Death comes creeping slowly, quietly, closer and closer.
My Priest says not to worry about it, that the pain will only be momentary. But what does he know? He’ll still be alive.
Ever closer the fatal date creeps, until at last it is here.
Time to take my math final.
Daniel Quillen is a retired HR director and a writer (19+ books). He lives in Centennial, Colorado with his wife. They are the parents of six children, grandparents of fifteen. They are currently living in China, teaching English at a Chinese University.
The first drops of rain were a relief; the dry earth lapped them up greedily. Eventually the ground’s thirst became satiated, and the puddles started to grow. When the road washed out we began gathering at the church, not just to pray, but because it was built on a hill.
Tyler lives in Denver, where he works as a bartender, writes, and plans his next adventure.
I, a lone woman in New Delhi, who treads the road at night with just inner faith as safeguard, am without doubt on a slut walk.
I walk past cul-de-sacs of bawdy lyrics, grasping looks, and treacherous thoughts to find my high road, violating all rules of behaviour and mobility.
Chitra Gopalakrishnan is a New Delhi-based journalist by training, a social development communications consultant by profession and a creative writer by choice. Her focus is on issues of gender, environment and health. She dabbles in poetry on the sly and literary creations openly on the website using social media.
Once a month, my mother got religion. It came on her in the night hard, a sheet-soaking fever. Sunday morning, I’d find her in the bathroom spackling the seams and chips in her forehead before painting an alien face over her own.
Like God wouldn’t recognize her Friday night self.
Sarah Freligh is the author of Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis. Recent work has appeared in the Cincinnati Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, and the anthology New Microfiction (WW Norton, 20180). Among her awards are a 2009 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in 2006.
She stopped at the gate. “I’ve changed my mind.”
“Come on. Are you still scared?”
“If you had been at Vegas…”
“That was years ago. We’re together now; nothing will happen to us.”
“You’re right.” She took his hand. “Let’s go in.”
Unnoticed, a little red dot probed the crowd.
David Arnold is a veteran and retired academic living in central Kentucky. He has published in Narrative, Raven’s Perch, Microfiction Monday and 50 Word Stories
I would stutter if I spoke or vomit if I ate.
My kid’s getting an MRI.
“It could be nothing, or…” they tell me. Something unmentionable. Unthinkable.
The answer will either defrost my brain and untangle my guts or kill me dead.
I’m just not strong enough to bear it.
Seth Pilevsky lives in New York with his wife and five kids. 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. See more at spilevsky.com.
Walking the cows down the narrow road after milking, I felt protected by their company. The last light held enough reassurance.
While returning alone with the dusk pouring through the branches, the old ruin became the only presence, harbouring contrary spirits, and I ran.
Forty years later, I’m still running.
Patrick Mc Loughlin is an English Language Teacher in Ireland and dabbles in writing. He also dabbles in painting and music and someday hopes to do more than dabble. He lives in the west of Ireland where it’s hard to concentrate.
The first day that I drove my new son and his exhausted mom home from the hospital, the freeway was thick with fast cars maneuvering around mega pick-ups with large tires and 40-ton semis, all in a mad dash to get somewhere.
How will I ever protect him?
Michael Borne lives in Texas, where large pick-up trucks seem to proliferate.
To see the silence across a clouded sky and suddenly a crack, thunder like a whip.
Then a drenching rain. The heavens are lit – bright flashes like fire. The silence
back again. Weight upon my shoulders dropped fast – the gift of forgiveness.
Silence cracks my memory – fear like a whip.
Michael Mogel wrote this story.
Sometimes the debt would appear as a massive sinkhole in the living room floor, one into which he dreaded he might one day dive, to be chewed up and consumed within the abyss of its distended belly, the monster’s savage lips smacking sharply somewhere miles above.
Sometimes he ignored it.
Ran Walker is the author of fifteen books. He currently teaches creative writing at Hampton University in Virginia. See more at ranwalker.com.