The basement was dank and stark, still, a broken window high on the wall, shards on the cement floor, spider webs as thick as fog, touching me.
I reached for the light string, where I knew it should be, and the cold hand was around my wrist, pulling me down.
Glenn A. Bruce, MFA, was associate editor for Lindenwood Review. He published eight novels and two collections of short stories, wrote Kickboxer, and wrote for Walker: Texas Ranger and Baywatch. His stories, poems, and essays have been published internationally. He has won awards, judged stuff, and spoken often. He taught at Appalachian State University for 12.5 years.
Between McSwiggan’s and Burke’s is where Mike stands around waiting idly and endlessly for nothing, smelling of old carpets and looking like he’s been lost in the woods since the fifties.
Seventeen years ago his brother gave him two thousand euro and drove off. A solid base to build on.
Patrick Mc Loughlin is an English Language Teacher in Ireland who 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 don’t know what possessed me to do it.
I was tired, feverish, losing my voice. That night, I’d had the audacity to ask for help with the boys at bedtime.
His words stung; I was very angry.
But I was smiling as I swished his toothbrush in the toilet.
Michelle is an award-winning author and poet. She is a contributor in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada, and was a quarter finalist in the 2017 ScreenCraft Short Screenplay contest. Her writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail (one of Canada’s National newspapers) and a number of local magazines and newspapers including The Briar Crier, Total Sports, Voice of the Farmer, Arts Talk and Focus 50 Plus. Her short story “Lightning Strikers” (also featured on Commuter Lit) was made into a series in the Focus 50 + Newspaper because fans asked for more! In 2018, Michelle won the Ontario Writers Conference Story Starter Contest in two categories. You can find her online at commuterlit.com, fiftywordstories.com, femininecollective.com, michelledinnick.com, and @MichelleDinnick.
April loved Dylan from the moment she first saw him. His blue eyes pierced her soul. She knew there could be no other.
Crouching down, she beckoned to him. Dylan, husky in breed and build, ran into her waiting arms.
Love born in a shelter, but exactly who rescued whom?
Lisa Chambers is a Texas girl who loves words.
Our eyes met through the glass, a chance that may never come again.
For one short moment we connected. Then just as quickly, she was gone—a graceful, young fawn.
I look for her on clear nights and wonder if she looks for me while eating apples under my tree.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
There’s something wiggling in her husband’s cheek. At first she thinks it’s his tongue, but it begins to strain against the cheek, pushing outward. She can see that it’s long and narrow, shaped like a human finger.
Her husband bites down and the object retreats backward. He begins to chew.
Ryan Borchers is from Omaha, Neb., and holds an MFA in fiction writing from Creighton University. His work has been published by Prairie Schooner, Flash Fiction Magazine, Spelk, Belletrist and others.
Fifty-word stories force you to find the heart of communication.
My therapist was less than pleased when I explained to him I had found my cure using this process.
It took him fewer than fifty words to present me with his final bill for seventy-five dollars.
Charlotte has been writing most of her life. Fifty-Word Stories gave her the courage to submit her work.
We’ve been furloughed until the city is sure that the storm has passed. A precaution.
Nestled between two large piles of various canned and dehydrated foods, hot coffee in my hands, I am prepared to watch the rain.
A few drops hit the window, and the glass begins to sizzle.
K. Victoria Hernandez is an ecologist and writer. She is a Clarion workshop graduate, writes short stories, poetry, and is currently working on a novel. Her favorite season is storm season, with a cup hot coffee for warmth.
“Welcome to our adoption center,” Mr. Blake ushers people inside.
Time to please them. Maya barks softly. Kenny shakes his tail. Misty shows her pleading face. I know these tricks, but my limp hind leg is too obvious.
Maya is adopted. To me, it’s just another day in my kennel.
Allison Xu is a 7th-grade student and a book review blogger. Read more of her work at brightbookreaders.com.
The smoke alarm low-battery warning starts chirping.
Your kid’s stomach virus hits.
The faucet drips.
You notice that the cracks in the bedroom ceiling have gotten wider.
You hear an old train whistle in the distance.
You remember a song you haven’t heard since 1988.
I wonder where you are.
Robb Lanum is a failed screenwriter in Los Angeles. This is his third 50-word story. His longer, epic works have appeared on 101words.org.