Forty dollars. That’s it. All day walkin’ hot alleys. Ain’t nobody want the last corn and watermelon I got here. My feet are burning, my hands are sore from leading this pony.
Now, pony, just one more alley. I’m gonna find you some water.
Watermelon, watermelon, red to the rind.
Ann Bracken has authored two poetry collections, No Barking in the Hallways: Poems from the Classroom and The Altar of Innocence, serves as a contributing editor for Little Patuxent Review, and co-facilitates Wilde Readings Poetry Series in Columbia, MD. Her poetry, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals. Ann’s advocacy work centers around arts-based interventions for mental health and prison reform. See more at annbrackenauthor.com.
He’s not as smart as his haircut, nor sharp as his suit, and nowhere near as polished as his shoes. “Bright” would have to be on a triple word score before someone used it about him, but times are tough so you smile and say, “Very droll, sir, very droll.”
Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. He has words on many websites and in several print anthologies. His novella Straw Gods will be published by Reflex Press this year.
I ran into a ghost the other day. I think it was a ghost. It moaned a lot, and rattled chains like old Marley did when he visited Scrooge. I blinked and the vision cleared.
The ghost was me, twenty years into the future, chained to a gray, corporate desk.
Jenise Cook lives with her husband in the north-central highlands of Arizona where it snows. Jenise enjoys visitors to @jenisecook on Twitter, and at JeniseCook.com where you can find a list of her published works.
In June, she was a vision.
Straight, even rows of tiny, green shoots reaching toward the sun.
In July, she blossomed from summer rains. A familiar anticipation began to set in.
Then came August, and she was ripe with bounty.
Now, the fruits of our labor realized, we both rest.
Susan Gale Wickes is a writer, and a first-time gardener, from Indiana.
Staring at the computer screen, wishing she were somewhere else.
The banks of the Euphrates, the moors of Scotland, the Australian Outback, the beach.
Anywhere but this cold, lifeless cubicle.
Flipping the screen, she looks at her bank account balance.
Back to the drudgery to one day earn her escape.
Susan is a Curriculum Developer at a mortgage company. She is widowed with two grown daughters, two stepsons, and four awesome grandchildren: two boys and two girls.
Monday motivational meeting. Eleven frowning people surround the board room table.
Door opens; eleven heads bow, eyes staring at the floor.
Heels click across the hardwood.
New voice. “I’m Nancy from Human Resources. There’s no meeting today. Sylvie is no longer with the company.”
Nancy leaves. Eleven smiling people follow.
Connie Taylor is an Operations Manger by day, a writer and reader by night. Her writing aspirations began in grade school with her heroine Pantoulia who leaped over football fields of fire. She’s contributed to the Journal of Integrated Studies and enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction.
Hank was a successful plumber, but dreamed of fronting a band. He sang whilst fixing the shower, filling the bathroom with renditions of the 60s classics he heard on his father’s records.
His work complete, he belted out the last note, turned the stopcock, and listened to the shower cheer.
Guy once started a band with a stranger, at 2am, in the frozen food section of his local 24-hour Tesco. It frustrates him that he can’t seem to pull a story from it. This is his tenth 50-word story.
I try to think things through, think things through, I always do. But no, they all know better, those big-shot managers. They don’t listen, they don’t care, no they don’t. But when it goes wrong, they look to me. They call meetings. Meetings meetings meetings!
Stuff ’em; I’m going home.
Joey wasn’t interested in writing while at school but has been writing on his own in recent years. And yes, he hates meetings. Admit it, you do too.
He sat outside the bank, his hands in his pockets, where they caressed lint, two quarters and empty dreams. It was Friday and also the first. Businessmen and the elderly walked in shoulder to shoulder to do business. He wished he could join them. He missed the rank and file.
AR Neal got bit by the writing bug back in the late 1970s while watching Rod Serling and reading Ray Bradbury. Although she has worked in education for more than a quarter century, she has never been cured of her penchant for speculative fiction. Find some of her flash fiction at www.starvingartist.wordpress.com.
When he pulls into the garage, he sees the bucket and sand toys on the backseat. He hides them in the trunk, next to the spare tire.
Then he runs his hands over his suit to remove any final grains of sand. He wouldn’t want the kids to be jealous.
Brittany Michelson loves traveling, hiking new mountains, playing with words, snowboarding, and daydreaming.