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
“You excited?” He smiled.
Her heart raced.
The doctor squeezed out the cold, clear goo.
She felt the wand wiggle around.
His smile hollowed.
She waited for the sound.
Another doctor came.
Minutes ticked by.
But the second heartbeat couldn’t be found.
Juliann Morris is an avid reader, writer, and tiny house dweller graduating from the University of Hawaii at Hilo this semester with a double Bachelor’s degree in English and Communication and a Creative Writing Certificate. She writes both fiction and nonfiction and bases most of her stories on her life experiences.
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.