when my daughter finally left
that I’d be free
could go back
to my old self.
Nobody told me
my breasts would ache
for her hunger,
or that her heat, her scent,
her fierce little grip
would hold me
even after I’d given her away.
Jennifer L. Freed likes inventing characters but doesn’t have enough time to write. The narrator of this story did not exist until a prompt (“Write something on the theme of independence”) brought her to life.
Fingers table-tapping impotently. Clock striking, but not the keys on my laptop. Blank face reflected on white empty screen mirrors the inside of my dark empty head.
I prod my muse. “Any thoughts?”
She waves a bottle in my direction, hiccups and sinks into a torpor.
“Try Facebook,” she mumbles.
Vivienne Burgess needs to get some perspective in life, get her muse off the booze, and take a holiday from Facebook. It’s not helping her creativity… or blood pressure.
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
Crocodile and Hippo were arguing over who was the more dangerous of the two.
Crocodile boasted, “I kill a thousand humans annually!”
Hippo scoffed, “I’m responsible for thrice that number of fatalities!”
Then a man came into view. Pointing at him, Crocodile sighed. “I think we finally have our winner…”
Melanie Cranenburgh lives in Western Australia, where a plethora of dangerous creatures make life interesting.
“What are you reading there? Looks like some serious stuff; you must be really smart.” He worked his usual pick-up magic on the train. Ask a simple question, then pay a compliment. Always works with them ladies.
Just not this time. “My divorce papers,” she replied angrily, and turned away.
Katya Duft is a translator, interpreter, and language teacher, and enjoys writing short stories, poetry, and her blog Tales from the Bus.
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
I am standing on wet ground outside my childhood home, under mid-morning tropical sun. The air smells of earth and newly banished rain. Adults speak indoors; their everyday worries are abstract, distant.
I wake up to a snowy Chicago morning, work on a weekend, and infant needing to be fed.
Priya Balasubramanian is a writer and physician. She’s written a novel, and no longer wakes up to snow.
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.
He put a rabbit’s foot in his pocket, scoured the garden for a four-leafed clover, and hung a horseshoe on their front door for luck.
Sarah suggested he hang the horseshoe points up, to keep luck from leaving.
He ignored her, yet again.
So she left. She had warned him!
Mary is Irish, superstitious, and a believer in luck coming in threes.
“What do you want?” asked the nurse.
What did he want? He once had a house, but all he remembered was a tumble and then pain. Then he had lost it all: mobility, independence, dignity, his house. Now he was lost.
“What do you want?”
“I don’t know,” he said.
Linda writes for both children and adults. She blogs at lindaschueler.com