The scruffy young panhandler sat on the busy sidewalk suckling a fractious infant. When I dropped a coin in her pot, the baby reached for my fingers. Distracted by the tiny hand and abandoned breast, I lingered for a moment too long.
“Alan?” she said as I tried to leave.
Alan Kemister is a retired scientist experimenting with more fictitious writing. See the gory details at alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com.
With ketchup trickling from her broad grin, his daughter looks like a cheerful, diminutive vampire.
The food is too fast, the street is too crowded, the fireworks are too loud. She is loving every single minute, and her mother will be furious.
Both of these things give him deep satisfaction.
Tamsin wishes she wasn’t too cowardly for fireworks and broad grins.
He meticulously unwraps it to find an android of his deceased father.
It self-activates and tells him his father uploaded all his memories and emotions before he died. It loads and says, “Son! I’m back!”
He shoves the imposter away.
The android weeps for a moment, then deletes its memory.
Connell writes a bit and then goes to bed.
Mum came to stay the day after her funeral. She was waving from the doorstep when I returned with the groceries. I carried her suitcase into the hall then set a place for her at the dining table, beside the ghost of my father.
Neither of them enjoyed the meal.
Mark Farley was raised in Zimbabwe where he survived two dog maulings, a swarm of killer bees, and being run over by a horse. His story Knight of the Rocks has been published by Old Words Home.
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.
Calm and quiet, he listened. Made me believe I had something important to say, even as a child.
His hand warm on mine, he gave me a book. “Read this. Tell me what you think.”
I have yet to read it, and now it’s too late. My father is dead.
Madelaine Wong teaches creative writing at The Alexandra Writers Centre in Calgary, Alberta. She won Freefall Magazine’s Chapbook contest in 2010. She has stories published in Dark Gothic Resurrected, Mused, Toska Magazine and in Shy, an Anthology. She is also the co-author of Cradling the Past, a Biography of Margaret Shaw.
See more at madelainewong.com.
“Death comes for us all little one, and I’m so tired. I can’t keep running away anymore.”
His tiny fingers slid in between my own, tears dripping from his nose onto the back of his hand in rhythm with the heart monitor.
“Dad, can’t you keep running a little longer?”
Alex is a student at the University of Victoria. He divides his day into two parts: the hours when he has something to write about, and the hours where he has nothing left to say.
We rolled up our trousers and walked barefoot. Dad was cheerful, almost jolly. He laughed repeatedly between long, knee-gripping coughing fits. He was 59; I was 27.
It took me years to understand that it wasn’t a real laugh so much as a genuine imitation of a dying man’s chuckle.
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”. Visit BobThurber.net.
A working man, words to say
Strong like an Oak on a hot summer day
Protection to his family
A veteran, standing proud of flag that says we’re free
A husband, a father, a brother, and a son
A man of God, soft spoken, yet a leader to everyone
Shelia Burket wrote this story.
Sometime after midnight a flame flared outside my window, momentarily illuminating his face. He had a cigarette clenched between his teeth. His eyes mirrored the flame, creating three distinct points of light, which all vanished at once, leaving only the orange tip of his cigarette dancing like a bumbling firefly.
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”. Visit BobThurber.net