I’ll walk with James to Central Park
in the middle of the night
and let him run off leash while
I climb every tree, even the red oaks
that stretch into the stars
until morning brings us to our senses,
squirrels emerge from their burrows
and all the stars disappear.
Stephanie Jones works as a features writer for DownBeat magazine and Hot House Jazz Guide. When time permits, she hosts a podcast called “After the Call.” Jones graduated from Wellesley College having studied with Frank Bidart and Alicia Erian, and earned her BFA in Jazz Performance from The City College of New York. See more at linkedin.com/in/meetmissjonesny.
Mrs. Woodham committed her Japanese garden to memory as the moving van swallowed the last of her furniture. The driver ambled over and hefted the five-gallon ceramic planter beside her walker.
“All set, Miss Margaret. The tree rides up front?”
She smiled at the gnarled cherry branches overhead and nodded.
Elizabeth Spencer Spragins is a poet, writer, and editor who taught in community colleges for more than a decade. Her tanka and bardic verse in the Celtic style have been published in Europe, Asia, and North America. Recent work has appeared in the Lyric, Blueline, Borrowed Solace, Ariel Chart, and Page & Spine. The Language of Bones, a collection of her bardic verse, is scheduled for publication by Kelsay Books in summer 2019.
He does his work under many pseudonyms. Sometimes he goes by cancer, or stroke, or heart attack; other times he’s called car accident, missing in action, or simply victim. No matter what he calls himself today, his true name is writ large and bold across each of our frail bodies.
Aeryn Rudel is a writer from Seattle, Washington. He is the author of the Acts of War novels published by Privateer Press, and his short fiction has appeared in The Arcanist, Factor Four Magazine, and Pseudopod, among others. Learn more about Aeryn’s work at rejectomancy.com or on Twitter.
There was something I wanted. The glow of home, or the bittersweet ache of fulfillment. Something not tangible.
The restaurant was crowded; too loud, too bright. I sat by the window, watching flurries dance around the white glowing orbs of streetlights.
A man stood to leave.
“Take me with you.”
Erica Schaef worked as an Operating Room nurse for ten years before becoming a stay-at-home parent. She lives in rural Tennessee with her family.
18: The pelican on my shoulder reminds me to slow things down, live calmly.
25: The snake slithering up my arm symbolizes willful and unapologetic action.
33: The rose on my wrist shows me that beauty can stem from new beginnings.
“Dad, what do your tattoos mean?”
“Nothing,” I say.
Jonah Ardiel lives and writes short fiction in Calgary, AB, Canada. To read some of his work, visit jonahardiel.neocities.org.
He loved her all his life. He waited, growing up knowing she was out there, even before he met and married her.
The sun settled behind the hills every day, but today had special meaning. He would be facing tomorrow alone for the first time. Now, she waited for him.
NT Franklin writes cozy mystery short stories, nostalgia short stories, and Flash Fiction and has been published in 50 Word Stories, Page & Spine, Scarlet Leaf Review, Fiction on the Web, Madswirl, Postcard Shorts, 404 Words, 101 Words, Freedom Fiction, Burrst, Entropy, Alsina Publishing, Fifty-word stories, Dime Show Review, and more.
Leaves dance with the fall breeze
The sun steals the early frost
The moon waits in the wings
I shiver in respect of nature
I shiver in respect of my age
Eighty years young
I am beyond the age of expectation
for women according to the insurance
companies age calculations
Charlotte McElroy is an 80-year-old retired teacher. She is finally following her dream: writing! Thank you for giving her this opportunity.
It’s a night just like a hundred others. The candle gutters gently as the Storykeeper takes a deep breath.
A hush of soft voices steals through the room, each ghost asking for their turn. She focuses on a high, young voice, and lets his story sweep her away.
Maria likes how she can squeeze microfiction into her hectic life. She’s amused to note that writing 50-word stories is making her drabbles seem too long.
It’s all we have.
Alan took himself from us, so young, when she still had hundreds.
Saturday she couldn’t remember that the bedroom—that dusty shrine—was once his.
Yesterday, his name dropped away.
Soon she’ll gaze at me and see a stranger. We’ll be down to forty-nine.
After chasing his muse from Virginia to Manhattan, Richard Day Gore settled in Southern California, where he spends his time pushing around words, paint brushes, and guitar strings.
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.