The contents of the cupboard are as follows:
- KD, thirteen months expired
- sriracha, red crusting around the edges of the cap
- a broken candy-cane
- stale crackers
I grab it all, collapse on the floor beside the table blocking the door, and feast while something awful moves beyond the boarded windows.
Joy Rayner writes at the peak of Lake Erie. In January she will be migrating north to study floral design.
“Eight, please”, I said politely to the old man standing next to the control panel as I entered the elevator. He pushed the top button, instead. Suddenly, I was scrunched flat to my knees from an immense upward acceleration.
“We’re way past the moon, now”, the old man said, calmly.
Dave and his lovely wife, Kate, and their two hungry rescue cats live in the Pennsylvania countryside, where he enjoys working on his novel about distant planets and flying saucers.
Twin trees grow side by side, sap pulsing to the same rhythm, roots entwined; they are more one than two.
Then the wind… Furious storm engulfs them, ripping, tearing, rending-
The survivor slowly gathers up shredded roots and cradles them as the dregs of life drain away.
Maria wrote this in remembrance of all the trees that were destroyed in this year’s derecho. These two trees are real, and the one that made it still looks lonely.
Today’s DM on Instagram starts the same as so many others. ‘Hello, beautiful,’ it says.
Except this message is from my father.
I wonder if he even knows it’s me. Twenty years can change a person.
I don’t hesitate to end it the same as the others: delete, block, forget.
Laura Besley writes short fiction and squeezes her writing into the bookends of her day. She has lived in Holland, Germany, and Hong Kong, but now lives in land-locked central England and misses the sea. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020. She tweets at @laurabesley.
The story of the week for November 23 to 27 is…
Let’s Pretend by Larissa Thomson
Packing his case, your son gives you a cursory look, and “Delhi” by way of alms.
You hurry to the kitchen, pack a lunchbox with heart-shaped cookies.
Afterwards, you picture him munching, smiling, thinking of you.
When he doesn’t answer your calls you’re sad, but sure he’s just busy working.
Mandira Pattnaik writes flash and poetry and has been published in Passages North, Amsterdam Quarterly, and 50WS, among other places. Follow @MandiraPattnaik
The librarian hands him a slip of paper with a number on it and directs him to the far end of the reading room.
An empty shelf, save for one slim volume. ‘My Life.’
He stares at the author’s name. Picks it up. Opens.
Every page he turns is blank.
Thomas Malloch lives in the south-west of Scotland. After retirement, he thought he’d try his hand at writing and some of his work has even made it into print in Reflex Fiction, Bath Flash Fiction, Gutter, and the Barcelona Review.
Without X-ray vision, I cannot say with certainty what goes on in the apartment above. I can only speculate.
The tenant’s noise-making cannot be eliminated entirely, of course, but confiscating his pogo stick, restricting lessons for cloggers to midday only, and impounding his pet elephant might be a good start.
John H. Dromey’s short fiction’s been published in Mystery Weekly Magazine and over 150 other venues.
Arthur discovered time travel quite by accident.
It was surprisingly simple. He reached into his cupboard for a snack, and suddenly, with a WHOOSH, he was across the room, fifteen seconds ago.
“Whoa!” Arthur exclaimed. But he was still hungry, so he went over to the cupboard for a snack.
Madame Zolinska is leaning into the crystal ball.
“…and two mortgages. You and your daughter will be estranged. Sometimes you’ll wonder whatever happened to your dream of being a pediatrician.”
On the other side of the purple tablecloth, the teenager begins to cry.
“You wanted to know,” says Madame Zolinska.
Sage Tyrtle is a professional storyteller. Her stories have been featured on NPR, CBC, and PBS. She is a Moth StorySLAM and GrandSLAM winner. She’s also one of those Americans who swanned around saying, “If this gets any worse, I’M moving to CANADA,” but then she really did. See more at tyrtle.com.