The sky was full of white jellyfish. They were drifting down over everything. Parks, neighborhoods, baseball fields, the oil refinery. Thousands of them. Tiny stickmen with backpacks clung to them.
Papa was crying beside the window. “You must always share with your brother.”
Papa was a negotiator.
I didn’t understand.
Thomas Fitzgerald McCarthy is a licensed English teacher, poker player, and short story writer from New Jersey.
We didn’t live there anymore. Hadn’t for a decade.
And yet, as flames licked at the windows and devoured the roof, as smoke belched into the twilight sky, I stood on the hose-wet lawn suffocating, asphyxiating on the fumes of my childhood while firefighters tried—failed—to stop its burning.
Angela Teagardner has been selling books for twenty years – not her own though, not yet. A bookseller for pay and a writer for passion, she’s been writing stories and poetry since middle school. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband, daughter, and two extremely cranky cats.
I arrive at school hot, sweaty. I want to run like Usain Bolt. He runs as fast as a car. My teacher says it’s not possible to keep up that speed for long, but she’s wrong. She has to be.
When I can, I’ll be gone. From he-who-hits and she-who-ignores.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her fiction has appeared online, in print and in various anthologies. She tweets at @laurabesley.
The zebra butterfly clung to the glass pane. His black and white wings drew the attentive fingers of the little boy on the window seat inside. Could he cradle this wonder in his hand?
The butterfly clapped his wings and lifted away. He carried with him all the toddler’s joy.
Gary Thomson lives in Ontario, where in his quiet moments he blows Beatles tunes on his Hohner harmonica.
Turn on lo-fi music. Drive my car so I can nap. Wake me up anyways to kiss. Roll down the windows, wind tangling my hair. Take me later for a bike ride; take me anywhere. Let me pick scabs off my knees without judgement. Let me be a kid again.
Autumn Bolte is an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, pursuing a degree in Sociology with a minor in Creative Writing. She also interns with the Education Justice Project and works for the university’s Technology Services. In her free time, she enjoys writing short stories and flash fiction that attempt to examine the complexity of human nature. See more at autumnjbolte.weebly.com.
Fifty years ago they played the game: never step on the cracks, her brother warned. If you do, they open wide, then down you slip between the flagstones. You just disappear.
Now, dragging along the wheeled suitcase that holds the broken-backed remains of her life, she understands what he meant.
Mick Mangan lives in England, and writes plays, poems, songs, fiction and non-fiction. See more about his music at mickmangan.com.
We were soldiers of innocence at the rally point. Raging against real enemies in pretend combat. Holly berry bullets and stolen kisses in oak tree forts. Fighting the good fight, we sought redemption in afternoon light.
Then you left to fight a greater war.
I still wait for your return.
Katherine Rocheleau is a full-time writer, part-time vampire slayer, and hopeless chocoholic.
How about a sandwich? Her words were casual enough, but her voice made me feel she was more in need of company than food.
Only twelve, but too serious, sad, and worried.
I told her, Soon you’ll blossom into a fine young lady. Obviously she wanted much quicker than soon.
Jim Freeze is seventy-two years old, retired and widowed. He was happily married for fifty-four years and has two grown sons. He began writing in early 2012 to have something to do. His short stories have been featured in several publications including Brilliant Flash Fiction, Calliope Magazine, The Original Writer, and Literally Stories.
Piggies race on sawdust track, bandanas flying: red, blue, yellow, green. Girly squeals for Green. Final turn, Red spins wide, Yellow bashes Blue, and Green squiggles through to claim the checkered flag. Yay, Green! “Free Bacon” coupons for everyone!
Girly adds two and two—and lets out a heart-rending wail.
Jeff Nazzaro writes short fiction and poetry in Southern California. His microfiction has appeared in Dogzplot and Drabblez and is forthcoming in Blink-Ink.
Ping! Letterbox… Thwack! Liquidambar…
Matt an’ me were slingshootin’ in the front yard.
There was a shatterin’ of glass and crunchin’ of metal.
The newspaper reckoned the driver hit the light pole and died at the scene.
We argued over who shot the stone, then never spoke of it again.
Growing up, slingshooting was a fun pastime for Melanie until one day she may or may not have caused someone to receive a serious injury…