I can’t tell where land falls into water, nor where the lake bleeds into the sky. Between gentle laps of waves, a black blemish appears – a boat drifting in still water. A lone man stares.
Hesitant, I call, “Hello?”
The fog shrouds him as though he’d never been.
When not indulging himself by reading or writing poetry and prose, B.S. Roberts makes a living as a museum curator and an administrative assistant at the University of Maine at Augusta. He lives in Maine with his fiancée, daughter, silver pheasants, turtle, and four cats.
Stopping was easy. Stay at home, clean the closets, read a book. But the weeks and months run on, and staying home has become the new normal. It is more difficult to restart. When? How? Where? And when everyone stopped calling to say, “Are you ok?”, that’s when I wasn’t.
Eileen was intending to write her way through retirement; that has been supplanted by the need to write her way through the pandemic to once again reach retirement.
“Your box of sunshine is here,” the cheerful delivery man said after ringing the bell.
I watched him skip down the steps, ever mindful of social distancing.
Since the pandemic, almost everything suddenly became available for home delivery.
My delivery of friends and family is still on back order.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana. She looks forward to a return to normalcy.
She’s isolated in the hospital, so I say “I love you” via video phone, talking until my battery flashes red and her chest doesn’t rise, then break because I can’t hold her, break because she’s a statistic without a funeral, as if she’s never existed, as if she’s never lived.
Sudha Balagopal’s short fiction appears in numerous publications including Wigleaf, Fictive Dream, Cabinet of Heed, Jellyfish Review and New World Writing. She is the author of a novel, A New Dawn. See more at sudhabalagopal.com.
Cardinals chirping, red-winged blackbirds trilling from the woods.
Percussionist woodpecker beats a syncopated rhythm from behind a leafless oak.
Cackling spring peepers, hidden in vernal ponds, improvise a backup chorus.
High above, hawk screeches a solo.
Self-isolating on my deck, I’m grateful for nature’s elusive musicians
creating a comforting concert.
Carol Anne Harvey finds comfort in music, writing, reading, and talking with family and friends during her solitary confinement in Massachusetts.
We are fair weather friends. Yet here you are seeking my embrace. You need sustenance, but the shelves in town are ransacked. You need nurturance, but the seven beds at the hospital are all spoken for. I am a mere Band-Aid for a bullet wound. I am only a house.
Shoshauna thanks all the other authors of 50-Word Stories for their continual inspiration.
At dusk she roams the neighborhood, peering into windows glowing with evening activity. Careful to avoid the families during daylight, she tries to catch glimpses of the people and feel the warmth of their homes. She sees only cartoons, the news, and football games on their large, colorful flat-screen TVs.
Carol Anne Harvey enjoys the challenge of writing a story in 50 words, but also likes telling an audience the longer version.
Rose sat in the part of the park that light didn’t reach. Around the edges, people moved like ghosts. The odd sound of laughter crossed the air, where she received it like a lost language.
Beyond purgatory, buses went to places that didn’t exist anymore; cafes, bars, cinemas, and home.
Patrick Mc Loughlin is an English Language Teacher in Ireland and dabbles in writing. He also dabbles in painting and music and someday hopes to do more than dabble. He lives in the west of Ireland where it’s hard to concentrate.