Gentle wind off the Mediterranean
flutters their white tablecloth’s overhang,
softly touching her bare legs.
“It was fun – we had such a great time!”
Jerking her hand free from her lover’s surprised fingers,
she brushes aside her wild windswept hair,
exposing fierce brown eyes,
and cheeks salty with sunlit tears.
Matthew lives in Maine. He wishes everyone freedom and that no one be left behind or imprisoned or tortured or hungry or suffering in any way. May all beings be happy.
Teary-eyed and with flowers in hand, the boy inches toward the grave with his mother. The grave is familiar; they both visit it daily.
The boy breaks down and falls to his knees. Crying, he says, “He was so good. We had so many memories… He was a good goldfish.”
Tate Hancock is a junior at Orion High School in Illinois. He lives with his mother, father, older brother, and younger brother. He wrote this 50-word story for his English III Honors class.
I’d spent enough time at the bar already. My mind was made up. I was the first to say “I love you;” it was only right for me to be the first to say “It’s over.”
I arrived to an empty house, her wedding ring laying coldly on the table.
Ellis says: “I write whatever I can, whenever I can.”
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.