Dreams and reality sometimes ravel and blur in the longest hours of the night. That’s when I reach out and touch your arm, your back, your thigh, lightly, ever so lightly, so I don’t wake you. We’ve grown old and frail together, you and I. Now, constantly, we seek reassurance.
Alex lives in a suburb of the Big Apple.
“You may get several more years with immediate, aggressive treatment. Are you ready?”
Bill’s wife blubbered. He’d given her jewelry, vacations, homes, children, and a 401k from a dead-end job. Now she wept as tumors crept through his body.
“Yes, doctor!” she replied.
Finally reclaiming his life, Bill whispered, “No.”
Matt McHugh was born in suburban Pennsylvania, attended LaSalle University in Philadelphia, and after a few years as a Manhattanite, currently calls New Jersey home. Some of his work is available at mattmchugh.com
We arrived with all the time in the world.
Those first birthdays couldn’t come fast enough.
The middle days whispered in our ears.
Don’t worry; there’s loads of time left.
We’ve known from birth this day would come.
Still, we’re surprised when we open the door and find death waiting.
John Fowler served twenty years in the US Air Force before retiring and starting a second career in the IT field. He is also a Lay Pastor serving a small church near his home in Texas. His hobbies include reading, golfing, writing, and now oil painting.
Staring at the computer screen, wishing she were somewhere else.
The banks of the Euphrates, the moors of Scotland, the Australian Outback, the beach.
Anywhere but this cold, lifeless cubicle.
Flipping the screen, she looks at her bank account balance.
Back to the drudgery to one day earn her escape.
Susan is a Curriculum Developer at a mortgage company. She is widowed with two grown daughters, two stepsons, and four awesome grandchildren: two boys and two girls.
I recognized her immediately. Same eyes, but sadder; same hair, but grayer.
She’d dominated my yearbooks: cheerleader, homecoming queen, class favorite.
As she rang up my groceries, I suddenly wondered which was more unfortunate… Those who peaked in high school, or those of us who wasted our lives envying them.
Gail Warber is the winner of several writing contests including E.K.U.’s creative non-fiction competition. She lives in Appalachia with her four frisky corgis and three frisky grandchildren.
I don’t know why the starry sky
I cannot see how the river carves its way all the way to the ocean
I can only dream where songbirds go to die
I don’t know why
or how, left to its own
a salmon spawning upstream
swims hundreds of miles—home.
Todd is an amateur writer and poet. He met the love of his life in a college writing class. Since then, the two have spent their lives together.
One spring morning
A strong wind arose
Waking the old trees
Their young leaves shimmied
Like tiny gymnasts stretching
Practicing handstands and cartwheels
While nearby other giants
Stood somber as if caught
By some old trauma
Some unspeakable shame
That had broken
Their mighty spirit
So many long years ago
Matthew lives and grows in Maine.
We watched it together.
“How would you describe your marriage?” the detective asked his suspect.
You ask me the same question.
“I knew you would ask that.” Giving nothing away.
Just like the guy in the show, I’m keeping my thoughts to myself. I don’t want to spoil the ending.
Besides, David doesn’t know what the ending is yet. He’s just making it up as he goes along.
Night-veiled raven swoops down
settling on a field of stubbled snow
red river birch standing guard along the edge.
The colors of winter envelop the world
stark and soft, like a broken heart
stunning and everyday, like losing love
magical and hard, like brown leaves
skittering across a frozen pond.
Jackie Ascrizzi lives in Montville, Maine, mock orange and peony wafting through the windows.
When the radiation cleared, they were ready.
When they ventured, blinking, out onto the surface, they were overwhelmed, but they were ready.
When they followed the maps, found the seed vault intact, they were ready.
When a fat mouse ran across the littered cement floor – no one was ready.
Sarah Krenicki likes writing short fiction about large things.