What’s the word? A syllable sits on the tip of my tongue.
A machine beeps erratically. Voices. Shouting.
“Stay,” he begs, tears streaming down an unshaven face. But his touch is alien: bereft of warmth.
The machine pauses. Sudden silence. Overpowering.
“Numb,” I whisper, as darkness falls.
Cadence Rage is a songwriter, animal rights activist, and caffeine-addicted weaver of speculative fiction. Currently working on her science-fantasy series, she also writes poetry and flash fiction at cadencerage.wordpress.com
My memory’s broken, I’ve concluded. Storytellers return vividly to their pasts. I only remember remembering, the images grainier with each mental photocopy.
“Daddy!” the girl screams, nose crusted. She tugs my leg and flaps her arms.
I frantically shuffle though reams of fading prints. The ink smudges before it dries.
Andrew Dunn is a journalist and writer in Charlotte, N.C.
While filling the pockets of her overcoat with heavy stones, she idly mulls over her long-held belief that removing a writer’s demons can also take away those angels that create wondrous prose. “Well, it doesn’t matter now,” she thinks, wading deeper into the River Ouse. “The angels have abandoned me.”
Henry F. Tonn has had his fiction and nonfiction published by some of the finest literary journals in America but his novel, “Ascent to Madness,” a historical novel about Zelda Fitzgerald, had been rejected by over two hundred literary agents. He blogs sporadically at henrytonn.com
Kit hopscotches her age over the trash in the parking lot where her friend was last seen more than a month ago.
The happy little jingle is distant at first. An ice-cream truck.
A rusted white van with tinted windows.
Cecilia Dockins lives in Tennessee and spends most of her time wrangling words and parrots. She is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Sanitarium Magazine, HWA Poetry Showcase Volume I and III, and various anthologies. For more about Cecilia, check out her website at ceciliadockins.com
Dr. Gennit was close to a breakthrough. His devotion to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s was legendary.
He’d been caregiver for his mother, watching her steady decline and eventual death.
We thought he was just overworked until he left the lab today.
“I really can’t stay. Mother has dinner ready.”
Candace Kubinec wrote this story.
The two old friends arrive at dawn, as they have every Saturday for sixteen years. Toting shotgun and shovel, the man slowly, lovingly leads his dog toward their favorite blind.
Ducks rise. Clouded, intelligent eyes and soft grey muzzle scan skyward.
Forevermore, the retriever anticipates the roar of the gun.
Lou is trying to write stuff that makes sense to dogs and ducks. He has given up on people with guns.
In the shallows of the gently lapping waves, the girl, dress tucked in knickers, had played.
The sun, low in the sky, casts an orange glow.
Shops long closed. Curlews, in flight, send out their cry.
A mother comes out to call her daughter home.
There’s no one to hear.
Jean lives in Bath in the UK and loves reading 50-word stories. She has a go whenever she gets the time.
Jack forgot his hat. His gloves. His coat, too. Down the street to where he thought Betty was. She wasn’t. Across the park, if it was a park. Grass anyway. Big empty blue sky. Tired. Sat down on a bench.
So stone cold. Jack wanted to go home. Forgot where.
Paul Negri has twice won the Gold Medal for fiction in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition. His work has appeared in The Vestal Review, Bartleby Snopes, Piff Magazine, Jellyfish Review and other publications. He lives and writes in Clifton, New Jersey.
Winter aged me,
took away muscle tone
with each mound of snow
I stared at my flaccid arms and legs.
Surely they belonged to someone else,
my mother perhaps…
when she was ninety.
Then spring arrived
With its noisy insistent presence.
Too much growth –
I’m done with that.
Robin Lubatkin does circle time with the very young and what she calls “songhealing” with the very old.
At 80, Gramp was unsteady on his feet. He didn’t want his nurse’s help, but waited ‘til she was gone, then stumbled to the bathroom.
He fell and broke his hip.
He died in the hospital two weeks later.
They say he died from pneumonia.
I say it was embarrassment.
Harry Demarest has had twenty of his 50-word stories and a few longer pieces published. This is a true story which happened to Harry’s grandfather in 1966.