I have Dad’s nose, long and hawkish.
I also lose my temper over small noises, criticize people’s musical choices. I feel shame and power.
I also try not to use the word “I,” Dad’s favorite.
Surely a nose isn’t a harbinger. I also have Mother’s eyes.
I block all mirrors.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, 50 Word Stories, (mac)ro (mic), and Ariel Chart.
It is evening rush hour in my city Glasgow.
I hear a solitary blackbird singing
no longer silenced by the snarl of roaring engines
and angry drivers.
The blackbird’s song is sweet but I yearn to hear it no more
meaning normality has returned to free me from this self-isolation
John B. Sinclair is a much-travelled Scot who has now returned to Scotland, where he enjoys freelance writing on a variety of subjects.
I escaped his slithering hands and bolted into the night. Johnny’s malty breath followed me before giving up with a cuss; he was always skittish about the marshes.
Crouching among the reeds, a frog startled me. I clasped him in my fingers, took a breath, and kissed him.
Nicholas Katsanis lives in Chicago and writes magical realism and absurdist fiction. He is currently editing his debut novel. Follow him on Twitter at @NicholasKatsan1.
I am lonely. Colleagues were my friends. No meetings, no journeys. I am only a doctor when stopped by the police for speeding.
When my husband died, years ago, writing softened my loss. The notebook is still by my bed.
I pick up a pen and start to write again.
Ruth is a retired doctor who has written extensively for the profession. Since retiring she has published a memoir and three novels. She finds flash fiction very rewarding for the elderly brain.
The unicorn is in the garden again, munching on the roses.
“I can’t,” I say. “I’m not ready.”
I follow him down the lane to the edge of the enchanted forest. The pine scent clears my lungs.
The unicorn slips between the trees. One day, soon, I’ll go with him.
Hannah Whiteoak writes speculative fiction to escape the real world. She is working on an animal-themed flash collection. Follow @HannahWhiteoak or visit hannahwhiteoak.me.
Editor: This story is a sequel to Side Effects.
Maybe one day I wake up from this dream or maybe I die trapped in it. Meanwhile I will continue climbing these vines in case I can see the light at the end of this tunnel.
I may fall for the attempt, but it would be worse to stop climbing.
Marina Alfaro is a student to be a teacher.
For some, it’s a glistening gray hair mistook for lint. For others, wrinkles that once appeared only when laughing now remain. For me, it’s my body lagging weeks behind my mind.
Grandma said I too would age, and should sip it like a chilled glass of her freshly squeezed lemonade.
Vernae is new to the world of publishing, but is enjoying every moment of it. She began submitting her work for publication in 2018 and has been published several times. Her unpublished Children’s Book “Teddy Wet My Bed” was selected as one of five Finalists by Eyelands 2019 Book Awards in the Unpublished Books Category. Vernae is praying for overall health and wellbeing for our country and the world during this health crisis.
The word hung in the air like a noxious gas, choking me.
Its consonants clattered and hissed, drowning out the rest of the doctor’s words. It cast a veil of freezing fog around me.
It hoisted me onto the ceiling, above my body. Just the word and me, floating.
Natalie is a Clinical Psychologist and aspiring writer in Wales, UK.
“What do we have here?” asked the detective.
“Female, single, 60-something, sleeping pills,” the coroner responded.
“An empty Cuervo bottle, a pink slip, an eviction notice. A bare cupboard; wearing a new Gucci nightgown…”
“Cause of death?”
“A lethal mix of economic strangulation, diehard aspirations, and early-onset poverty.”
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability consultant by day, and an aspiring writer and social critic at any other time, researching the many everyday things that can kill you while living in a collapsing economy.
“He’s such a beautiful boy,” they all say.
“How could two people who look like you have such a good-looking kid,” they joke.
“He’s going to break a few girls’ hearts,” they suggest.
“You are so lucky,” they add.
Yes we are. Autistic. He’s going to teach us a lot.
Richard Baigent always wanted to be a freelance writer, but isn’t yet.