To discourage temptations to divide and sell,
to encourage harmony and family gatherings, Baba and Papa
left the lakehouse property to just one
of their many children.
Granddaughter Mara called from the lake.
Our beloved grass-barren badminton court
is now a wildflower garden.
Squeals and laughter silenced for a generation.
When he finally started to listen, Matthew’s heart led him to Maine. Now, he lives and writes next to a lake, and sometimes Googles synonyms for the word “regret.”
When the doctor returns with the information the man remembers how his wet hair turned to ice the night he jumped from his bath and ran across the unfurrowed field, water dripping down his hairless legs, his feet pounding the frozen potato dirt, where no summer fingers now ever dig.
John Riley’s fiction and poetry have appeared in Metazen, The Dead Mule, Smokelong Quarterly, Connotation Press, and many other places online and in print. He lives in North Carolina.
My grandpa talks about the good ol’ days, a time when kids chewed dirt and roller skated. I decide to try both.
The dirt tastes funny. The skating sores my back.
Grandpa humps over. I expect a scold but receive a pat on the shoulder. Welcome to the club, scout.
Eric Persaud is an Indo-Guyanese American living in New York City. His other works of fiction can be found in Flash Fiction Magazine and 101 words.
Two sisters, best friends, ran to the pool’s edge.
Nostrils filled with chlorine, sunscreen, peanut butter. Mother called, but twenty minutes was forever when shimmery waves signaled.
Everything—the cherry Koolaid mustaches, the sticky fingers—would be wiped clean.
They bent knees, inhaled sharply, pinched noses, then jumped, holding hands.
Melanie Maggard is a flash fiction and short story writer living in Seattle. She works as a psychology professor for an online university but hopes to grow up to be an author some day.
Hastening home through light drizzle and the deep chill of a January evening, Len pauses before his front door, repelled as always by the dark emptiness of the place.
Tonight, he will cook liver, bacon, and onions.
In the silence the aroma will linger, swaddling gentle memories of earlier times.
John Young is an old chap living in St Andrews, Scotland.
He stood her up on their third date.
Fifteen years and three lovers later, he finds her in Savenor’s Market. After exchanging greetings, he leaves. She studies the sirloin.
Suddenly he’s back, takes her face in his hands, passionately kisses her, and hurries away.
Stunned, she moves on to produce.
Carol Anne Harvey has been writing poetry and short stories since she was 5. Her focus now is on writing micro memoirs. “Unfinished” is her first submission to 50-Word Stories.
He was the only boy I ever loved.
We sat side-by-side on the beach, stealing kisses and pointing out funny-shaped clouds. His laugh was soft as sea foam, his hair as light as sand.
“Looking into your eyes is like searching for treasure,” he said.
Seems he never found it.
Guy found his treasure at the seaside. This is his twenty-third 50-word story.
Frigid weather was not a factor when we were young. We welcomed the challenge. It was raw, but so were we. The jostle of crowded streets and hiss of the library’s radiators frustrated the arctic air during Christmas season in the big city.
The bundles of memory warm us now.
Eddie Roth writes from St. Louis.
My earliest memory of using scissors was to mail in a coupon for a baking soda-powered submarine. The dotted lines looked easy, but it took me half the day. I clipped and clipped until each edge hugged the dots perfectly.
Now that I think of it, my psychiatrist is right.
Ronald Guell wrote this story.
Gentrification marched its silent footsteps to the oak door of Moore’s Tavern.
Old Man Henry smiled and licked his wrinkled lips. If he couldn’t have it, nobody could. He grabbed the gasoline and lighter.
The starry night seemed brighter to him that night.
The stone chimney was all that remained.
Anthony works with numbers by day, and words by night! Happily married in the heart of Kentucky.