There was a huge crash as the shelves tore from the kitchen wall and the stored crockery and crystal smashed.
A twenty first birthday present; a wedding gift; a love token; items from times, places, people long gone.
I cried, not for the broken dishes but for the shattered memories.
This really did happen in Jan’s old-fashioned kitchen.
The memories ripple as you wade in, the concrete beneath your toes cushioned by abstract thought. Your fingers trail the surface, silver swirls of emotion patterning in your wake. Pause for a breath, then plunge down, losing yourself in memories even as they nibble away the edges of your mind.
Jenora Vaswani would like to think of herself as a lightfoot halfling, nimbly toeing the line between fantasy and reality. In actuality, you’re more likely to find her at her desk poring over various literary theories, surrounded by biscuit sandwiches and red velvet cookies. If you’d like to see more of her work, feel free to pop over to her website
He’d built it one summer, with determined hands and failing eyesight. A picnic table for two. Rough-hewn, sturdy—no curlicues or fancy woodworking.
“Silly man,” she said. “We’ll never use it.”
They didn’t; he died that winter.
The next spring, she sat there daily, remembering how much she’d loved him.
As a follow-up to her frivolous and fun career in broadcasting, Sally Basmajian is working on a variety of writing projects. She has won a few prizes for short fiction and creative non-fiction, and has recently completed a beach-worthy women’s novel.
This morning, we do the crossword puzzle on the floor, just like we did the day we moved in fiftysome years ago, before we had furniture or the children who will, today, help us move into assisted living. We’re rusty at the clues, but the coffee tastes just as hot.
Ingrid Jendrzejewski grew up in Vincennes, Indiana, and loves cryptic crosswords and the game of go. Recently, she won the Bath Flash Fiction Award. Links to Ingrid’s writing can be found at ingridj.com and she occasionally tweets @LunchOnTuesday.
When Dad lost the remote, he made a game. He’d call out numbers and, using the cable box, I’d change channels from black and white fuzz to sounds and spectrums of light.
The cable company never took it back, and I kept that disconnected box—long after Dad was gone.
Frederick Charles Melancon is a native of New Orleans. Currently, he lives in Mississippi with his wife and daughter. In his spare time, he watches cartoon movies with his family, and he enjoys every minute of it.
I asked my father what he’d miss most and he talked about the odors of men, and the fragrances of women, about the distinct aromas places held for the time you were in them — crowded rooms, vacant houses, city streets after a thunder shower, country roads during a heavy snow.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble.” His first novel, “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel,” was recently rereleased. Visit BobThurber.net.
Inside the empty cottage, shadows of ghosts: smudges where your picture used to hang; discolored floorboards where your cactus stood guard; a sepia burn on the kitchen counter; air stained with your perfume.
Six hundred bucks to show for a lifetime’s work.
Your gifts whisper to me in my dreams.
Monica is a sustainability manager by day and a writer by night, who used to visit Cape Cod every summer and every Christmas.
He hears the wood thrush now
just at the edges of hearing, watches the trickling stream
from his front porch, and recalls
running from the bottom of this hollow
to its very crown—
—with his son on his hip.
And there, looking out
there was nothing—
Matthew now lives and writes in Maine. He always relaxes, just a little, when driving north on I-95 and crosses the Piscataqua River Bridge. There he is greeted by a large sign, white lettering on a blue background: WELCOME TO MAINE – The Way Life Should Be.
When I am gone, who will take up my space?
When I am gone, who will breathe in my air?
Who will say the words I don’t say and fill the void I’ve left?
I hope I leave my footprints in the sand, to be remembered for a little while.
Jubilant following the publishing of her first story, Jean has wasted no time having another go. Her husband is amazed she can write anything in fifty words when she talks so much!
Grandpa snapped open the latches. The case creaked as he pulled up the lid.
“Why are you keeping our stubs? They’re not worth anything.”
Grandpa smiled over his shoulder. “We had fun though, didn’t we?”
Twenty years later in that dusty attic, I cherished those priceless tickets. “Love you, Grandpa.”
Jason wishes he could have met his grandfathers, and wishes he visited his grandmothers more when he had the chance. He marvels at how value lies in the eyes (and heart) of the beholder.