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.
Oliver moved to California.
I don’t know when I fell in love with this child I barely knew. He’s the first person to whom I ever freely said “I love you.”
He’s only two. He won’t remember me, but he filled a void in my life I didn’t know existed.
Dana C. Smith holds an MFA in writing from Spalding University with an emphasis on fiction. Her previous work has appeared in “Ladies Home Journal” online version, “House Organ,” and “Escape Your World,” a short story anthology by Scribes Valley Publishing Company, where she was a finalist in a 2015 short fiction competition. She lives and writes in Nashville, Tennessee.
The rule for any cougar is half your age, then add seven. Anything below this is unacceptable, and would you want to be known as a cradle robber?
I am 54, so under 35 is prohibited. Well that narrows it down a bit.
It also puts me in a predicament.
Vicky is a budding author, living in the remote, rural Irish landscape.
Little if any sizzling. Pulling away from the pan.
A toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
She turned it upside down on a wire cooling rack then righted it on another.
That brief time left an impression.
The crisscross pattern reminded her of her mother.
Dead at forty-two.
Jennifer M. Smith was taught the family baking secrets at an early age. She never met her maternal grandmother.
Things you left behind when you moved out:
-coffee mugs (2), stained
-CDs (4), no cases
-shoes (1 pair), scuffed
-socks (5), all odd
-spider plant (1), lovingly watered
-cufflink (1), gift from me, remember?
-sweater (1), still smells like you
-heart (1), broken
Please call ASAP to arrange collection.
Hannah Whiteoak is a freelance writer and poet from Sheffield, UK. Read her stories or follow @hannahwhiteoak.
My grandma has forgotten the word for Mahjongg. She keeps asking to play yoga.
I think about what that might mean.
She’d be teacher. Her poses would have names like desserts: the rugelach, the macaroon. I’d contort myself, wobble, fall. We’d both laugh.
From the closet, I get the tiles.
Brooke Randel is a writer and copywriter in Chicago, IL. Her fiction has been published in Ropes, Two Cities Review, Punchnel’s and Beecher’s Magazine. She’s currently co-writing a memoir with her grandma.
One of the brakes on my bike is broken. It doesn’t matter. It’s flat here.
Smiling white folks wave at me from golf carts. The weather is always warm. I married up.
I wonder if I’m as good as they are. Or as bad. Maybe I’m both. But hopefully neither.
Sarah Hausman likes to keep her bio shorter than her stories. Links and updates can be found at Facebook.com/sarahhausmanwrites