I know the future. You imagine yourself on your motorcycle with your scarf fluttering behind, a middle finger to the naysayers who believe the doctors.
But I know the future. You decided to repair that wooden chest with the rusty nails. You weren’t careful. One scratch and I was in.
Sarah Samson is a consultant, writer and corporate responsibility professional living in Portland, Oregon.
She didn’t need her smile after her husband died, so she gave it to her daughter, who was pregnant. Years later, she looked up to see someone walk through her door. It was her old friend the smile, now with short legs and rosy cheeks.
“Have some cookies,” she said.
C.M.F. Wright writes sentences that occasionally turn into stories. Her short stories have appeared in 50-Word Stories, Syntax & Salt Magazine and the VSS365 Anthology.
The widower, Mr. Rochester, didn’t pick up his rose bouquet today. He says roses remind him of his beautiful wife.
His neighbor, Mr. John, walked in the next day. He asked, “Do you have Yellow Pansy?”
I answered, “No. Why?”
“Pansy would remind me of my good friend, Mr. Rochester.”
Lea is a ghost writer who hides in another person’s shadow. She came out today to write stories again.
Thinking of you is like sipping my second cup of coffee of the day: not a yearning rush, just savoring the dreamy warmth and bittersweetness. My eyes will still moisten suddenly, fogged in the aroma of the past, when my fingers run across your old ring laced with green patina.
Lorna Ye writes flash fiction and poetry. She enjoys listening to soft jazz and trying new recipes.
Everyone else is a newcomer. He lived here before they built the road. Before the road gave rise to the houses. Before the houses necessitated the church and the pub. But now they need a school and an old tree can’t be allowed to stand in the way of progress.
Ben lives in Dallas where he is viewed with tolerant amusement by his wife and two small boys. He has just started writing micro fiction and hopes to get better at it.
You are my past, and Oh, how I cherish you.
The artwork, the books; the fine furniture saturated with memories.
You showcase five decades of my successes.
But once I could not pay, none of that mattered.
The storage company will auction you off, breaking my retirement heart,
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability consultant during the day and a writer by night, bearing witness to Covid’s ever-expanding collateral damage.
Sarah lowers the wine bottle into the recycling bin and places it onto the stack below. It doesn’t make a sound. She’s practised at this. At silence.
In the living room, the laptop sits open at the grocery page. It suggests Pampers. She adds wine and tampons to her order.
R. J. Kinnarney’s short story, The Blue Bowl, was runner-up in the Daunt Books short story competition. They have been longlisted in Retreat West flash fiction competitions. Their work has been published in The Write In and 100 Words of Solitude. They are currently working on a novel, which looks at attitudes to war, together with changing methods and speed of communication.
They scheduled routine check-ups, but the doctors were gone. They were tended by interns.
They sent children back to school. Half the teachers were gone.
So it went: at police stations, town halls, colleges, labs—everywhere, those with the most experience to pass on were either sick, or already gone.
Jennifer L. Freed mostly writes poems, which have appeared in various journals and anthologies. Her website is jfreed.weebly.com
My son has a plot—his own little piece of real estate. The grass is sparse, so I tend it: raking topsoil, spreading seed, pouring water. New sprouts emerge, filling the aching gaps.
I remove the weeds, pretending he’s on vacation.
But my heart screams his name and I cry.
Tawnia is an elementary teacher in Ontario who recently started writing. She is revising her first novel, a YA sci-fi, and hopes to start querying agents soon. She recently told a Red Chair story via Zoom for the Graham Norton Show. You can find her on Twitter @TawniaCourage.
I cast one last glance at the phone, still dark on the bedside table. My heart ached for it ring; my body willed it to stay silent. I let myself slip into the embrace of another, and watched the distance between us stretch beyond what two lost souls could repair.
Patrick Eades writes stories about people who are misunderstood, whose voices don’t get heard despite having something important to say. He has worked in the healthcare industry for nearly a decade, giving him a perspective into life, death and everything in between. His work is soon to be published in Idle Ink and Scarlet Leaf Review. He lives sandwiched between the National Parks of southern Sydney with his wife and dog, and has appeared in one film, where he played a drunken boxer with a strong dislike of DJs who think they can sing. He can be found at patrickeades.net.