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.
A gentle breeze made its way through the cemetery trees,
and her hair.
She stood shocked among the sea of people, watching her mother descend
into the ground.
Disease or not, this reality hadn’t set in.
That’s when she realized: secretly, every daughter hopes their mother has to bury them.
James P. Spitznogle is an aspiring writer from the green hills of West Virginia.
Sarah meanders, swearing, in and out of the traffic.
The cars stop and the first driver steps into the pouring rain, her makeup running with her own tears as she struggles to cover up Sarah’s nakedness with a coat.
There is a dim light of recognition in her mother’s eyes.
Allyson Salmon has had three poems printed by United Press including one in their National Poetry Antology 2015. She is married with one grown up daughter.
She came after sunset, entering her little room. She stood still in the shadowy corner beside the playhouse, facing the door, waiting for her grieving mother.
Mother came in after dinner, drying her eyes, then shrieked and fainted.
The next day, the Smiths called the church to perform the exorcism.
Paramita Ghosh is a mature lady with immature thoughts, as the family points out. She often works hard to reach a goal and ultimately fails. Presently she is seriously bringing up her daughter and surfing the net for new ideas.
“Don’t stand too close to the counter, or a spider might come bite your toe,” she tells me as I get ready to wash the dishes.
“Are you serious?”
She stops and gets that real hard thinking look in her eyes.
“Nah. If you wear sneakers you should be fine.”
Valarie Bradshaw is a nomadic mother who just graduated from college and spends her days in her pajamas writing all the stories that swim in her head. Her family is very patient.