Ran into school carefree and excited to learn. Exited school; discovered Papi was gone.
They watched us. They knew where he would be. Once he drove around the corner from my school, they took him into custody.
I was so happy to go into school that I didn’t wave goodbye.
Shawnta S. Barnes is a literacy coach in Indianapolis Public Schools, an adjunct instructor at IUPUI School of Education and a 2016-2017 Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow. Links to her publications can be found at educatorbarnes.com/publications.
I spin with my daughter in the front yard. Stars cut the night. Together we get dizzy. She sinks to her knees and giggles. She orders me: “Faster! Faster!” I turn round and round. Arms out. Head back.
Selling the car gives us another month in the house. Spinning. Spinning.
Jonathan Kosik takes photos of fast cars and lives with his wife and daughter just outside Nashville, Tennessee. See more at jonathankosik.com.
Water reflected like a mirrored surface, flat and endless to the horizon and blending with the haze of a summer sky. I threw a stone and disrupted the stillness, as I had with my sister:
“Mom loved me more!” I said.
A verbal stone: ripples spread and peace was lost.
Gord Lysen is an only child with two older sisters.
“Wishing you merry days and happy smiles during the holidays,” says the hand-written card, a picture of a well-dressed family traveling through China inside. The Christmas tree on the cover made me forget the cold, the hunger, the loneliness, but not the family resentments.
Sisters are sometimes the roughest critics.
Monica Perez Nevrez is a Sustainability Manager by day and a writer at night.
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.
He was never much for talking,
but he must have felt
our youthful lack of questions
as a wound: when
we asked him, later—
when we were old enough
he’d never told us
of who he was,
his answer flared
quick and sharp:
Jennifer L. Freed usually writes poetry but likes the challenge of micro-fiction. She recently had a 100-word story (“The Lesser”) published in The Citron Review
. Her website is jfreed.weebly.com
When Dad lost the remote, he made a game. He’d call out numbers and, using the cable box, I’d change channels from black and white fuzz to sounds and spectrums of light.
The cable company never took it back, and I kept that disconnected box—long after Dad was gone.
Frederick Charles Melancon is a native of New Orleans. Currently, he lives in Mississippi with his wife and daughter. In his spare time, he watches cartoon movies with his family, and he enjoys every minute of it.
Everyone in the faded photograph on the hallway wall was dead, except for him, the lonely child sitting in the left corner.
“So why are you selling the house so cheaply?”
He smiled and felt every fiber of his face ache with the effort. “It’s simply time to move on.”
Daniel Slaten writes short stories and poetry in small notebooks and on sticky notes.
My daughter lives thirty minutes away. She’s got two children now. We haven’t spoken in twenty years. The last time we were together we hunted Monkey Bees in the backyard, turning things over, looking for a Monkey Bees’ nest. It was a made-up game. There was no way to win.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble.” His first novel, “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel,” was recently rereleased. Visit BobThurber.net.
During Uncle Harry’s visits he dazzled me with magic. At six he held my nose, tapped my head, nickels tumbled out. At eight he pulled quarters from my ear. At eleven he reached up my skirt to pull a ten dollar bill from my panties just as dad walked in.
Paul Beckman was one of the winners in the Queen’s Ferry 2016 Best of the Small Fictions. His stories are widely published in print and online in the following magazines amongst others: Connecticut Review, Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Flash Frontier, Matter Press, Metazen, Boston Literary Magazine, Thrice Fiction and Literary Orphans. His latest collection, “Peek”, weighed in at 65 stories and 120 pages. See more at paulbeckmanstories.com