I told him I had a dream.
“Dreams are for starry-eyed saps.”
So I told him I had a goal.
“Goals are for bankers and life-coaches.”
So I told him I had a thing
and he said,
“What the heck do you mean by a ‘thing’?”
Shauna Robertson hails from the north-east of England and currently lives, writes, and draws in the south-west. Her poems are widely published in journals and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic and have won, or been shortlisted for, a number of awards, including a nomination for the Forward Prize in the category Best Single Poem. A chapbook of poems, Blueprints for a Minefield
, was published by Fair Acre Press in 2016, while artwork and poem-pictures have been exhibited in a number of galleries. Shauna has performed her work at festivals, book launches and spoken word nights. Read some poems at shaunarobertson.wordpress.com
“That’s only if you take ‘dimwitted incompetent moron’ to have negative connotations,” he said, sliding his hand along her shoulder in a motion that could have been reassuring, patronising, controlling, threatening, loving or just brushing away lint. “No judgment implied.”
Later she hit him with a hammer. Non-judgmentally, but hard.
Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. He’s been published, long-listed, short-listed and placed in numerous competitions and publications around the web. He has a short story appearing in a forthcoming print anthology published by Blood & Bourbon. He’s on twitter @tomwrote
and his website is tomobrien.co.uk
My two great aunts, Laura and Judy, loved to sidle up to me at weddings, poke me in the ribs and shout, “Don’t worry, you’ll be next … someday.” Then they’d shuffle off, cackling crazily.
They stopped after I did the same thing to them at my Grandma Minnie’s funeral.
Craig W. Steele lives in the lake-effect snow belt of northwestern Pennsylvania where, by day, he’s a university biology professor. He enjoys writing both short fiction and poetry and dreams of becoming a widely-read unknown author.
At 80, Gramp was unsteady on his feet. He didn’t want his nurse’s help, but waited ‘til she was gone, then stumbled to the bathroom.
He fell and broke his hip.
He died in the hospital two weeks later.
They say he died from pneumonia.
I say it was embarrassment.
Harry Demarest has had twenty of his 50-word stories and a few longer pieces published. This is a true story which happened to Harry’s grandfather in 1966.
Dr. Toms receives a soil sample from planet Mars. Dr. Toms views the sample under a microscope.
At 5000X she sees hints of something different. She turns the magnification up to 20,000X.
Dr. Toms can see: it’s writing. The words say,
“If you can read this you are too close.“
Denny E. Marshall had had art, poetry, and fiction published, including fiction at Postcard Shorts. See more at dennymarshall.com
Target confirmed, advance fee accepted, Robert dresses that night to kill. Black pants, black turtleneck, black greasepaint covering every inch of face and hands. Stealthy, he waits in shrubbery. Hours pass. Lights dim. Robert heeds nature’s call at last.
Sirens erupt: the alarm!
He’d never considered greasepaint below the belt.
Alexandra Renwick’s literary pulp fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s & Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazines, The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir, and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. When not inhabiting urban wetlands in Austin, Texas, she can be found curating a crumbling historic manor near downtown Ottawa. More at alexcrenwick.com.
He’d been running for years—even hijacked a spaceship once, using a plasma rifle and a bluff. But they’d finally caught up.
Mirrored glasses reflected his mute, fearful face as they scanned him and nodded.
“At a fifty percent penalty, you owe back taxes in the amount of…”
Alison pays her taxes. Honestly.
She saw him walk from cubicle to cubicle, and her heart filled with longing for him to drop by.
“Would you like a date?” his sweet voice softly whispered in her ear. She stopped breathing for a moment, until noticing a plastic bag of dried fruit next to her face.
Katya Duft is a translator, interpreter, and language teacher, and enjoys writing short stories, poetry and her blog Tales from the Bus
He likes listening to music, so the choice was easy for his birthday: a Bluetooth speaker!
Right now, I regret it. The music is way too loud! I can’t handle it anymore.
I go to his bedroom, open the door, and shout: “Please, dad, can you turn the volume down?!”
Noé Colle is a 17-year-old student from Chimay, a town in the French part of Belgium. He saw the website 50WS during his English lesson and wanted to give it a try. Noé is a composer and a DJ: music is his passion.
Evelyn True was pronounced dead. Her doctor had checked: no pulse, no heartbeat, no breath. The herbal tea she swore by for ninety years couldn’t help her any longer.
When the undertaker noticed the body bag twitching, he zipped it open.
Evelyn slowly sat up and asked for some tea.
Candace based this story on an incident reported to have actually happened in Poland a few years ago. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Tea anyone?