Every summer we haul grandpa’s ashes down to the beach and listen to the crashing surf.
The roar reminds us of grandpa’s grumbling groans after a long day’s work.
When the tide recedes, the shoreline resembles a long stretch of freshly poured cement, waiting to be troweled, skimmed perfectly smooth.
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.
Charlie’s been rummaging through Great-Aunt Mary’s button box.
He holds a coin aloft. “I found treasure, Mummy!”
I take it, caress the inscription around the edge. Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, 1914. Mary’s father died at the Somme, when she was two.
Charlie shimmers expectantly.
“Yes,” I say, throat tight. “You did.”
Tricia Lowther’s flash fiction, short stories, and poetry have won or been placed in several competitions and been published in Writer’s Forum magazine, Mslexia, and Brilliant Flash Fiction amongst others. Tricia was an award winner in the UK’s Creative Future Literary Awards 2017. Find her on Twitter.
That is a photo of my girlfriend; it was the last good day she had before she died.
She doesn’t look sick, but she was. That wasn’t going to stop her doing what she wanted to do. She had spirit.
How do you get used to losing someone like that?
Susan Cornford is a retired public servant living in Perth, Western Australia. She has pieces published or forthcoming in 50-Word Stories, Akashic Books, Antipodean Science Fiction, CarpeArte Journal, Fewer Than 500, Ghost Parachute, Medusa’s Laugh, Speculative 66, Subtle Fiction, Switchblade, The Fable Online, The Gambler, and The Vignette Review. She considers herself an emerging flash writer.
She told me that the cruelest part of it all, after it was over and she was finally allowed to leave the hospital and come home again, was that they had taken the crib away without even telling her.
They pretended like it had never been there to begin with.
Dave Novak works in a fairly serious office that sends him to strange and mysterious places throughout New Jersey. Whenever he feels like being more or less serious, he writes. You can check out his works and thoughts at dumbstupidfakestories.wordpress.com.
Your estate, organized by spoons, sweaters, silver. I’ll finish the fusilli ($1) you planned on eating later. I’ll wear your motorcycle goggles ($10) while washing my new tea cups ($4), then hang a tile, painted with moon, stars, and love for you when I was six ($.50).
All good buys.
This is Alexandra’s tenth fifty-word story. She wishes death could always be preceded by goodbyes.
I am middle aged when you mention
that as a child at Christmastime
you were chased around your neighborhood
by big blond boys shouting
I’ve known you all my life,
yet you are distant land,
and few years remain for me to touch that soil.
Jennifer usually writes poetry, occasionally writes short fiction. See more at her website.
He placed his hands on the ceramic bowl where last she had placed hers. He brought it to his lips and kissed the rim as she used to before slurping whatever tepid liquid remained, and then set it beside the urn in the china cabinet.
He smiled meekly.
Francisco Tutella teaches English literature, composition, and elementary Italian in northeast Pennsylvania. He is trying to learn Japanese and wants to teach English overseas. His work has appeared in 50-Word Stories and Wilkes magazine. He has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University.
Mum came to stay the day after her funeral. She was waving from the doorstep when I returned with the groceries. I carried her suitcase into the hall then set a place for her at the dining table, beside the ghost of my father.
Neither of them enjoyed the meal.
Mark Farley was raised in Zimbabwe where he survived two dog maulings, a swarm of killer bees, and being run over by a horse. His story Knight of the Rocks has been published by Old Words Home.
Grandpa was terminal. My flight was tomorrow, the tickets were booked; I had delayed telling him until now.
He looked at me, but his gaze spanned a thousand miles. Then he smiled, smoothing wrinkled cheeks and pulling ridged scars taut across his jaw.
“…Long time since I been to Texas…”
It’s been two years, three months, and nineteen days since Guy was in Texas. This is his fifteenth 50-word story.
The dead sparrow behind the garbage barrel brought it all back. Vietnam, that letter from home about my first girlfriend. Suicide, it read, something about her husband and her sister.
But this damp spring evening we danced again, carried by the wind and the liquid trilling of a Wood Thrush.
Matthew lives and writes in Maine. He loves the cool evenings of spring, and first the wood thrushes, then later the loons.