It’s never too late, she said, strapping on her mandolin.
Time doesn’t wait, she said, studying a map of the world.
More and more, she said, before hurrying to board a train.
Is this seat saved? she asked.
For you, he answered.
Into the night, wheels turned while they sang.
Jane Hertenstein’s current obsession is flash. She is the author of over 80 published stories, a combination of fiction, creative non-fiction, and blurred genre both micro and macro. In addition she has published a YA novel, Beyond Paradise, and a non-fiction project, Orphan Girl: The Memoir of a Chicago Bag Lady, which garnered national reviews. Jane is the recipient of a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hunger Mountain, Rosebud, Word Riot, Flashquake, Fiction Fix, Frostwriting, and several themed anthologies. She can also be found blogging at memoirouswrite.blogspot.com
He comes to the jam most Sunday nights,
This gentle, unassuming man, carrying his
Note for note, played or sung, pitch perfect and
resonating with feeling.
But it is the hugs he gives so generously and effortlessly,
full of kindness, that seem like music
and feel like love.
Ellen lives in Maine and plays at the jam.
“Awful man,” she muttered, kicking the encroaching brambles. “Beautiful woman,” he mused, as sunlight haloed her fair hair.
Every evening he’d toil, moving snails from her delicate beans and dahlias to his indestructible thicket.
She never wondered why her allotment flourished. Or who left the gifts of glorious blackberry jam.
Tamsin doesn’t have an allotment, and she has to be her own snail shepherd. Despite best efforts, her runner beans are still being severely chewed.
Night-veiled raven swoops down
settling on a field of stubbled snow
red river birch standing guard along the edge.
The colors of winter envelop the world
stark and soft, like a broken heart
stunning and everyday, like losing love
magical and hard, like brown leaves
skittering across a frozen pond.
Jackie Ascrizzi lives in Montville, Maine, mock orange and peony wafting through the windows.
Only dish-washing was available but he needed the summer job. He wanted to meet her.
So what if she was on exchange too? Or that she might think him a nobody?
A lifetime together was worth that summer of dishes, even if she wanted him to always be their dishwasher.
Joey doesn’t mind washing the dishes as long as she recognizes his cooking as a sign of affection rather than treating it as convenient “free food”. Either way, you can visit him at joeytoey.com
“I’ll take her around,” volunteered little Jayati, wheeling the spastic Anna out. Ten years separated the two.
“She, too, yearns for your love,” commented my wife.
At bed time, I explained why Anna needed more care. “She’s a ‘special’ child,” I said.
“I also want to be ‘special’,” Jayati replied.
Vijai Pant is a language teacher in a school in India. He is also a freelance writer.
Sometimes I feel like you’re watching over me from wherever you are.
Sometimes I believe you love me still.
Sometimes the sun reminds me of your sweet caress,
And the moon of your deep, enduring passion.
Sometimes I realize it’s all an illusion and you are
Connie Taylor is an Operations Manager by day, a writer and reader by night. Her writing aspirations began in grade school with her heroine, Pantoulia, who leaped over football fields of fire. She’s contributed to the Journal of Integrated Studies and enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction.
He carried me over the threshold. That, in itself, was not an easy task.
I should have loved him for that alone, but I always wanted more.
“You missed a spot.” I twirled the just-washed glass around in the sunlight.
He reached to take it, but I smiled. “Let me.”
Susan Gale Wickes hails from the Midwest. She likes writing and daydreaming about where it might lead.
Winds gust and panes quake as rain pounds the glass and creeps in through a cracked seal. It pools on the sill beside me, taking—of all forms—that of a heart.
That’s right, I remember. There’s such a thing as “the heart of the storm.”
But it’s always cold.
EO hopes that the next Goliath storm bound for the northeast gets lazy and simply opts to send a postcard instead.
“That’s the girl I’m going to marry,” he said, pointing down the hall. His friends dared him to approach, ask her simply for a date.
“You’re cute, but I already have a dog,” said she, in reply to his awkward entreaty.
Right he was. The two were married forty-seven years.
Anita Reynolds is a writer and artist, wife and mom in the rural reaches of Tennessee. Her work is inspired by the strangeness of life, from the mundane to the magical.