Mr. Burnett picks up his newspaper from his doorstep, scans the picket-fenced street, then retreats inside.
He’s a respectable, decent man, I remind myself.
His wife, Helena, hasn’t been seen for several months. Visiting her sister in Wyoming, apparently.
This is suburbia. We go about our day, no questions asked.
Mark Towers writes children’s books, short stories and poetry.
He plunged the knife into his chest, carved a circle through the muscle and bone, and withdrew his heart. He placed it in a box and neatly wrapped it.
The day before she left, he presented her the gift, to carry with her to the other end of the world.
Francisco Tutella is a public relations specialist at Penn State University. His work has appeared in Fifty-Word Stories and Wilkes magazine. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. Like him on Facebook.
“I need to see you,” he says, phone denting his cheek.
She swallows, hard. That “sucking on a penny” taste.
20 minutes later, he rings her doorbell.
“Your dad is dead,” he says, no warmup.
“Oh thank God. I was afraid you were going to tell me you’re leaving me.”
Anne Gudger is a Portland writer who has been lucky to have words in Real Simple Magazine, The Rumpus, Slippery Elm, and more. In November 2017 Anne won two contests: Hippocampus and New Millennium Writings. She lives with her sweet husband, and their grown kids and kid-in-laws live not far.
Lying on the sofa with reruns of Family Feud and Wheel of Fortune for her company, she waited for sleep to embalm her. She no longer dreamed of him. Those nightmares were now locked away in an unused master bedroom, behind a firmly closed door, under an ink-black midnight sky.
Arlene writes poetry, flash fiction and song lyrics. More of her work may be found @ I am not a silent Poet, Tuck Magazine, Little Rose Magazine, London Grip, The Open Mouse and Literary Heist.
They argued more and more. She said it was a temporary thing; he wasn’t so sure.
Pooh sticks off the bridge would determine their future.
From the other side of the bridge, only one stick appeared. She said they were now one; he said they needed to go separate ways.
Stuart is a retired teacher living in Christchurch New Zealand. He has never let Pooh sticks determine his life choices. Perhaps he should have.
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.