He wore bags under his eyes and dressed in all-black.
He mourned over having to let go of what he had known for years.
Yet, he gleamed with elation as he moved his tassel from right to left.
Four years had passed, but he knew it was only the beginning.
Ever since she was young, Annie Lin has been doing all kinds of outdoors activities, including hiking and biking. Drawn to the atmosphere of nature, she keeps busy with figuring out the animal shapes of clouds and learning more about cultures beyond the city life. She is frequently out in the sun, often finding herself coming home with an awful tan.
Sidewalks have no desires
as do streets, no hidden agendas,
no future place they long
to go and see. Sidewalks are content
with being still and listening to the stories
that shoes and paws beat
into their skin day after day. Sidewalks
have no other place to be but here.
Arlene writes poem, lyrics and flash fiction. She’s working hard on a romance poem about dead birds and their last confessions at present.
She smiles, legs dangling carelessly from the roof. Blue eyes reflect an array of glittering galaxies.
Another speckle dots the black.
How I wonder
Her eyes widen, stomach tightening.
Hands clasp ears over the meteoric roars
Sirens. A mother’s horrified scream.
Fifteen-year-old Megan lives in Florida with her family and her cat named Luna Petra Zane. This is her first “plunge” into the realm of 50 word fiction.
You’re dead, Patsy Brown? Only forty?
Day after Noddy’s dad come home, you invite her: “After school, come for ice cream.”
She skip all the way.
Your mother sneer: “Jailbird’s kid. Go home, Nadia!”
She crawl away like a bug.
And you laughed, Patsy Brown.
My Noddy still alive.
Rita Stevens is a graduate of Kalamazoo’s Western Michigan University and lives in the area, in the city of Portage, about 40 miles from Lake Michigan. She has been a teacher in the local schools and a jill-of-all-trades for a small newspaper.
He thought he heard Marion in the house, her rusty rattle-breath.
He checked her recliner (re-plumping cushions), the tidy side of their bed (still indented), the bathroom floor (heaven forbid).
Finally he rang through to Ward 6, pressed her discordant song to his ear. Danced it from room to room.
Linda Irish wrote this story.
The diner was a clean, well lighted place, open around-the-clock.
I was working the counter the night Edward Hopper stopped in.
He asked me why I wasn’t wearing a paper hat.
I shrugged and said, “The cook wears a hairnet.”
“Well, I’m giving you a hat,” he said, sketching feverishly.
Bob Thurber is the author of “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel” and two collections of stories. A celebrated master of Flash and Micro Fiction,” his work has appeared in 60 anthologies, received dozens of awards, and been used in schools and colleges throughout the world. He resides in Massachusetts where, despite severe vision loss, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
“How you get here?”
“Businessman—sold weapons and made a pile. Some collateral damage, but that’s life. Wife drowned me. You?”
“Dictator. Started war, made much money, killed millions until execution. This Hell not so bad.”
Their black carapaces reflect distant mushroom clouds as Earth’s latest inheritors scuttle for shelter.
Viv Burgess thinks her muse needs a pep talk and possibly a good holiday.
He flits between branches, his jaunty, upturned tail bobbing. I’ve seen him before, but never this close, and never singing fit to burst his tiny heart.
His head twitches left and right. Perhaps he’s just scared, but I need to believe it’s because he’s caught a sideways glimpse of spring.
Tamsin can’t sing or flit, but she’s definitely on the lookout for the end of winter.
She dabs vanilla on her wrists, thick, dark and pungent, like her memory of the night before he went to war. His child plays in the garden where they will stroll. He’ll see his son, for the first and only time, his firstborn, bearing another man’s name.
Casualty of war.
Sharon Calkin is a family history writer and poet. She lives in Pasadena, CA.
Seas warming by degrees, growing more acidic, weakening the skeletons of animals and plants. The scientists call it “mass bleaching.”
Giant clams with green dots on their flesh. The hawksbill turtle and hammerhead shark, damselfish and manta ray turn paler, swimming through rippling tendrils of ghost coral.
Nemo seems unaffected.
Beth Sherman received an MFA in creative writing from Queens College, where she teaches in the English department. Her fiction has appeared in numerous publications, including The Portland Review, Sandy River Review, Blue Lyra Review, Panoplyzine, Peacock Journal, 3Elements Review, Gloom Cupboard, The Delmarva Review, Sou’wester, Sinkhole, Compose Journal, Ponder Review and Marathon Literary Review. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has written five mystery novels.