I cast one last glance at the phone, still dark on the bedside table. My heart ached for it ring; my body willed it to stay silent. I let myself slip into the embrace of another, and watched the distance between us stretch beyond what two lost souls could repair.
Patrick Eades writes stories about people who are misunderstood, whose voices don’t get heard despite having something important to say. He has worked in the healthcare industry for nearly a decade, giving him a perspective into life, death and everything in between. His work is soon to be published in Idle Ink and Scarlet Leaf Review. He lives sandwiched between the National Parks of southern Sydney with his wife and dog, and has appeared in one film, where he played a drunken boxer with a strong dislike of DJs who think they can sing. He can be found at patrickeades.net.
Call from Health Department: voice claimed Eliza was exposed to COVID-19, should quarantine.
Eliza shivered, hung up. This was Anthony’s fault. They’d met behind the Nitty Gritty wearing masks, thought it’d be OK.
Her husband appeared. “Who’s calling you?”
“Lady looking for a jerk I never heard of,” said Eliza.
Shoshauna Shy finds the pandemic provides a lot of writing material. Read more about what she does at PoetryJumpsOfftheShelf.com.
Hillock – Lingering glances at waitress. Your phone number secretly scrawled on the bill.
Bridge – Flowers, expensive dinners. Breathless streams of fragile promises.
Church With Spire – Expected. Drunken proposals, forgotten by morning.
Mountain – Personal trainer, more than once, while I was pregnant.
Quarry – Pit. The deep, dark realisation you’d never cared.
Jo Withers writes short fiction from her home in South Australia. Recent work appears in Reflex Fiction, NFFD Anthology and Best Microfictions 2020.
You break the news in a sombre tone, voice barely a whisper. My guilty eyes fixate on your office floor. You blame government cuts and funding, anything but the truth: your wife found out.
I don’t tell you I’ve already found another job. I started looking the day we kissed.
Anna Sanderson writes about the world as she sees it (with the odd twist and turn). You can follow her story on Twitter at @annasanderson86.
You explained her as a wild, last craze
In a desperate, lost Lothario haze
And I dismissed her as a mid-life phase
But the heart clots when a partner strays
So you’ll find for our remaining days
I will spite you in a thousand ways
Like “forgetting” to buy mayonnaise.
Jo Withers would like to reassure everyone that she remains very happily married with a plentiful supply of condiments. You can follow Jo on Twitter.
The dog noticed first. Spun upright in our bed.
“What is it, Calvin?” Alert ears. Rigid tail. Low growl.
I dropped my hand under the bedframe. Grabbed the twenty-two.
When the shadow appeared in the bedroom doorway, I fired once. A practiced shot.
He won’t be coming home late anymore.
John dabbles in flash fiction while editing his (hopefully) debut novel. Taste some of his stories at JohnDavisFrain.com.
Peter hadn’t inherited his father’s disease, but a child of his could. He couldn’t allow it.
“This won’t hurt,” the doctor promised. It bloody did! He deserved that for not telling Clara, who desperately wanted a baby.
A year later, Clara announced, “I’m pregnant!”
Seemed she had a secret, too.
Mary lives and writes in southeast Ireland.
We had been going at it over a year before my wife found out.
She’s truly a remarkable person: compassionate, bright, dignified, highly restrained.
She said, I believe it’s time we let you-know-who go. I’ll answer your calls, do your bookkeeping, schedule meetings. It’s time I helped manage your affairs.
Over the years Bob Thurber’s work has received a long list of awards and prizes. His most recent book is a collection of brief stories titled “Nothing But Trouble.” His first novel, “Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel,” was recently rereleased. Visit BobThurber.net.
She told me that she’d do anything for fifty bucks.
She was shocked by my suggestion, but a deal’s a deal, and I made her do it. We played chess, and I won all three games.
I’d better not tell my wife. She’s a grandmaster, and she just wouldn’t understand.
Harry Demarest has had 20 of his 50-word stories and a few longer pieces published. He has been playing tournament chess for years, and once played chess all night with a hitchhiker he picked up in Albuquerque.
The first time you cheated on me, you cried over the phone.
“We have to talk,” you said.
We walked in bruised silence through the park, then sat and stared over the hill.
“I don’t understand,” I said at last.
“Let me explain,” you told me. “We’re not a couple.”
David still doesn’t get it completely.