A middle-aged man and woman sit in movie theater seats with broken hinges. Distortions of an animated film flicker in the reflection of their eyes, accompanied by the laughter of children ringing in their ears.
The woman clutches a tattered teddy bear to her chest. The man squeezes her hand.
Taylor Stuckey is an English major at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. She started dabbling in writing short fiction less than a year ago, and hasn’t stopped since. This is her first published sotry.
Late in life, she traded piano for painting. It was so refreshing. She’d only ever played keys when she’d had a husband to join onstage.
They’d joke about it when he appeared to her. She tried painting him in his present form, but she could never get the eyes right.
Lucas Kwong is a professor of English at New York City College of Technology. When he isn’t grading papers, he’s making music with his garage rock band THE BROTHER K MELEE, or writing for his band’s official microfiction Twitter account, THE NOT OK MELEE (@notokmelee).
Mothballs, mother’s coats zippered away in clothing bags above a field of gloves, fingers outstretched as if in bloom. Dad’s fedoras molded into the shape of his skull, various moods for each day, all nestled sleepily above the rooms where we slept, seasoned to perfection with the dust of forgetfulness.
Jim Doss lives with his wife and three children in Sykesville, Maryland, and earns his living as a software engineer. He has previously published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again, and What Remains. In partnership with Werner Schmitt, he also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
She could hear a piano and recognised the tune and lyrics
“You must remember this,” repeated in her ear.
She tried, but could not speak.
Next time, she thought, “I must say those words ”
The doctor smiled. “Play that song again.
“Your mother’s responding. She’s out of the coma.”
John B. Sinclair is a much-travelled Scot who has now returned to Scotland, where he enjoys freelance writing on a variety of subjects.
The left arm was too long. Distracted, she’d miscounted the rows above the cuff.
He’d just grin and blame his shoulder. That permanent, lopsided shrug that gave his silhouette such beautiful asymmetry.
As she laid the neatly folded pullover on the grass, she noticed his headstone leaned the same way.
Tamsin is disappointed that she has never mastered knitting.
Little if any sizzling. Pulling away from the pan.
A toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
She turned it upside down on a wire cooling rack then righted it on another.
That brief time left an impression.
The crisscross pattern reminded her of her mother.
Dead at forty-two.
Jennifer M. Smith was taught the family baking secrets at an early age. She never met her maternal grandmother.
They’re walking hand in hand like always, blushing as red as the leaves they kick up while they walk.
He can almost remember the smell of her perfume.
“Come away from the window, now,” the nurse says, toting his oxygen tank. “You shouldn’t stare like that. What’s there to see?”
Jamie Brian is a pilot and flight instructor from Pennsylvania. She makes sense of the world through poetry. Her office may be in the clouds, but she feels firmly rooted with a pen in her hand.
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.
The doll’s faded curls stuck out defiantly. Her unblinking blue eyes were clouded, the greasy stain on her diminutive apron unseen.
Arthritic fingers gently soothed the curls then the worried eyes. Her apron, lovingly washed, was placed near the fire with a pat.
Finally, doll and owner were almost new.
Susan Schwenk lives in Illinois. She occasionally invites her muse for tea.
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.