He stands on the corner, holding a sign that reads: Hungry. Please Help.
I reach into my backpack and hand him a turkey sandwich through our car window.
He nods his thanks, lowers on one knee, and feeds it to his dog.
“Don’t worry,” Mom says, “tomorrow we’ll bring two.”
Lisa Reynolds is an internationally published writer, living in Eastern Ontario, Canada. She writes short stories that focus on social justice issues. “Sharing A Meal” was inspired by an act of kindness she witnessed in Toronto, Ontario.
My roomie’s rules while isolating:
W̶a̶s̶h̶ h̶a̶n̶d̶s̶ a̶f̶t̶e̶r̶ t̶o̶u̶c̶h̶i̶n̶g̶. Don’t touch.
Keep your distance.
Stock up on essentials (food, milk, etc.).
Get plenty of rest.
Just as I think I have it all down, I violate rule one, nursing my hand.
Her only defense was a slow and calculated “meoooww”.
Lisa Chambers is a Texas girl whose cats thankfully aren’t like the one in this story.
Puddles and poo everywhere.
Mom had no business getting a puppy. Now she’s gone, and the vet says her tiny guardian’s kidneys are packing up.
Princess is only three years old. Did she have some heavenly contract to fulfill? Is she released from responsibility, to fade back into the ether?
Kimberly Parish Davis directs Madville Publishing, and across genres. Her work can be found in various literary journals, both online and off, including The Helix, Flare: The Flagler Review, époque press, Jerry Jazz Musician, and Flar. See more at kpdavis.com.
I never thought the absence of your troublesome door-scraping could make me cry inconsolably. I didn’t think the cavernous silence replacing your joyous yips would cut me deeply. I can’t believe I can live my life while my heart beats breathless and shallow, mourning you, my darling boy.
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability consultant in climate-challenged Puerto Rico, a doting mother to her four-legged children, and inconsolable when they leave.
Disdainful of the traffic, Bob, my golden retriever, bounded across the road towards me. This is very strange, I thought. Bob was killed by a truck two years ago.
As he cavorted and joyfully yelped beside me, I noticed that people had clustered around someone stretched out on the pavement.
John Young is an old chap, 73, a retired Criminal Justice social work manager in Scotland (CJS roughly equivalent to English / US Probation Service) and then University Hon Lecturer lecturing in Social Work ethics. He grapples with themes of limits, longings, and the images that these create.
“Sometimes, when I look into his eyes,” said Chloe to her sister, “I swear he understands everything I’m saying.”
“Don’t anthropomorphise,” replied Claudette. “They’re only human.”
Chloe licked the man’s hand as he scraped leftovers into their bowls. What did it matter, anyway? They were onto a good thing here.
Previously PR to a politician and PA to a rock star, Clare now lives noisily in Scotland, writing her first novel, Light Switch. Her work has recently appeared in Mslexia, The London Reader, Spelk, Cabinet of Heed, Northwords Now, and anthologies from The Emma Press and Hedgehog Poetry. Find out more at clarevobrien.weebly.com.
“Rugged male seeks companionship. Loves outdoors, sharing dinners, cuddling. Eager to please. Not afraid of commitment.”
Sam and Beth were a perfect match. Eight glorious years together.
At the pet cemetery, she clutched his leash, holding it close to her broken heart.
Some happily ever afters end much too soon.
Lisa Chambers is a Texas girl who believes in happily ever after.
The skinny cat slinks through damp alleyways with hunger in her eyes, desperation sharpening her senses to a degree that she never thought possible. She’s found freedom in starvation, purpose in the chase, salvation in the feeling of blood between her teeth.
She will never be a house pet again.
Ethan Noll writes short stories and poems. He hopes to write something longer someday.
Jason stared at the Queensland Heeler in the shelter’s kennel.
“This one’s blind,” the volunteer told his parents. “The rancher said he could only keep dogs that could work.”
“Yes, I want this dog,” Jason signed to his parents. “I can be her eyes, and she can be my ears.”
Jenise Cook lives with her husband and their herding dog in the north-central highlands of Arizona where it snows. Jenise enjoys visitors to @jenisecook on Twitter and JeniseCook.com, where you can find a list of her published works.
The man used to chastise the dog for drinking from scummy puddles beside the road.
That extra-hard leash-yank was what returned to him after the water was gone, when he and the dog both lapped at rare graces of liquid, the man’s knees muddied.
Eventually, the dog had to go.
Evan McMurry’s fiction has been published in more than one dozen journals, including Post Road, Euphony, Arcturus, Oddville Press, Lotus-Eater Magazine, Palaver, Mulberry Fork Review, and more. His story “Nothing Kinky” won the New Millennium Fiction Prize, and his story “Nixon in Heaven” won Exposition Review’s Flash Fiction contest. “The Fall of Rabbi Gold” was selected as a finalist for the Al-Simāk Award for Fiction from the Chicago Review of Books.