I recognized her immediately. Same eyes, but sadder; same hair, but grayer.
She’d dominated my yearbooks: cheerleader, homecoming queen, class favorite.
As she rang up my groceries, I suddenly wondered which was more unfortunate… Those who peaked in high school, or those of us who wasted our lives envying them.
Gail Warber is the winner of several writing contests including E.K.U.’s creative non-fiction competition. She lives in Appalachia with her four frisky corgis and three frisky grandchildren.
Every time I eat here, I wonder if she’s still in the restroom.
I watch the cakes orbit on refrigerated turntables, a silent waltz for the ballerinas running omelets and coffee.
Back when she excused herself to the restroom, the hostess was probably still in diapers.
“Table for one, please.”
Ryan R. Latini is a freelance and fiction writer living in southern New Jersey. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Funny in Five Hundred
, Red Savina Review
, and The Schuylkill Valley Journal
In the garden, I meditate, motionless. Birds, ignoring me, flit to the feeder.
A fat earthworm scrunches and telescopes across the flagstones into the sunlight, toward the feeder. Seeking food? Do earthworms eat what birds spill?
Never mind. Robins eat earthworms. One pounces, plucks.
Pity. I might have gone fishing.
Retired after four decades’ prizewinning print and broadcast journalism in Hartford CT, Don Noel received an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University in 2013 and has since published more than two dozen short stories and non-fiction pieces, with two novellas and a novel still looking for publishers. See more at dononoel.com
Your white veil is an impenetrable mist that I can’t get through.
Pastor: “The rings, please.”
I know your covered eyes are fastened on mine.
Louder. “The rings?”
I step forward, deliver the rings.
It’s not too late. Just give me a sign. Anything.
I step away. A coward’s destiny.
Lou is a retired archaeologist from the University of New Mexico.
Tattered memories: My first language, now long faded. A fence, reassuringly high, around a garden where time slept. Day trips through virgin forests, gathering wild berries and mushrooms. Suddenly, columns of soldiers goose-stepping in lock-step like a well-oiled machine. A week-long Atlantic crossing. Asking where, asking why. Getting no answers.
Alex has faint memories of 1930s Czechoslovakia.