A middle-aged man and woman sit in movie theater seats with broken hinges. Distortions of an animated film flicker in the reflection of their eyes, accompanied by the laughter of children ringing in their ears.
The woman clutches a tattered teddy bear to her chest. The man squeezes her hand.
Taylor Stuckey is an English major at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. She started dabbling in writing short fiction less than a year ago, and hasn’t stopped since. This is her first published sotry.
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.
“You have me,” he said, the promise reflected in his eyes. She believed him.
That was a year ago. He’d lied.
Now she held her screaming newborn in her arms, breasts raw from another failed feeding. “Shhh,” she whispered near his little ear. “I’m here. I will always be here.”
Zurina Saban is a poet and author based in Johannesburg.
I remember what it was like to go to sleep and just luxuriate in it, swimming in the darkness of hours and hours.
Now you’re here, with your whimpers in the night and your chubby hands clutching me as you feed. You smell like warmth, and love has replaced sleep.
Victoria Davies is a freelance music teacher and writer from London, UK. She loves writing her thoughts and feelings about motherhood after the birth of her son in November 2016, an event more life-changing than she ever expected. You can read her blog at muminmakeup.wordpress.com
Soft red hair, pink cheeks, and tiny fingers. From the moment I saw her, I was in love.
Home from the hospital. She’s all mine.
Mr. Wonder crooned Isn’t She Lovely? on the radio.
Admiring her and sobbing softly; the true weight of motherhood hit.
She is lovely, and terrifying.
Susan is a Curriculum Developer at a mortgage company. She is widowed with two grown daughters and two stepsons, and four awesome grandchildren: two boys and two girls.
“Yes, honey? Do you know that I love you more than anyone ever will? One day you’ll get married but… I’ve known you since the second you were born. That will be some guy you just met, in the grand scheme of things.”
“Dada,” said my 10-month-old in agreement.
Marcus Benjamin Ray Bradley grew up in Perryville and now lives in Versailles, KY, with his wife and daughters. Other work can be found in the pages of Chiron Review and Five 2 One magazine as well as online at the Kentucky Arts Council and here at Fifty Word Stories websites.
My invisible unicorn dies, so I dig a big hole in the garden and sing a happy song. My parents come outside and frown.
“If he’s in unicorn heaven,” they say, “why dig the hole?”
I cry, and they hug me. I love all this.
My unicorn dies quite often.
Brenda Anderson’s fiction has appeared in various places, from Andromeda Spaceways to SpeckLit. She lives in Adelaide, South Australia and tweets irregularly.
The boy who hated Dick and Dora
And found writing difficult
Now writes books
The boy who kicked against authority
And school discipline
Now commands a lecture hall
The boy who “failed” the 11+
Went on to prove himself
And became a professor
This boy will always be my boy
Ann Sangwin is a retired teacher, now a career grandmother. She has written all her life but until recently has not thought of submitting for publication. She lives in Kent and is part of a writing group, which has changed her life.
I set the small slide down and settled nearby.
She climbed, slid down, climbed, slid again.
On her fourth climb, she stopped and said, “Thank you, Mama.”
A first; I had not expected spontaneous gratitude to appear as a cognitive milestone, or to bring me to tears when it did.
Patrice St. James
writes creative nonfiction. She is from California, but lives in Massachusetts with her husband and daughter, where she enjoys most of the seasons.
“They still hurt, Hon,” he said by way of answering the phone.
Two weeks and still he limped. But they’d agreed: after years of trying, at 43, they surrendered to time. So he’d endured the pain, swelling, and subsequent celibacy.
“I’m pregnant,” she replied. “You’re going to be a father.”
Jon Shank teaches high school English in Pennsylvania. He blogs at intothewake.wordpress.com