My heart pounding in my chest, I watched as you lay on the white linen, still and silent. The fan’s breeze fluttered your hair and eyelashes. You looked cool, reposed, as though sleeping. I squeezed your hand and whispered for you to open your eyes, once more.
But you didn’t.
Melanie Cranenburgh lives in Western Australia and rescues wildlife in her spare time.
Friends and family gathered around me on that cold rainy February night, waiting for the news.
“No brain activity,” the doctor said.
Walking in the house at midnight, I called out your name, by habit.
In the dark silence, your last words echoed through my mind: “I can hear you.”
Susan is a Curriculum Developer at a mortgage company. She is widowed with two grown daughters and two stepsons, and four awesome grandchildren, two boys and two girls.
We’d spent a rare afternoon rummaging among leaves to find them, so it pained me to see my daughter throw the conkers from her window.
“Don’t you want them?” I asked.
“I want to let them grow,” she said. “When you love things, sometimes it’s best to leave them behind.”
Guy has no notable literary accolades, but once beat a retired Indonesian pirate at chess. This is his fifth 50-word story.
The picture on my timeline shows a victorious twenty-something in a designer wedding dress, studiously ignoring the besotted groom beside her.
I thought I had healed the wound carved by boyfriend-snatching ex-friends and wayward lovers months ago.
But Facebook is filled with daggers and I have no armor against them.
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability professional by day and a writer by night.
Cold, lonely air pressed the blanket to me. Toes curled, uncurled, and pumped poor circulation; joints snapped and popped.
She, warm in her own room, recounted new romance to a blog.
And if, with honest certainty, you knew you did not miss her, why would you pull your blanket tighter?
A journalism major with a creative writing minor, Alice loves linguistics, ukuleles, and long talks about humanity’s place in reality with relation to God, the universe, and the greater cosmos as a whole.
My good-for-nothing mother came back from the dead wearing a different dress than the one we’d buried her in. Her hair was dyed ruddy rose. In her cupped hands she held all my rage, all my grief.
She winked, spread her fingers, dropped all that old sorrow at my feet.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble”. Visit BobThurber.net.
[Ella has entered text]
I can’t close the chat, even though it’s been almost four months since the cremation. I check the bottom of that box like the morning paper, like it gives my life meaning. I thought nothing could hurt more. Today I’ll close the chat.
[Ella is typing]
Corinna lives in North Carolina with a loving partner and a herd of cats. She is the author of the Myths & Mortals trilogy, published by Harper Impulse.
I haven’t cleaned (or done much of anything) since you left, and now I only have dust clouds to keep me company in my silent apartment.
I resolve to vacuum, knowing I can treat myself to a peek at your picture (which I’ll destroy, I swear!) in the storage closet.
Sheela Kamath is a copy editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. When she’s not writing, she’s adding books — from literary fiction to sci-fi and fantasy — to her Goodreads list and playing with her dog Starbuck (named for “Battlestar Galactica,” naturally). You can follow her on Twitter @skamath3
He found her orange flats in the closet under his boots. That’s when he gave in to letting her go. Each lung breathed in the worn leather and forced it back out along with shared memories, stacked as weakened bricks already crumbling.
He was meant to feel each one fall.
Tamra Artelia Martin received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Florida. An overachiever at heart and a glutton for academic punishment, or academic joy depending on the day, she’s currently earning her second MFA in stage and screen writing at Lesley University. Check out her blog on writing at http://writerschai.blogspot.com/.