The first betrayal crawled into my chest, compressed my heart and lungs. It quickly grew its branchlike arms up to my throat, aiming for strangulation. A bottle of whiskey, an old record, and twenty-one days diluted its power. The second betrayal is unable to pierce the shell of misery.
Erhard Firn appreciates loyalty.
Paying for company isn’t new to Alfred.
His father shoehorned him into a high position in the family business, and Alfred was keen to splash his cash about town. He dated, he married, he dated some more.
These days company is in the form of a television, programs carefully chosen.
Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments that her children are asleep. Her fiction has appeared online, as well as in print and in various anthologies. Her flash fiction collection, The Almost Mothers, was published in March 2020. She tweets at @laurabesley.
Brittney is young, healthy, so she’s not worried. She and her friends gather in each other’s apartments, sharing beer and restlessness, missing Real Life.
Then Brittney’s neighbor—the retired kindergarten teacher she buys groceries for—tests positive.
Finally the headline sinks in: Brittney and all her friends could be carriers.
Jennifer L Freed mostly writes poems, which have appeared in various journals and anthologies. Her website is jfreed.weebly.com
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.
The ghost chases me
Down my corridors
My past future and reality
I walk carefully
To look back
I infuse positive thoughts
Walk next to me
My hearts desire
An altered past
But must live
In this calamity
Old age brings desires.
In a tree
And scrape a knee
To find myself bleeding
All over the place
But somehow the next amazing day
It heals completely
I look back at the big deal I made
Wishing that mistakes could go away
Like the one I made
Just the other day
Lillian, an 11-year-old-kid, really wishes that life could be perfect where no one made any mistakes.
Art’s avuncular fingers plunged deep into my girlish flesh,
planted seeds of rage that grew into Sequoias that stretched upward
to scratch his deeds into the very sky
beckoning Mom’s eyes,
demanding that she countenance his crimes.
Then, having at last seen, she might beg me for absolution.
C. Christine Fair is an associate professor within the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She has published poetry in the Dime Show Review and The Bark and has pieces forthcoming in Clementine Unbound and Badlands Literary Journal. She also published a short story in New Reader Magazine. Her scholarly website is christinefair.net; her blog is shortbustoparadise.wordpress.com. She tweets at cchristinefair where, for some reason, she has some 42,600 followers.
“Psst. Hey. Come over here.”
“No. I have nothing to say to you.”
“Your father made me a promise and he didn’t follow through.”
“So? He died last night.”
“He sold his soul first.”
“That has nothing to do with me.”
“He used you as collateral. I’m here to collect.”
A graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Creative Writing program, Soma Datta is reinvigorating her poetry and flash fiction muscles after over two decades of writing stories for businesses and brands. She intends to tell her story as a first generation Indian woman growing up between Western and Eastern cultures.
Raymond shifted uncomfortably in his armchair as Suzanne raged at him.
“I don’t know why I bother here. I asked you to do one thing, and you forgot. You’re pathetic!”
She left the room, slamming the door.
Raymond shifted uncomfortably in his armchair and switched his hearing aid back on.
David McTigue lives in Liverpool UK, and enjoys reading, crosswords, music, concert going, cooking, and of course writing. Several of his short stories, poems, and crosswords have been published in various magazines and anthologies.
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.