Jason spotted it as he pulled radishes: big diamond. The house’s former owner had asked him to watch for it.
His wife, the gardener, had fallen. Hand ballooned; ring cut off. In early Alzheimer’s, she forgot where she’d put it. Two years ago now.
Let it stay lost.
Retired after four decades’ prizewinning print and broadcast journalism in Hartford, CT, Don Noel received his MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University in 2013. He has published more than four dozen short stories (including “Earthworm Ruminations” in 50-Word Stories in September 2017), but still has three longer works to place.
Walk to school,
Home from school,
Help with homework,
Make the dinner,
Run their baths,
Mop the floor,
Wake up Mother,
Bring her bottle,
Avoid eye contact,
Make no sound.
Jo Withers is author of the middle-grade science-fiction adventure 5 Simple Steps to Saving Planet Earth. Her recent shorter fiction can be found in Spelk, Molotov Cocktail, Ellipsis Zine and Flashback Fiction.
He wraps the pillow around is head, diving deep beneath the covers.
The yelling always keeps him awake. Mother checks he is asleep.
His door closes softly, then a loud pop comes from downstairs.
Mother checks on him again. The yelling has finally stopped.
He drifts off to sleep.
Kristyn Mass lives in Iowa with her husband and three cats. She is a professional voice actor and aspiring writer.
My greasy hair is flowing upwards, blonde flames licking the stale air of the ISS. Exercise twice a day, followed by sponge baths only.
“I know, sweet pea, I know,” I whisper into the microphone. Her newborn cries inconsolably.
Twice a day I am only 220 miles away from her.
Dini Armstrong, now Scottish, has worked in journalism and psychology. She is currently completing an MA in Creative Writing. Her controversial style got her into trouble from age six, when, after writing a particularly enraging piece about a cat blowing up three boys, she had to promise to her stepdad never to write again. She lied.
You’re the responsible one, his will said. I leave these to you.
She opens the albums. Carefully labeled photos; dates, names, genealogical charts, news clippings.
Also: many pictures of her brother, but none of her.
Out of respect for the dead, she waits six months before she burns it all.
Graham Robert Scott teaches writing at a university in north Texas. His stories have appeared in Barrelhouse Online, Nature, and X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine.
Blood splattered the sand and the colosseum roared.
Cenicus stood over his fallen opponent as circling beasts gnawed at their fetters.
The wounded man looked up and smiled. “Good fight, son.”
Cenicus nodded but did not lift his visor.
His eyes ran freely as he waited for the master’s thumb.
Matthew Coward is a habitual daydreamer, occasional writer, and proud night-owl. He writes fantasy inspired flash fiction, short stories, and poetry.
Eventually the man who’d been our son-in-law remarried.
Regrettably his new wife didn’t want us in her life.
She connived and ultimately influenced her husband to keep our grandchildren from us.
Despite this extreme cruelty and betrayal, grandma remains no less “grand.”
Defined by her enduring love, she waits patiently.
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 smoke cigarettes with my mother as she tells me she is going to leave my father.
The smoke filters through the window and fades away between constellations.
The only way we know how to feel good is through destruction.
So I light another replacement for my father and inhale.
Katherine DeGilio is a part-time writer and full-time redhead from Virginia. When she was a child, her goal in life was to be Kissing Kate Barlow from Holes. Since the wild west has diminished, she has decided instead to be an author. She assumes those professions share equal kill counts. You can find her latest work in Soliloquies Anthology, Litro Literary Magazine, and November Falls by Zimbell House Publishing. She loves connecting with her readers and encourages them to reach out to her on Twitter at @katiedegilio.
She emptied the contents of the tiny paper envelope into his coffee along with milk and sugar.
Repositioned the to-go cup by his packed lunch until it looked casual.
As he gathered up his things and pecked her cheek, she debated whether to say “I love you,” or maybe “Goodbye.”
Tim Boiteau writes and lives near Detroit with his wife and son.
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.