It’s your reason to live and it’s killing you. You’re smoking twenty a day and afraid to touch booze. The dreams are your insurance, the nightmares left unsaid. But you were once so sure.
Nobody told you about this. The dark side of the moon. The nothingness surrounding the stars.
Hasen Hull lives in London. His work has appeared in Litro, Pure Slush, Flash Fiction Magazine, Praxis, Microfiction Monday and elsewhere. He enjoys photography and long journeys.
Call comes when he’s twelve stepping, dancing through a scripted apology delivered with unwavering nerve.
Voice spins me back: to the safe house, emergency room, places and events I’ve done a fine job forgetting.
Dropped receiver bounces on twisted cord, and I’m left frozen, knowing he knows where I am.
Lee DeAmali has a land line she never answers and an outgoing message that gives nothing away.
I once watched a momma bird feed her babies. She returned again and again with a worm for their waiting beaks.
As the babies got bigger, their number decreased: four, three, two, one.
And when the nest was empty, the robin sat holding the worm, no longer valuable or necessary.
Sue Silva is a freelance writer who lives in Ontario, Canada.
The raincoat did little to keep her dry. She hadn’t bothered with an umbrella; rain hit from all sides, rendering it useless.
Perhaps the storm would wash away the fear that clung to her like ivy growing around an old tree.
Letting go, she let the rain wash over her.
Jane McMaster wrote this story.
I told him about the son who I was raising alone. I explained about my son’s great love of baseball and how well he was doing in school. I told him everything I could think of.
At long last, he took the pistol from my head and returned my life.
Matthew is a retired computer systems programmer who has produced over 200 books for Project Gutenberg.
I was sea swimming when something bruised my leg. I didn’t look down because anything was possible. Rip-tide, shark, dolphin, fish, fingers of seaweed fisting something, driftwood and on and on. My mind could make it anything I thought.
Juggling nightmares and magic, I brushed it off and swam on.
Having escaped from marketing, Jacquie Wyatt writes poetry, flash fiction and novels. She was second in the Write Invite league in 2014 and a Flash Flood author 2012. Two of her poems have just been accepted by DawnTreader.
“Tell me,” she pleads for seemingly the umpteenth time.
“What?” I pretend not to know.
“Tell me!” Her voice begins to shake.
I could rebel. Tease. Start a fight. Suggest a doctor. Prescribe a Prozac. Instead, I acquiesce and recite the magic words: “Everything will be all right.”
Frank Solomon retired from the University of Kentucky after 30 years of writing utilitarian stories for a cybernetic audience. Now he attempts to entertain an audience that lives and breathes.
I long for the coconut scent of her chestnut curls, but I still fear her when lips meet bottle.
She turns the corner.
I do not know if I suddenly felt my world drop because it was not her or because I wanted it to be.
Marisa is a graduate of Providence College with degrees in psychology and theatre.
The door slammed. The baby screamed.
Karen could hear him crashing up the wooden stairs. The baby wailed from another room. “Please be quiet,” Karen whispered.
The door handle turned. She backed into the corner, her eyes never leaving the door. It swung open. She finally exhaled. It wasn’t him.
Jo Jenner is an accountant who has recently started writing short stories and is the process of editing her first novel. She lives on the south coast of England.
I feel my mother within me.
Father and brother watch for signs, indications of affliction, keeping their distance.
Mother loathes me seeing a female version of father and brother: perfect Christian, tormentor, captor.
I am tenuous middle ground, like all but unique. Neither pious nor pitiful, both sinner and saint.
PM Drummond is a full-time writer at heart who works 40 plus hours a week as an IT project manager for a large university. She has two short stories published and is currently working on a six book paranormal series.