Surprised by chill after weeks of scorchers, she holds her bag of groceries to her chest, purchases for a solitary meal.
Two girls skip by, flaunting autumn exuberance, ignoring homework, ignoring regimen and rigor. She alone grieves sweaty embraces, August smells, dreams expired as moderate temperatures and cooler heads return.
Nancy Ludmerer lives in New York City with her husband Malcolm and cat Sandy, named after the storm he fled (right into Nancy’s arms) and Sandy Koufax. Her story “First Night” appears in Best Small Fictions 2016.
A half cup of coffee on the top of the car. Another morning beginning beyond the yard, the hearts, and the heads of most practical men.
A half cig smoked waiting for the head to start. Another drive waiting. The familiar future. That gentle wind that pushes us forever forward.
Patrick Mc Loughlin is an English Language Teacher in Ireland and dabbles in writing. He also dabbles in painting and music and someday hopes to do more than dabble. He lives in the west of Ireland, where it’s hard to concentrate.
I visit him in the nursing home every week. He’s in the lunchroom now, his food untouched, diligently filling in coloring book outlines with crayons. He no longer recognizes me.
“Are you here to eat or to color?” he asks.
“To color,” I say as I sit close beside him.
Alex thinks that most nursing homes are simply repositories for human flotsam.
That summer the churches stopped selling religion.
You had to know a guy who knew a guy.
I was living by the ocean with a sea captain’s daughter.
He brought home boxes of the stuff.
We shared holy communion. We wept through miracles.
Her and me. Us and the sea.
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, though legally blind, he continues to write every day. Visit his website at BobThurber.net.
The story of the week for September 10 to 14 is…
Tripod Headstand by Jess L.
Squatting, thighs slightly burning, perched on your toes, hands in front of your shoulders, you place your head on the ground. Knees digging into your triceps, you tentatively lift one foot, then the other. Your left knee slips, so you try again, then again, until, one year later, you arrive.
Jess is a former scientist who maintains computational model code for current scientists. She occasionally gets the urge to write something other than lines of Python or Fortran.
Unspeakable darkness, slowly illuminating into an alley with dipping gutters. Tenement houses, three mismatched shoes on each doorstep. Girls hawk their wares, calling out over the cobblestones, flirtatious, looking for customers.
God is forever hiding somewhere among the gargoyles.
I fall in love a lot, always with the same woman.
Jim Doss has published two books of poems: Learning to Talk Again and What Remains. He also published a book of German translations entitled The Last Gold of Expired Stars: The Complete Poems of Georg Trakl 1908 – 1914. In his spare time, he is an editor for the Loch Raven Review.
I lost my face last night. No eyes so I looked by feel.
So many things feel like a face. A silk scarf, a mud puddle, a love letter, a string of kelp.
I found it and put it on. Then I saw it wasn’t mine.
I wore it anyway.
David Holloway lives, reads, and writes in northern Virginia. He’s had stories published in Gargoyle, The Mad River Review, and The Offbeat. His favorite invertebrate is the Nudibranch.
The lonely widower broke into abandoned houses. Careful overnight work pulled lines of wallpaper down whole. Safely home, he hung them up and rested his forehead against them—breathing memories of crayon scribbles, the height charts of those who’d grown, and frames of lost portraits burned by the fading sun.
Mark Farley writes novels, flash fiction and the occasional poem.
Mom cuts a pepperoni pizza into eighths. “Your two slices together make a quarter,” she says, serving one slice to each of her young twins. “Still three quarters left. That’s almost a whole pie!”
The boys chew in silence. Three quarters of a family feel nothing like a whole one.
Maura Yzmore writes short-form literary and speculative fiction, as well as humor. Find out more at maurayzmore.com or @MauraYzmore on Twitter.