In the morning she takes fresh bearings,
assessing the terrain, gauging the distance.
Night rain has left a low-lying mist distorting the landscape.
Maybe there exists, just beyond the farthest hill,
something else, something more to view
than lowland haze hiding steep rocky hills.
The wind blows right through her.
For C., of course.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
She rests a heavy rock on her stomach and sinks into the sand.
Through the shimmery layer between lake and sky, the blue expanse above looks beautiful enough to plant a seed of doubt.
Her lungs spark and burn.
She shoves the weight off, slowly floating up to the clouds.
Lauren is an aspiring author studying Creative Writing at Emerson College.
I’d like to have many hearts to offer you, like hand-made biscuits of several shapes and tastes.
I’d lie them down on the kitchen table, for you to choose one each morning.
Comes sun or rain, there will always be a leftover heart, misshapen, unwanted, neglected, to keep you alive.
Russell Hemmell is an alien from Mintaka snuggled into a (consenting) human host. His recent fiction has been published on Aurealis, The Grievous Angel, New Myths, and elsewhere. See more at earthianhivemind.net.
The titanium cylinder arrived battered, but JonX571 recognized the Intergalactic Express logo and the date 2021. Inside were three squirming humans: male, female, intersex.
His own archived memory chips retrieved data on world leaders and nuclear war, and an electronic screen with instructions.
What he found perplexing was “Love them.”
Kim Favors chases falling stars from California.
Do you ever aspire
To set the world on fire
To unearth a magic potion
To dare and spring into action
To save all the children
Protect them from villains
But I know I can’t
So I’ll do what I can
To protect two
Mary has written poetry from the age of ten. She enjoys writing poems and short stories of human interest.
He supported the marches, rallies, and protests from the safety of his armchair, nodding his assent.
When a friend said “those people,” he realized silence was dangerous.
He waded into the next parade, amid the colorful throng, his two-word sign held high. Many agreed that they, too, were “Hopelessly Human.”
B. C. Nance is a writer who still can’t give up his day job. The title is part of a quotation by Elie Wiesel 1928-2016. Hopelessly Human is a song by Kansas.
She was scheduled for bilateral mastectomies.
I lifted her gown to listen to her chest, and was startled to read the words she had carefully inked across her breasts:
On the right: The Lord giveth.
On the left: The Lord taketh away.
And across her abdomen: Blessed be the Lord.
Margie Nairn is a retired nurse and emerging writer in Corvallis, Oregon, where she writes memoir, poetry, and silly limericks for her daughter.
He lunches, daily, on the same graveyard bench. Sees, daily, the same woman, with careful steps and reverent gestures, lay origami flowers before neighboring headstones. Wonders, today, what she’ll make of a laughing boy and girl, tossing Frisbees among angels and crosses. Warms when she smiles and sits to watch.
Graham Robert Scott teaches writing at a university in north Texas. His stories have appeared in Barrelhouse Online, Nature, and 50-Word Stories. See more at hemicyon.wordpress.com.
Life is great. Health, mobility, liberty.
Then, an inadvertent moment. A slip and twisting tumble. The crash is sharp; the crack loud. Such a quick and simple thing.
But the scorching pain: deep, crippling, and endless.
Operations and rehab do little. Each move brings agony and depression.
Life is hell.
Bill Diamond writes in the Colorado Mountains. See more at bdiamondwriting.com
During the film festival, Jeanie stopped at a cosmetics booth. A computer monitor displayed her lonely, seventy-year-old widow’s face.
She touched a button. A younger image materialized. The computer had painted her face: eyeliner, lashes, lips.
Jeanie sent the photo to a seniors’ dating site. This would be the year.
Teresa Del Mastro lives on the Danforth in Toronto with Angelo, Michael, Rachel and Willow.