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.
Its lifeless eyes looked back; not caring, just staring. Black plastic beads set into worn terry cloth. A million memories within those eyes. Many long nights did I spend staring into them, wishing to drown out the fighting on the floor below.
Sighing, I drop it back into the box.
Gretchen is a 15-year-old experimenting with writing. She loves unicycling and would like to thank Ms. Nelson for her referral to 50-Word Stories.
The man in the green sweater sold memories from a pasting table.
The girl with the red shoes delighted in sifting through the echoes of his past.
Highlight reel playing, he let the monuments to her life go cheaply, their glorious triumphs intact.
The real treasure remained hidden, buried.
Jon is from the North West of England, works in local government, with a background in Newspaper Journalism. He is currently experimenting with short fiction and other forms of creative writing.
Putting pen to paper is an ominous sign.
It means that the demons whom I had so painstakingly put to sleep will arise and come knocking at my sanity. That I’m out in the open to be ground, scathed, churned, and burnt.
It means that I haven’t forgotten you, yet.
Swetha B Ram wrote this story.
The house had been eerily quiet. She wanted to talk to someone other than her mind.
She found him seated in the rocking chair by the window. Sitting down on the floor beside him, she leaned her head gently against the chair.
The empty chair rocked slightly at her contact.
Divya is an IT nerd by day and a blogger by night. She’s also a coffee junkie and a Cancerian. She lives in India.
“Happy twenty-first birthday, Stephanie.”
Linda raised the beer can to the sky and took a sip.
“Sorry we have to share, but Mary would only give me one.”
She bent next to her best friend’s tombstone and poured the rest of it out, leaving the cemetery with a heavy heart.
Melissa J. Crispin was born and raised in Connecticut, where she still resides today. She is currently working on a novel, as well as shorter works when the mood strikes.
On each fingertip Papou penned dots for eyes, lines for mouths. He cut strips of colored paper to make caps, bonnets, pullover suits, and dresses. Despite his dense accent each character’s voice sounded distinct.
It was amazing, magical stuff.
When we visit, I march silent shadow puppets across his gravestone.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and appeared in 30 anthologies. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled Nothing But Trouble. Visit BobThurber.net.
The gas station attendant in nowhere, Nebraska, was majestically framed by a full-sized American flag. After niceties, he inquired about my accent.
“I’m from Jersey.”
His eyes misted, “That’s near 9-11.”
“Some might forget, but not me.”
I briefly wondered if people in Poland obsess over tragedies in Spain.
J. Ian Manczur wrote this story. ALIVD MONSTRVM SIMPLICITER SVM.