The biographer asked, “When did you realize that you were mad, Mrs. Hudson?”
Sally Hudson’s manacled feet prevented her from moving. She looked up at the small barred window above her head. “They told me,” she responded.
“Who were ‘they’?”
“The kids in school. Mad as a hatter,” they said.
Jean Blasiar is a published author (Charles River Press), playwright (Off The Wall Plays), short story writer and theatrical producer. One of Jean’s plays was optioned by 20th Century Fox for a pilot.
Just one more cookie, she thinks. Just one more. Life is short. May as well enjoy it. Where’s the harm? She has no way of knowing that when she’s 40 years old, her seven-year-old son will say she weighs a thousand pounds when she leans over to kiss him goodnight.
Michelle is a contributing author in the most recent Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada, and a quarterfinalist in the 2017 ScreenCraft Short Screenplay contest. Her writing has won several awards and appeared in The Globe and Mail (one of Canada’s National newspapers) and a number of local magazines and newspapers in Alliston, including The Briar Crier, Total Sports, Voice of the Farmer, Arts Talk and Focus 50 Plus. Her short story “Lightning Strikers” was made into a series in the Focus 50 +Newspaper because fans asked for more! You can find her online at commuterlit.com, FiftyWordStories.com, FeminineCollective.com, michelledinnick.com and @MichelleDinnick.
“Take one more step and I draw.”
Six years old, he carried a toy gun and barked commands at everyone within earshot. Most days, I ignored him. I really couldn’t blame him. At his age, I’d done the same thing.
I really should have listened. That bullet nearly hit me.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana. She spends her days writing poetry, short stories, songs, and the occasional cartoon caption.
Finally, after four long years, I’m free!
I can use the bathroom and take a shower without a tiny partner. I can finish a cup of coffee while it’s still hot.
Oh, the possibilities! I could even read quietly or even watch a non-animated television show.
I miss her already.
Marcus Benjamin Ray Bradley grew up in Perryville and now lives in Versailles, KY, with his wife and daughters. He wonders if his wife will feel this way in three years.
I watched him grow.
A fern leaf opening.
A curious child.
His face searching for… reflecting the sun.
“What’s in the schoolbag!” I gasped at its weight.
“Rocks,” he said.
I thought his wit a bit dry for six.
Only… it was rocks!
“I’m collecting them.”
Mary Sheehan wrote this story.
He’s four. Pasty-white, squishy chubby.
I’m his patient day camp counselor.
Currently, he’s screeching while incessantly racing around the perimeter of the shade house.
He stops suddenly, begins repeatedly smashing his tender forehead against a support column.
We know not to intervene. He’s unstoppable.
He’s the son of mother’s psychiatrist.
Sadly, this is a true story. Leslie doesn’t know what became of this child. Her mother, on the other hand, thrived, despite her shrink.
“Has mummy really gone?”
“I’m afraid she has, sweetie.”
“I miss mummy.”
“So do I. Don’t cry.”
“Let’s go get mummy, right now!”
“We can’t do that sweetie.”
“Where is she?”
“She’s in a much better place.”
“She’s gone to get a facial in a nice, quiet beauty salon.”
Connell explores the trauma of childhood separation and the joy it can bring parents who can escape for a few moments. While not believing in bribes, he’ll send an imaginary dollar for every ‘Like’ he receives with the full knowledge that he’ll probably receive imaginary ‘Likes’ or worse in return.
“Darling, you can’t marry your Teddy Bear.”
“He’s not real.”
“Of course he’s real. You tell me to talk to him when I can’t sleep. Anyway, I’m not marrying anyone else.”
“Darling, you’ll find someone just like your Daddy.”
“Exactly. I’m marrying Ted as soon as I’m eight.”
Ruby Ray has been a Jill of many trades and mistress of some of them. Anyway, she hopes to have mastered (mistressed?) a few more before she takes it easy for good.
The Tooth Fairy had visited and left $5 for that first tooth. Later, Chloe wrote this note, all phonetically:
“Dear Tooth Fairy,
You took my tooth, but you didn’t leave any money. Please leave it tonight.
She winked me a smile. “Tooth Fairy’s so busy, she won’t remember!”
Barbara Comstock teaches English Language Arts in middle school and is easily amused.
I run barefoot down cold dark stairs
to see the star-topped tree bathed in coloured light, shimmering with silver rain.
and glimpse the tissue wrappings under its branches.
My stocking hangs waiting, lumpy with gifts;
racing up to my parents’ warm bed
I open it to share a
Catherine Mathews, retired from the Foreign Service, was stationed in Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Athens, Frankfurt, and Istanbul. She now lives in northern Virginia, has published a memoir, and is attempting to write short stories from her life experiences.