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.
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.