So many times I have made the bed. The corners are tucked in tight, the creases smoothed out. Are the folds crooked?
My shadow slides over dark wood panelling as I circle the room. Its movement surprises me; I flinch.
His presence looms large: his raised arm, his clenched fist.
Zoey Rowan is a copywriter, content writer, and translator living in Berlin. When she isn’t writing short stories she can be found trying out new recipes or biking around her city.
I wait for Mom and Dad to return from the hospital.
Please wake up.
The rock skips one, two, three times across the calm lake surface before sinking into the deep. It’s all in the wrist action. I tried to teach you, like I tried to teach you to swim.
Jayne Martin is a Pushcart, Best Small Fictions, and Best Microfictions nominee, and a recipient of Vestal Review’s VERA award. Her debut collection of microfiction, “Tender Cuts,” from Vine Leaves Press, is available now. Visit jaynemartin-writer.com or find her on Twitter at @Jayne_Martin or Facebook at Jayne Martin-Author.
Once, we called people coming to the hills visitors.
Virus spreads. They’re invaders. Carriers.
Rolling beige RVs and trucks resemble tanks.
We defend the market. Wrap ourselves in the royal we. Sterilize, stock toilet paper. We don’t see frightened families, young couples wearing naked impulse and fear.
Invasions are easier.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others.
It’s like the riddle. Three doors; two lead to certain death.
Door One: A mother, breath rasping, crying for her children.
Door Two: A feverish teenager, too exhausted to beg for help.
Door Three: A pensioner, grey-haired but agile, coughing continuously.
Hands shaking, you tighten your mask, open a door.
Jo Withers writes short fiction from her home in South Australia. Recent work appears in NFFD Anthology (U.K.), Best Microfictions 2020, Reflex Fiction and Spelk.
She smiled sweetly, her fingers brushing mine, and my breath caught, heart swelled.
But the smile was mere politeness, the contact accidental as she held the door open and I moved to take it. She didn’t know who I was, didn’t know I loved her, would never, ever know.
Maria is inspired by everyday events, and odd coincidences. She’s excited for the time she’s able to high-five people again.
Three years had passed since the virus lockdown, and she ached to go outside.
Every morning she put on her shoes, only to turn back at the doorstep.
Still not safe, she thought, though the media said otherwise. What if she walked into a deep cough or an explosive sneeze?
Debbi Antebi (@debbisland) lives in London, UK, with her husband and books.
A victorious army marched upon the capital.
As crowds came out to exalt the old general, the green-eyed and white-knuckled king clutched his crown. In the general’s honor, he arranged for a feast spiked with aconite.
However, the general had already made his escape, and elsewhere, a farmer came home.
Michael De la Peña’s parents blame his near-sightedness on the fact that he has always had his nose buried in a book since the age of nine. However, he still has a clear view of all the myriad of designs that bounce around inside his head, and his daydreams, permutations of each mental blueprint. He is often elbow-deep in his latest project with his brow furrowed.
The eyes have it, above the masks, in a store less crowded, a town away. No one I know here, but recognizable–the eyes wide and searching and sometimes scared–because I see those same eyes in the mirror when I try on the mask, to see how I look.
Jon Fain wrote this story.
We don’t know who will be “It” next. No one screams, freezes, then pivots.
Paramedics ushered Mr. Steensaver out in his bathrobe last night, Greta from two doors over today.
Pushing the elevator button could be our downfall. Meeting the FedEx man. How to become invisible from an invisible enemy?
Shoshauna Shy relies on stories and poetry to get through the pandemic. More of her work can be found online at Literary Orphans, 100WordStory, Fiction Southeast, Brilliant Flash Fiction, and lots of other places.
After the autumnal fogs of Mars
Have made me melancholy,
And the moon’s tranquil seas
Have melted my bitterness,
I sail to Earth
And stroll beside the snapping salty oceans,
To my cryogenic grave,
Drop petals onto empty casket,
And mourn humanity
And days when life was simple.
Jo Withers writes short fiction from her home in South Australia. Recent work has appeared in Retreat West, Milk Candy Review, Ellipsis Zine, and Best Microfictions 2020.