My mother enjoyed researching our family tree – searching through census data, sending off for birth certificates, the lot. She painted a fruit tree on the wall, adding names and photos to its branches.
Then she discovered Great-Grandpa was a member of the KKK.
We burned his picture on the lawn.
writes novels, flash fiction and the occasional poem.
“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.
“Chicken,” he argues, accepting a plateful of my scrambled eggs.
“Egg,” I counter, despairing.
“Chicken,” he pluffs, eggs carelessly falling from his smug mouth.
Unzipping my skin suit, feathered breast bursting, I peck him solidly in the chest. Mouth agape, he flees the kitchen.
I hate it when he’s right.
Judy Crawford met the love of her life in a college writing class. They don’t always agree either.
Shelly had known they were her husband’s white socks on sight; she’d cleaned them often enough. She recognized them immediately, dangling at eye-level just past the hotel room balcony, with Roy’s feet still inside them.
What she hadn’t recognized was the voice of the girl weeping above.
Cal lives in Hillsborough, NC where he writes experimental fiction, reads detective novels, and talks to his houseplants.
Thump. Thump. Thump. In the dark, I lug the lumpy sack down each stair, muttering curses at the noise. Christmas lights twinkle from the living room. What a surprise they’ll get in the morning.
I peer outside. Snowing. Heavily. Perfect. It’ll cover up my footprints.
And any drops of blood.
Matthew is a secondary school teacher and studied English Literature at the University of Glasgow. His short story ‘Blue Sky’ has just been published in a Centum Press anthology and he is currently seeking representation for his first science fiction novel.
As he fumbled to open the squeaky back door, he cursed himself for not having used WD-40. And there she was, just staring at him, with her revolver at the ready.
“Thank God,” she said. “I thought you were a burglar.”
He smiled in relief as she pulled the trigger.
Fred Vogel is working on a collection of short stories as well as a third collection of poetry. He plays bad guitar but sings like a bird. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.
There are many ways to die on stage, but I never expected this.
Sleight of hand at the props table, the audience blissfully unaware. As the cool blade pierced my skin, a searing pain forced me to my knees.
The knife had been switched. My co-star finally had her revenge.
Anna is a performer and writer from Nottingham, England. Follow her creative journey on Twitter
The note on my door said I had passed away yesterday and my memorial service was tomorrow.
“What is going on?” I wondered. My neighbor had passed me without speaking.
I opened my door and the house smelled of roses. Everyone knew I loved roses.
I sat down and cried.
Linda’s dream is to do nothing but write but she has to eat so there goes the dream.
My chest pounded as I stared at the bed. There lay floral sheets, closed eyes, and my mother’s frail fingers still warm in my hand.
“Let go,” she had said.
“No,” I had told her.
When the fingers grew cold I heard her voice again. That’s when I let go.
Gwendolyn Jacob is rediscovering her fictional roots and has several works in progress.
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.