They sit me down. Father’s words are broken and confusing. Mother’s tears are silent, but they shimmer with fear and anger, tracing her flushed cheeks as they fall.
The woman at the door remains stoic, but her eyes are sympathetic. Her lips whisper: my son, how I have missed you!
Lancelot is a retired U.S. Navy Submarine Chief and a creative writer at heart who fears rejection, and therefore keeps his stories locked away in his mind.
He’s rehearsed the lines; it’s almost time.
The train doors slide, he rises, swallows a cocktail of bile and blood.
“Fighting fit,” says his mouth, to keep hers smiling. His sunshine girl.
He flies her bag over his shoulder like it’s candyfloss. “Your mother’s made dumplings, special.”
Same as always.
lives in Manchester UK and writes flash fiction and the occasional short story.
“We need to talk.”
“I’m sorry!” he shouted, thinking he knew what she wanted. “I’m sorry I hurt you. I’m sorry I can’t be the son you want. I’m sorry I can’t get my life together. You want perfection… I’m only human.”
“Ah,” she said, smiling sadly. “But you’re not.”
is, in fact, only human. She makes up for this about writing stories about people and things who are not.
Some day, the world will know the truth. They think that because of their ridiculous brains and silly thumbs they can do anything. We’ll let them think that for a while. Remember: stay away from their video cameras. We don’t want to go viral yet. They might stop feeding us.
Penny Jo McAllister is a freelance writer who lives among several innocent looking critters.
Alice bunks off school. Going home is safe with parents at work. Entering the hall, she hears something upstairs.
Venturing up, Alice opens the bedroom door.
A strange woman looks back, shocked. She wears too much makeup.
“Who are you?”
“Alice…” the woman says.
It’s her father’s voice.
Viv Burgess worries about the characters she has pushed into the deep end.
Jeremy told colleagues it’d barely reach his account; the uni lads were down.
Two days alone in the flat, except a trip to the Chinese.
Sunday. Ironing. Phone beeps.
“Evening mate. Amazing tweets – glad you’re enjoying London. Drinks Saturday?”
“Ugh, can’t. Mental weekend – skint ’til payday :-(“
Matthew Reville is an ex-journalist turned press officer. He ghostwrote the autobiography of the founder of PizzaExpress. Follow him at @MatthewReville
and buy the book at peterboizot.com
It spun clockwise in an ever-decreasing circle. Its life ended in a gurgle, a final gasp. I straightened and felt relief that it was over. I quickly wiped everything down and, glancing around, verified that all evidence of my activities was gone.
No one knows I wash dishes by hand.
Gordon Lysen resides in Manitoba, Canada, spending his time between the city of Winnipeg and his true home at Sugar Point on Lake Manitoba. Retired from police work after some 27 years, Gordon co-authored the novel “A Deadly Blend of Souls” with his wife, Lisa. Writing and painting are Gordon’s relaxation methods when retirement becomes too stressful.
I wanted to buy a necklace for my wife as a Christmas gift.
Unfortunately, I really didn’t know what size fit her. Therefore, I decided to measure her neck size when she was asleep.
However, as I was putting a rope on her neck to measure size, she woke up.
Cloris Cui a student at Shenzhen Academy of International Education who wants to learn directing in university.
Sometimes I wish she hadn’t read my letter. Even today I turn red, remembering her tone of surprise; I was scared, as I am right now.
I ran away and we never talked again.
Now I sit alone, going over photos of her, wondering how surprised she would sound today.
Tiago Viana is a Brazilian trying to live life as a writer in the US. With a preference for horror and mystery, he occupies himself writing novels, but sometimes he tries something new.
The girl fell, once. Gingerly, her father picked her up. He kissed her wound. “Roses bleed, too,” he said, drying the tears from her face.
She looked up to him, beautiful, bright-eyed, and unknowing of the secrets behind his eyes. Because given time, even roses grow dull and wither away.
Joaquim Chichava is unbearably quirky, and has grown to love wearing shorts.