One side of his syrinx trilled a curse to his family’s murderer. The other warbled his children’s favorite melodies through sobs. His friends comforted him but discouraged his screams: “You’ll die, by predator or exhaustion.” He always replied: “Can’t die. Already dead.”
The humans nearby praised, “Pretty bird. Beautiful song!”
Nature both terrifies and captivates boomer trujillo. Find more of his work at boomert.info.
The moment River’s life ended, brick by brick I built the wall. Covered the searing pain with concrete so no one could see. People passed and acknowledged the smile. The nod. The pleasantries.
Till you saw and lay down beside me, held me, and whispered. Whispered like River used to.
Eileen Brennan McIntyre is a writer from Northern California who loves writing stories that touch the heart.
The morning after, I find myself putting chopped tomatoes in my omelette, the same way he did. He had them ready on our first visit and somehow it became our ritual.
I hate tomatoes. But I’m glad I never told him.
I’ll miss Grandpa’s stories. And his tomato omelettes, too.
Melissa Kelly is a poet and short story writer from Long Island, NY. You can see some of her work in WestWard Quarterly Magazine, Plum Tree Tavern, Soft Cartel, Amethyst Review, and Anti-Heroin Chic.
Sunshine after a murky morning,
Dark rings telling tales
Screams from behind tired eyes
That once danced with life
And still briefly glinted
When he saw her
He peered into the glass and blinked
The birth of a tear
Gravity carving a salty track to the cheek’s edge
Jon is a frustrated storyteller from the North West of England, currently working in Local Government but with a background in Newspaper Journalism.
We talked for hours, while making lists of people to call. Halfway to morning we went to bed. We were shattered. Before we fell asleep the wind picked up, gusting snow off the trees. As the branches lightened, they scratched against the windows, like something asking to be let in.
Author’s Note: For Sarah Kate 1980-2010
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.
Fog surrounds our seaside home and fills my father’s mind. He doesn’t understand that I alone ward off the nursing home.
He tries to escape to his army camp. I follow his footprints to the water. A knot cramps my stomach.
Dropping to my knees, I think he’s calling me.
Ann Zimmerman lives with her wife and 2 cats in Colorado, where she writes, hikes, skis, golfs, enjoys photography and grandchildren. See more at annzimmermanblog.wordpress.com.
It’s a beautiful spring day, although perhaps a little too warm for the suit I picked out.
A bird sings from the branch of a nearby tree. I welcome the distraction.
She always loved birds, I think to myself, as I toss a handful of dirt onto the tiny coffin.
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and has published over 40 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two short story collections, and his first novel, When Darkness Comes, was released in October, 2017. For more information, visit gallenwilbanks.com.
Things I’ve done for money: collected cans for cash, sold chocolate, shoveled sidewalks after a snowstorm. Once I built an amusement park in the backyard and sold tickets. That was the summer Mom quit chemo.
I told jokes for a penny. She bought a hundred, and listened from her bed.
Jane Hertenstein wrote this story.
The left arm was too long. Distracted, she’d miscounted the rows above the cuff.
He’d just grin and blame his shoulder. That permanent, lopsided shrug that gave his silhouette such beautiful asymmetry.
As she laid the neatly folded pullover on the grass, she noticed his headstone leaned the same way.
Tamsin is disappointed that she has never mastered knitting.
Little if any sizzling. Pulling away from the pan.
A toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
She turned it upside down on a wire cooling rack then righted it on another.
That brief time left an impression.
The crisscross pattern reminded her of her mother.
Dead at forty-two.
Jennifer M. Smith was taught the family baking secrets at an early age. She never met her maternal grandmother.