In our third hour,
Father left us
to the nurses
while Mother slept.
At home, he played
then fixed it
to the stairwell –
wood on wood,
lacquer on varnish,
Now Mother aligns
the tuning pegs,
wipes away dust,
but every string
is brittle and
Mark Farley was raised in Zimbabwe where he survived two dog maulings, a swarm of killer bees, and being run over by a horse.
The snow was falling softly as I packed my last bag and closed the trunk. Seventeen years of my life and it all fit into a 1997 Toyota.
The porch light suddenly came on and I saw him standing on the porch with no slippers.
I turned off the ignition.
Susan Gale Wickes spent many years in the newspaper industry, but is now devoting her time and energy to writing poetry, songs, and short stories. She has been published in Haiku Journal, Sleeve, and 50-Word Stories.
At seven o’ clock she served breakfast for her husband and six stepsons.
Immune to the morning chaos, she peeked into her handbag at the fake death certificate and the ticket to Thailand, bought with lotto money.
In the afternoon, when everyone returned from work, she’d be on a plane.
Gabriela Abraxas lives and writes in Los Angeles.
She packed their lunches, made their beds and started their dinner in the slow cooker. A lovely stew, seasoned with thyme and rosemary.
After her bags were packed and loaded into the god-awful minivan, she wondered if they would truly miss her. Or simply replace her with another obedient robot.
Hope Glidden is a paralegal by day and a sometimes-writer by not. She is most definitely not a robot.
Lisa kept sweet Kyle confined to her heart, refusing to allow a breath without her approval.
Kyle believed himself lucky. She was, after all, smart, beautiful, wealthy; so he did “good time.”
The seventh time Lisa bloodied him in a fit of unprovoked rage, Kyle decided his sentence was up.
Hillary Nichols is proving more and more every day that it’s never too late, for anything.
Cheryl stood on the train station’s platform, breathing the thin, icy air.
In her hand was a train ticket. On her finger was the indentation of a wedding ring. On her legs the colors red, purple, and blue married.
She thought, This is what it feels like to be free.
Penelope Yagake lives with her cat and makes digital art when she is not writing poetry and short stories.
His hands touched me in ways you are not imagining but in ways I cannot forget.
Those hands were the first to touch my tiny, ten-fingered, ten-toed body; the same hands that punched a hole in the bathroom mirror, leaving only his anger and his absence to remember him by.
Madison is a MFA graduate student studying Fiction at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She spends her time writing, reading, and watching too many movies, if there is such a thing.
A cold draft hugged my form as I made my way to the door. The house was wiped clean. Even the spare toothbrush he used to use, gone.
I watched him drive away, more bemused than saddened. I would have given him everything.
But Andreas only ever wanted my shoes.
Deepa is a full-time writer in India who occasionally gets to write for herself.