She’s painting white against white. It’s an octopus—I know from illuminated glances, stolen when the desk lamp lights each colorless ridge and layer—but to the passing eye, it’s just an empty frame on the textured wall. She shuts the door against me to add another layer of madness.
Gretchen has an octopus painting on her wall, but she supposes you do, too.
The story of the week for March 9 to 13 is…
Winter’s Child by Casey Laine
I know I need to talk about the way I miss you so. Yet I keep the words within me and say I’m in control. I tell myself I’ve dealt with all of the demons in my soul but 10 years on and despite myself, I cannot let you go.
Tommy Johnson is new to writing, having recently discovered the wonder of fifty-word stories. Now living in the North East of England, he has previously lived in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Australia.
Mrs Kaminski hugs the purple, sequinned cushion she’s just had to buy back from the charity shop. Her interfering bus driver daughter had donated it.
She spots the 52 on its way down North Road.
In the middle of the zebra crossing she lies down, cushion positioned under her head.
Tricia is a high priestess of micro-fiction.
The Story of the Month is chosen from the Story of the Week winners announced from the past month.
The finalists for February were:
Next Day’s Receipt by Andrew C. Nosti
Your Pills by Jennifer L. Freed
Palindrome II by Pontius Paiva
Shelf-mates by Amanda Quinn
How Long Do You Wait? by Ursula Hoult
The winner of the February 2020 Story of the Month, and the $10 prize, is…
It’s been a while since we received new work from Jennifer, and she delivered a characteristically powerful, evocative, poetic piece.
Next Day’s Receipt and How Long Do You Wait? were both also excellent stories, easily capable of winning, but Jennifer managed to outdo them with her use of language and the message she delivered.
At the supermarket the toilet paper was out. Shelves were bare. I got home and the news was suggesting that the toilet paper hoarders were using it to protect themselves.
It suddenly occurred to me that there was no need to worry about a zombie apocalypse amidst a mummy one.
Connell apologises for writing a non-fiction story on a fiction site.
In a hole in the ground,
there lives a child.
immune to the cold.
When spring rains down,
instead of drowning,
of her outgrown coat,
fingers up and up,
toes down, down–
and raises her green head
to smile at the sun.
Casey Laine comes from a long line of talkative women. She works as Fantasy Editor at Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, and publishes an annual anthology of fiction and poetry for her writing group, Writers Assembled. In her spare time, she chases butterflies with her camera. Find her on Facebook, Amazon, and Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores.
Every day after school, we go to the park.
Every day, the man on the bench admires the acers in the Japanese gardens.
Every day, he smiles and asks my daughter how she is.
But today he isn’t here. She whispers that maybe this is his first day in Heaven.
Henry appreciates nature, and spending time in the park admiring the trees seems like a pretty good way to use your time.
“A 50-word story? Impossible.”
“Okay: Honey, I’m pregnant.”
“How about: I’m pregnant, and it’s not yours.”
“Kidding again. How many words, so far?”
“Let’s stop. I’m hungry.”
“How many words now?”
“And ice cream.”
John M. Floyd’s work has appeared in more than 250 different publications, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Strand Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, and the 2015, 2018, and (upcoming) 2020 editions of Best American Mystery Stories. A former Air Force captain and IBM systems engineer, John is also a three-time Derringer Award winner, an Edgar Award nominee, a recipient of the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s lifetime achievement award, and the author of eight books.
Introduced by a mixologist, Stan was a zoologist, Evie a geologist. They lived in a metropolis, were happily monogamous, their lives never monotonous. Then Evie saw a gynecologist, who sent her to a virologist.
Stan wasn’t a monogamist.
Evie thought him the rottenest. He’s at the ER with a proctologist.
Originally from Toronto, Janet Koops now calls Bend, Oregon home. When she is not sitting at her computer, she is exploring the high desert with her husky.