“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
Nineteen-fifties medical protocol was shock treatment.
Mother’s psychiatrist put her in the hospital for her “breakdown.” She crocheted socks in the bleak ward.
She couldn’t remember much after her release.
She was never crazy, simply lonely for my wayward father.
He didn’t believe in psychological hocus-pocus.
He left us anyway.
Leslie Sittner has been writing prose and poetry for the last two years hoping to avoid the psych ward. With print stories in the Apple Tree and online work in Silver Birch Press, 101Words, and 50 Word Challenge, she has so far avoided admission.
Last Thanksgiving, I baked a pumpkin pie and showed up on the doorstep with a huge knot in my stomach and a little sliver of hope in my heart.
Little did I know, that sliver of hope would be carved up before the turkey even came out of the oven.
Susan Gale Wickes spent many years in the newspaper industry, but is now devoting her time and energy to writing poetry and short stories. She has been published in Haiku Journal, Sleeve, and 50-Word Stories.
Alone. Silence imprisoning her.
The button beckons.
Suffocating silence. No chatter or cheerful commotion.
Eyes fixed on the button. Abruptly, she crosses the room.
Presses the button. Waits.
Stampeding feet. Sudden clamorous noise. Wonderful chaos!
Three voices yell in unison:
“Mum! The Internet’s gone off!”
Verity Park has been persuaded by her boss to take up the 50-word challenge. It’s not as easy as it looks! Verity is writing under a pseudonym but her boss will guess who she is.