A baby boy sleeps, tummy side up, arms and legs open in vulnerability and confidence. A mother puts a hand to his chest, feeling the rise and fall, listens to his ragged breathing. On the floor beside the crib, she lays on her side, curled inward, fear coiling around her.
Cheryl Somers Aubin’s work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and online journals. She has an MA/Writing from Johns Hopkins University and is the author of The Survivor Tree: Inspired by a True Story. Cheryl teaches memoir writing and is featured speaker at book festivals and writing conferences.
The dime-sized hole in my bathroom ceiling has grown.
Eyes closed, I lather my hair.
At night, my neighbor’s unlatched gate bangs; roof joists creak. Childlike fear creeps in.
The water runs hot. Pipes wail.
I smile at the truth now.
Above me, pushed tight against the gap, something blinks.
Keely O’Shaughnessy is a fiction writer with Cerebral Palsy, which she sometimes writes about. She is Managing Editor at Flash Fiction Magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in both, anthologies and literary magazines, and her most recent publications include, Pretty Owl Poetry’s Spring 2020 issue and NFFD’s Flash Flood. Her story “When Naked Plants Renew” will be featured in this years Solstice Shorts Festival 2020, Tymes goe by Turnes.
The school reopened. Ava approached her first grade classroom in her iron suit, double pair of blue hospital gloves, face shield that extended to her waist and multi-layered mask that curved around her small face.
Her mother said Ava was lucky. In many states, students were required to stay home.
Eliza Mimski wrote this story.
Sitting on the grassy hill,
the day goes by slow.
Then night falls.
I reached for stars in the sky,
wanting troubles to
end and die.
Only at night can the soul
and body and mind
take a rest.
So, I pray that in its splendor,
the night is long.
Vivian Leung lives in Scottsdale, Arizona and has always held a love for music and writing. One of her goals in life is to land a career in healthcare. There are few things that are more rewarding to her than helping others.
First night back, I ditch duffel and boots and fall asleep on the floor by his bed.
A click in the dark wakes me. Beside me he sits, Nerf gun in hand.
“What’s up?” I ask.
“Keeping you safe,” he says. Tilts his head at the darkness under the bed.
Graham Robert Scott’s stories have appeared in Pulp Literature, Nature, Barrelhouse, and others.
There is no wind, yet the curtains move by the window.
Shadows shift languidly on the moonlit wall.
The night is warm, yet I am suddenly chilled.
I am alone, my first night in my new home, yet there are footsteps on the stair.
The bedroom door is creaking open.
John Young is an old chap, grappling with themes of limits, longings, and finitude. He likes spooky stuff.
Poverty’s chasing me. Getting closer all the time.
Bills due. Check spent. Emergency funds gone. Fridge’s close to empty.
Then something breaks. Again.
Doing without becomes second nature. Rolled coins, coupons, and the dollar store become tricks of the trade. Keeping poorness at bay. And I make it… this month.
Alyce Clark is adjusting to sheltering in place, practicing social distancing when shopping for essentials… and truly missing her grandmother.
As she opened the door for the Amazon delivery she froze, felt faint.
“Jane Simon, is that you? Gosh, it’s been what, twenty years? We all wondered why you guys moved away without telling anyone. How are you!?”
She shut the door. Panicked; then remembered protocol. Bottom drawer. Burner phone.
Therese Dawe-Wood is a writer based in Michigan. She was one of the 2018 finalists for the Lansing Sidewalk Poetry Project and has had poems published in several places including Alluvian Press, Modern Creative Life, the 2020 East Lansing Arts Festival Poetry Collection, and Headline Poetry and Press. She was a featured contributor for Lansing Online News and is currently working on a collection of poetry about her work with her patients over the course of her career as a registered nurse. She has three children and five grandchildren who she adores and lives in Lansing, Michigan with her husband and her backyard crow who enjoys peanuts in the shell and McDonalds french fries.
Thirty-four hours and one needle submerged in the spine later, the doctor tells her patient to push.
“Yes! Yes! More! More!” She chants and suctions.
A gurgling cry. “Look at all that hair!”
Kneading at the freshly emptied womb, she pauses.
She steels herself and calls for four units.
Joree writes professionally in her role as director of external affairs for a statewide nonprofit, but her favorite muses are her two-year-old son and her tender memories.
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.