Turns out it wasn’t me. It was her.
Two weeks ago we were in the same place but not together, at the funeral for a mutual friend. She walked the church aisle with the guy she’d married. They made such an unpretty pair that I was freed from what ifs.
Kent Oswald writes, edits and pedagogs in NYC. Find additional words at kentoswald.com.
The smoke pushed towards our home. When orange glow appeared behind the hills, we filled the car with our favourite things.
I packed the photo albums, hesitated, then added the camera. We’d need it, I vowed. The fire could have the house, not our joy.
The happy snaps would continue.
G.B. Burgess wrote this while watching a bush fire inch ever closer to her home.
She held him, squeezed him, his musk comforting but making the decision impossible. She couldn’t believe it had come to this.
The doorbell rang.
No! she lamented. Taxi’s early.
She kissed Mr. Bear, placed him on the top shelf of her closet.
You’ll always be my guy. But it’s time.
A graduate of York University, Stephen Ground now lives in his head, scraping by peddling floors and sometimes unsolicited advice. Find his work in The Esthetic Apostle, Sky Island Journal, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Sunlight Press, and elsewhere.
The crackling campfire illuminated her birth name, carefully inscribed in large, looping cursive.
She hadn’t expected this letter. Not after the way she’d left.
A dry sob clogged her throat—or was it simply smoke from the fire?—as she dropped the envelope, unopened, into the heart of the blaze.
Devon R. Widmer is a grumpy graduate student by day, a scribbling daydreamer by night, and a sleep deprived parent full time.
Is it finally over? Whatever this was?
Not dating, not friendship… It’s giving me pause.
I am angry. Hurt. But not that upset.
I wonder, was it love? And will I forget?
Not that long ago, I seem to recall,
Still had that nice flutter feeling,
Do you? At all?
Michelle is an award-winning author and poet. She is a contributor in the most recent Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada, and a quarter finalist in the 2017 ScreenCraft Short Screenplay contest. Her writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, (one of Canada’s National newspapers) and a number of local magazines and newspapers including The Briar Crier, Total Sports, Voice of the Farmer, Arts Talk and Focus 50 Plus. Her short story “Lightning Strikers” (also featured on Commuter Lit) was made into a series in the Focus 50 + Newspaper because fans asked for more! This year, Michelle won the Ontario Writers Conference Story Starter Contest in two categories. You can find her online at commuterlit.com, fiftywordstories.com, femininecollective.com, michelledinnick.com and @MichelleDinnick.
Lying on the sofa with reruns of Family Feud and Wheel of Fortune for her company, she waited for sleep to embalm her. She no longer dreamed of him. Those nightmares were now locked away in an unused master bedroom, behind a firmly closed door, under an ink-black midnight sky.
Arlene writes poetry, flash fiction and song lyrics. More of her work may be found @ I am not a silent Poet, Tuck Magazine, Little Rose Magazine, London Grip, The Open Mouse and Literary Heist.
Mom cuts a pepperoni pizza into eighths. “Your two slices together make a quarter,” she says, serving one slice to each of her young twins. “Still three quarters left. That’s almost a whole pie!”
The boys chew in silence. Three quarters of a family feel nothing like a whole one.
Maura Yzmore writes short-form literary and speculative fiction, as well as humor. Find out more at maurayzmore.com or @MauraYzmore on Twitter.
They had planned to buy an RV together and go traveling around the world after their retirement, and today was the day.
So he bought a motorbike, patiently selected the most beautiful bouquet of flowers he could find, brought it to her, washed her tombstone, and started his journey alone.
Siavash Safary wrote this story.
He closed the door behind him and looked over the room. A melancholic expression was drawn across his face.
It was curious how ordinary things had acquired very special meanings while they were together.
She was gone, but everything else stayed the same, a cruel reminder of their broken story.
José Jaime is from Spain and is studying at university.
The tide of approaching adulthood pulled them from my shore. Strolling slowly where I once set a brisk pace, picking up random shells, desperate for some word, all I get is static. Then a familiar voice, almost forgotten, asks why I expect they’ll return when I never did.
Lee DeAmali keeps the porch light on.