The first blossom
On my winter squash
Lacking a male,
She will fade,
And her fruit will fail.
Still, she opens in beauty
Under the sun
And offers her grace
To the day.
So too may we all;
And that is quite enough.
Casey Laine comes from a long line of talkative women. She works as Fantasy Editor at Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, and publishes an annual anthology of fiction and poetry for her writing group, Writers Assembled. In her spare time, she chases butterflies with her camera. Find her at Facebook, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, and Amazon.
She finished the jigsaw. Broke it up. Knitted a scarf. Unpicked it.
Life goes on and on and on, whether she wants it to or not. She doesn’t. She wants to jump into infinity, close her eyes, close her mind, close the box.
She opens it. Fits two pieces together.
Daniel Clark is a writer who dabbles in many forms and styles. His micro fiction has been published on 101words.org and is forthcoming in Dreams Walking.
The fairy godmother appears
The willow wilts, until another noon
Intimate details of a concealed life
Bright days encroach on moonless night
Yet, no prince knocks—
she never gave anyone shoes to wear.
You knew this wouldn’t last;
Then she lost her job at the dressmakers’.
Mandira Pattnaik is an Economics graduate who lets her degree gather dust while she word-weaves. Some of those pieces have made their way into Spelk, Lunate, Gasher, Star82, and fiftywordstories. She tweets at @MandiraPattnaik.
Once upon a time, there was a girl who was a jigsaw puzzle. Everyone loved her because she could arrange herself to be whatever anyone wanted. Then, one morning, she looked in the mirror and realized she did not remember who she was anymore.
Then she fell all to pieces.
J.C. Pillard lives in Colorado where she works as an editor and data analyst. She has previously published stories with Broadswords and Blasters and Fall Into Fantasy 2019. She spends her time gardening, reading, and, of course, writing.
She stared, unseeing, through the murky window.
The tea in her mug had grown cold. She wondered if there was any point in making another.
The radio fitzed in the background.
She sighed. There was a pile of dirty things in the sink. So she started on the washing up.
E. E. Rhodes is an archaeologist who lives in Cardiff in the UK, with 5000 books, a tolerant partner and at least a few mice. Follower her on Twitter at @electra_rhodes.
“Why would you do this to me?” the woman cries.
The café falls silent but she doesn’t seem to notice.
The man slowly removes her hand from his shoulder. He smirks as he gets up.
I can’t stop staring as she begins to sob, and I hate myself for it.
Eszter Molnar is a former teacher who lives by the windswept British seaside. She has been published in one of the UK’s biggest subscription magazines for children. By day, she cleans up after preschoolers, by night she writes flash fiction, picture books and Middle Grade fiction.
The eyes have it, above the masks, in a store less crowded, a town away. No one I know here, but recognizable–the eyes wide and searching and sometimes scared–because I see those same eyes in the mirror when I try on the mask, to see how I look.
Jon Fain wrote this story.
You cry in a voice that is not your own, act like dead weight, call me horrible names. But sometimes you look me in the eye and smile. Sometimes you remember. I brush your beautiful hair and think, That’s alright my love, I’m also not who I used to be.
Julian Dores lives in Brussels, Belgium. He enjoys writing fiction and taking candid photographs of everyday life on the street. You can read more of his work on his website.
A little ringing in my ear. If I listen to it, it sings louder, over, under, and through the little holes of my ear. There’s a tiny TV playing a tinny song. A little choir in my ear, with one-note songs. They sing on, on, on, maybe until I’m gone.
Will Loop is currently homeless and enjoys spending time at his local library.
Bobbing – I think of apples. Ups and downs.
Behaviour – Mine, yours – neither commendable.
Bitter – Adjective. I am ___. You made me ___.
Brazen – Wasn’t she?
Bayonet – Wounding instrument. Cold steel engulfing flesh.
Baby – Would you have left if it had happened? (See Barren)
Boomerang – I won’t go back.
Bruised – Imperfect, fragile, healing.
Jo Withers writes short fiction from her home in South Australia. Recent work appears in Ellipsis Zine, Milk Candy Review and Reflex Fiction. Jo’s work was also recently chosen for inclusion in Best Microfiction 2020.