The water’s rising; it’s washed away the righteous and the sinners. I’m still here. I’ve bailed, prayed, bailed again. Ahead, there’s a girl huddled on a rooftop. I navigate toward her, lift her into the hissing raft.
It sighs, loudly.
I wave goodbye, clambering onto the slates.
The water’s rising—
Linda McMullen is a wife, mother, diplomat, and homesick Wisconsinite. Her short stories and the occasional poem have appeared in over seventy literary magazines.
It looks at the Blue Whale suspended overhead and sadness clouds its thoughts. It is a robot but not unfeeling.
Programmed to preserve, it has overseen the installation of thousands of extinct species.
It watches the latest display being lowered into place. A male and a female. Designation: Homo sapiens.
Brian Maycock recently won the Scottish Book Trust’s monthly 50-word story competition and lives in Glasgow.
With a swipe of my hand, the pentagram completes. Cold air ignites into neon light. I wave, pushing the star away—curtailing physics, defying rationality. Choking on my tears, my naivety of a moment ago astounds me.
As the glow fades, I close the ancient tome. Magic becomes fantasy again.
When not indulging himself by reading or writing poetry and prose, B.S. Roberts makes a living as a museum curator and an administrative assistant at the University of Maine at Augusta. He lives in Maine with his fiancée, daughter, silver pheasants, turtle, and four cats. See more at bsroberts.com.
The dime-sized hole in my bathroom ceiling has grown.
Eyes closed, I lather my hair.
At night, my neighbor’s unlatched gate bangs; roof joists creak. Childlike fear creeps in.
The water runs hot. Pipes wail.
I smile at the truth now.
Above me, pushed tight against the gap, something blinks.
Keely O’Shaughnessy is a fiction writer with Cerebral Palsy, which she sometimes writes about. She is Managing Editor at Flash Fiction Magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in both, anthologies and literary magazines, and her most recent publications include, Pretty Owl Poetry’s Spring 2020 issue and NFFD’s Flash Flood. Her story “When Naked Plants Renew” will be featured in this years Solstice Shorts Festival 2020, Tymes goe by Turnes.
Through sliding glass doors, we marvel at the magnificent, royal-blue sky. The wind-rippled ocean beckons, inspiring dreams of lounge chairs and exotic cocktails beside the water’s edge.
One almost forgets the cities drowned beneath it, and that if we stepped outside, the sun would cook us in under a minute.
Michelle Wilson graduated from Bennington College with a degree in literature and creative writing. Her words have appeared in Friday Flash Fiction, Entropy Squared, 50-Word Stories, 101 Words, Literally Stories, Flash Fiction Magazine, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, Healthcare in America, The Miami Herald, and elsewhere. She lives in Miami Beach, Florida.
“Tranquil here, isn’t it?” said the voice. She’d met him after her divorce. Such a good listener! She felt a rivulet of sweat trickle down her back beneath her blouse. But the tree was wide, and his touch cool as he coiled himself around her and whispered in her ear.
Robert Markovich spent a lifetime in what is charitably referred to as service journalism, writing and editing stories about everything from cars to toilets, most recently at Consumer Reports. He is happily and gratefully retired.
Emma works her knife over the jack-o’-lantern’s flesh, tapers the leering, accusatory mouth, widens empty eyes. Her stepmother’s features, just so.
She draws the gleaming blade between unhearing ears.
A centred candle bursts into flame.
“Proof of the destructive power,” Master Carver has forewarned.
Soon father will be hers alone.
Gary Thomson resides in Ontario, where he enjoys country drives through fiery autumn colours and strolling amongst early pioneer cemeteries. None of his published work matches the poignancy of mossy inscriptions on weathered grave markers.
We didn’t have enough bullets for everyone, so we had to draw lots. I lost. Typical.
“You should be glad,” they said. “You’ll get to live longer. In a way, we are the losers, right?”
Joke’s on them: I’ll eat their faces as soon as I turn into a zombie.
Rodrigo Ortiz Vinholo is a Brazilian fiction writer based in São Paulo. His short fiction work has been featured in over a hundred collections in Brazilian Portuguese, exploring a wide variety of genres. His latest books are ‘Sinônimo de Rancor’ (2018, self-published), ‘Os Dias em que Rubia Viveu no Futuro’ (2019, Lendari), ’33’ (2020, Casa Literária) and ‘Poemas Chatos para Pessoas Ruins’ (2020, Darda Editora). See more at rodrigoortizvinholo.com.br (in Brazilian portuguese)
Humans, givers of food, thought the large dog, bounding to the man sitting against a wall. Since the time of the great light, the wind and fires, it had eaten little.
But the human had no food and was very weak.
Humans are food! thought the dog, trotting contentedly away.
John Young is an old chap grappling with themes of limits, longings, and finitude. He lives in St Andrews, Scotland, an ancient town with an ancient university, home of golf, home also – allegedly – of many ghosts. (He has not met any yet.)
The gate swung easily. The elderly couple on the porch chatting quietly. He glanced around. A perfect lawn. No weeds anywhere. Roses blooming everywhere. The house looked immaculate. Who called social services? Quick check and I’ll be gone.
“Excuse me, can we talk?”
The couple turned. Glowing crimson eyes glared.
Bob is retired and busy caring for his 5 dogs. After retiring, he began bartending but has since switched to writing. It may not yet be as financially rewarding but there’s a lot to be said about sitting and writing with a good cocktail! Bob is a big sports fan that lives outside Philly. A website is coming.