School continues, but your lessons are done. Your empty desk and chair are a reminder you’re no longer here.
Why did you play with that abandoned gun in the alley? Senseless tragedy put your ten-year timeline to an end.
A lesson learned too hard, one our class will never forget.
Shawnta S. Barnes is a literacy coach in Indianapolis Public Schools, an adjunct instructor at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis School of Education, and a 2016-2017 Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow.
I brought her some West Virginian wildflowers fresh from the Star City exit on I-79.
She cradled them like an infant wrapped in burlap. The little bluets danced along the dewy glow of her paling face. “What should we name them?”
“Honey …” She wanted to name everything.
Amber D. Tran graduated from West Virginia University in 2012, where she specialized in lyrical non-fiction and contemporary poetry. She currently lives in Alabama with her husband and miniature dachshund. Her first novel, Moon River, will be released this fall.
She was found in a pool of blood alongside the road.
The old Ford carrying the beast smashed an oak a half mile away.
That game he played—the game of touch—was no fun. It never was.
Eventually, she spoke to the nurse. “Where’s dad? Is he all right?”
Eric Doubek is from Brazil.
During Uncle Harry’s visits he dazzled me with magic. At six he held my nose, tapped my head, nickels tumbled out. At eight he pulled quarters from my ear. At eleven he reached up my skirt to pull a ten dollar bill from my panties just as dad walked in.
Paul Beckman was one of the winners in the Queen’s Ferry 2016 Best of the Small Fictions. His stories are widely published in print and online in the following magazines amongst others: Connecticut Review, Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Flash Frontier, Matter Press, Metazen, Boston Literary Magazine, Thrice Fiction and Literary Orphans. His latest collection, “Peek”, weighed in at 65 stories and 120 pages. See more at paulbeckmanstories.com
Daddy left early; he didn’t say goodbye.
No, they didn’t yell this morning. Last night, though.
Mommy didn’t make my eggs. Usually I get two, with an orange juice. She’s still sleeping. I shook her; her hand is cold. Will she wake up soon? I’m hungry.
Daddy didn’t say goodbye.
After chasing his muse from Virginia to Manhattan, Richard Day Gore settled in Southern California, where he spends his time pushing around words, paint brushes, and guitar strings. See more at richarddaygore.com
Rain spat sideways while Mother tugged our hands until we were jogging.
Dad was drunk again, and he’d hit her this time. The bruises glistened like purple glass.
At a diner, Mother used the restroom.
My brother asked what I knew.
I told him, “Love isn’t supposed to be cruel.”
Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State, an editor at the online magazine Literary Orphans, and the author of I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE AND NEITHER ARE YOU, out now from Unknown Press. You can also find him at lenkuntz.blogspot.com.
My love lies with her head on a silken pillow, hair brushed, hands gracefully over one another. Not at all like she used to sleep, one arm over her face, the other across my chest.
Her favorite dress stretches taut across her belly; another love, forever entombed inside the other.
Alexandra Keister is an executive assistant and writer hungry for success, and on most days a good maple bar.
She could feel it at the very edges of her fingertips. If she reached a little more, just a little, she could grab it. She summoned the last of her strength and energy.
But it was gone.
Her doctor explained to her husband that Alzheimers is a slow degenerative disease.
Lee Otto lives in Australia with her husband, two children, and plethora of cats. At 60, after a life spent as a technical writer, she decided to find out what fiction writing is all about and enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts majoring in fiction writing. This is her first attempt at having anything fictional published.
She’d never liked fog; it always seemed smothering and inescapable. Like Life. Like Motherhood.
Today, the cool grey mist wrapped around her felt open and somehow freeing.
Her eyes fell to the stone at her feet and she wondered what she could do now that she’d buried her last child.
Melissa is a writer, teacher, and dog lover in the Middle of Nowhere, Michigan.
You didn’t see
the last selfie I posted,
bitter wind whipping my hair across my face
as I balanced on the narrow edge of the roof,
because you were too busy
updating your status
for the seventieth time that week
and waiting for the likes and comments
to pour in
Joanne R. Fritz writes poetry and fiction for both children and adults. This is her seventh Fifty Word Story. Unlike her young protagonist, Joanne doesn’t believe in taking selfies.