I stand at the rear of the chapel, amongst those paying their respects. All familiar faces, yet no-one speaks to me. Too grief-stricken, perhaps?
Who chose this godawful music?
Then she appears! We haven’t spoken since she took off with my man. She has some nerve coming to my funeral!
To avoid any awkwardness at her own funeral, Melanie has pre-planned the service arrangements and music and will most likely be regularly updating her invited-guests-only list.
Priestess in my untidy temple, I wait alone upon my adorable Oracle.
She bestows her gifts freely, but not easily. Her words, strewn casually, discarded carelessly, I gather and scrutinize, turning them over in my mind, looking for truths, profound and ineffable.
“Do you know what an elephant says?”
John D. Payne grew up in the American Midwest, watching the lightning flash outside his window and imagining himself as everything from a leaf in the wind to the god of thunder. Today, he lives with his wife and family in the shadow of the Organ Mountains in New Mexico, where he imagines that with enough concentration he might be able to rustle up a little cloud cover for some shade. For updates, new fiction, and exclusive content, visit patreon.com/johndpayne.
You failed your haunting final, so you are relegated to watching professionals do what you’re not licensed to do: lure the rest of your family to the shack in the woods, the one where you had your first kiss with your second girlfriend, the one where they found your body.
J. Bradley is a two-time winner of Wigleaf’s Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions. He’s the author of Neil & Other Stories (WhiskeyTit Books, 2018). He lives at jbradleywrites.com.
He needed a home. I let him move in. Bought a new bed. Fed him well. Tended to his every need. Let him sit by a real coal fire.
But every time I turned my back, he sneaked off to the woman down the road.
He was just another tom.
Mary Gunn writes short stories and poetry, including Japanese-style poems. She lives on the east coast of Ireland.
“Hi, honey! Welcome home. Dinner’s ready.”
“Daddy, the flying saucer’s on TV again!”
I smile. “Not hungry, but I’d love to see the saucer.”
I’m really not hungry—the human whose shape I’ve adopted was quite filling.
But I enjoy watching my ship on Earthling screens, my next meal nearby.
Maura Yzmore writes creepy fiction when she doesn’t force-feed math to college students. Find out more about her writing at maurayzmore.com or @MauraYzmore on Twitter.
Grinning skeletal figures wearing multicolored clothing stand before a severely warped structure resembling a dilapidated house with crooked unproportioned windows. Unusually shaped flowers of an undeterminable species sprout wildly alongside treelike etchings. The artwork is inscribed with barely discernable letters, “To Momma, I love you.”
-Displayed at Galerie de Frigidaire.
Carrie Backer is the author of two children’s books: Wayne’s Trip to the Moon and Mr. Jacobs and the Serving Spoon. See more at backerbooks.com.
The perfect opportunity plucked from the universe as his car scraped against mine.
He flashed a toothy smile, jotting down his information. Biting my lip, my heart pounding, his rough hand covering mine. A melody of words spilled from his lips. My taser jammed into his ribs. Our beautiful beginning.
Andrea Allison currently writes and resides in a small Oklahoman town. You can visit her website at andreallison.com.
She used to pull the covers over her head when shadows morphed into monsters.
One day she walked into her room, tears clinging to her cheeks, and the monster growled.
She growled louder.
Now she dangles her arm out the side of her bed, and they hold hands.
Katherine DeGilio has made friends with most of her demons, except for the dreaded bio. She’s a writer, yet she never knows what to write in here.
He thought about retiring.
He took a leave-of-absence, headed south, got a job driving kids to summer camp. He’d always liked kids.
These kids laughed at his belly, threw things into his beard.
He couldn’t wait to get home where kids were just names on lists—naughty or nice.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
It’s been a long time and I’ve missed you, my old friend.
The thought of you, your smell. The way you taste.
You’re always on my mind.
I know it’s been good to be away from you, but I want you back in my life.
Hello carbs, my old friend.
Susan is a Technical Writer by day and fiction writer at night. She adores her five grandkids.