Sani and I stood in a hotel parking lot once and watched two children who were standing silently, holding each other’s hands and looking at the ground, while their parents fought.
That night we promised each other we’d always talk gently.
Those were hopeful days, before we knew the world.
Owen Yager is a senior at Carleton College. His work has recently appeared or is upcoming in multiple publications, including Flash Fiction Magazine.
The house was quiet, dimly lit with the holiday lights. Jean sighed, shaking her head. “The kids are busy this time of year, but they’ll be here tomorrow. They need me for those generation pictures. So don’t worry yourself, Tom. I won’t be alone.”
She touched the urn. “Miss you.”
Trisha Ridinger McKee resides in a Mayberry-like town in Pennsylvania, with her weary husband and hippie daughter. She may or may not be inspired by living next to a cemetery. And she may or may not have traumatized her daughter with a few ridiculously intense bedtime stories through the years.
Shortly after Greg woke to discover his vertebrae had permanently fused with his wife’s while they’d slept, he became curious if she had been complaining to her friends about him behind his back.
When she awoke screaming, desperate to pull away from him, he smiled, realizing it didn’t matter anymore.
Ran Walker is burrowing himself beneath a growing pile of words–and enjoying every minute of it.
His wingless angel protests, “You won’t like it,” but Derrick insists.
In the world in which he’d never been born, his parents haven’t divorced, his wife married Ryan Gosling, and the Beatles are all alive and still together.
“Nothing’s worse without me?” asks Derrick.
“Fruitcake still sucks,” his angel offers.
Tony Jasnowski teaches English at Bellevue University and is sure that we’d all be one step closer to living in Pottersville if 50-Word Stories didn’t exist.
Another Raksha Bandhan. He had always wished for a kid sister, who would tie him a rakhi.
“Mom, why can’t I have a sis?” he queries.
The mother gives him a blank expression. She has just undergone her third abortion.
“Can’t afford daughters,” her husband, a rickshaw puller, would say.
Vijai Pant is a school teacher in India. In his free time he lets his creative juices flow in the form of stories and poems.
Johnny II finds his new home quite nice. Roomy, with a clear running tube. Good food and very clean.
Many visitors come at first, but then fewer.
His exercise wheel has developed a squeak—annoying, then soothing in time.
Memories of mother’s call as he rots in this lonely cage.
Iain L. Luen has a normal job, but hopes for rescue. He just wants to write and take pics. See more at deviantart.com/echoesofarchi.
I miss reading your gothic paranormal dinosaur erotica poetry.
I miss you playing B-side heavy metal on low volume whilst veganising carnivorous recipes.
I miss picking up a full jar of pickles and standing stupidly with only the lid in my hand.
I missed the meaning of your goodbye note.
Alice Lam moved to Australia from the UK with her partner and they share a house in Melbourne, along with a cheese-seeking, greying Boxer dog. See more at alicelambooks.com.
They used to fish together every day in the cove.
He lost his lifetime partner but still showed up in the cove. Fishing. Same time every day. Alone.
He would move away when anyone approached.
People knew this would happen when a female loon washed up dead on the shore.
NT Franklin writes after his real job hoping one day to have it be his real job. He writes cozy mystery short stories, nostalgia short stories, and Flash Fiction. When not reading or writing short stories, you might find him fishing or solving crossword puzzles.
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.