We lie around the pool, melting, burning, toasting, marinating.
Nobody speaks, except for one woman berating her husband for not using sunscreen.
Later the waiter tells us they’ve been coming to this same hotel for twenty years. Well, twenty-three if you count the years since he died of skin cancer.
Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. He’s been published in numerous places across the web and has short stories printed in Blood & Bourbon, Blink-Ink, and DEFY! Anthologies. His novella Straw Gods was shortlisted by Ellipsis Magazine in their publication competition.
The first time the beast came to the village was by accident. He had simply lost his way.
However, once he learned the townspeople were willing to feed him one of their own each year, gradually incorporating more festivities and rituals into his visits, the beast vowed to keep returning.
Ran Walker is the award-winning author of seventeen books. He teaches creative writing at Hampton University in Virginia.
As the clock struck midnight, ushering in my fiftieth birthday, the friends I’d been playing D&D with since middle school learned I was no longer the same person.
To be fair, one of them wasn’t surprised. I absorbed him first, while the others thought we were still playing a game.
When last I saw them, they were down by the river. They were holding hands. No surprise there; she’d always been possessive.
On this occasion, she seemed especially reluctant to let go. She professed to love his mind and body, while her rival’s interest was strictly physical…
The crocodile prevailed.
John H. Dromey has a 10-word story, “Paranormal Household Survey,” on the Potato Soup Journal website.
Mark had waited sixty years for revenge.
Searching the retirement home, he found Ben snoozing, feeble. But Mark felt no sympathy for his old enemy.
“For what you did to me at that party,” Mark sneered.
He raised a magic marker, and marred Ben’s face with a moustache and glasses.
G.B. Burgess is a graphic designer. She is occasionally commissioned at parties to create moustaches and glasses.
Word was out that there would be animal abuse and drinking. Definitely drinking. Children would be welcome.
Cars started arriving with little ones spilling out. Smiles, hugs, and greetings abounded. Despite the predictions, everyone was happy. A stout stick was issued to the children.
Time to swing at the piñata.
N.T. Franklin writes after his real job hoping one day to have it be his real job. He writes cozy mystery short stories, nostalgia short stories, and Flash Fiction. When not reading or writing short stories, you might find him fishing or solving crossword puzzles.
Sixty seconds into her presentation, Becky became dismally aware that no one was listening.
Sixty seconds further, her anger boiled over.
“I hope you all die in a plane crash!”
Now she had them.
“But in the event that you don’t, please leave personal belongings behind when exiting this aircraft.”
Derick Lengwenus is a stand-up comedian, writer, and family man originally from Canada and now living in Chicago, Illinois. He has appeared in the Just For Laughs Festival numerous times and can be heard regularly on XM Radio’s “Canada Laughs”.
He says, tell me what you see.
What should I say? A handsome pig? A rabbit?
I see a mix of Miro and Dali, but I can’t say that. If he thinks I’m showing off, that defeats the object, because I came here to understand my fear of being judged.
Henry Bladon is a writer of short fiction and poetry based in Somerset in the UK. His work can be seen in Fewer than 500, Pure Slush, Truth Serum Press, and Flash Frontier, among other places.
“I’ve eaten your plums,” he sneered.
A fruit fight ensued. Mangoes, a hail of cherries, a ballistic Crenshaw melon.
After, we lay prone, exhausted and covered in juice, near the icebox.
A non-participant plucked the last plum off the kitchen counter.
It was delicious and sweet and cold, he reported.
Erin Gilmore is an artist and editor living in Los Angeles.
Editor: The title refers to this classic poem.
Sugar is the enemy. Fat is poison. Mantras like these run on a loop inside my foggy mind.
Staring down the overflowing plate, my heart thunders against my ribcage at the thought of eating blacklisted snacks.
Grimacing, I take a bite of the Hershey bar. Recovery is a slow process.
Lauren is an undergraduate student studying Creative Writing at Emerson College.