“What do you want?” asked the nurse.
What did he want? He once had a house, but all he remembered was a tumble and then pain. Then he had lost it all: mobility, independence, dignity, his house. Now he was lost.
“What do you want?”
“I don’t know,” he said.
Linda writes for both children and adults. She blogs at lindaschueler.com
Tattered memories: My first language, now long faded. A fence, reassuringly high, around a garden where time slept. Day trips through virgin forests, gathering wild berries and mushrooms. Suddenly, columns of soldiers goose-stepping in lock-step like a well-oiled machine. A week-long Atlantic crossing. Asking where, asking why. Getting no answers.
Alex has faint memories of 1930s Czechoslovakia.
She touched the violin’s remaining strings. They quivered in fear. After so many decades in the cupboard, they’d forgotten how to sing.
Until now, the house had surrendered few clues to Uncle’s life before he fled Budapest.
The sudden grief floored her. She hadn’t even known he used to play.
Tamsin has started to ask her friends for 50-word commissions, and would like to thank Alison for the “musical instrument in the back of a cupboard” challenge.
Mother Moon placed her howling baby into the calm water, a bath to sooth the tantrum.
Baby kicked with rage. The water rose up. Toy cities, filled with people, were buffeted about.
Small cars floated as roads became rivers, until the child wore itself out, falling asleep amid the ruins.
Candace Kubinec wrote this story with thoughts for Texas.
Editor: To support recovery from Hurricane Harvey, please consider donating through the Red Cross or another organization.
She loved the beach.
Yesterday I found sand in my shoes.
Today, flecks of seaweed clinging to my clothes.
Now the scent of her coconut tanning lotion traces the air.
I haven’t gone to the beach in the year since she drowned.
I wonder what she’s trying to tell me.
Mary lives on the coast in the south-east of Ireland, where the sea has a habit of seeping into her writing.
My heart pounding in my chest, I watched as you lay on the white linen, still and silent. The fan’s breeze fluttered your hair and eyelashes. You looked cool, reposed, as though sleeping. I squeezed your hand and whispered for you to open your eyes, once more.
But you didn’t.
Melanie Cranenburgh lives in Western Australia and rescues wildlife in her spare time.
Tears wanted to flow but nothing came. I wanted to cry but the guilt was too strong. In one fell swoop, my entire world crumbled before me, and I could not have done anything.
In that one moment, I understood what love and friendship meant because I had betrayed both.
Armaan is a bibliophile who listens to punk and alt rock, plays APRGs and likes to get serious sometimes. He started writing because his friends told him his English was better than theirs. His strong belief in friends has made him continue writing short fictional stories after high-school even though he currently pursues a degree in business management. He has recently entered the flash writing scene.
This beach, with its smooth stones and jagged waves, was always your favourite, wasn’t it, Mum?
That’s why I’m standing here with you now, one last time, a small tin in my hand that I can’t bring myself to tip. But I know I’ll have no choice in the end.
Laura Besley squeezes writing into the beginning and end of her day, when her young son is sleeping. She has been published in several anthologies and online. She had recently moved back to the UK after ten years abroad.
She looked through her cataract cloud. Her hair, like the bathroom mirror, had silvered. Her face showed cracks like the tile. Toothbrushes… two?
Nothing looked familiar. Not the photo of children that fluttered from her purse to the cold tile floor. Not the gray-haired man who carried her to bed.
Eileen McIntyre writes to the hum of hummingbird wings and listens to critique from crows in the woods of Northern California.
Dr. Gennit was close to a breakthrough. His devotion to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s was legendary.
He’d been caregiver for his mother, watching her steady decline and eventual death.
We thought he was just overworked until he left the lab today.
“I really can’t stay. Mother has dinner ready.”
Candace Kubinec wrote this story.