At first, she felt free. She’d bask in the summer evening radiance, watching the kaleidoscope of stars filling the night sky with their regular patterns. Like lights from faraway friends, watching over her.
But in winter, the pavement was cold. Clouds blocked out the stars. Friends seemed very far away.
Jo Withers hopes that everyone has friends nearby. You can follow Jo on Twitter.
Sure, their relationship was strange: Mike sleeping each night for years in the abandoned confessional and Fr. Phil pretending not to notice, though he left a sandwich, beer, or even smokes, occasionally.
When Mike passed, Fr. Phil insisted the homeless man have a funeral mass—no matter what people said.
Tony Jasnowski teaches English at Bellevue University and writes an occasional story or poem between grading papers.
Millicent finished a bowl of hot soup and left the church cafeteria. She didn’t complain as she limped slowly toward the park. She knew she was luckier than others.
In the tunnel, she wrapped her blanket more tightly around her shoulders and gave thanks before drifting off to dreamless sleep.
Candace Kubinec wrote this story.
The train station convenience store cashier in the Austrian podunk where I’m homeless spices things up with foreign phrases. He might greet a customer with “Bonjour” or “Master Commander.”
As he hands me my change, I whisper, “Danke.”
He replies, “You are welcome,” and I fantasise that I finally am.
Angela Brett is a mathematician and linguist by training, programmer by trade, and writer by neglecting everything else. She is a New Zealander living in Austria and writing at angelastic.com
Closing the busted townhouse door, I enter, breathe in the clean air, the quiet, the warmth. A foreign-feeling sense of security envelops me. The “Bon Voyage” balloons in midair are slowly deflating.
I wonder how they’ll feel about this, after ignoring my “I work for food” sign for so long.
Monica is a sustainability manager by day and a writer by night.
Resembling a Samurai statue wrapped in a tattered blanket, the homeless man sits on the city bench. A plastic bowl rests on his lap. His hands emerge; each holds a wooden chopstick. He drums the bowl and stares ahead like a cymbal-banging monkey.
Change lands in the bowl. He nods.
Jeffrey Albright is an aspiring writer of compelling fiction. His passion for storytelling was fostered by years of working in and owning a boutique hair salon where, from behind the chair, he has heard many a tall tale and met enough characters to cast his stories for years.
Barbara bent over the dumpster. “There’re some good pickings tonight, Ken.”
Ken was mesmerized by the extravagance of the food. “It must be Christmas!” he lamented. “I remember a time when I had all this and a warm home…”
“Hurry, Ken, if you want any. The others have spotted us!”
Connell chose to write about this, unplanned until a few minutes ago, because he has (long) realized that if we all ate a little less then perhaps others could eat a little more.
Eviction notice; drive-in nights.
Swings and slides til the sky darkened, the movie started.
Feet crunching gravel to Poppy’s ancient Cadillac, a grand ship sailing the seven seas.
Joanie in pajamas, gulping hot dog and Coke, asked, “Is this our home now?”
Pillows, blankets, brothers, laundry, in the back seat.
Sara Jacobelli lives in New Orleans where she tries to avoid vampires, tourists, and Bourbon Street.
There was a man at the corner with one third of a hat and half a pair of shoes. I offered him my boots. He sold them to a homeless guy for ten bucks and gave the money to a woman at a bus stop.
I really liked those boots…
He stood there on the corner, with tattered hat and coat. His backpack overflowed with toys that he was handing out.
His shoes were only halfers: they covered just his heels. I offered mine, but he declined, ungrateful little eel.
He made me feel guilty, and guilt is not genteel.
This story, and the supplementary poem, were inspired by a title suggested by @hexapodium.