The doll’s faded curls stuck out defiantly. Her unblinking blue eyes were clouded, the greasy stain on her diminutive apron unseen.
Arthritic fingers gently soothed the curls then the worried eyes. Her apron, lovingly washed, was placed near the fire with a pat.
Finally, doll and owner were almost new.
Susan Schwenk lives in Illinois. She occasionally invites her muse for tea.
The grey mask shields her eyes from visions of the children she never had
and scents her dreams with lavender
The ear plugs muffle the whispers of her ghosts
She bites down on a bullet, designed to take the strain
And she lays herself down,
to fight the night.
Jennifer M. Smith lives in Burlington, Ontario.
The clock strikes twelve. Glasses clink, the shiny ball drops, cheers all around.
In the midst of the confetti, I stand alone, champagne in hand… waiting.
Waiting for you, my love. Waiting for your kiss to signal another New Year.
My mind knows you’ve gone, but my heart still waits.
Susan Lozano wrote this story.
The last notes of the organ fade away.
In the old church, shadows dance in the candleglow, echoes of people from times gone by, coming back to me. I feel their presence.
The living drive away the dead as their grandchildren and great grandchildren dispel the moment.
Merry Christmas, Grandma!
Jean lives in Bath in the UK. She likes to use some of her own experiences in her story telling. Merry Christmas!
He crossed the finish line well ahead of the other athletes. The crowd cheered, a distant roar, but he didn’t stop.
In his mind, her voice was pleading, begging: “Don’t let me die here!”
Muscles pumping, heart racing, he sprinted on, the ghosts of his past hard on his heels.
Bill lives in Aberdeen, Scotland, which will become the capital of his world empire when he completes his anti-matter bomb. But first lunch.
Her scars run deep. Invisible.
A stab in the heart here, a slap in the face there.
She plans her escape with precision, as far as her meagre funds will allow. Relief.
She forces herself to stop thinking about her past pain, her ex-husband and, with a pang, her ex-dog.
Jean lives in a village near Bath in the UK. She has an ex-husband and an ex-dog.
I smelled her perfume, that flowery muskiness she used to drown herself in. It tickled my nose just the same. I imagined her dancing past in her wispy skirt, as if she still couldn’t let go of childhood ballerina dreams.
Just the way I still can’t let go of her.
Laura Widener is a wife, mother, and coffee addict living in rural Georgia. She holds degrees in Sociology and Human Services, and completed her MFA in Writing at Lindenwood University. Her forthcoming work will be found in Riding Light and NoiseMedium, and her previous work can be found in TWJ Magazine, Morpheus Tales, and Life in 10 Minutes. Visit her blog at incessantpen.wordpress.com.
My good-for-nothing mother came back from the dead wearing a different dress than the one we’d buried her in. Her hair was dyed ruddy rose. In her cupped hands she held all my rage, all my grief.
She winked, spread her fingers, dropped all that old sorrow at my feet.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble”. Visit BobThurber.net.
Sunday afternoons are the worst.
The stillness brings flashbacks of the tv dinner / hard eyes / swirling cig smoke combo. Suffocation.
I keep rolling. Stepping through the trees. Logging miles on the decades between me and that.
When I finish it’s dark and heading into Monday. I’m still here; escaped again.
Petra lives, works, and writes in the Philadelphia area. She is in the process of publishing her first book. Her days are spent selling Real Estate, planning jaw-dropping travel itineraries, and awaiting the birth of her first grandchild. She has (and always will have) a little white dog. The current one is named Bindi.
“I don’t like this alternate universe, Lucy.”
“Why not, Jerry?
“I’m afraid I’ll be bored to death. The only web browsers here are spiders.”
“You want excitement? Did you look closely at the steam-powered train?”
“What about it?”
“Forget cows and buffalo; the locomotive is equipped with a dinosaur catcher!”
John H. Dromey recently had short fiction published in Saturday Night Reader and a novella in Weird Western Yarns Vol. 3.