“Brake before the curve,” her mother always told her in mountainous terrain.
Senior year, she met him in philosophy class, slept with him when he mentioned love.
“We’re too young to get serious,” he said one night. Permanent goodbye.
Spring semester, he was engaged.
His words were code. Broke her.
C.G. Thompson has two stories in the recently released TL;DR Press’ Women’s Anthology: Carrying Fire. Other stories and poems have appeared in Yalobusha Review, Prime Number Magazine, Fictive Dream, Jersey Devil Press, and Redheaded Stepchild, among others.
He plunged the knife into his chest, carved a circle through the muscle and bone, and withdrew his heart. He placed it in a box and neatly wrapped it.
The day before she left, he presented her the gift, to carry with her to the other end of the world.
Francisco Tutella is a public relations specialist at Penn State University. His work has appeared in Fifty-Word Stories and Wilkes magazine. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. Like him on Facebook.
We were pressed against the back wall behind a tangle of dresses and hangers, the Boone’s Farm in our stomachs rising against the reek of moth balls. Blue and red flashing lights stabbed under the bifold doors, licking my guilty socks.
She took my hand, and suddenly nothing else mattered.
Chip Houser’s short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, New Myths, Every Day Fiction, and elsewhere. He’s a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop, has an MFA in Creative Writing from UMSL, and thinks cedar is the better option for closets.
“I need to see you,” he says, phone denting his cheek.
She swallows, hard. That “sucking on a penny” taste.
20 minutes later, he rings her doorbell.
“Your dad is dead,” he says, no warmup.
“Oh thank God. I was afraid you were going to tell me you’re leaving me.”
Anne Gudger is a Portland writer who has been lucky to have words in Real Simple Magazine, The Rumpus, Slippery Elm, and more. In November 2017 Anne won two contests: Hippocampus and New Millennium Writings. She lives with her sweet husband, and their grown kids and kid-in-laws live not far.
In dream, images lure: my hands spanning his bony scapula, lips kissing his neck, leg snaking his muscles as I lean back, believing he won’t ever let me go.
Awake, I pray for strength I cannot muster, to rise, to walk, to forgive the texting teen for unraveling our tango.
Sudha Balagopal’s short fiction appears in Jellyfish Review, Drabble, New Flash Fiction Review, New World Writing, and other journals. She is the author of a novel, A New Dawn. See more at sudhabalagopal.com.
Every summer we haul grandpa’s ashes down to the beach and listen to the crashing surf.
The roar reminds us of grandpa’s grumbling groans after a long day’s work.
When the tide recedes, the shoreline resembles a long stretch of freshly poured cement, waiting to be troweled, skimmed perfectly smooth.
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, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
Lost most of my teeth and sight. Not rambunctious like I was.
She still loved me, unconditionally. She looked at me as if I was still a pup. “You take love with you from one world to the next,” she once told me.
Never thought that I’d outlive her.
Jody loves to write fiction. She is inspired by her old hound dog, who puts a smile on her face every day with his silly antics.
Growing up, I looked up to my dad more than anything. So when he said my mom was a goddess in every sense, I was perplexed. She was… matronly. Crow’s feet and freckles.
As I grew older, it never dawned on me.
Until I met a goddess in every sense.
Isaiah Smith has lived in a lot of places, but his favourites are where he’s among friends. Before he was a writer, Isaiah didn’t have a purpose outside of pleasing his friends and family. He wears a two-piece suit while he writes. It’s just business.
Being us is coming home, slipping into PJs, and pressing soft, weary limbs together under grandma-made quilts and old sheets. It’s absence of words while my nose is tucked inside your neck. Then it’s singing “Hallelujah!” with our eyes because we’re home, together, in the tender place of being known.
Alyssa Minaker lives in Africa with her husband.
The steel wheels of the approaching train
screech at me to jump.
This is it!
I move towards the platform’s edge
and surrender to the approaching light.
A man’s voice calls from behind
Is that the train to Amsterdam?
I turn around, and I behold
my brown-eyed destiny.
Susan J. Nassuna is a Ugandan born writer and coach. She lives in the Netherlands, and when not working on her novel and a collection of short stories she guides others in using writing and storytelling as powerful tools for healing and growth. See more at writingforwellnessworkshops.com.