My heart has shattered and the shards are everywhere.
Each shard a memory, each memory most precious.
Goodbyes were said, tears were shed, hugs gratefully given and received.
The end of the school year; I will never see most of these students again.
China is a long way from America.
Daniel Quillen is retired and living in China, teaching English at a Chinese university. He just wrapped up his final semester there.
The crackling campfire illuminated her birth name, carefully inscribed in large, looping cursive.
She hadn’t expected this letter. Not after the way she’d left.
A dry sob clogged her throat—or was it simply smoke from the fire?—as she dropped the envelope, unopened, into the heart of the blaze.
Devon R. Widmer is a grumpy graduate student by day, a scribbling daydreamer by night, and a sleep deprived parent full time.
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.
When Jerry arrived home, he realized he’d left his life at the office.
This wasn’t the first time he’d realized this, but the realization was more poignant at the moment as he read the note on the refrigerator:
“Took kids with me to mother’s. See you again sometime, I imagine.”
Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro Cuban Folkloric music for dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. Recent writing in Red Eft, Ink In Thirds, Alba, Corvus, Tower Journal, Uppagus, After the Pause, Spelk, Chrome Baby, Former Cactus and many others. In 2017 he was nominated for both The Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.
He plunged the knife into his chest, carved a circle through the muscle and bone, and withdrew his heart. He placed it in a box and neatly wrapped it.
The day before she left, he presented her the gift, to carry with her to the other end of the world.
Francisco Tutella is a public relations specialist at Penn State University. His work has appeared in Fifty-Word Stories and Wilkes magazine. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. Like him on Facebook.
Both our wives walked out within a week. We hadn’t spoken in years, but now all we had was each other: though divided by parents, we were united by divorce.
We fished from the harbour wall, with bated breath and baited lines, sharing tales of the one that got away.
Guy has never taken his brother fishing. This is his twenty-second 50-word story.
The stars twinkle. I remember when you pointed at the one you wanted to go.
My tablet beeps. A message from “somewhere in Virgo,” you say. Sent fifteen years ago.
I wonder if I should I bother replying. It’ll take longer than fifteen years to…
Clutching the tablet, I type.
Joey doesn’t even have a tablet but he can be messaged at joeytoey.com.
Unkept promises drift away in the breeze, the stench of exhaust lingering in the parking lot. His red mustang fades into the horizon. Here, he left his girl, watching from the payphone station.
She stops dialing. Instead, she limps onto the curb, gives the next driver a thumbs up.
Kiersten Wood, from Massachusetts, is a dedicated writer who loves horror movies, dancing, and spending her summers in the City.
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.”
My daughter lives thirty minutes away. She’s got two children now. We haven’t spoken in twenty years. The last time we were together we hunted Monkey Bees in the backyard, turning things over, looking for a Monkey Bees’ nest. It was a made-up game. There was no way to win.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble.” His first novel, “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel,” was recently rereleased. Visit BobThurber.net.