The grey mask shields her eyes from visions of the children she never had
and scents her dreams with lavender
The ear plugs muffle the whispers of her ghosts
She bites down on a bullet, designed to take the strain
And she lays herself down,
to fight the night.
Jennifer M. Smith lives in Burlington, Ontario.
The clock strikes twelve. Glasses clink, the shiny ball drops, cheers all around.
In the midst of the confetti, I stand alone, champagne in hand… waiting.
Waiting for you, my love. Waiting for your kiss to signal another New Year.
My mind knows you’ve gone, but my heart still waits.
Susan Lozano wrote this story.
Happy New Year!
Another resolution to make; another resolution to break…
Perhaps this year will be different?
Yet, as 2017 rolls into 2018, I am mostly happy.
Never the same, one day to the next.
Everyone has bad days…
Wandering off the path, hoping it always leads back.
Michelle is a contributing author in the most recent Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canad
a. Her writing has won several awards, and appeared in The Globe and Mail
and a number of local magazines and newspapers in Alliston and Barrie. She has a monthly series in the Focus 50 + Newspaper based on her short story “Lightning Strikers.” You can find her online at michelledinnick.com
Endless pots of coffee drunk. Countless pages gorged upon, regurgitated, wept over. Knowledge tested and realized. Credits accumulated. She reached the end of the text only to find a perplexing blank page.
They call her name. The tassel dangling from the mortarboard throws her off-balance as she traverses the stage.
Kara Johnson-Martinez is a freelance writer and novelist based in Colorado. For a preview of her fiction visit kararochelle.com.
Emily knitted dreams into every row on the socks she made for her son Frank. Thoughts far away on palm-laced shores, she knitted and purled from toe to heel, ribbed a cuff of tropical sunsets.
Frank complained they made his feet itch.
He runs a bar in the Bahamas now.
Karla Dearsley’s stories, flash fiction, and poetry have appeared online and in print on both sides of the Atlantic. Her fantasy novels are available on Amazon and Smashwords. Find out more at ksdearsley.com
He crossed the finish line well ahead of the other athletes. The crowd cheered, a distant roar, but he didn’t stop.
In his mind, her voice was pleading, begging: “Don’t let me die here!”
Muscles pumping, heart racing, he sprinted on, the ghosts of his past hard on his heels.
Bill lives in Aberdeen, Scotland, which will become the capital of his world empire when he completes his anti-matter bomb. But first lunch.
Her scars run deep. Invisible.
A stab in the heart here, a slap in the face there.
She plans her escape with precision, as far as her meagre funds will allow. Relief.
She forces herself to stop thinking about her past pain, her ex-husband and, with a pang, her ex-dog.
Jean lives in a village near Bath in the UK. She has an ex-husband and an ex-dog.
The forest struck them dumb with awe: its flowery smell, the endless shades of green; the deafening cacophony of sounds: croaking, hissing, humming. A splash of startling red amidst the leaves.
Unimaginable that such an enchanted place once spanned across the Earth.
Humbled, they stepped out of the rainforest simulator.
Rachael is an English teacher in Scotland.
She watched the woman named Stella adjusting her wedding veil in the mirror. Moving beside her, their eyes met in reflection.
“Please don’t marry him or you’ll be unhappy the rest of your life.”
Stella turned to her. “Are you a distant cousin?”
“I’m your granddaughter,” she said and disappeared.
Susan Cornford is a retired public servant, living in Perth, Western Australia. To date, she has (co)won only one competition but has been short-listed or made finalist for numerous others. She has pieces published or forthcoming in Antipodean Science Fiction, Ghost Parachute, Switchblade, The Fable Online, The Gambler and The Vignette Review. She now considers herself an emerging flash writer.
Heading south through the ruins, I startle three deer. Their barks echo through the concrete canyons as they run.
I see ever more plants breaking through the tarmac; a green infection. I pause to watch the sunrise. The morning light has a golden quality.
Manhattan has never looked so lovely.
Bill lives in Aberdeen Scotland. He is considered a pioneer in the art of slacking off by many, but he can’t be bothered seeking accreditation.