The order has arrived. There’s Hastings, sitting in a corner stroking his lucky rabbit’s foot. Cranston, his eyes closed, intoning the Rosary. Others praying under their breath, crossing themselves. Superstitious fools!
Suddenly a whistle shrills.
I check my watch. Thirteen hundred hours. I’m enveloped by a dark sense of foreboding.
David McTigue is from Liverpool UK who writes to fight his inner demons.
The day fertilizer was delivered, he showered it down hollering, “Girl, watch our corn grow!” His eyes always checked the skyline for clouds.
Fallow fields all around; only thing growing fast is cancer. Rain healed the crops. Now I wheel Dad into the storms, praying it will heal him too.
Madeleine Kleppinger is a writer with a day job as a scientist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She hosts a blog that helps readers discover their greatest story, with weekly posts that range from book reviews to original short stories to lifestyle pieces about adventurous living. Her free time is spent bounding through the wilderness with her American Bulldog, Sonnet.
With my back to the steel slabs, I resisted the urge to count the bullets left in my gun. Judging from the force of the blows on the barricaded door, it wasn’t anywhere near enough.
I resigned myself: A morgue was as appropriate of a place to die as any.
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at the University of Southern California, Chad Greene experiments with Twitter fiction at @TheShortCourse.
“He died in Tanganyika,” she said, pouring herself another chotapeg. “Mauled to death by a lioness. That’s what he called it. Never Tanzania. Native nonsense, he used to say. He’d insulted his bearer, you see. He frequently insulted people. The shotgun the bearer handed him hadn’t been loaded.”
Nicolas Ridley lives in London and Bath (UK) where he writes fiction, non-fiction, scripts, and stage plays. A prize-winner and Pushcart Prize nominee, his short stories have been widely published in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the USA. See more at nicolasridley.co.uk.
Despite being a communications major, I searched for a mime boyfriend because I figured he’d allow me sufficient space, some peace and quiet.
Well, I figured wrong.
Once the mime started talking, the guy never shut up. Yada, yada, yada. Politics, comics, movies, save the whales.
Save me. Zip it.
Roberta Beach Jacobson is a humorist from Iowa. See more at RobertaJacobson.com.
Spring in Paris was really happening. The penny-pinching and missed social outings were bearable because Paris was her dream.
Finally, shivering in her dress coat, Janet gazed upon a glowing Eiffel Tower. It was her shooting star: shutting her eyes tightly, she wished fervently for a life spent less alone.
Susan Schwenk wrote this story.
“This won’t hurt a bit,” I whispered to the assassin operative from behind as I administered the lethal injection. His body crumpled to the floor. I felt badly but I had my orders.
Our team’s cleaner arrived. He unexpectedly grabbed me, needling me in the neck.
“This won’t hurt a…”
Connie Taylor is not an assassin. By day she is an Operations Manager; by night a writer and reader. This is her third fifty-word story.
Of unknown origin, the Strangers became our saviors. War, famine, plague—ended. Progress happened swiftly, and society flourished.
No one noticed the changes right away; they came slowly, like a creeping fog. Four hundred years made us complacent.
By the time we realized they were gone, it was too late.
Sean Fox is a New England native living in California. He holds a B.A. in English from Western Connecticut State University. When he writes, people tend to die.
Lydia dropped off Hannah at her dad’s place, a rocky walk from home. She enjoyed the trek. They both did. The bubble helmet radios picked up every single word. Every breath floated into mother’s and daughter’s ears.
It was intimate, unlike with her ex-husband, the only other human on Titan.
Caleb resides in Arkansas where he plays beach volleyball.
After an extensive search I found a great piano tuner. He showed me pictures of his paintings. I said he was very talented and he should be working on his art rather than tune pianos. Two years later he took my advice and now I don’t have a piano tuner.
Israela Margalit is a playwright, television writer, concert pianist, recording artist, and recently a published author of short fiction and creative nonfiction, with awards or honors in all categories.