The tragic play unfolded in reverse. From the kitchen window mother saw the ragged hole in the ice on the frozen pond. Footprints in the snow backtracked to the door. The little red boots were gone, and toys lay abandoned on the floor. The television droned on, speaking to emptiness.
B.C. Nance is a native of Nashville, Tennessee where he works as a historical archaeologist. In his spare time he writes fiction and poetry and has published several of his short stories.
I remember him when we were just kids. Giggly, noisy, nearly manic, and already world-renowned. He practiced and practiced, eight hours a day, and his violin sang and cried for him.
He died alone at 35. Some people whispered that he’d climbed onto his kitchen counter and dived off headfirst.
Alex knew Michael.
I dreamed we were still in my kitchen, laughing
at the dog, who kept trotting to the door, then not
going out, lest he miss a single scrap
of whatever we might offer.
When I woke, the dog comforted me.
It was you inside the door, poised
to go through.
Jennifer L Freed has a friend whose tumors keep outrunning the chemo. Her website is jfreed.weebly.com
Sometimes I feel like you’re watching over me from wherever you are.
Sometimes I believe you love me still.
Sometimes the sun reminds me of your sweet caress,
And the moon of your deep, enduring passion.
Sometimes I realize it’s all an illusion and you are
Connie Taylor is an Operations Manager by day, a writer and reader by night. Her writing aspirations began in grade school with her heroine, Pantoulia, who leaped over football fields of fire. She’s contributed to the Journal of Integrated Studies and enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction.
She has to have her cigarettes. Buys them with the baby food money. Buys a six-pack, too. She lights up; first drag is always the best. She drops it in the sand, crushes it. She chugs the beer, staggers, falls into the moonlit surf.
She gave the baby up today.
poetry, prose, and photographs have appeared in Melancholy Hyperbole
, When Women Waken
, and Blotterature
. She travels the scenic route between St. Pete, Florida and the Off Campus Writers Workshop (OCWW) in Winnetka, Illinois. When she’s not writing, she’s listening, picking up slices of life or shells on a beach.
it’s been three days since your funeral
a white-crown sparrow pecks incessantly at the patio door,
wings fluttering madly to remain airborne, feet flailing the air
i blow a kiss, smile through fresh currents of briny dew and wave just as madly until,
satisfied, you fly away
one last time
Craig W. Steele lives in the lake-effect snow belt of northwestern Pennsylvania where, by day, he’s a university biology professor. He enjoys writing both short fiction and poetry and dreams of becoming a widely-read unknown writer.
Winds gust and panes quake as rain pounds the glass and creeps in through a cracked seal. It pools on the sill beside me, taking—of all forms—that of a heart.
That’s right, I remember. There’s such a thing as “the heart of the storm.”
But it’s always cold.
EO hopes that the next Goliath storm bound for the northeast gets lazy and simply opts to send a postcard instead.
He knew, often before she did, what was needed. His casual remark midweek, her nodded assent. Saturday morning: lunches packed, headed toward the rising sun and the smell of salt.
Now, when she stands alone by the edge of the sea, she thanks him even though he is not there.
Ellen Sinclair is from Belfast, Maine. She is a retired teacher, counselor, widow, mother, and grandmother, a lover of words and the sea.
Ran into school carefree and excited to learn. Exited school; discovered Papi was gone.
They watched us. They knew where he would be. Once he drove around the corner from my school, they took him into custody.
I was so happy to go into school that I didn’t wave goodbye.
Shawnta S. Barnes is a literacy coach in Indianapolis Public Schools, an adjunct instructor at IUPUI School of Education and a 2016-2017 Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow. Links to her publications can be found at educatorbarnes.com/publications.
Uncle Clifford dealt scrap.
Valentino in overalls, his hair slicked with axle grease. Boot polish moustachioed, ladies swooned.
“Yaargh!” he bellowed, swaggering to the pub.
One night, he disturbed burglars.
At his wake, I slicked soot beneath his innocent nose.
“Yaargh,” I whispered.
Mourners tutted, scandalized.
But only the men.
Margaret McGoverne has recently published her first novella, while being distracted by short stories, flash fiction and her blog about all things writing.