots. Then his face all lined. His widow’s peak, sharp like mine. The smile, curling like newsprint thrown in the fire.
He says, “Found you.”
A chrysanthemum blossoms on his chest. I take the gun from mom’s shaking hand.
James Geneser is a writer and an artist who doesn’t really know what he’s doing, but knows he loves telling stories.
When Jerry arrived home, he realized he’d left his life at the office.
This wasn’t the first time he’d realized this, but the realization was more poignant at the moment as he read the note on the refrigerator:
“Took kids with me to mother’s. See you again sometime, I imagine.”
Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro Cuban Folkloric music for dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. Recent writing in Red Eft, Ink In Thirds, Alba, Corvus, Tower Journal, Uppagus, After the Pause, Spelk, Chrome Baby, Former Cactus and many others. In 2017 he was nominated for both The Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.
A young policeman stood on the doorstep, shifting his feet.
“It’s about your son. Please call this number.”
She pleaded for an explanation, but instead he thrust the paper into her hand.
Trembling, my parents dialed the number. The line rang.
An eternity of rings.
Finally, a voice answered. “Homicide.”
Margie Nairn is a retired nurse and emerging writer in Corvallis, Oregon, where she writes memoir, poetry, and silly limericks for her daughter.