I could have stolen the sandwiches but I needed the shoes more. The beach was busy but nobody noticed me. They rarely do during the day.
The boys come for me after the pubs have closed. Restless, bored, vicious.
But tonight I won’t be kicked or punched. Tonight I run.
Eszter Molnar is a former teacher who lives by the windswept British seaside. She has been published in one of the UK’s biggest subscription magazines for children. By day, she cleans up after preschoolers, by night she writes flash fiction, picture books and Middle Grade fiction.
He’s a lonely fixture on the street corner: cardboard sign, threadbare coat, empty eyes resigned to this fate. His life is a mere bump in the road. Ignored by many, embraced by none, even though he once lived their lives.
In the night, he howls without words and resolves nothing.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
As his eyes adjust to the sunlight he gets up, cracks a quail’s egg, drinks it raw.
Whirling leaves give him a chill. He sees his wife at the kitchen window kneading bread. Romantic!
The newspapers read: “Bengal men self-quarantine up in trees due to the absence of spare rooms.”
Anindita Sarkar is pursuing an MPhil degree in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University. She is from Kolkata, India, and is a UGC Junior Research Fellow. Her works have recently appeared in Indolent Books, Snakeskin Poetry, Scars Publication, Ariel Chart Magazine, and Flash Fiction Friday.
Pockets emptied, Tim purchased the red blend. He twisted off the cap and chugged while exiting the store. The familiar heartburn, boiled cherries and artificial oak, warmed him.
Invisible to others, a shoulder bumped him. The bottle fell, his outstretched hands useless. He watched his comfort stain the concrete sidewalk.
Melanie Maggard is a flash fiction and short story writer living in Seattle.
A harsh sun beating down. A long walk to the place of hope and despair. She carefully balances the container above her head. Finally reaching her destination, she pulls out the water that means both life and death.
This salvation kills slowly—a small mercy, but one just the same.
Ken Grant is a freelance writer living in Santa Ana, California. He has one published novel, So Great a Salvation. His short stories have appeared in Jitter Press, Left Hand Publishers, and Alien Dimensions.
Her boys play outside with an old Nerf ball. As she leads him to the broken furnace, he sees her tiny house has a cross, but no gifts, no tree. He sympathizes; he’s had a rough year, too.
She sees him glancing and is grateful they have nothing to steal.
Graham Robert Scott teaches writing at a university in north Texas. His stories have appeared in Barrelhouse Online, Nature, and Blink-Ink. See more at hemicyon.wordpress.com.
The first word I understood was “tired.” Always etched on mom’s face; she spoke in sighs. Dad’s language was disappointment. My brothers and I were taught it was us against the world, and our home constantly reminded us that we’d never know any different.
With hungry hearts, we grew silent.
Munira Sayyid has two siblings. Only one of which is a brother. Her parents think she talks too much sometimes.
Although his disheveled appearance causes many to avert their gaze, the slightest inkling of a past life emanates, weakly, for those that dare to look.
Sitting on the concrete ground, with back against the wall and hat in hand, his cardboard sign simply reads: WE FALL, KINGS AND COMMON ALIKE.
Eldar is in awe of how incredibly thin the line really is.
“Santa favors the wealthy,” his father told him.
So when spoiled brats got all twenty things on their wish lists, poor Timothy wasn’t surprised.
Tim knew the superstition: if you are bad, Santa gives you a lump of coal.
He shivered next to the dying fire, wishing for some coal.
Three months until Christmas seems too long for Jason, whose only wish is to have less homework.
Two souls waited to be born.
I will be a beautiful girl, said the first, born into wealth.
I will be a lonely boy, said the second, abused and abandoned.
But why? asked first.
Because I’ll learn more in my few years of hardship than in your lifetime of privilege.
Daniel Wilson lives in the foothills of North Carolina with his wife and children.