The scruffy young panhandler sat on the busy sidewalk suckling a fractious infant. When I dropped a coin in her pot, the baby reached for my fingers. Distracted by the tiny hand and abandoned breast, I lingered for a moment too long.
“Alan?” she said as I tried to leave.
Alan Kemister is a retired scientist experimenting with more fictitious writing. See the gory details at alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com.
“You are your Momma’s sweetest girl,” Janeen cooed as she changed her baby’s diaper and pulled a soft yellow onesie over the child’s shoulders.
“It’s time for your lunch, Momma,” Nancy said, helping Janeen to her feet and gently placing her gnarled hands on the walker.
“Don’t forget your babydoll.”
Traci Mullins has more than three decades of experience in coaching, editing, and collaborating on hundreds of non-fiction books. She is currently working on unearthing the girl who used to love stories.
I remember what it was like to go to sleep and just luxuriate in it, swimming in the darkness of hours and hours.
Now you’re here, with your whimpers in the night and your chubby hands clutching me as you feed. You smell like warmth, and love has replaced sleep.
Victoria Davies is a freelance music teacher and writer from London, UK. She loves writing her thoughts and feelings about motherhood after the birth of her son in November 2016, an event more life-changing than she ever expected. You can read her blog at muminmakeup.wordpress.com
The floor glistened with its fresh coat of lemon-scented mop water.
He entered by the kitchen, stumbling through the sliding glass door. Covered in mud and with grubby hands wrapped tightly around three grass stalks, he beamed.
And then her heart melted when he said, “Mommy, I picked you flowers!”
Jess works in fiscal, studies biology and English, and vanquishes Laundry Monsters on the weekends.
Mother wears her sorrow like a wet fur coat. As the days pass, every step she takes weighs her down. Each rancid choice she makes pushes us further apart.
She asks why I stay away from her.
I worry she’ll bequeath the coat to me and I’ll repeat the cycle.
Yong Takahashi won the Chattahoochee Valley Writers National Short Story Contest and the Writer’s Digest’s Write It Your Way Contest. She also was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, and runner up in the Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest and Georgia Writers Association Flash Fiction Contest. Some of her works appear in Cactus Heart, Crab Fat Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Flash Fiction Magazine, Gemini Magazine, Hamilton Stone Review, Meat For Tea, River & South Review, Rusty Nail Magazine, Spilt Infinitive, and Twisted Vines.
Her tiny fingers, entwined in mine. Soft. Delicate.
Her nod, a whisper, “It’s time.”
A click as the switch is turned off. Then…?
Darkness. No light, no tunnel, no welcome home.
Terror envelops me; tears begin to fall.
Just a fading whisper: “They never would have believed you, anyway, Mommy.”
Anita Reynolds is a writer and artist, wife and mom in the rural reaches of Tennessee. Her work is inspired by the strangeness of life, from the mundane to the magical.
Mum came to stay the day after her funeral. She was waving from the doorstep when I returned with the groceries. I carried her suitcase into the hall then set a place for her at the dining table, beside the ghost of my father.
Neither of them enjoyed the meal.
Mark Farley was raised in Zimbabwe where he survived two dog maulings, a swarm of killer bees, and being run over by a horse. His story Knight of the Rocks has been published by Old Words Home.
The unveiling mysteries of motherhood: stages of intense transformation, from daughter to wife to mother. Entrances, exhilarations, exits; lively childhood memories, intoxicating teenage adventures, disoriented adulthood choices. Happiness, madness, sadness. Empty nested. A rejoicing feeling of accomplishment. Gratified facial expressions as they leave. Adjustments, introspective silence, fulfillment.
Another cycle begins.
Louise Emma Potter was born in the United Kingdom and brought up in Brazil. She has been in the education field for more than 20 years and is a material writer and teacher trainer. Her website is teach-in.com.br
She rocks him slowly, gently in her arms, his tears still sparkling on hot, red cheeks, too exhausted to sleep.
Motherhood. When does she get to feel as if she’s doing this right?
He opens his eyes suddenly, sighs, then yawns sleepily.
At this moment, she is doing it perfectly.
Jackie was thrilled to have her first attempt at flash fiction published recently, and is hoping to keep up the momentum with more in the future, as well as working on her fourth novel and a travel journal.
Before winter, Mom’s garden glowed with lanterns where ladybugs nested but forgot how to leave, curling up like Mom on the kitchen floor after her Christmas stroke.
She would’ve remembered to free them in winter.
Come spring, a green breeze shakes out dried memories of last year’s joy.
Rachel Burns is a student of creative writing. Her current project is a chapbook comprised of poetry and prose.