The yelling was the first strike.
The possessive control was the second.
Now the bruised eye and busted lip signaled clearly that it was time to get out before it was too late.
He snuck out while she was sleeping, knowing that no one would believe him if he told.
Isabella Pinto is a current undergrad student at The New School, where she continues to work on her first novel.
The steel wheels of the approaching train
screech at me to jump.
This is it!
I move towards the platform’s edge
and surrender to the approaching light.
A man’s voice calls from behind
Is that the train to Amsterdam?
I turn around, and I behold
my brown-eyed destiny.
Susan J. Nassuna is a Ugandan born writer and coach. She lives in the Netherlands, and when not working on her novel and a collection of short stories she guides others in using writing and storytelling as powerful tools for healing and growth. See more at writingforwellnessworkshops.com.
We’d met in group, where we’d learned how to support one another, how to listen and comfort with gentle words.
We often chatted by phone about our spouses. Eventually we discovered we were practically neighbors.
Lenore’s house is just a short walk over the town line. Technically we’re adulterers now.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
I drew him in gently, let him win a few times, just to keep his interest.
But I was always the superior player, noted his “tells”, from the ear pull to the quick tap of his left foot.
So I played my Royal Flush and took the joker for everything.
Vicky is an aspiring poet and raconteur living in deepest rural Ireland.
I visit him in the nursing home every week. He’s in the lunchroom now, his food untouched, diligently filling in coloring book outlines with crayons. He no longer recognizes me.
“Are you here to eat or to color?” he asks.
“To color,” I say as I sit close beside him.
Alex thinks that most nursing homes are simply repositories for human flotsam.
you were brilliant; so smart i couldn’t keep up.
for a while we wanted each other.
desire is stupid.
later we were sort of friends.
once in a while we spoke, but i felt more left out than when we didn’t speak.
now you’ve gone & died.
i miss you.
Quite by chance, Plum Kennard has been around quite a while and is happy to be in this world. Her work reflects her delight in the magical moments of life, but also the grief and loss a long life brings.
The child always held It.
It had big eyes, long teeth, and a tail. To most, It was a monster.
But It was soft. And It never ran away, keeping her warm through cold nights.
As she grew, the nights became colder, longer. And she held It to the end.
Joey doesn’t collect plushies although he doesn’t mind them either, as long as it’s not a bear. Because bear plushies are lame. See more at joeytoey.com.
Mama decided the family tree needed pruning. Sturdy branches could stay; twigs had to go.
I was flimsy. Always had been. God knows I tried to branch out.
She looked at me… a long, hard stare.
I turned away, but I could still hear the rustling of those graceful limbs.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana and has never been removed from her family tree.
(For Trey, with everlasting love)
The last time the boy slept at grandma’s house he told her that portraits of her face had been painted on the inside of his eyelids, so that’s what he got to look at every night while he waited to fall asleep. He pinched finger to thumb. “Brush this big.”
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction, his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, despite severe vision loss, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
You and me. A fantasy.
Love, pain — ecstasy, agony — life. That night, frigid, blankets, warm. Stars. The stars! Magic.
But we knew. We lay there, lying to ourselves, lying to the stars. The million ways it was right couldn’t overcome the handful of ways it was wrong.
Us. A fantasy.
Michael Jay Aderhold is an Appalachian-hillbilly-corporate-dropout-high-school-English-teacher living in Suwanee, Georgia, where the climate, both in the primary and secondary sense of the word, is much too warm and humid. As of this writing, he has less than two years to go.