Cuddles. An order.
Cuddles? The robot paused, processing.
A brief demonstration.
A jerky imitation. Processing again.
I do not understand. You want to remain in contact with my exterior form. Why?
The question hung in the air.
Perhaps a chemical analysis of oxytocin was in order.
The thought of a fledgling artificial intelligence trying to learn the ways of humans has always amused Jenora. This is a story about the merging of the undefinable with the empirical. If you’d like to see more of Jenora’s work, pop along to her website at openingdoorsofperception.com
“How is your new job?” A crumb escapes, falling.
“I am thankful to have one.” Careful, collected, but unable to avoid my family’s stream of questions. I reflect, the way my bargain-bin cassette instructed.
A miniature rake scrapes across the artificial garden on my desk. A grain of sand escapes.
Raphael Bastek is a Polish-American office worker. He lives with his beloved cat, Yuna.
A busy intersection; pouring rain. She must make a choice.
One direction offers comfort, everything she’s ever known. The other promises pain and more than a little adventure.
She steps off of the sidewalk, passing by her battered, bloody shoe, taking a turn away from the world and into eternity.
A. Elizabeth Herting is an aspiring freelance writer and busy mother of three living in colorful Colorado. She has had short stories featured in Bewildering Stories, Peacock Journal, Dark Fire Fiction, Friday Fiction, Under the Bed, and Fictive Dream. She has also published non-fiction work in Denver Pieces Magazine and bioStories. More info is available on her website and Facebook page.
Tonight I celebrate a glorious sunset, the precious ending of another glorious day!
Its view is tainted through a hospital window; no problem.
Have I truly beaten death? Perhaps!
I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but for today I’ve won, and with every labored breath I celebrate life’s simple joy.
Lisa Lysen is having fun exploring her passion for words, hoping an adventure in writing may be somewhere in her future.
She stared out through the window, her eyes tracing and re-tracing the lines of the window pane, the branches of the trees outside, the curve of the mountains.
She knew she had to get up and make dinner, but she couldn’t escape the feeling that it wouldn’t make any difference.
Beth Buck’s work has been featured by Sukoon Magazine, Imperfect Fiction, and a couple of others. She lives in the Intermountain West with a bunch of noisy kids and a spinning wheel.
Mother died ages ago. Her heart killed her.
She’d always say to me, “Better you cry now than I cry later.” Sometimes she’d hit with her hand, other times with a hairbrush.
I remember her saying, “Life is what you make it.” Now it’s a boat! Or a flower pot.
Howie Good is the recipient of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry for his latest collection, Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements.
I used to be in a hurry. I wished for the weekend, for my vacation, for Christmas. I “wasted” time with mindless television and naps.
Since the diagnosis, I treasure every moment and feel cheated by boredom.
I’m awake for my life; I resent lost moments.
It’s time to retire.
Laurie loves sitting on the couch watching mindless TV and holding hands, especially with a smelly dog in her lap.
Sometimes, life can change in an instant.
For Sharon, it began with a series of pain waves, each one more agonising than the last. It rose, peaked, and fell. She grimaced, yelled, and cried. Inhale, exhale, repeat.
After 14 long hours, the life-changing moment finally arrived.
A healthy baby girl.
Carrie is childless and incapable of entertaining kids for more than thirty minutes at a go. However, her secret pleasure is reading children’s storybooks—to herself, alone.
Karen spent every waking moment planning the perfect life. Her mind soaked up luxury, sun and freedom. She could almost taste her homemade spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove in her quiet apartment.
The putrid odor of another inmate slapped Karen back to reality.
Only nine thousand days to go.
Hillary blames the delicious aroma coming from her own kitchen and an article in the local newspaper for this story.
Hank was a successful plumber, but dreamed of fronting a band. He sang whilst fixing the shower, filling the bathroom with renditions of the 60s classics he heard on his father’s records.
His work complete, he belted out the last note, turned the stopcock, and listened to the shower cheer.
Guy once started a band with a stranger, at 2am, in the frozen food section of his local 24-hour Tesco. It frustrates him that he can’t seem to pull a story from it. This is his tenth 50-word story.