“Bless you,” the stranger said.
“Take it back!” was my response, as I sniffed and wiped my nose on my sleeve.
Her eyes widened. “What? Why?” Her disgust and disapproval at my rudeness danced in her eyes and voice.
“It burns,” was all I could say.
Then I sneezed again.
Chad Bunch writes speculative fiction from the suburbs of Saint Louis. He is currently trying his darnedest to publish two novels and several short stories.
Sometimes we treat ourselves to Starbucks coffee, sitting outside to people watch.
“You’re so inspiring, Mom, teaching me to fend for myself. My kids are driving me bananas! Growing up, you made it all look so easy.”
“It will get better,” she insists, smiling knowingly like the perfect Indian princess.
Lisa Miller wrote this story.
Trading is difficult. Markets are changing constantly. To win you must predict everything. It pushes you to move fast: confidently, decisively. Competitors won’t spare you. What are their intentions?
“I rolled 7! Everybody who has more than 7 resource cards should discard half.”
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
Alexey writes in English to master the language, and publishes stories at medium.com/@sonicCat.
Every tick of the clock reverberated throughout the vast lecture hall. The biology students stared blankly as the lecture dragged on—monotonous drivel about clinical study results.
Post hoc, ad hoc, quid pro quo…
Twenty minutes in, only the snores made sense, and the rumbling from my stomach.
Christa is a medical writer with a passion for creative expression. She has had her poetry and short stories featured in several publications, including River Poets Journal, Tanka / Haiku Journal, Rune Bear, and Every Day Fiction. Currently she resides in South Jersey with her five feline muses.
At the park, my daughter whines. Too hot, icky sunscreen, more juice. “Four-year-olds,” I say.
“Not mine,” another mom says, her face smug. “We parent like gravity.”
Her daughter screams, dangling by one foot off the monkey bars. “You’re fine!” the mom yells.
Never-whining girl faceplants into the woodchips.
Hadley Leggett is a writer and stay-at-home mom in Seattle, WA. When she’s not chasing after children, she’s working on the second draft of her first novel.
We lie around the pool, melting, burning, toasting, marinating.
Nobody speaks, except for one woman berating her husband for not using sunscreen.
Later the waiter tells us they’ve been coming to this same hotel for twenty years. Well, twenty-three if you count the years since he died of skin cancer.
Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. He’s been published in numerous places across the web and has short stories printed in Blood & Bourbon, Blink-Ink, and DEFY! Anthologies. His novella Straw Gods was shortlisted by Ellipsis Magazine in their publication competition.
The first time the beast came to the village was by accident. He had simply lost his way.
However, once he learned the townspeople were willing to feed him one of their own each year, gradually incorporating more festivities and rituals into his visits, the beast vowed to keep returning.
Ran Walker is the award-winning author of seventeen books. He teaches creative writing at Hampton University in Virginia.
“Overturned!” cried the judges. “You’re free!”
Our first tram ride home in years echoed with their warning that we remember this mercy should we ever catapult into power.
We didn’t. After the coup, we scorched our enemies out of dirt and mind.
Of course, the judges had to go, too.
Evan McMurry’s fiction has been published in more than one dozen journals, including Post Road, Euphony, Arcturus, Oddville Press, Lotus-Eater Magazine, Palaver, Mulberry Fork Review and more. His story “Nothing Kinky” won the New Millennium Fiction Prize, and his story “Nixon in Heaven” won Exposition Review’s Flash Fiction contest. “The Fall of Rabbi Gold” was selected as a finalist for the Al-Simāk Award for Fiction from the Chicago Review of Books.
We used to talk for hours about films and art, but now you just deliver monologues about your boring job, your arthritic toe, and the awful weather.
I’m shocked by how quickly you changed closeness into carefully manipulated distance.
Now you’ve unfriended me. I only wish I’d got there first.
Juliet is an adult education tutor, crafter, and conservation volunteer based in Edinburgh, UK. She blogs at craftygreenpoet.blogspot.com and tweets at @craftygreenpoet.
As the clock struck midnight, ushering in my fiftieth birthday, the friends I’d been playing D&D with since middle school learned I was no longer the same person.
To be fair, one of them wasn’t surprised. I absorbed him first, while the others thought we were still playing a game.