“Let’s walk to our tree,” she’d say. Our special place.
Through the wood, twigs snap underfoot. The brook flows by, reflecting dazzling summer sun. At the tree, a blackbird sings. I run my fingers over her initials, still carved into the trunk.
She’s gone. Her name forever in my heart.
Henry writes micro, flash and full fiction. He lives in Somerset, UK and he likes trees.
He hadn’t thought of her today. (Much.)
Then, his friend’s boy with his innocent question, “What’s your favourite colour?” (Couldn’t know the pain it caused.)
“Yellow,” he replied. (But what he really meant was: saffron sparks. Those lemon lights of stranded stardust that campfires used to summon in her eyes.)
Jo Withers is in a strangely sentimental mood. It won’t last.
“Isn’t that the funniest thing you ever heard?”
“Yes, mom. It’s a wonderful story. But it’s time for bed. Good night.”
I sigh and think to myself, when you wake up tomorrow you can tell it again, and I will pretend it’s the first time I ever heard it. Again.
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the 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.
“You have me,” he said, the promise reflected in his eyes. She believed him.
That was a year ago. He’d lied.
Now she held her screaming newborn in her arms, breasts raw from another failed feeding. “Shhh,” she whispered near his little ear. “I’m here. I will always be here.”
Zurina Saban is a poet and author based in Johannesburg.
The grey mask shields her eyes from visions of the children she never had
and scents her dreams with lavender
The ear plugs muffle the whispers of her ghosts
She bites down on a bullet, designed to take the strain
And she lays herself down,
to fight the night.
Jennifer M. Smith lives in Burlington, Ontario.
The clock strikes twelve. Glasses clink, the shiny ball drops, cheers all around.
In the midst of the confetti, I stand alone, champagne in hand… waiting.
Waiting for you, my love. Waiting for your kiss to signal another New Year.
My mind knows you’ve gone, but my heart still waits.
Susan Lozano wrote this story.
“You excited?” He smiled.
Her heart raced.
The doctor squeezed out the cold, clear goo.
She felt the wand wiggle around.
His smile hollowed.
She waited for the sound.
Another doctor came.
Minutes ticked by.
But the second heartbeat couldn’t be found.
Juliann Morris is an avid reader, writer, and tiny house dweller graduating from the University of Hawaii at Hilo this semester with a double Bachelor’s degree in English and Communication and a Creative Writing Certificate. She writes both fiction and nonfiction and bases most of her stories on her life experiences.
She told me that the cruelest part of it all, after it was over and she was finally allowed to leave the hospital and come home again, was that they had taken the crib away without even telling her.
They pretended like it had never been there to begin with.
Dave Novak works in a fairly serious office that sends him to strange and mysterious places throughout New Jersey. Whenever he feels like being more or less serious, he writes. You can check out his works and thoughts at dumbstupidfakestories.wordpress.com
I filled sacks with too-snug jeans and sweaters; my closet was finally getting uncluttered.
A fellow donor at the charity shop drivethrough extracted a train set and scooter from her van. I helped her with a dirt bike.
“They grow up so fast,” I commented.
“Tommy had leukemia,” she replied.
tried retiring, but it didn’t work.
I can’t turn my back on you, even though we’re now strangers.
Once you were brave and clever. Your body gave me pleasure, comfort and delight.
Now your limbs tremble. Your mind wanders. The strong man is a lost boy.
In sickness and in health. Until death do us part.
Lucia Saja wrote this story.