Nursing home conversation:
Is that Myrtle? I thought she went to live with her daughter.
It didn’t work out.
Why? She was so excited since her kids never had time to visit her here.
She discovered something that broke her heart worse than being an afterthought.
Being an obligation.
Cathy is a temporarily out of work bookkeeper, taking a little time off to play in the fields of words and exercise the other half of her brain.
Mum came tumbling down the stairs. “THERE’S A GHOST!” she cried.
Dad got up and went upstairs to investigate.
Dad came running down the stairs. “IT’S TRUE!” he cried.
I ran upstairs.
I came back down to comfort Mum and Dad.
“APRIL FOOLS!” they yelled.
“Guys, it’s December,” I said.
Yves is 16, and wrote this because he took a day off school and his dad wouldn’t get off his back until he did something creative.
Stephen was born to be a writer, his parents always said so.
His latest book would be a bestseller, they bragged, a page-turner with a twist ending that would set the world on fire.
“But it had all been a dream,” he’d typed on that last page.
“Brilliant!” they’d gasped.
Michael McKinnon, of Toronto, has been a writer, journalist, and communications professional for more than 20 years.
His hands touched me in ways you are not imagining but in ways I cannot forget.
Those hands were the first to touch my tiny, ten-fingered, ten-toed body; the same hands that punched a hole in the bathroom mirror, leaving only his anger and his absence to remember him by.
Madison is a MFA graduate student studying Fiction at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She spends her time writing, reading, and watching too many movies, if there is such a thing.
My ears signal their arrival.
Clenching my eyes, darkness becomes twofold.
Immobile, I dare not move. Their interest sometimes dissipates quicker without a reaction.
I sense them closing in.
The squall of their voices becomes a terrible symphony of unspeakable horrors.
“Get a job. Get up and get a job.”
Craig Holzschuh (1973-present) is an American writer. He is best known for amusing stories and an overreliance on spell-check. His pseudonyms pout in jealousy.
Fresh cut grass smell. Saturday morning. Cheerios and cartoons, pajamas until lunch. Dad came in, sunburned and glistening. He made lunch, turned the game on.
“Dad! I have two more shows!”
“Go take a bath,” he said, pungent.
Mom used to let me wait.
Monday’s bus still one day away.
Ryan Cicak has published poetry and creative non-fiction before, primarily through the award-winning American River Review, once winning an award for a sestina about zombies. “After Her” originally appeared on his website, Etceterocity.tumblr.com.
I lost my favorite mitten this morning.
My dog tried to eat it and choked on it. He couldn’t see very well from all the smoke in the air. My parents wouldn’t have either, but they slept through it.
Now I’m outside, and it’s really cold. I miss my mitten.
Kieran Ivison is a student attending Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance and a minor in Mass Communication. He also enjoys writing and randomly browsing the internet.
Mere minutes til the results are announced. Win or lose, succeed or fail… Which will it be?
She perches on the corner of her bed, clutching her phone. It rings.
“Well?” she breathes.
“Hi, honey. It’s Mom.”
She hangs up in disgust. This is too important.
The phone rings again.
This story was based on the TypeTrigger prompt “minutes til.”
She transferred to four different buses at random, closed her eyes and spun in a circle, walked down a few unfamiliar side streets, and wound up right in front of her house.
There was only one explanation: Mom hadn’t been lying; her father really had been a homing pigeon.
She stood at my door
one black glove, one red
and a lacy half-veil
Good evening, ma’am
I didn’t want what she was selling
but my kids did
Of course, they hadn’t heard
the asking price
the cost-to-benefit ratios
Just the allure
I’ve been there
This story is based on the prompt “one black glove, one red,” suggested by @big_poppa_G.
Editor’s Note: for clearest interpretation, read affect as a noun, which has been, lately, one of my favourite words.