A middle-aged man and woman sit in movie theater seats with broken hinges. Distortions of an animated film flicker in the reflection of their eyes, accompanied by the laughter of children ringing in their ears.
The woman clutches a tattered teddy bear to her chest. The man squeezes her hand.
Taylor Stuckey is an English major at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. She started dabbling in writing short fiction less than a year ago, and hasn’t stopped since. This is her first published sotry.
“You have got to stop enabling him,” they told me. “He has to hit bottom.”
When he fell through, they said, “It wasn’t your fault.”
This must be what they mean by “The longest distance is between the head and the heart.”
A mother isn’t supposed to outlive her child.
Traci Mullins wrote this story.
Ping! Letterbox… Thwack! Liquidambar…
Matt an’ me were slingshootin’ in the front yard.
There was a shatterin’ of glass and crunchin’ of metal.
The newspaper reckoned the driver hit the light pole and died at the scene.
We argued over who shot the stone, then never spoke of it again.
Growing up, slingshooting was a fun pastime for Melanie until one day she may or may not have caused someone to receive a serious injury…
It’s a beautiful spring day, although perhaps a little too warm for the suit I picked out.
A bird sings from the branch of a nearby tree. I welcome the distraction.
She always loved birds, I think to myself, as I toss a handful of dirt onto the tiny coffin.
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and has published over 40 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two short story collections, and his first novel, When Darkness Comes, was released in October, 2017. For more information, visit gallenwilbanks.com.
Help me, I’ve won the lottery.
My mother sued me, my father’s stalking me, my brother tried to poison me, all because of my money.
I’ve changed my name three times and lived in and fled from six continents in three months.
Someone please help me. I won the lottery.
Chelsea Roberts has not won the lottery. She spends her days writing fiction at pastpaperanswers.com.
“Isn’t that the funniest thing you ever heard?”
“Yes, mom. It’s a wonderful story. But it’s time for bed. Good night.”
I sigh and think to myself, when you wake up tomorrow you can tell it again, and I will pretend it’s the first time I ever heard it. Again.
G. Allen Wilbanks is a member of the HWA and has published over 40 short stories in Deep Magic, Daily Science Fiction, The Talisman, and other venues. He has published two short story collections, and his first novel, When Darkness Comes, was released in October, 2017. For more information, visit gallenwilbanks.com.
They called me to the principal’s office. Thought I won the essay contest.
I felt good. They seemed worried.
“Was everything you wrote about your uncle true?”
Lying would save us. So I did.
“No, it wasn’t true. Just fiction.”
I hadn’t won. I stopped believing in right or wrong.
K. Joffré is a married gay latino living in New York. He is a Slate contributor and has had fiction published in ContemporaryQueer.com
. Slide into his DMs at @meanhood
We heard muffled crying before we spotted him, hidden in a gap between houses. He was lying on the ground, swaddled head-to-toe in a blanket. He cried steadily, without stopping, like an all-day rain. He cried freely, without shame—the way one cries when alone.
Gray cocoon, trembling with life.
Mary Lane Potter is the author of the novel A Woman of Salt (Counterpoint Press, a 2001 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection) and Strangers and Sojourners: Stories from the Lowcountry (Counterpoint Press), as well as books and essays on feminist and liberation theologies. Her creative nonfiction essays, short stories, and flash fictions have appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, North American Review, Tampa Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, SUFI Journal, Spiritus, and others. She’s been awarded writing residencies at MacDowell, Hedgebrook, and Caldera, as well as a Washington State Arts Commission/Artist Trust Fellowship. Potter lives in Seattle and teaches writing at Hugo House, the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Studies, and The Loft Literary Center (online). Visit her author website.
It started out small. Just a little white lie here and there. No real damage done, right? I could stop at any time.
“Grandma, I don’t feel well. I’m not coming over today.” I went shopping instead and found a beautiful navy suit.
I’ll wear it tomorrow to her funeral.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana. She enjoys writing short stories, and always tries to tell the truth.
The old lady nudged the bearded man beside her, and asked, “Do you remember my brother?”
“What?” He replied.
“My brother. Do you remember my brother?”
The old man sighed. “I am your brother! I’ve told you a million times.”
The old woman appeared doubtful. “My brother wasn’t that ugly.”
Eddie & Anna are a father-daughter team that enjoys dreaming up stories and hashing out dialogue. Sometimes they even write them down. Anna’s new to writing, but you can visit her father’s website