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.
The mother spread out over the bench, waiting for a bus to squeeze herself on to. Her blond child’s paleness rusted red in the sun. He wanted to climb and jump.
“No,” she said, offering chocolate. “Eat this.” Extra ballast would stop him floating. “Please,” she said. “Eat now. Eat.”
TL Krawec doesn’t have children, and keeps his chocolate to himself.
This was the first spring Ruth had visited the bluebell fields with her four-year-old, Sophie. Her thoughts drifted to her own first visit when she stood on the beautiful carpet of purple and blue.
Sophie ran towards her holding a single flower. “Mummy, it’s wonderful, but this bluebell doesn’t ring!”
John B Sinclair is a much-travelled Scot who has now returned to Scotland, where he enjoys freelance writing on a variety of subjects.
The teacher briefly leaves the room. Class discussion erupts.
Mark: “You’re so ugly.”
Lucy: “I know.”
Everyone laughs. Feeling humiliated, Lucy quickly smiles, hoping that the sudden twist of her lips will prevent a deluge of tears. Teacher returns. Class once again silent, although Lucy can still hear that laughter.
Linda Nathaniel is a teacher from Sydney, Australia, who has had a play go from page to stage and poems published around the globe.
I never expected this when I left work early.
Two black women’s shoes and a stained blouse create landmarks across a trail of red smears.
“Daddy! I was playing dress up and mommy made chicken’s fingers and I got my own ketchup.”
Smiling, I kiss my daughter’s precious, tomato-covered cheek.
Craig would like to thank the creators of spell check,caffeine,and the English language. He is currently working on a fifty word story that will not use the same word twice.
“Why don’t you go outside and play, Joey?”
“Stink hole,” he said, stubbornly shaking his head.
“The TV news scared you, didn’t it? Well, Joey, there’re no sinkholes in our backyard. Just watch me.”
Joey’s mom was stomping her way around the azaleas when she was ambushed by the skunk.
John H. Dromey has had short fiction published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine
, Gumshoe Review
, Plasma Frequency Magazine
, and elsewhere.