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.
I was never so afraid
one night in winter,
when you were lost
you simply walked out
not saying a word.
the danger was real
where did you go?
I’ve worried so much.
To see you this way
it’s not fair,
you’re a whole different person.
Ana M. Torres (aka A.M. Torres) is the author of the Child Series beginning with Love Child which was first published in 2011. She has also published her poetry books Shadowed Tears, and Turmoil. She currently lives in New York with her two sons. See more at christmas1102.wixsite.com/mysite.
Iris knew she had made the right choice, because after two weeks she didn’t miss him. It felt better to stretch out in bed, and she didn’t have to watch sports anymore.
The only thing that bothered her was the photos he had taken and the secrets that he knew.
Dan Shushko wrote this story.
He turned to see his replacement being greeted as he had been, with smiles, handshakes, and razzmatazz.
All too soon his own time had been ravaged with despair, hurricanes, and many tragic manmade disasters.
The Old Year listened to the chimes welcoming the New Year and whispered: “Good Luck, 2018.”
John B. Sinclair is a much-travelled Scot who has now returned to Scotland, where he enjoys freelance writing on a variety of subjects.