Why does the fly not die? When I put all my strength into each blow? When the rolled up Sunday newspaper smashes against the coffee table, sending my macchiato into a light brown rivulet of failure spilling over pictures of her, splayed out for my bereavement?
It’s been a month.
Derrick R. Lafayette has had several short stories published in such publications as Suspense Magazine, Lycan Valley Press (Anthology), Red Fez, Aphelion, Red Fez, and more.
I sit on the curb, shaken to the core. Its 2 AM.
I hear sirens from the police cars in the distance.
My mother cries inside the house. I look down at my hands to see the blood still wet, dripping onto my jeans. He is gone now, mother.
Paige McDonald wrote this story.
Exposed to light, the misunderstood memories skitter away like startled insects. Slowly, I clear more rocks from the landscape of my childhood.
When I find the courage to pull weeds, I might replace them with roses: Their beauty comes with thorns. Or perhaps cacti, which can survive neglect, even abuse.
Kim Favors worked as a newspaper journalist. She grows her literary garden on California’s Central Coast.
Fiona had secrets. Unlike some, she kept them hidden. She didn’t whisper about them in private. In fact, she didn’t speak of them at all.
She simply went through life, protecting the guilty in order to spare the innocent.
Life was easier that way. Everyone was happy.
Well, almost everyone.
Susan Gale Wickes lives in Indiana. She takes comfort in reading and writing 50-Word Stories.
Mean as cancer when no one is looking
Smile, smile, smile otherwise
He walks the dog to feel anything
His unkindness pounds in her head as people look
Neighborhood trash receptors are emptied for the week
The dog poops twice on the walk
He carries both home; people are looking
TPA is currently living her literary dream of creating flash fiction from home in Atlanta, Georgia, where she studied writing at Oglethorpe University.
Life is great. Health, mobility, liberty.
Then, an inadvertent moment. A slip and twisting tumble. The crash is sharp; the crack loud. Such a quick and simple thing.
But the scorching pain: deep, crippling, and endless.
Operations and rehab do little. Each move brings agony and depression.
Life is hell.
Bill Diamond writes in the Colorado Mountains. See more at bdiamondwriting.com
We were soldiers of innocence at the rally point. Raging against real enemies in pretend combat. Holly berry bullets and stolen kisses in oak tree forts. Fighting the good fight, we sought redemption in afternoon light.
Then you left to fight a greater war.
I still wait for your return.
Katherine Rocheleau is a full-time writer, part-time vampire slayer, and hopeless chocoholic.
I sit in the passenger seat, my hands clasped together tightly, afraid that she will bring it up.
Unhappiness. Divorce. My father.
My heart races, my stomach unsettled, as she takes a steadying breath to open her mouth, while I scream in my head: Mother, please don’t.
Erica is working on her first urban fantasy novel. While she loves writing, she isn’t so sure about this whole “editing” thing. When she isn’t working on her book, she can be found planning her next trip, drinking wine (red, of course), or cuddling up with her ridiculously adorable puppy, Teddy. See more at squarerootroundworld.com
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.
My life depends on the drugs, the research, the doctors. There are no miracles, only love of family. The IV drip is like the beat of a second heart pulsing its cancer-burning flames through my body. It keeps this fire raging in my eyes that both consumes and saves me.
Jim Doss lives in Sykesville, Maryland, and earns his living as a software engineer. He has previously published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again and What Remains. In partnership with Werner Schmitt, he also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.