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.
The boy gently accepted the withered violin, taking the neck. And holding the bow, he felt a sizzle, like the hot fence at his uncle’s house.
The violin lifted, fitted under his chin. The bow dragged his arm toward the strings. The pair met again in his arms and sang.
Matthew Weigelt is an author and journalist, a photographer and drone pilot. This story is a follow-up to Tamsin Seymour’s Lost Chords
my body on the crumpled, cream-colored sheets
my thoughts float
like an untied balloon
from a child’s outstretched palm
as they disappear into
alongside millions of dreams
just as i
to grasp onto
your fading voice
that whispers in my ear
burning my skin
Lauren loves creative writing and can usually be found reading on the beach or writing in her room.
My memory’s broken, I’ve concluded. Storytellers return vividly to their pasts. I only remember remembering, the images grainier with each mental photocopy.
“Daddy!” the girl screams, nose crusted. She tugs my leg and flaps her arms.
I frantically shuffle though reams of fading prints. The ink smudges before it dries.
Andrew Dunn is a journalist and writer in Charlotte, N.C.
New strings, a polished case, and it was only then she discovered her uncle’s spirit lived on in the violin. The instrument wept tears of resin when she told it of her aunt’s death. That night the strings carved melody from raindrops, sliced moonlight into splinters, whispered chords of regret.
Mark Farley was only too happy to join in with Tamsin Seymour’s
lovely idea of writing sequels to each other’s stories. This story is a follow-up to Lost Chords
I am standing on wet ground outside my childhood home, under mid-morning tropical sun. The air smells of earth and newly banished rain. Adults speak indoors; their everyday worries are abstract, distant.
I wake up to a snowy Chicago morning, work on a weekend, and infant needing to be fed.
Priya Balasubramanian is a writer and physician. She’s written a novel, and no longer wakes up to snow.
She looked through her cataract cloud. Her hair, like the bathroom mirror, had silvered. Her face showed cracks like the tile. Toothbrushes… two?
Nothing looked familiar. Not the photo of children that fluttered from her purse to the cold tile floor. Not the gray-haired man who carried her to bed.
Eileen McIntyre writes to the hum of hummingbird wings and listens to critique from crows in the woods of Northern California.
I dreamed we were still in my kitchen, laughing
at the dog, who kept trotting to the door, then not
going out, lest he miss a single scrap
of whatever we might offer.
When I woke, the dog comforted me.
It was you inside the door, poised
to go through.
Jennifer L Freed has a friend whose tumors keep outrunning the chemo. Her website is jfreed.weebly.com