Both our wives walked out within a week. We hadn’t spoken in years, but now all we had was each other: though divided by parents, we were united by divorce.
We fished from the harbour wall, with bated breath and baited lines, sharing tales of the one that got away.
Guy has never taken his brother fishing. This is his twenty-second 50-word story.
When I woke, he stood by our bed, his suit muddy, eyes clouded, skin sickly pale.
“I’m home,” he croaked around his decomposing tongue.
“You shouldn’t be. You’re death walking again, honey.”
“Can I stay?”
Taking his icy hand, I led him from the house, towards the cemetery.
GB is a writer from Tasmania. She prefers grey areas to the clarity of light and dark.
“You mustn’t play in the fields between worlds,” she warned. “One false step, and whoosh! The muddy abyss’ll swallow you up.”
The children are gone, now. All that remains are the scars in the soil where they fell: a dark, infinite wasteland of holes.
Down here, we call them stars.
David-Christopher Harris published the YA fantasy short story, “Falselight”, available at dcharriswriting.com. He enjoys cranberry juice.
Fifty years ago they played the game: never step on the cracks, her brother warned. If you do, they open wide, then down you slip between the flagstones. You just disappear.
Now, dragging along the wheeled suitcase that holds the broken-backed remains of her life, she understands what he meant.
Mick Mangan lives in England, and writes plays, poems, songs, fiction and non-fiction. See more about his music at mickmangan.com.
you were brilliant; so smart i couldn’t keep up.
for a while we wanted each other.
desire is stupid.
later we were sort of friends.
once in a while we spoke, but i felt more left out than when we didn’t speak.
now you’ve gone & died.
i miss you.
Quite by chance, Plum Kennard has been around quite a while and is happy to be in this world. Her work reflects her delight in the magical moments of life, but also the grief and loss a long life brings.
We were hugging in her kitchen beside her new stove and refrigerator
and I could see down the hall to the dining room
and beyond to the den where her blind husband was sitting in an electric powered recliner,
a contraption like something NASA produces for space missions to Mars.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, despite severe vision loss, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
I sit in the passenger seat, my hands clasped together tightly, afraid that she will bring it up.
Unhappiness. Divorce. My father.
My heart races, my stomach unsettled, as she takes a steadying breath to open her mouth, while I scream in my head: Mother, please don’t.
Erica is working on her first urban fantasy novel. While she loves writing, she isn’t so sure about this whole “editing” thing. When she isn’t working on her book, she can be found planning her next trip, drinking wine (red, of course), or cuddling up with her ridiculously adorable puppy, Teddy. See more at squarerootroundworld.com
She held out her arms, beseeching me to give her the baby who had miraculously triumphed over death. I helped her cradle the tiny form in her arms. She cooed the whole time, “Renato. Renato.”
This is how he came by his name: he came to life a second time.
Dr. Marlene Caroselli is an author, keynoter, and corporate trainer whose clients include Lockheed Martin, Allied Signal, Department of the Interior, and Navy SEALS. She writes extensively about education, business, self-improvement, and careers and has adjuncted at UCLA and National University. Her first book, The Language of Leadership, was named a main selection by the Executive Book Club. Principled Persuasion, a more recent title, was designated a Director’s Choice by the Doubleday Book Club. Applying Mr. Albert: 365+ Einstein-Inspired Brain Boosts, her 62nd book, will be released by HRD Press in 2018.
I miss reading your gothic paranormal dinosaur erotica poetry.
I miss you playing B-side heavy metal on low volume whilst veganising carnivorous recipes.
I miss picking up a full jar of pickles and standing stupidly with only the lid in my hand.
I missed the meaning of your goodbye note.
Alice Lam moved to Australia from the UK with her partner and they share a house in Melbourne, along with a cheese-seeking, greying Boxer dog. See more at alicelambooks.com.
That is a photo of my girlfriend; it was the last good day she had before she died.
She doesn’t look sick, but she was. That wasn’t going to stop her doing what she wanted to do. She had spirit.
How do you get used to losing someone like that?
Susan Cornford is a retired public servant living in Perth, Western Australia. She has pieces published or forthcoming in 50-Word Stories, Akashic Books, Antipodean Science Fiction, CarpeArte Journal, Fewer Than 500, Ghost Parachute, Medusa’s Laugh, Speculative 66, Subtle Fiction, Switchblade, The Fable Online, The Gambler, and The Vignette Review. She considers herself an emerging flash writer.