“The easiest thing
In the world to be is young.”
That’s what Grandpa said.
When my sons treat me
Like I treated my father,
It will break my heart.
Twelve-year-olds close doors
And lock themselves in for good.
Baby pictures, walls,
A dream you don’t remember.
You’re just passing through.
Robb Lanum is a failed screenwriter in Los Angeles. His longer, epic works have appeared on 101words.org, and he was a winner of the Summer 2020 Los Angeles Public Library Short Story Contest.
The credit card declines again. I tell the cashier I’ve left the other card at home.
Walk back without the groceries, holding Evie’s hand, wondering whether she’ll be happy with spaghetti again.
I gently rub the ring on my middle finger. I’ll take it tomorrow. Should buy us some time.
Megan Gim works as a speech pathologist but is currently on maternity leave with two young boys at home. She recently completed a short course through the Australian Writers’ Centre for writing middle grade fiction, which has reignited a passion for writing, and is writing flash fiction and microfiction to help develop her writing skills.
Momma hasn’t come home.
I ask Grandma, When? She says, Any day now.
But Momma sent a text I wasn’t supposed to see. Need break. It’s all too much.
The sun cuts the leaves into drops of time. I spin in the driveway, singing:
Any day any day any day.
L.L. Wohlwend’s work has appeared in Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Modern Haiku, and other places.
I watch father through a panel of glass.
I long to remove my mask and give him a hug, but the nursing home will not allow it.
Perhaps tomorrow, I tell myself.
For him, you have all the time in the world.
Marjan Sierhuis loves reading 50-word stories.
He lies in the bubbly bath water, face protruding enough to comfortably breathe.
I gently pour water over the soapy hair on his forehead, the bit that didn’t quite make the dive.
He doesn’t flinch.
He smiles at me and I at him.
Today, my baby is a six-year-old fish.
Deirdre is a stay-at-home mom to three young children. She has a degree in English and a Masters in Counselling Psychology.
A bright morning
The blue skies and waves
Toes in the sand
I sip coffee
As two children
Search the shore
“Hey dad look”
They call out all the marvels they explore
Dad oblivious with cellphone to ear
Smiles and nods
From a casual stranger
Sometimes life’s moments get lost.
The crack of bat on ball rings in Danny’s ears. He sprints toward first base but doesn’t watch the ball soar over the fence. His teammates yell; evidence enough for him.
As he rounds third base, he glances at the space in the bleachers where his father used to sit.
Stephen Pisani is an MFA candidate in fiction at Adelphi University. He spends his spare time working at a golf course, where he watches people chase a little ball around a big patch of grass.
First night back, I ditch duffel and boots and fall asleep on the floor by his bed.
A click in the dark wakes me. Beside me he sits, Nerf gun in hand.
“What’s up?” I ask.
“Keeping you safe,” he says. Tilts his head at the darkness under the bed.
Graham Robert Scott’s stories have appeared in Pulp Literature, Nature, Barrelhouse, and others.
My son has a plot—his own little piece of real estate. The grass is sparse, so I tend it: raking topsoil, spreading seed, pouring water. New sprouts emerge, filling the aching gaps.
I remove the weeds, pretending he’s on vacation.
But my heart screams his name and I cry.
Tawnia is an elementary teacher in Ontario who recently started writing. She is revising her first novel, a YA sci-fi, and hopes to start querying agents soon. She recently told a Red Chair story via Zoom for the Graham Norton Show. You can find her on Twitter @TawniaCourage.
Someday, I will kiss your cheek and make you smile. I will wrap my arms around you in a warm embrace.
I will sing your favorite song at the top of my voice. I will stay by your side and vow never to leave. Mother, I will promise you this.
Marjan Sierhuis enjoys reading flash fiction.