Grandpa picks her up from ballet, lets her sit in the front seat. He has brought three tangerines wrapped in a paper towel (two for her). They eat them in the car. Later, she will forget to remove the peels from the cupholder; even now, his car smells like tangerines.
Julia Jorgensen is a junior at Stanford University studying Symbolic Systems and Creative Writing. She loves short stories, theater, and tangerines; she has definitely eaten at least eight in one sitting before.
There is a sheet of rain between them and their hearts pound, hair suctioned to their cheeks, water droplets running off their fingertips.
Kiss her, he thinks.
Kiss him, she thinks.
“Goodbye,” he says.
“Goodbye,” she says.
And they turn away, the sheet of rain pouring down heavier than ever.
Jenna Gomes teaches English composition at the University of Dayton and sometimes writes a 50-word story in the middle of class if the inspiration hits. The secret is out.
Words terrify me. Their power and immediacy. Will you marry me? Changing everything. Just an articulation of speech. I do. Words transforming worlds. Like a head on collision. It’s a girl. Easier than falling from a great height. I don’t love you anymore.
So I just say nothing these days.
Shark Trager struggles with finishing his works of artistic frivolity so has taken to writing microfiction because not finishing a 50-word story is less reckless.