They had planned to buy an RV together and go traveling around the world after their retirement, and today was the day.
So he bought a motorbike, patiently selected the most beautiful bouquet of flowers he could find, brought it to her, washed her tombstone, and started his journey alone.
Siavash Safary wrote this story.
Josh stopped at concessions for two orders of cotton candy, strolling to their rendezvous in penny loafers and bowling shirt.
Sixteen minutes passed before she texted, canceling. But cell phones hadn’t been invented yet.
Ghosted, he waited another hour, gave his blues to a bobbysoxer, and slowly slumped home.
Raised in Chicago and residing in Nashville, with a B.A. from DePaul University and M.Ed. from Belmont University, Doug Hoekstra is a working wordsmith whose short stories, essays, and poems have appeared in numerous literary journals through the U.S. Hoekstra has two book-length collections to his name: The Tenth Inning (2015) and Bothering the Coffee Drinkers (2007 – winner of an Independent Publisher Award Bronze Medal for Fiction). He lives in the Music City with his son Jude.
Hoekstra is also a singer-songwriter troubadour who has released eight “critically acclaimed” albums of original material on labels on both sides of the pond, touring throughout the U.S. and Europe, performing at bookstores, coffeehouses, clubs, libraries, pubs, festivals, radio stations, and castles; solo and with combos in tow. Highlights included Nashville Music Award and Independent Music Award nominations, lots of Top 10 lists, and many groovy times. As the pundits used to say, “a lot of people write songs, Hoekstra writes five-minute worlds” (Wired Magazine). See more at doughoekstra.wordpress.com.
“Computer, retrieve memory AF-278451.”
The tablet fills with dream-like images of the first time they met, her curls, smile that lit up the room. The wine spilled deliberately to mark her as his own.
That night became every night, became 20 years. A galaxy of silence since death took her.
Jim Doss lives in Sykesville, Maryland, and earns his living as a software engineer. He has previously published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again and What Remains. In partnership with Werner Schmitt, he also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
Her croft was almost inaccessible.
They’d met at a church fete. The congregation crowded around her innovative confectionery.
He’d hovered over her Dunesslin Pudding.
“Aye,” he’d acknowledged.
She laughed as rich as she baked. They’d had tea.
Now, he fingered the ring as the quad bounced along the track.
Irish writer Perry McDaid lives in Derry under the brooding brows of Donegal hills which he occasionally hikes in search of druidic inspiration. He even finds it on occasion.
Yesterday he took me to heaven.
Then he took me to the cleaners.
Strangest one-night stand ever.
“You want a beer?” I’d asked.
“No, I’m good.”
Yes, he was.
So was his accomplice.
All my valuables, gone… except for those I carried with me.
Only one of them was missing.
Susan Gale Wickes is from Indiana. She enjoys writing and thinking about writing.
Who needs a hammer when a fist can cause such racket? The pounding pauses. Beyond the door: “Sir, we have a court order.” Yet I refuse to open. Legal notices litter the floor beneath the mail slot, untouched. “A locksmith is coming.”
I have two choices. Neither involve my dignity.
Frank Ladd is a creative director in Boston. He is working on his first novel while his clients aren’t looking.
An acrid chemical haze blanketed the city wastelands. The noon sky glowed with an eerie crepuscular light. The Cataclysm proffered two choices: adapt or die.
In the fields we no longer chased butterflies. They now chased us, their flapping avian wings dusting us with fine powder that necrotised human flesh.
Melanie always feared her childhood obsession with catching butterflies would, one day, come back to haunt her.
In his first spring in a new land, Pietro took a cutting from a peach tree and inserted it into a slit on the branch of a living plum tree. A graft, like himself: an Italian transplanted into the Canadian landscape.
Bound together, two fruits would flourish on one tree.
Teresa Del Mastro sends Tim 50-word stories from Toronto. She creates them in Kerry Hodgson’s basement at her writing group.
“Tell me about your girlfriend.”
“Lucinda calls herself a witch but I have my doubts. When she tried some closeup magic, she wasn’t very good at it.”
“Did she cause you to break out in a rash?”
“No. These red marks are where she accidentally jabbed me with her wand.”
John H. Dromey stands tall but often writes short.
“Statistically, it is almost impossible to win the Lotto,” her maths teacher used to say. Spoken like a man with a permanent, pensionable job.
For many years, Rita heeded his advice.
Now she shuffles to the till. Asks for a Quick Pick. Endures the pitying look. Says a silent prayer.
Geraldine McCarthy lives in West Cork, Ireland. In a former life she was involved in tutoring, lecturing, translation, and research. She has been writing short stories and flash fiction for nearly three years now. Her work has been published in The Fable Online, The Incubator Journal, Seven Deadly Sins: a YA Anthology (Gluttony, Wrath, Avarice), Scarlet Leaf Review, Brilliant Flash Fiction, and Every Day Fiction. See more at facebook.com/cruthaitheacht.